ITV announces major new 8.5-hour drama, Victoria

Company News May 18, 2015

ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November has today announced a major new drama series focusing on the life of Queen Victoria.

The 8.5-hour series of this ambitious landmark drama follows the early life of our longest reigning monarch, who leaves childhood behind when she ascends the throne at the tender age of 18.

Victoria will be made by Mammoth Screen, producers of Poldark (BBC One) and Endeavour (ITV), and the series is created and written by acclaimed novelist Daisy Goodwin, in her screenwriting debut.

Daisy will serve as executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch (Endeavour, Indian Summers) and Mammoth Screen’s Joint Managing Director Damien Timmer (Parade’s End, Poldark). The project was developed by Mammoth Screen’s Creative Director, Rebecca Keane.

Casting is under way for the drama, which starts filming in locations around the UK from September.

Steve November said,

“This epic series is a chance to see the Victorian age through the eyes of the Queen herself for the first time. She’s a vibrant, fascinating character whose legacy lives on today. Her life story is one that is by turns genuinely dramatic, romantic and surprising. We are delighted to be working with Daisy Goodwin, who knows her subject intimately and has brought her to life beautifully, and with Mammoth, who we know are masters of epic period drama.”

Daisy Goodwin said,

“I’ve been fascinated by Victoria since I started reading her diaries at university. She’s a woman whose personality leaps off the page – a tiny 4 foot 11 teenager who overnight became the most powerful woman in the world, and her candour and spirit makes for an irresistible heroine. Victoria was the first woman to have it all; she had a passionate marriage, nine children and was grandmother to most of Europe’s royalty, but she also had a job, being Queen of the most important nation in the world. It wasn’t easy; her reign was beset by scandal and sleaze and it was only by sheer force of personality that she prevailed. Her diaries, all sixty two million words of them, give an astonishingly vivid picture of her transformation from rebellious teenager into, to my mind, our greatest Queen.”

Damien Timmer said,

“Queen Victoria’s court is the perfect setting for an epic drama – a seething hotbed of scandal, corruption and romantic intrigue, involving everyone from the humblest dresser to the Mistress of the Robes, the lowliest bootboy to the Lord Chamberlain. When we join Victoria in 1837, England is unrecognisable from the country it will become by the end of her reign. As she takes her fledgling steps as monarch we slowly see modern Britain emerge.’

Victoria will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.