Victoria On Masterpiece
“I know I am young and some would say my sex puts me at a disadvantage,” Victoria says facing her critics. “But I assure you I am ready for the great responsibility that lies before me.”
Sundays at 8pm on PBS North
January 15 – February 26
The image of Queen Victoria seared into popular culture is one of an older, dour woman, swathed in black, looking as if she never cracked a smile. So when Jenna Coleman (“Dr. Who”), a beautiful slip of a woman, portrays her as joyful, it’s jolting. At 18 - still known as Alexandrina, and playing with dolls - she’s awakened one morning and informed she is now queen of England. Masterpiece’s Victoria seduces us into a world where the petite queen taps inner strength. The seven episodes, premiering January 15, offer grand sets, lush countryside, castle intrigue and a study of private lives that shaped history.
As viewers of Sunday night PBS dramas will note, Victoria takes the hallowed timeslot that belonged to “Downton Abbey.” Will this replace “Downton” in everyone’s hearts? No, nor should it. They are separate though linked by era. “Downton” began a decade after Victoria died and her influence lingered.