Victoria (2016) Series 1 Review

On 9th October 2016, the series finale of Victoria was aired on ITV.

I used to be a huge fan of Victorian history and this series sounded interesting when I heard of it.

This drama follows the years of 1838-1840 in Queen Victoria’s life, from her accession to the throne at the age of 18 to her marriage to Prince Albert and the birth of their eldest child. Stuffed in the cracks is also scandal aplenty, leaving this series looking very much like Downton Abbey  as the downstairs servants at the palace get a look in too.

The acting was strong enough, and Jenna Coleman was quite good in her role as the Queen. Tom Hughes played A-line reticent Teutonic Albert, who is stifled by his German-ness and unfortunate place as inferior in position to the Queen, while also keen to embrace new ideas and carve out a position for himself.

I wasn’t really all that interested in the downstairs part of the story because such a topic had already been dealt with before in such dramas as Downton Abbey. They push Victoria as this woman striving for independence as Queen in a masculine-controlled world.

That being said, while the characters were certainly engaging, at times they came across as far too pantomime-esque to be believable. If you don’t mind minor historical irregularities then this is for you, along with the almost cartoonish CGI which occured throughout the 8 episodes in certain places, particularly in exterior scenes.

While it was certainly a glittering spectacle, I wasn’t bowled over by it. While it was good to see a part of Victoria’s life rarely dramatized be shown, I wasn’t overly impressed at the end. Perhaps my feelings will change by the time Series 2 rolls around in 2017 but right now I’m coolly impressed but not bowled over.

MY RATING: **.5 / *****



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