ITV has given the greenlight to Victoria, an 8 episode drama series about Queen Victoria from Daisy Goodwin and Poldark & Endeavour indie Mammoth Screen.
Victoria will explore the life of Queen Victoria – the longest reigning monarch in British history. The series is being hailed as an “ambitious landmark drama” which will follow the early life of Victoria, who leaves childhood behind when she ascends the throne at the tender age of 18.
Television producer and novelist Daisy Goodwin created the series and will pen the scripts, making this her screenwriting debut. Goodwin will also serve as an executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch and Damien Timmer. Victoria was developed by Mammoth Screen’s Creative Director Rebecca Keane. Casting is currently underway, with production set to commence this September. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will handle international sales.
“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”, said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November. “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.”
This is the latest drama commission to come out of ITV in the past few weeks as the broadcaster is looking for the next mega-hit that could potentially replace Downton Abbey, which wraps its run later this year. Other recent commissions include period drama Jericho, Jekyll & Hyde, Beowulf, Peter & Wendy and Doctor Thorne, from Downton creator Julian Fellowes.
Victoria is an interesting one as the series greenlight also comes more than a year after ITV – and a number of other UK broadcasters including the BBC – were outbid by Netflix for Peter Morgan’s royal drama The Crown, which tells the story of the UK’s second longest reigning monarch – Queen Elizabeth II. Both series are expected on air in 2016.