The cast and crew of Victoria took to the stage this weekend for an intimate look into the making of Jenna Coleman’s hit period drama.
The tantalisingly titled “The Unlacing of Victoria” was the jewel in the crown of Saturday’s BFI Radio Times Festival line-up. Blogtor was lucky enough to be in attendance for this behind-the-scenes discussion with television royalty. Naturally, Jenna Coleman (Queen Victoria) was in attendance as the undisputed star of the panel. She was joined by her co-star Tom Hughes (Prince Albert), writer Daisy Goodwin, and producer Damien Timmer. The hour-long event offered up some fascinating revelations about the show’s past and future.
Filming on Series 2 is already underway, and there were plenty of teases of what’s yet to come. As expected, the next season will focus on Victoria dealing with motherhood. But, being a young and headstrong woman, it’s not something she’s willing to accept so easily. Victoria apparently hates dealing with infants and thinks they move around like frogs. Daisy Goodwin even went as far to say that, were Victoria alive today, she’d be writing a “scuzzy mummy blog”. Sounds like all will not be well with family life at Buckingham Palace this year!
The Future of the Monarchy
It wasn’t all talk though – we also got to see two brand new clips from the upcoming second series. The first was from the christening of Victoria and Albert’s first baby “Vicky”. Rest assured, the show looks and feels just as impressive as it did in Series 1. The lavish sets and costumes are back, as is that now-iconic choral theme song. In fact, it was all very reminiscent of Victoria’s own coronation – a really stunning visual treat. The next clip was set after Victoria falls pregnant a second time, mere weeks after her first child’s birth. Upset and feeling trapped, she confides to Albert outside in a quiet, sorrowful scene. Victoria refers to childbirth as the “shadow side” of their marriage – nobody tells her she’s still got eight more kids to go…!
Oh, and for the many viewers desperately wondering whether Rufus Sewell’s Lord Melbourne will be back? Daisy Goodwin says to brush up on your history. The clues as to what (if any) interactions he will share with Victoria in this series lay in the truths of the past…
Victoria and Albert Uncovered
Interestingly, some members of the audience noticed Tom Hughes looking away as the Series 2 clips aired. He assured us he wasn’t having an emotional breakdown – he just prefers not to watch his own acting back mid-production! Jenna, conversely, didn’t mind watching them at all. They both revealed that they also learn their lines simply by repeated reading and remembering – no special tricks required. Damien Timmer was quick to applaud this difficult and oft-overlooked part of any actor’s job.
Jenna and Tom also discussed their favourite scenes from Series 1. Tom’s highlight was the train ride from Episode 7, The Engine of Change. Jenna echoed this choice, plus Queen Victoria’s coronation, which her mum and nan actually came to see being filmed. Talk about a family day out! The “upstairs/downstairs” dynamic of the show was also brought up, as it was deemed important to see Victorian England through the eyes of ‘ordinary’ people, not just the monarchy.
So, when can we look forward to seeing Victoria back on our screens? Daisy Goodwin confirmed that they are aiming for an Autumn release on ITV, just as they did with Series 1. She also re-confirmed that Series 2 will be followed by a Christmas Special later in the year. If the snippets we saw this weekend were anything to go by, we’re in for another royal triumph!