Will Jenna Coleman eventually be recast in Victoria?

A new actress could be brought in to play the older Queen Victoria if the ITV series continues to run

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So how long will Victoria star Jenna Coleman be able to play the part of the great Queen in ITV’s smash-hit drama?

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The former Doctor Who star has signed up for the second series plus a Christmas special – but sources suggest that the network is wondering whether or not to recast her when the character becomes older.

According to ITV sources, series two will begin when she gives birth to her first child, the daughter Victoria who was born in 1840 and became the Princess Royal.

Victoria had nine children in total and, following the death of her husband Albert in 1861, appeared to age considerably, retreating from the world and taking to wearing widow’s weeds.

RadioTimes.com understands that the producers have still not decided the time span for series two or for subsequent series if it is commissioned further.

The hope is that Coleman appear in a third series, but after that producers may cast a new Queen for the monarch’s latter years of widowhood and relative unhappiness.

“It’s about how fast we go through the story,” said an ITV source.

“Obviously the channel would want the drama to go to the end of her 63 year reign in 1901, but around six series and a new Queen half way through is what is being talked about at the moment,” they added.

When asked about her future and whether she would play an aged Queen with various prosthetics applied to her face, Coleman herself suggested that the production has already started depicting the ageing process this series.

She told RadioTimes.com: “I think it would depend on the pace you want to go, but it’s amazing how young I look in the first couple of episodes; I then watched episode eight the other day and I think the costumes get a bit simpler, and we start to see less frills and flowers.

“We had lots of portraits that we followed, in her early years to when she became in her 20s, or had her first children. There’s a definite journey that we’ve already begun.

“And a lot of her portraits that you see later on – she becomes a lot more understated in a way. Obviously this is before the black came in. A lot simpler I suppose. And it was her ladies in waiting around her that were a lot more frilly in a way. So that’s a kind of journey that we’ve already started now.

“But you know, I suppose it depends on if there is going to be future series, and how far we want to go.”

An ITV spokeswoman said, “We don’t comment on an individual actor’s contract and no conversations have taken place about Victoria’s later life.”

Meanwhile the chances of Aidan Turner, star of BBC1’s big autumn drama Poldark, staying with the drama look more certain.

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RadioTimes.com understands that Turner is optioned for five series of Poldark  – he is shooting series 3 now while series 2 is still airing.