‘Victoria’ Episode 8 review: Jenna Coleman’s royal drama concludes with ‘Young England’

Eight episodes in, and Victoria still hasn’t invented the Victoria sponge.

I suppose the queen has rather more pressing matters on her mind in this episode; namely, the tiny royal growing in her belly, and crackpots at every turn.

Not even queens are safe from Those Dudes who simply have no sense for when it’s time to admit that she’s not interested and it was jolly well time to move on the first time she didn’t answer your disconcerting love letter.  Captain Childers, at least, was a reasonably polite persistent creep with no grasp of reality.  Could have been worse, albeit still gross.

I can see why Bert would be worried, but really, there’s nothing less appealing to a woman than an over-over-protective gentleman.  It’s not as though Vicky doesn’t already have to rage constantly over the tendency of so many of those around her to smother.  It must have been so claustrophobic.

VICTORIA 1 4 TOM HUGHES as Albert.

Meanwhile, Uncle Cumberland is now also Uncle King of Hanover, and what an unpleasant fellow he continues to be.  Indeed, this wouldn’t be ‘Episode 8 of 8’ without some serious-business climactic drama, and oh dear, there’s an assassination attempt while Victoria goes out for a ride with Albert, and while it seems the young man responsible was receiving orders from Evil Uncle King of Hanover all along, even that turns out to be too simple a conclusion.  Doesn’t stop him being a miserable bum, though.

Also meanwhile, Mr. Francatelli has been offered his own establishment, and lovely Nancy considers whether to stay on as Vicky’s stylist, or go on a new adventure with her handsome pal.  After all, he sure is smitten, and I can see the appeal of hooking up with a gentleman who knows how to make a good trifle.

I do like a good trifle, but how refreshingly brave of the show to allow them not to have a happy ending after all.

Jenna Coleman Victoria

Special mention also needs to be made of the little scenes between Harriet and Ernest in this episode as well, so quietly emotional that it feels as though they could well be the heroes of their own story, if there hadn’t been the whole Queen Victoria thing to make a show about.

And Jenna Coleman looks so jolly cute in that final scene, snuggled up with her little family.  I mean, she has also given a beautiful performance here, strong and vulnerable and true, which captures the uniquely frustrating circumstances she finds herself in.

Victoria has been a thing of absolute beauty to watch, really.

5star

Aired at 9pm on Sunday 9 October 2016 on ITV.

Order Victoria on DVD on Amazon here.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know below…

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  • Bardotti

    A truly wonderful series full of detailed intelligent performances and the right balance of drama and romance. Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes have the same kind of swoonworthy sizzle which she had with the incomparable Rufus Sewell and these last few episodes haven’t been afraid to show the personal flaws both characters had but also the deep bond they had forged. Full credit though to Jenna Coleman in carrying the weight of this series and proving her hugely acclaimed turn in Doctor Who, particularly the excellent series 9 where she more than held her own against the great Peter Capaldi, was no fluke. A star making turn indeed and one I hope is not unjustly overlooked at awards season for more flashy and edgy performances. Overall, one of the drama highlights this year which easily sits along War and Peace at the top tier of 2016’s programs. Great to see ITV finally get it right and have a bonafide popular and critical hit on their hands too. Looking forward immensely to the next series and the Christmas special.

  • timmy

    It has indeed been a thing of beauty, and these write-ups have been a delight to read, also!

  • Dr. Moo

    Thoroughly enjoyed this series. Jenna’s acting continues to be incredible and it’s so pleasing for me, as someone who loved her performance in Doctor Who, to see her getting such a successful role almost immediately. Here’s hoping series two will be at least as good.

    • ThePurpleFrockCoat

      Happy for Jenna and she was fabulous. She carried on when Rufus Sewell’s character had left. Fingers crossed for her at the NTA’s!