Jenna Coleman’s reign continues as the third series of period drama Victoria begins
It feels like ages since we last spent time at the court of Queen Victoria, so it’s a real treat to be back at Buckingham Palace for a third run of the sumptuous regal saga.
All is not well behind the palace gates, though, as revolution is in the air across Europe and Albert worries that Victoria’s throne could be under threat from the Chartists.
But that could be the least of their problems, as Victoria’s sly half-sister Feodora (a great turn by Kate Fleetwood, pictured above with Jenna Coleman) suddenly makes an appearance, while charismatic but rather naughty Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston (Laurence Fox, having a whale of a time!) also looks set to cause a whole heap of trouble.
TV Times rating: *****
During a break in filming, we sit down with Jenna and Tom, both 32, for a chat about the challenges ahead for Victoria and Albert…
As the series opens, revolution is brewing in Europe and French king Louis Philippe (Vincent Regan) is deposed. Do Victoria and Albert feel threatened as, in Britain, the Chartists rise up?
Jenna: Yes, they’re potentially in danger. There are riots in London, and Albert wants to take Victoria away to the Isle of Wight but she can’t go as it means she’s running away.
She believes she could be overthrown. Seeing Louis Philippe lose it all, she realises that the relationship she had with the people isn’t what she thought. It’s an interesting way to kick off the series.
Tom: Albert disagrees with revolution because it’s against his wife, but he understands where the unrest has come from and seeks to change the structure. The grand issues play out in their dining room.
The new Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston (Laurence Fox), and Prime Minister Lord John Russell (John Sessions) also cause quite a stir…
Jenna: Palmerston’s tricky! He lives by his own rules and hasn’t got respect for protocol. But the people love him and call him ‘Pam’, so, for Victoria, he’s a rival and she tries to work out how to engage him on a political level.
Tom: Russell seems a weak leader and Albert’s frustrated as you need someone with more conviction to hold Palmerston back, but he later respects Russell’s moral fibre.
Palmerston’s charming with a bullish quality, and Laurence does that effortlessly. His scenes were a delight – he’s so funny!