The first episode of new ITV drama Victoria premieres on UK screens tomorrow night. With former Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman in the title role, it’s sure to be a major television event.
Ahead of the broadcast, fellow cast member Eye Myles has talked about the show, describing it as “an epic story”.
Eve Myles is best known to Doctor Who fans as Torchwood’s Gwen Cooper. She also starred in Series 2 of ITV drama Broadchurch, written by incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall. Now, in Victoria, she plays Mrs Jenkins, the Queen’s dresser. Discussing her character, Eve says:
“She works for the household and has done for a long time. She comes from South Wales but she was brought to work for the family when she was 14, starting as a maid to the house and has been there more or less her whole life. She is now the chief dresser to the Queen and is completely institutionalised and her life, her social life, everything, revolves around serving the queen, the family and the household. She knows nothing different and she feels incredibly honoured and blessed to be in the position she is in.”
Eve also describes Mrs Jenkins as “staunchly protective”, “very sarcastic”, and having “no filter whatsoever”. She also reveals that her character is one of the few in the series that is not historical, stating: “Victoria did have a chief dresser but there is little record of her”.
“She told everybody I work for the queen…”
Eve’s motivations for taking on the role may not be entirely what you’d expect. In part, she had wanted to return to period drama and do something historical for a long time after doing Broadchurch. However, what really sold her on the show was that it could help her daughter with her school project!
“My daughter…is going to be studying Queen Victoria next year at school so I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about it myself! … But the main draw is Daisy Goodwin’s scripts, you just know it’s an epic story, an epic adventure that ITV are taking on and I’m honoured to be a part of it.”
Eve also had some kind words to say about her co-star, Jenna Coleman, who she describes as “absolutely lovely”:
“Jenna is a complete professional and completely embodies the character of Queen Victoria and I have loved watching her in a chameleon like way evolve into Victoria. And she was very forgiving, I was putting the crown on her at one point and I shoved it on a little too hard…”
Now that production on Victoria has finished, Eve is planning to run some marathons in London and New York. “I want to start doing a marathon a year” she says, “I want my girls to see me keep fit and I’m raising money for a charity run rehab Centre in Weston-Super-Mare called Broadway Lodge”.
UK viewers can watch the first episode of Victoria tomorrow night at 9pm on ITV.
The series will also air on Masterpiece on PBS in the US from 15th January 2017.