Victoria: Doll 123
January 16, 2017 8:16 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

As a new queen, the young Victoria struggles to take charge amid plots to manipulate her. Her friendship with the prime minister leads to a crisis in Parliament. And, it's rats all the way down.

Overall, I thought this first episode did a fairly good job of setting-up the characters, relationships and politics for the rest of the series.

Sewell's Melbourne is quite good and enjoyable, and Coleman does well as the child morphing into a queen, interspersing naivety with moments of queen-like authority (usually when dismissing those who are pissing her off.) We start with a girl in her nightgown and dolls, and end with the foreshadowing of "the queen must marry soon."

The bad guys are unmistakably nefarious, and the good guys appropriately white-hatted.

I did like the rats pouring from the walls as metaphor for the politics and palace in-fighting.

And, there'll be no gas-lighting in the palace.
posted by Thorzdad (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I liked Sewell and Coleman quite a bit, but the ramped-up "intrigue" was wearisome. Random sampling: the real Victoria kicked Sir John Conroy (who really was a crook) to the curb immediately, even though her mother didn't, and certainly wouldn't have to put up with him on a regular basis; similarly, there was a struggle to have the Duchess of Kent appointed regent, but that happened before Victoria ascended the throne; and dear Uncle Ernest posted off to Hanover immediately, rather than hang around in England to conspire against his niece (although they did indeed cordially loathe each other). The rather episodic structure of the episode also made for some discomfort when it came to the Flora Hastings scandal.

The early episodes also have to contend with The Young Victoria, which is about the same events.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:11 AM on January 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I quite enjoyed it. A good set-up for a first episode, and Coleman is quite good. I'll sign on for anything Sewell does, and I was not disappointed.

My teevee impression of Victoria herself is largely formed by Annete Crosbie's portrayal in Edward the King, and this is very, very different. I may have a problem reconciling the two versions of her, but that's my problem.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

what network is this on in the US?
posted by skewed at 4:23 PM on January 17, 2017

PBS, as part of Masterpiece.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:00 PM on January 17, 2017

Wow, I heard Victoria's mom was a bitch, but...birthday rats? And of COURSE she gifts King Lear with underlines.

I do like Coleman as the queen, she's very watchable.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:49 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just caught up with this yesterday (wanted to finish "The Crown" first so as not to confuse them!) I like it - it's definitely got that BBC/PBS standard feel to it, less of the drama that The Crown has. But it's good. I could do with less of the downstairs servant stuff though. Clearly the show creators are feeling the loss of Downton Abbey and hoping for some of the same interest by creating all these servant intrigues, but for me so far it's not working at all.
posted by dnash at 5:11 AM on January 23, 2017

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