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Arts & Culture

MASTERPIECE: Victoria: Season 2

JENNA COLEMAN as Victoria and TOM HUGHES as Albert.
Courtesy of Gareth Gatrell/ITV Plc for MASTERPIECE
JENNA COLEMAN as Victoria and TOM HUGHES as Albert.

Airs Sundays, Dec. 16 & 23, 2018 at 9 p.m., Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. & 10 p.m., Jan. 6, 2019 at 8 p.m. & 9 p.m. & Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

A Woman’s Place is on the Throne

KPBS will rebroadcast Season 2 leading up to the premiere of the new Season 3 on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV!

Jenna Coleman (DOCTOR WHO) returns for a new season as the young queen who wants it all — romance, power, an heir, and personal freedom — on VICTORIA, Season 2, airing in seven episodes created and scripted by bestselling novelist Daisy Goodwin ("The Fortune Hunter"), on MASTERPIECE.

RELATED: 7 VICTORIA Podcasts: Listen Now

Joining the cast in the new season is legendary actress Dame Diana Rigg (GAME OF THRONES), who plays the Duchess of Buccleuch, the court’s new Mistress of the Robes — a fount of old-fashioned good sense for the queen, who is now in the throes of motherhood.

Tom Hughes reprises his role as the queen’s dashing consort, Prince Albert, and Rufus Sewell (MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE) returns as the smoldering Lord Melbourne.

Also returning from last season are Victoria's first Prime Minister and intimate friend, Nell Hudson (OUTLANDER) as Nancy Skerrett, newly promoted to the queen’s chief dresser, whose secrets are yet to be revealed, and Ferdinand Kingsley (BORGIA) as Charles Francatelli, the royal chef whose love for Nancy was spurned at the end of Season 1.

The new season sees the return of Nigel Lindsay (ROME) as Sir Robert Peel, the reforming British prime minister, at odds with his sovereign over policy; Catherine Flemming ("No Place to Go") as the Duchess of Kent, Victoria’s manipulative mother, still battling her headstrong daughter; and Peter Bowles (TO THE MANOR BORN) as the Duke of Wellington, the hero of the Battle of Waterloo, now a retired prime minister and sage mentor to the queen.

Also back are Adrian Schiller (“Beauty and the Beast”) as Penge, the irascible head steward at the palace; Daniela Holtz ("The Forest for the Trees") as Baroness Lehzen, Victoria’s devoted governess since birth; and David Oakes (THE WHITE QUEEN) as Prince Ernest, Albert’s debauched older brother, who becomes Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on the death of their equally promiscuous father, played by Andrew Bicknell (THE ROYALS).

Season 2 finds Victoria adapting to motherhood after the birth of her first child, a daughter (to the disappointment of many).

Meanwhile, the disaster of the Anglo-Afghan War unfolds abroad, and the catastrophic Irish potato famine begins to wreak havoc.

In other foreign affairs, a royal state visit to France is in the offing.

Most intriguing to Prince Albert is the budding Industrial Revolution, which is now sweeping England.

There is Charles Babbage’s mechanical calculator, a collaborative project with the bewitching Ada Lovelace, daughter of the scandalous Lord Byron.

Then there is William Fothergill Cooke’s miraculous electrical telegraph, not to mention Marc Isambard Brunel’s daring — and dangerous — Thames Tunnel.

What an extraordinary time to be Queen!

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1: "A Soldier's Daughter" and "The Green-Eyed Monster" repeats Sunday, Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. - New mother Victoria is impatient to return to the business of ruling a nation, while Albert attempts to protect her from the increasingly desperate news regarding British soldiers in Afghanistan. Victoria is thrown into turmoil by the realization that she is pregnant again, and her equilibrium is further threatened by Albert’s burgeoning friendship with the lady mathematician, Ada Lovelace.

Episode 2: "Warp and Weft" and "The Sins of the Father" repeats Sunday, Dec. 23 at 9 p.m. - Discontent is growing in the country, and Victoria throws a costume ball in a misguided attempt to help the silk weavers of Spitalfields – but the spectacular event only exposes her naivety, and an unexpected grief finally forces her to put childish things away for good. Despite giving birth to a healthy Prince of Wales, Victoria finds herself paralyzed by an inexplicable sorrow. Meanwhile, a tragedy in Coburg plunges Albert into his own private torment.

Episode 3: "Entente Cordiale" repeats Sunday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. - Victoria decides to try her hand at foreign relations, and takes the royal court on an adventure to France, stepping toe to toe with the cunning King of the French, Louis Philippe.

Episode 4: "Faith, Hope And Charity" repeats Sunday, Dec. 30 at 10 p.m. - News of the horri c famine in Ireland has nally reached the Queen. She is adamant that her government should be doing more to help, but meets with surprising opposition from her Prime Minister.

Episode 5: "The King Over the Water" repeats Sunday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. - Feeling suffocated by the weight of the crown, Victoria escapes with her court to the Scottish Highlands. She and Albert revel in the opportunity to be a normal husband and wife, but the holiday can’t last forever.

Episode 6: "The Luxury Of Conscience" repeats Sunday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. - Victoria and Albert have to face their worst nightmare as parents, while Peel takes on the ultimate battle in Parliament. When tragedy strikes, they must confront the true cost of standing by your convictions.

Episode 7: Season Finale repeats Sunday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. - It's Christmastime at the palace and Albert is intent on recreating the holiday joy he remembers from his youth. Victoria gets more than one surprise visitor and finds herself threatened by a relative. Meanwhile, the festive spirit sparks romantic tension throughout the palace.

WATCH VICTORIA ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

All episodes from Season 1 and Season 2 are available to stream on demand with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members ($60 yearly) using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

Season 3 episodes will be released one at a time after each broadcast for a limited time.

REVIEWS:

Victoria’s first season, focusing on the teenage queen’s audacious upstaging of her handlers to chart her own path, delighted TV critics.

The Hollywood Reporter called Victoria “thoroughly enjoyable and addictive.”

“Royally entertaining,” proclaimed The San Francisco Chronicle, and “a sparkling gem,” said The New York Post.

“VICTORIA is a victory,” declared The Tampa Bay Times.

And, of course, the costumes and settings enchanted all: “A lavish production with impeccable period details,” penned Newsday.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, Pinterest, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter. #MasterpiecePBS #VictoriaPBS

Author Daisy Goodwin is on Facebook, and you can follow @DaisyGoodwin on Twitter.

CREDITS:

A co-production of Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE. It is created, written and executive produced by Daisy Goodwin. It is being executive produced by Mammoth Screen Managing Director Damien Timmer, Kate McKerrell and once again produced by Paul Frift for Mammoth Screen. Rebecca Eaton is the Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE, presented by WGBH Boston. Directors for the series are Lisa James Larsson, Geoffrey Sax, Jim Loach and Daniel O'Hara. VICTORIA is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.