Rufus Sewell, ad breaks and Doctor Who get viewers talking as ITV launches new period drama Victoria

The new Sunday night series and its star Jenna Coleman got good reviews - but it was the dishy Mr Sewell who will have many coming back for more...

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ITV’s new flagship period drama Victoria launched last night, hoping to fill the Downton-shaped hole on Sunday evenings and steal a march on the BBC’s own big hitter Poldark, which returns in the same 9pm slot in a week’s time.

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We scoured Twitter, and asked RadioTimes.com readers to send us their reviews, and overall the reaction to both the series and Jenna Coleman as the young queen, was positive.

“Victoria was a masterpiece!” said RadioTimes.com reader Thomas Chapman. “The whole thing. The sets, the costumes the actors just everything screamed perfection! Jenna showed a brilliant sense of struggle, showing us a real picture of what it must have been like for Victoria when entering the throne at 18.”

“Jenna Coleman, exquisite in her role as Victoria, commanded every scene,” said reader Secretary Bird. “A beautifully paced high value production.”

There was even a positive review from someone claiming to have some personal experience of royal life…

But it wasn’t just Ms Coleman who received rave reviews – it seems everyone fell a little bit in love with Rufus Sewell as her broodingly handsome confidant Lord Melbourne…

Although one viewer did point out that the real Lord Melbourne may not have had quite the dashing good looks of Mr Sewell…

There were mixed feelings, too, about the ads breaking up the 90-minute opening episode…

“Enjoyable tosh, but I shall not be watching any more because of the unacceptable amount of time occupied by advertising. Greedy ITV.” – Richard Deacon

At least the ads gave people a chance to brush up on their history…

Most seemed interested in scandals surrounding Lady Flora Hastings and – back to the dashing Mr Sewell again – Lord Melbourne, with these two pieces being particularly well read…

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Lady Flora Hastings’ pregnancy scandal

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Meet the real-life Lord Melbourne

       

And it seems we weren’t the only ones to notice the proliferation of former Doctor Who stars joining ex-companion Jenna Coleman in Victoria, either…

How many did you spot?

Did you spot all the Doctor Who actors in ITV’s Victoria?

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Victoria continues tonight, Bank Holiday Monday, at 9pm on ITV