Victoria on PBS Masterpiece

I couldn’t find a thread on this series, which is another of the endless series about Britain’s monarchs. It’s pretty well done, with engaging actors and the usual palace intrigue. My only quarrel is the addition of Diana Rigg in the second season. It seems they are trying to introduce a Maggie Smith character, a la Downton Abbey. Rigg is no Smith, and she is a jarring scenery chewer in an otherwise good production.

Whoa; is she the old “lady in waiting” (I know that’s not the correct term)? The stuffy old lady that complains about everything? I of course know the name Diana Rigg but never knew her in her heyday and so didn’t recognize her.
I kind of wondered what her significance is; she seems to have just shown up and serves mostly as a bit of comic relief.

I’m enjoying the series and not knowing much about Victoria and her reign, I find myself questioning what’s factual or not but not so much that it ruins it for me.

Yeah, Rigg is just so ugly in this. Doesn’t work for me.
Of course, we could never know about the household staff, it all seems believable to me.
I have read some about Victoria and Albert, and it is close to real life. I think Victoria was fatter than they show her. She was very short, iirl. The stuff she says about child birth and raising kids is true, she was the epitome of the hands off royal. The prince was more a parent to them.

I had to read recaps to remind myself why Diana Rigg’s character was introduced. Apparently the government changed hands (from Tory to Liberal or vice versa) and the new PM insisted that the ladies-in-waiting (essentially the titled women who hang around the queen) come from the party now in the majority. Is that still the case? Does the current queen regularly change the people she hangs out with based on the political winds?

I rather enjoy watching the series but I’ve learned not to take it too seriously as history. The Duchess of Buccleuch was a real person who actually served as Victoria’s Mistress of the Robes. The real duchess was about 30 years old when she took on the role. Diana Rigg is pushing 80.

Looking through the list of QEII’s Ladies-in-Waiting, it seems not. One of them - gasp - is an American!

It’s a much less politicised position than it was in Victoria’s time.

Thought the subplot of the “uncatchable” street urchin beggared belief. And there is only 1 decent cook in all of London?

I enjoyed the first season, and was glad it was back. Not sure why, but I was uncomfortable at finding myself more critical of the queen. The hiring of the old lady sight unseen - you knew that wouldn’t go well. Her insistence on continued relations w/ M - believing it was “apolitical.” The scene of sending the page running back and forth to Albert at the dinner was silly - culminated unbelievably by the page addressing the queen directly. The queen was so jealous, without even inquiring whether Lovelace was married and a mother…

I have to imagine the personal and professional stresses would have been extreme immediately following childbirth, but for some reason, I found myself unsympathetic to Vicky.

I’ve always been interested in the Royal Society, so I enjoyed the scenes/plots involving same. Along with her reading of (I presume) Darwin, really emphasized the amazing changes at the time.

And yeah, why did we think it would be a good idea to own Afghanistan?

I’ve been watching it, but not too impressed. I mean, it’s OK, but not up to usual PBS standards. I only noticed Diana Rigg because of her role in GoT. The only character I find interesting is Albert’s older brother, and maybe Lord M. The rest are pretty dull, including VR herself.

It’s slightly unsettling to see Jenna Coleman with blue eyes. Apparently they couldn’t get contact lenses to look quite right on camera, so had to deal with it in post, which sounds unnecessarily expensive. Was Victoria particularly noted for having blue eyes?

The background to the ‘Bedchamber Crisis’ was complicated, as there were no clear rules or conventions, and Peel made an issue of it mainly for tactical reasons. Previous Prime Ministers had often had some say in household appointments, but Peel’s successors came to accept that it would be less fuss if most of the senior household offices were treated as strictly non-political and so left to the monarch.

But there are still a few exceptions. Some of the government Whips hold certain court offices, such as that of Vice-Chamberlain or Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. These are purely ceremonial and are used in this way merely as a simple way of putting those Whips on the official payroll. So those do still change with each new government. The main duty of the Vice-Chamberlain is said to be writing a chatty letter to the Queen each day briefing her on the latest parliamentary gossip.

As for Victoria, I thought it mostly soapy nonsense. The death of Dash was easily the most unintentionally funny TV moment of 2017. Very much Oscar Wilde and Little Nell.

I haven’t seen the show but if “uncatchable” means a kid who kept getting into the palace under the noses of QV’s security, that was totally a thing.

The junior Whip who gets the Vice-Chamberlain gig also gets to be the “hostage” for the State Opening of Parliament.

:confused: Season two, episode one, just aired last Sunday and Dash was quite alive. Or is this another “the UK is one season ahead of the US” show?

Oh no, when does Dash die?
Terrible spoiler!
I thought I had seen all the eps. So far.

Season 2 finished in the UK in October 2017, with an additional Christmas special on Christmas day. Quite a lot of PBS Masterpiece shows are UK domestic productions that WGBH in Boston contributes some money towards in exchange for US broadcast rights.

Well, you spoiled it for me. Not fair man!!!

I watched a couple of episodes from last season and wasn’t very impressed. I think Jenna Coleman is horribly miscast.

Well, you have been warned! And let’s just say, it is unexpected. But it is what happens in parallel with it that reduces it to pure bathos.

The resolution of the gay sub-plot is almost as silly.

Quite a lot is not. The broad outlines of the parliamentary politics and major public issues are about right, but some of the fictionalised domestic drama using the names of real people is distinctly off (particularly the gay subplot, which is a load of baloney in so many ways).

The Diana Rigg character is supposed to be the Duchess of Buccleuch - in those days, it was the custom for the government of the day to appoint people to various court positions, to make sure access to and influence over the monarch was within their knowledge and if necessary under their control. Series 1 covered the upset when Victoria tried to resist this on Peel’s winning a general election - the Duchess was Peel’s appointee, but since she was barely 40 at the time this series is set, she was unlikely to have been quite such a Gorgon.

What sub-plot…wtf? Another spoiler? Aww, man.