VICTORIA: SEASON 1

"The Young Victoria Grows Up"

Quality: Content: -1 "CAUTION"
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

Season One of VICTORIA is an entertaining, moving, mostly wholesome romantic historical drama about Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne and her love story with Prince Albert. Season One of VICTORIA contains strong Christian, moral elements, especially in promoting chastity and communicating the special beauty of Christian marriage, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children due to some sexual references and brief foul language during the first eight episodes.

Episodes:

NumberDateTitleQualityContent
01/17/2017VICTORIA SEASON 1-1

Review:

Season One of VICTORIA is an entertaining, moving, mostly wholesome, romantic historical drama on TV about Queen Victoria’s accession to the English throne in 1837 and her love story with Prince Albert. Season One of VICTORIA has strong Christian worldview elements, especially in promoting chastity and communicating the special beauty of Christian marriage, but there are some sexual references during the first eight episodes, so caution is advised for older children.

The series begins as the King of England dies and the crown passes to his niece, the young Alexandrina Victoria (Jenna Coleman), who has been raised in near-isolation by her mother and her mother’s ambitious advisor, Sir John Conroy. Victoria resents her upbringing and is determined not to be manipulated by anyone.

In the first three episodes, Victoria navigates her early days as queen with the help of her chivalrous Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell). Her intense friendship with him gives rise to public gossip, complicates the relationship between crown and parliament, and feeds the fire of plots and factions within her dysfunctional family.

In Episode 4, Victoria’s intense cousin Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) visits. Victoria is extremely reluctant about the idea of a match with Albert, who is her family’s choice of husband, but she’s drawn to Albert’s integrity and passion despite herself. Episode 5 hints at rocky times ahead for the engaged couple, as Prince Albert doubts if a meaningful life is possible as a prince consort to a reigning queen. Also, Victoria’s trust in Albert is shaken when she discovers the low standards of fidelity among aristocratic men.

In Episodes 6 and 7, Victoria and Albert struggle as newlyweds to adjust to their roles as both husband and wife and subject and queen. Finally, in Episode 8 Victoria must face her fear of pregnancy and childbirth, while also facing a threat of assassination.

While the royal characters and their plot lines are well written and compelling, the show’s big artistic flaw is its decision to follow several “downstairs” characters. Presumably the idea was to mimic the successful DOWNTON ABBEY, but the plot lines between the aristocratic characters and the servant characters fail to cohere in a satisfying way. Viewers are left wanting to get back to the scenes with Victoria, which is what this show is meant to be about, after all.

Despite this misstep, VICTORIA is overall a cleaner and less humanist program than DOWNTON ABBEY (and a big improvement on the recent historical drama POLDARK, with its objectionable sexual content). It should more than satisfy fans of historical drama who miss their Sunday nights with DOWNTON ABBEY.

Victoria is a flawed, emotional young woman who tends to react selfishly and impulsively. While she does mature in the series, she still has deep flaws. This is faithful to history. Further, Albert is shown to be her moral and emotional ballast, which is also historically accurate. Their relationship is very compelling and will touch viewers with a powerful romantic beauty that only comes with Christian marriage.

Caution is advised for older children due to some sexual references during VICTORIA’s first eight episodes.

Content:

(BBB, CC, Ro, V, S, L, M) Very strong moral, pro-marriage worldview with natural biological determinates, and Christian themes shown by the fact that the main character has to grow in mercy and selflessness to become a good queen, and Prince Albert gives a wonderful speech where he calls slavery a violation of Christianity, weakened by some light Romantic worldview elements such as a secondary character who falls in love with a married woman; some obscenities include “d” words and “b” word for illegitimate child, plus about one to three profanities in each episode; no graphic violence but suspenseful assassination attempt, soldiers clash with protestors, the cruel punishment of “hanging, drawing and quartering” for treason is discussed; some sexual references spread throughout eight episodes, including a character suspected of being pregnant out of wedlock is examined by doctors, illicit sexual relations referred to as “criminal conversation,” discussion of Lord Melbourne’s wife having left him to run away with Lord Byron, Russian Grand Duke embraces Victoria inappropriately during their waltz at her Coronation Ball to everyone’s shock, a royal servant has a secret past as an employee at a brothel, character returns from brothel, references to innocence/chastity of main characters, engaged couple sneak away from chaperones to kiss, light kissing as a prostitute tries to seduce a morally upright young man tricked into visiting a house of ill repute, but he politely refuses her, lots of clothed bedroom kissing scenes between married couple, Victoria is shocked to find it’s normal for aristocratic men to keep mistresses, male servants joke about a character’s pregnancy, married character wants to avoid becoming pregnant and follows her friend’s advice to jump up and down ten times as a contraceptive measure, character explains “abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy,” immoral character flirts with a married woman and develops feelings for her and visits her bedroom and they kiss but then he leaves, brief clothed childbirth scene; no nudity; Victoria gets tipsy; no smoking or drug content; and, servant lies about her identity to help friend who has an illegitimate child, servant also lies and takes the blame for another servant’s misdeeds but just in order to show kindness.

In Brief:

Season One of VICTORIA is an entertaining, moving, mostly wholesome romantic historical drama about Queen Victoria’s accession to the British throne in 1837 and her love story with Prince Albert. In the first three episodes, Victoria navigates her early days as queen with the help of her chivalrous Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. In Episode 4, she meets Prince Albert. Though not ready for marriage, she’s drawn to Albert’s integrity and passion despite herself. Episode 5 hints at rocky times ahead for the engaged couple. In Episodes 6 and 7, Victoria and Albert struggle as newlyweds to adjust to their new roles. Finally, in Episode 8 Victoria must face her fear of pregnancy and childbirth, while facing assassination threats.

VICTORIA celebrates morality, duty and service to others, resisting sexual temptation, repairing family relationships, being merciful, and upholding constitutional liberties. It has strong Christian elements, especially in promoting chastity and communicating the beauty of Christian marriage. The program’s biggest flaw is its decision to follow several “downstairs” characters. Also, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children due to some sexual references and brief foul language.