Season 3 of the opulent historical drama series Victoria is now available to binge on Showmax. The critically acclaimed series follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18 to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert and the challenges to her reign.
Victoria stars International Emmy nominee Jenna Coleman (The Cry, Doctor Who) in the title role, which earned her the Golden Nymph Best Actress Award at Monte Carlo TV Festival in 2017. Opposite her, Tom Hughes (About Time) was nominated for a MovieGuide Grace Award as Prince Albert.
“I love her lack of filter, her frankness and honesty,” says Jenna. “I love the fact that if she likes someone she is incredibly loyal and if she doesn’t, she will let that person know. When she is in a bad mood or is tired, she is very reactionary. She’s always been known for having tempers. They used to write about her having a ‘combustible’, which I love. Victoria didn’t have to answer to anybody and so could really get angry within her own house. She would feel mortified after having one of these ‘combustibles’ and would cry and apologise to Albert, but she ping-pongs through emotions rapidly. As she gets older, she becomes even less controlled, so it is fun to age with her.”
Nominated for craft awards at both the Emmys and the BAFTAs, Victoria won the Golden Nymph award at Monte-Carlo TV Festival for Best Drama Series in 2017 and, among other honours, also recently scooped a 2020 IMAGO award for Best Cinematography.
Victoria is created, written and exec produced by documentary filmmaker Daisy Goodwin (Grand Designs, Jamie’s Kitchen), co-written by Whitbread Biography Award-winner A.N. Wilson, and co-exec produced by Emmy-nominated Poirot and Poldark producer Damien Timmer.
Despite being set 170 years ago, Daisy says the show feels timely today. “As I was writing Series 3, I was continually struck by the parallels between the nineteenth century and our own: populist movements at home and abroad, womanising foreign secretaries, and national suspicion of ‘foreigners’, as well as press intrusion and the mismanagement of public health. There were days when I found it difficult to remember which century I was in!”
“Series three opens with a heavily pregnant Victoria expecting child number six on the eve of the French Revolution,” says Jenna. As monarchies collapse across Europe, “Victoria is faced with the question of whether or not her role is disposable. This is all she has known and all she expects to know, so that forces her to look in the mirror and examine her relationship with her people and what that truly means to her. Ultimately, she just wants to be supported and adored by her subjects. She always wrote about it. Being loved, more than she would like to admit, is incredibly important to her.”
This applies to her marriage too, but it’s taking strain. “Victoria and Albert are the most famous couple of the nineteenth century,” says Daisy, “but underneath the united facade, their relationship is at breaking point – a struggle for mastery that neither side can win.”
Season 3 introduces several new characters, including Prime Minister Lord John Russel (played by British comedian John Sessions from QI and Whose Line is it Anyway?); the troublesome Teflon-coated populist, Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston (Laurence Fox from Lewis, Elizabeth: The Golden Age); and Tony and Olivier Award nominee Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) as Victoria’s sister Feodora.
Victoria has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb and Season 3 has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus reads, “Victoria continues its reign as one of TV’s most handsomely rendered offerings.”
Watch the trailer: