10 Thoughts on Victoria: Episode 1 - Doll 123

Spoiler Alert

It was a rainy day in July that brought me to this series. I have never much been a fan of Jenna Coleman, not being a Doctor Who watcher and I was sure that The Young Victoria had told me everything about this Queen that needed to be known. But, the lover of period dramas within me coaxed me into downloading the first episode. I watched the first episode and I must say I am now a Jenna Coleman advocate and a serious fan of the ITV series. From the costumes to the casting to the music, the show is beautiful.

Here are my 10 thoughts on the first episode of the series: Doll 123.

1. Sir John’s tyranny.

Sir John is an infamous character in the story of Queen Victoria. Proud and overbearing, he is the Father figure that nobody wants. It appears that Conroy is not taking kindly to the transition from leader of the household to the friend and consort of the Queen Mother. It does not seem to matter how much he kicks and screams. His reign of tyranny is over, at least for Victoria. No doubt he shall continue his plot to gain power. However, I doubt that he shall prevail.

2. Rub two pennies together.

It seems however Lezhen is around Victoria, she has a streak of Sir John in her when it comes to running the Royal Household. I see a rivalry forming between her and Mr Pench and unfortunately, I fear Mr Pench has more wits about him. The tallow incident embarrassed Lezhen and showed that some expenses are worth the expenditure. However, I am sure that the gas lighting shall not be installed without a fight.

3. Independent woman (ish).

It is refreshing to see a woman speak for herself in a time when women were so subservient to men. She refuses Sir John’s council and then Lord Melbourne's. She understands that she must stand alone in her position and that she shall ask for advice if it is needed. It is unsurprising that she needs help from Lord Melbourne with the formalities. She is only eighteen and these skills come with experience. Despite her leaning on a man, she is standing alone and speaking her mind, which pleases me immensely.

4. Mrs Melbourne.

This is a scandal just waiting to happen. An older man with the most powerful young woman in the country. His attentiveness and devotion to Victoria makes her infatuation understandable. He is the first man in her life who has not attempted to control her or manipulate her. He is a wonderful friend to her, but if he does not cool the relationship off then I fear that it shall end in tears for them both.

5. Dance with a Russian.

Alexander is such a wonderful character. He is a young man who enjoys the company of a pretty woman. Much like Victoria, he does not abide by rules of etiquette and I think that is why they get on so well. I know that Albert shall be coming at some point. But I shall enjoy the reign of the Russian while it lasts.

6. One too many glasses of champagne.

It happens to most of us. You start off with one drink and then next thing you know, the room is spinning. It was so realistic to have Victoria get drunk at her own coronation ball. She is eighteen and young women of her age do get drunk and do silly things that they will regret the next day and I thought that it was important to show that even a Queen makes drunken mistakes.

7. Virgo intact.

Now this was a shocking scene. Two men prodding around a woman’s private parts, checking that she was still untouched. This was a bad move on Victoria’s part. Even if Lady Flora were to have been pregnant, then she should have sent her away once the symptoms became more obvious, not sent a Doctor in to do an examination. It was not the most faultless way to start off her reign, but we are human and we make mistakes.

8. Talks of regency.

Already, after the drunken shouting and the Lady Flora business, there are talks of a regency. It is natural that a society run by men would think a young woman unable to manage the monarchy. But I am sure that these talks have come about by the request of Victoria’s uncle, in a last minute bid for power. However much they speak about it, I do not believe that a regency shall come to pass.

9. Take the gloves.

This was a defining moment for Miss Skerrett. Taking the blame for Miss Jenkins’ trade gained her the respect of the head dresser. “Do as you are to be done by” are wise words. She sacrificed herself, not knowing what the outcome would be and I mourned the loss of the new girl. However, it seems that I mourned prematurely, as the Queen was more intrigued than offended by the trade. I believe that there is the potential for a very healthy friendship between Skerrett and Jenkins and I look forward to watching it blossom.

10. Put away the dolls.
It was time for Victoria to put away her dolls at the end of this episode. It seemed that this act was a metaphor for the Queen’s coming of age. Flora was right when she said that Victoria could not play with her court like dolls and the act of putting them away shows that she took these comments to heart and is determined to be more mature in her position.

It has been a long while since I have found a series that has held as much potential as ITV’s Victoria. I find myself itching to watch the next episode and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Prince Albert. I shall return to tell you my thoughts on the second episode of the series.

Until then, tell me what you thought of episode one: Doll 123.

Stay peachy,
Paige x

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