‘Victoria’ on Masterpiece gets the royal treatment

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The second season of “Victoria,” the hit Masterpiece series, premieres Sunday, January 14, 2018 on PBS. It stars Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as the young queen who wants it all – romance, power, an heir and personal freedom. You go girl!

Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) returns to star as the queen’s smoldering consort, Prince Albert. Also returning from last season is Rufus Sewell (Man in the High Castle) as Lord Melbourne, Victoria’s first Prime Minister and intimate friend. Joining the cast in the new season is legendary actress Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones, The Avengers), who plays the Duchess of Buccleuch, the court’s new Mistress of the Robes—a fount of old-fashioned good sense for the queen, who is now in the throes of motherhood.

More than 16.2 million viewers tuned in for Victoria’s premiere season, making it the highest-rated drama on PBS in 20 years—second only to Downton Abbey.

Audiences will be spoiled to hear that Masterpiece and PBS have announced a third season of Victoria.

Victoria, Season 2, airs in seven episodes created and scripted by bestselling novelist Daisy Goodwin.

Season 2 finds Victoria adapting to motherhood after the birth of her first child, a daughter. Meanwhile, the disaster of the Anglo-Afghan War unfolds abroad, and the catastrophic Irish potato famine begins to wreak havoc. A royal state visit to France also is in the offing.

Coleman loves playing Victoria and seeing how her marriage develops. She said, “One of the most exciting things about this series for me, is kind of exploring the dynamics within their relationship, because the tectonic plates keep shifting and they’re operating in a marriage as a husband and as his wife and Victoria wants to be a wife to her husband. And, yeah, also then politically, as soon as Albert begins to try to take any form of Victoria’s role initially, she completely flips. So, you’re constantly operating within these different kind of politics, I guess, within a domestic marriage. The clash of wills is really interesting and shifting.”

Getting into the role is not difficult Jenna admitted because of all the resource material available. Coleman said, “There’s so much there.  Daisy directed me in many different directions to begin with. Obviously, there’s the homes, the palaces. We did a big group trip to Osborne House just before Christmas so you can really see where they lived and how they existed and their world.”

The big wow among the resource material for Jenna has been Victoria’s sketchbooks. She said, “To me, were very useful, and her voice, she wrote in a diary almost every single day, so you can always refer back to something and hear her voice.  So, in a way, I’m completely and utterly spoiled really.”

Audiences will be spoiled to hear that Masterpiece and PBS have announced a third season of Victoria. “Victoria’s millions of fans now have two more seasons to look forward to,” said Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “We promise them more of the passion and intrigue they relished in season one.” And now, Season 2 of Victoria is ready to enchant starting January 14.

Also, mark May 19, 2018 on your calendars. That’s when Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle will be getting married. That gives Royal-watchers everywhere something else to look forward to in the new year.

Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years, and was proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.

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