Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley) stars as young Queen Victoria in this lavish new costume drama from Britain's ITV, soon to air on Masterpiece. Beautifully filmed, exquisitely costumed, it won raves when it aired in the UK and eased the pain of viewers who were pining for Downton Abbey. Series 1 follows the diminutive Victoria from her accession to the throne at age 18 through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. With Tom Hughes (Silk) as Albert and Rufus Sewell (Middlemarch) as Victoria's broodingly handsome confidant, Lord Melbourne. "Jenna Coleman excels…stellar performance" (Express, UK). 8 episodes, 8 hrs, Choose 3 DVDs or Blu-ray discs, SDH.
Victoria ascends to the throne after the death of her uncle, King William. She asserts her independence by standing up to her mother and Sir John Conroy, who had both reared her under the strict Kensington System. Victoria creates a scandal involving her mother's lady-in-waiting, Lady Flora Hastings. The public is outraged when they learn of the humiliation that Lady Flora has suffered at Victoria's hands. Victoria is encouraged to stand tall and face the public by the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.
Ladies in Waiting
The Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne announces he must resign. Victoria asks the Duke of Wellington to form a new government but he declines, suggesting the Tory leader Sir Robert Peel for the role. Peel agrees only on the condition that she dismiss some of her Ladies of the Bedchamber. The queen refuses which leads to the Bedchamber crisis. Meanwhile, Victoria's mother, Sir John and her uncle the Duke of Cumberland scheme to install a regency to limit Victoria's power by making people believe she has inherited the madness of her grandfather.
Sir John and Victoria's mother want her to marry. Victoria's uncle, King Leopold of Belgium, arrives to pressure her to marry her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but Victoria has no interest in Albert. Tired of Sir John, Victoria offers him a baronetcy and pension for him to leave court, which devastates her mother. Following the Newport Rising, Victoria takes pity on the leaders and commutes their death sentences to exile in Australia.
The Clockwork Prince
Albert arrives for a visit, but both he and Victoria are aloof with each other at first, resentful that they are being pushed together. But as they spend time together, an attraction grows. Victoria proposes and Albert eagerly accepts.
An Ordinary Woman
Victoria announces her engagement. The Duke of Wellington says they cannot be sure Albert is not a Catholic, which would preclude Victoria from marrying him without abdicating her crown. Though unable to give him a royal title such as duke or king, Victoria makes Albert a Knight of the Garter and gives him a small allowance. Albert is offended, feeling he will have no position or independence, while Victoria worries he will use the allowance to keep a mistress. They reassure each other and get married.
The Queen's Husband
Victoria and Albert are happily married. An abolitionist group asks Victoria to open its London meeting, held in June 1840. She says she will publicly support the cause but is unable to open it because of her position. Prince Albert instead volunteers to give an address against slavery, a subject he feels strongly about and his speech is considered a great success.
The Engine of Change
Victoria is pregnant with her first child, but is desperately afraid of dying in childbirth. The ministers ask Victoria to choose a regent in the case she does die in childbirth, and she chooses Albert, which enrages the Tories. Albert takes on interests which infuriate Victoria, but he insists he have some measure of influence, while she worries his doing so will undermine her own authority as queen.
Victoria's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, now the King of Hanover, returns to England and angrily tells her that the British people will not accept Albert as the regent in case of her death in childbirth. He threatens her with hints of assassination. Victoria gives birth with no complications.
Packaging: Boxed set
Run Time: 385 minutes plus bonus programming
Format: DVD: Widescreen Blu-ray: 1080/p
Number of discs: 3
Foreign Language Subtitles: No
Color or B&W: Color
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: DVD: 16:9 Blu-ray: 1080/p
Audio Format: Stereo
Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, Rufus Sewell, Anna Wilson-Jones, Eve Myles, Nell Hudson, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jordan Waller, Daniela Holtz, Catherine Flemming, Adrian Schiller, Margaret Clunie, Tommy Knight, Nigel Lindsay, David Oakes, Basil Eidenbenz, Alex Jennings, Peter Firth, Peter Bowles, Robin Soans, Paul Rhys, Nichola McAuliffe, Samantha Colley, Andrew Bicknell, David Bamber, Daniel Donskoy
"Glossy period drama" - The Telegraph (UK)
"Jenna Colman excels...stellar performance" - Express (UK)
"It is a genuine hit" - The Sun (UK)