Travelling through time and back to the 19th century, we find ourselves in Britain and under the rule of Queen Victoria. Although we can’t physically travel through time ourselves, we can fictionally do so thanks to ITV’s latest television project, Victoria.
The period drama Victoria follows the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign, similar to another recent television favourite The Crown that follows the early days of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Unlike Queen Elizabeth II though, Queen Victoria came into the throne at the tender age of eighteen and would hold that position until her death in 1901.
With the departure of fan favourites such as Downton Abbey, it’s easy to welcome a fresh cast, story and time period with open arms and into our television schedules.
Here are few reasons why you need to tune into Victoria, the period drama everyone’s talking about:
1.) The Characters
Like most reigning monarchs, Queen Victoria’s story is a fascinating one and one that any history buff would love to study. The first season of Victoria opens with a young woman, barely an adult, who is thrown into the monarchy.
Jenna Coleman slips into the role of Queen Victoria with ease and even though I had never seen her act before (sorry Doctor Who fans!), I was immediately entranced by her performance and was curious as to how it would evolve over the show’s timeline. Her commitment to the role was also displayed when you looked at her eyes and noticed how Jenna Coleman’s chocolate brown eyes had changed into a sea of blue.
Queen Victoria aside, her fellow characters also have their own stories to tell. Two of my favourites were Prince Albert, Victoria’s eventual husband and Lord Melbourne, her advisor and companion. Both men played an important part in helping shape Victoria into the monarch she was and also the world.
2.) The Costumes
Oh how I love the costume department in a period drama! It’s impossible not to sit there in awe at the fine details on delicate lace gloves or the hundreds of gems stitched onto a dress. Two costume designers Rosalind Ebbutt and James Keast came up with the beautiful creations you see in the show. Their designs have also featured in other period dramas such as Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge.
Of course, a costume designer is nothing without a costume department and Victoria had a good one! As someone who spends a lot of time watching behind the scenes videos for both television and film, it’s easy to appreciate the hard work and passion that goes into creating and sourcing the exquisite outfits for both women and men.
What I love about costumes is how reflective they are of a time period. Take women’s clothing for example. Luckily for me, I have never had to wear a corset or multiple heavy layers of clothing, but these people did. No, I’m not talking about the actors but rather the people of the era. Costumes tells their own stories in a way and there’s something incredibly interesting about that.
3.) The Setting
I think we can all agree that a palace backdrop or the fine interiors of a ballroom can make for some pretty beautiful shots. It continues to baffle me at the thought of cobblestone paths, castles and gardens still existing today when you’ve lived your entire life in such a young country as New Zealand.
When your story is set around a Queen, no room is too small or garden too lush. Victoria’s setting is slick yet charming, embodying the aesthetic and atmosphere appropriate to the era and also pleasing to the modern eye.
Season one consists of a total of eight episodes. The second season is set for 2017 with a Christmas special later in the year. (I mustn’t be the only one having Downton Abbey flashbacks..?).
Whether you’ve already seen Victoria or are eager to catch it in the next coming days on PBS, tell us what you’re favourite part of a period drama is? The characters, the costumes, the setting? Let us know in the comments!