Ok. It may be a bit late, slightly overdue, but nothings ever too late. Except History.
Ah, Victoria, the show that History buffs watch when Poldark is no longer on, or the one that they used to complain about due to both shows being on the same time on a Sunday night. No longer…
Victoria is a strange show. Of course it is about history, but it feels constrained almost, with the historical burdens it has on it; it needs to be accurate, or you know, the Daily Mail will get angry. We don’t want that now, do we? Seriously, though, the show nails the difficulties of being a woman during the time, with sexism being rife almost, universal suffrage wasn’t for a few years. Never mind being woman though, imagine being the monarch of one of the supposedly greatest countries on earth. This show encapsulates the But you’re a woman problem and excuse for anything limiting a woman’s actions.
Jenna Coleman shines in that role, and particularly in this episode, she had to deal with the potato famine, which, I have to give it to them, made it an interesting piece of history to watch; I was rather surprised. She has all the emotion, the stereotype defying ability to actually do a job, if you understand what I mean. She had to deal with a possible resignation and the beginning of the widening of the political spectrum. She did it with so much brevity, so much class, it was almost tangible; it made the whole show tangible for that matter.
Onto something else that got me really confused, yet amazed is the amazing performance of an otherwise minor character in the series, is David Oakes’ performance as Prince Ernest, one that manages to weave him into the hardship of the British Monarchy in such a way, that one can almost correctly guess the point at which Albert will mutter something along the lines of Why don’t you go back to Coburg?, to which we finally receive an answer; it is apparently because Uncle Leopold will arrange a marriage for him. I empathise with both Albert and Ernest, as both have some sort of problem in their lives, that the other doesn’t fully understand, which becomes even harder after Ernest’s shocking discovery, of him being diagnosed with something that makes him whether or not he should have children or not. And Albert’s life as consort, a stranger to the country he is married to, as well as the marital problems that come with it.
Peel’s portrayal by Nigel Lindsay shows another inner conflict of a character; he has to deal with his inner demons and not being able to follow his heart as to what is right, rather than pleasing his party, kinda alluding society and its governmental problem right now, oh how clever that was…
Verdict: A solid installment in the series: 8/10