September 18, 2016

Victoria - Episode 5

Victoria and Albert 

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Episode Five Recap by  Edwina Langley the Evening Standard
While the show is set nearly 200 years ago, the episode held a thoroughly relevant central issue: how the power-balance should play out between a man and a woman when the breadwinner of the household is the lady. How many viewers’ had their feathers a tad ruffled by this very modern question?
Jenna Coleman as Victoria and Tom Hughes as Albert not only make a very handsome pair, but a passionate one too. From the opening minutes, they were hiding round corners and locking lips with each other in deep, saucy embraces…. 
“We must get married as soon as possible,” Victoria whispered. 
“I agree,’ said Albert in that gorgeously smooth drawl. 
(“We agree too!” we shouted at the telly, though we’re not quite sure they heard us.) 
Then began the business of preparing for the wedding – aka deciding Albert’s allowance and whether there should be a title to go with it. It was hard not to agree with him that repeatedly asking Victoria for dosh for his hankies might get a little tedious, but Victoria’s fears about where the money might later be spent (on ‘actresses’) was a valid point too. How we chuckled when Lord Melbourne sowed that seed of doubt… 
“At least I know Albert doesn’t have any secrets,” Vics said. 
“No,” Lord M replied. “No…. Well, that usually comes later Ma’am, but no.” 
We’ve got to give it to the guy, he won’t give her up all that easily.
Lord Melbourne and Victoria
Of course we felt truly dreadful for Lord M this week. You could almost see his heart break when Victoria told him news of her engagement. He couldn’t look her in the eye – and yet he continued to stoically advise her: “If the people get into the way of making kings, they might get into the way of unmaking them,” he warned the angry Queen as she threw around suggestions of Albert as ‘King Consort’.
The biggest laugh Lord M gave us was undoubtedly that look at Lord Chamberlain’s dramatic entrance. The total opposite of funny, however, was his final scene with the newly wed Queen – the spark in his eye when she told him she would “never forget”, and that restrained little kiss on the cheek… Lord M might not have managed to steal Victoria’s heart, but he definitely managed to steal ours. 
At least there were some laughs in the quite adorable house of ill-repute scene. Having been dragged to the establishment – or ‘university of love’ – by his playboy brother Ernest (David Oakes), Albert was subsequently forced into the company of Gretchen. That he then requested a ‘non-practical’ lesson with just paper and pencils wholly saved his reputation in our eyes. We especially liked the translation, “I do not wish to engage with you, Gretchen”, which had us in stitches.
A quick clap for that special moment later on between the brothers: “Now you have Victoria,” Ernest said softly, “and she will never leave you. Do you know how much I envy you… and how I will miss you!” Oh Ernest, stop!
A more serious matter was the politicians versus the prince. It was frightfully unkind of old Wellington to cast doubt over Albert’s faith (though his comment in church: “Surprised he didn’t cross himself when he came in. He even walks like a papist…” definitely got a chuckle out of us). Also, wasn’t Albie’s £30,000 a year with no title just a bit stingy? Well done Victoria for your ‘Knight of the Garter with no seat in the House of Lords’ high honour offer, which quite placated the Prince… 
Victoria and Albert's weddingBest of all was when he went off in a huff to practice his fencing – there’s nothing we like more than a V&A quarrel, it just reinforces the passion. The tension that built as Victoria, in that regal purple gown, rushed out into the garden to challenge the swordsman… And Albert’s reluctance to cease practice under her shouty instruction, defiantly pointed the sword at her chest. We knew he was just messing with her though – never fear – and that cheeky smile at the mention of her uncle’s ‘actress’ totally won us over once again. This scene helped to clear the pre-marital air; he’d never have a mistress (yay!) and she would love, honour and… obey (erm, we’ll see…)
And then there was the wedding itself. No Mendelssohn’s Wedding March for our Queen – Martin Phipps’ specially composed Hallelujah was what our beautiful heroine walked down the aisle to, wearing – shock horror – a white dress. (We can’t see that trend catching on, not ever …)
The couple had a total of 9 childrenReception over, it was off to the honeymoon and hello to the moment we’ve all been anticipating: the bedroom scene. How innocent she looked, how nervous they were, all that business with the madeira or no madeira, we even felt nervous for them.
The nail-biting slowness of pace and that hovering over one another only added to the tenderness of the moment. Indeed, any fears we’d had previously that their chemistry might not be up to our inexplicably high standards were completely and utterly, er, put to bed. It was, as we said, the best episode of the series. We can’t wait for it to be outdone next week. 

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely delightful series. So full of every kind of emotion. The only thing that surpasses this story on screen is the fact that it was real life! How very exciting to look forward to a new episode each week. Thank you June.