It is 1848, and revolution is breaking out across Europe. In Britain, one woman stands between order and chaos: Queen Victoria. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young but fearless monarch, facing a crisis that threatens to end her reign, on Victoria, Season 3, premiering on Sunday, January 13 at 8:00 pm on WTTW11, wttw.com/watch and the PBS app. This is the first time U.S. PBS stations will air the series before stations in the U.K.
WTTW members will also have a chance to be among the first in the U.S. to see the highly anticipated premiere at a Chicago History Museum watch party on Tuesday, January 8.
A coproduction of Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE, Victoria is created, written, and executive produced by Daisy Goodwin. The series was a runaway hit during its first two seasons, with The New York Times calling it “tremendously engaging…immediately gratifying.” The Boston Globe pronounced it, “captivating,” and Paste Magazine proclaimed, “Victoria is a royal masterpiece.”
Continuing the story of Victoria’s rule over the largest empire the world has ever known, Victoria, Season 3 introduces fascinating new historical characters, including Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis) as the vainglorious Lord Palmerston, who crosses swords with the queen over British foreign policy. Also vexing the queen this season is Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) as Victoria’s devoted but troubled half-sister, Princess Feodora, who seeks refuge at Buckingham Palace due to political unrest back home in Germany.
Other new characters include John Sessions (Outlander) as reformist Prime Minister John Russell, and Lily Travers (Kingsman) as the beguiling Duchess of Monmouth.
Returning are Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) as Victoria’s devoted, obsessive husband, Prince Albert; Nell Hudson (Outlander) as the queen’s chief dresser, Nancy Skerrett; Ferdinand Kingsley (Borgia) as Charles Francatelli, the royal chef and cookbook king; plus a host of others.
As Season 3 gets underway, Victoria is pregnant with her sixth child. But she has much else on her mind, chiefly the Revolutions of 1848, when the downtrodden throughout Europe begin agitating for the overthrow of aristocratic rule.
In England, this discontent leads to Chartism, a set of demands for universal male suffrage, the secret ballot, equal representation for voters and other reforms that were considered radical by leading political figures during Victoria’s reign. As with many crusades, passions are aroused on both sides—sometimes violently. At the time, who knew if events might turn out like the French Revolution, which resorted to widespread use of the guillotine?
Passion is also an issue in the bedroom at Buckingham Palace, where Victoria is reluctant to risk more pregnancies. Parents now of six, Victoria and Albert find themselves at odds about their offspring, especially the troubled Bertie, the role of the monarchy, and increasingly with each other.
The third season of Victoria was commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, and production is being overseen by Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea for ITV. It is being executive produced by Damien Timmer, Kate McKerrell and Daisy Goodwin for Mammoth Screen, and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE. The series is being produced by David Boulter (Dickensian), and Geoff Sax (Tipping The Velvet) is directing the first block.
Victoria is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and has been sold to 189 countries worldwide.
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago River Tour, Check, Please!, the digital-first series Urban Nature and Chefs Off the Clock and the national productions 10 That Changed America, Soundstage, and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Winner of 86 Primetime Emmys® and 16 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer of the series. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking and Farmers Insurance® with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. Presented on PBS by WGBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for recent hits such as Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.