In her NYT review of Belgravia, the novel by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Daisy Goodwin speculates on whether it will satisfy the legions who are still mourning the end of the TV series.
Curiously, Goodwin herself is in the running to fill that hole, as the writer and co-executive producer of an 8-part TV series Victoria, about the early years of the queen’s reign. It will run in January on PBS Masterpiece in the very time slot Downton once occupied (in the UK, it begins this fall on ITV, also in the time slot that Downton once ruled).
In addition, in late November, Goodwin will publish Victoria: A Novel (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press). It’s not clear that the book is the source for the series. The publisher description simply says, “Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the inner life of the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.”
Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2014) drew comparison from People magazine to Fellowes, “Downton Abbey fans will gallop like Thoroughbreds through this entertaining historical novel.”
Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman will star in the TV series as Victoria, reports Entertainment Weekly, “beginning from her ascension to the throne in 1837, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert,” played by Tom Hughes (About Time).
ITV has posted several clips, a longer first look and a teaser that reveals some of the lush costuming.
Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton enthuses to Entertainment Weekly, “Victoria has it all: a riveting script, brilliant cast, and spectacular locations. And it’s a true story! This is exactly the kind of programming Masterpiece fans will love.”