The early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of eighteen to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.The early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of eighteen to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.The early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of eighteen to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.
I started watching this show when I first came out and as many other reviewers have already stated, I was absolutely captivated by Jenna Coleman's and Rufus Sewell's portrayals of Queen Victoria and Lord M, respectively. I maintain that Rufus was a brilliant Lord M, and frankly I think the reason the writers were able to successfully execute Lord M and Victoria's fabricated infatuation for one another is rooted in the casting. It wouldn't have worked if M was cast accurately, a bumbling old man 40 years her senior.
I'm actually very surprised to read so many criticisms of Tom Hughes's Albert. On the contrary, I thought he did an excellent job. I've always been quite interested in the monarchy and have read extensively on some kings and queens that have captured my imagination in particular - Victoria being one of them - and their personal relationships. It's well-known that V and A were besotted with one another; I believe Victoria wrote "Albert is beautiful" in her diary after their second meeting in 1839. It's also true that she did not want to get married and felt that she was being manipulated into a union with someone who was more convenient for the family than for love. Albert was shy, intellectually-inclined, and very handsome. I don't understand what element of that Tom Hughes neglected. His chemistry with Jenna was suspiciously compelling until I learned that they're together in real life. I think he was altogether very convincing - perhaps with a modern flair, but that seems to be the feel of the entire show.
Which brings me to my next point. For someone like me, who really enjoys costume dramas and romance, this is a wonderful show. The sets are magnificent (CGI leaves something to be desired, but it's not too offensive), the costumes are to die for, and the writing is good. No, it's not absolutely stellar. But it's certainly entertaining. The cast handles very artfully the script they've been given. If you are very knowledgeable about history and find it absolutely impossible to enjoy a show that has taken more than a few creative liberties, this is not the show for you. It's not anything near a documentary, and drama is paramount. I agree that truth is often stranger than fiction, and there are many stories that writer Daisy Goodwin could have spun into a far more accurate and believable series. That being said, I don't hold it against her. While there are some plot lines that seem to have been pulled out of nowhere, the majority of creative liberty comes in the form of exaggeration in this show. Inclinations and motivations are stretched to the nth degree to really show the watcher that this character is either a good guy or a bad guy.
I think the show is worth watching. If you're new to it, certainly watch up to episode 3 in season 1 - that's when Albert's character is really first introduced and the show begins to take a turn. Season 3 started last night here in the US and I found the premiere engaging. I'm excited to see what happens next, as long as Albert's death is conveniently delayed for as long as possible.
- Jan 14, 2019