Rufus Sewell Joins Jenna Coleman in ITV's 'Victoria'

Jenna Colman as Queen Victoria

A first-look picture from the eight-part historic drama has also been released.

Jenna Coleman may still have a few more episodes to go battling intergalactic ne'er-do-wells alongside Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who, but the actress' next major TV project is already well underway.

On Wednesday, a first-look picture from Victoria, ITV's eight-part drama following the early life of U.K. monarch Queen Victoria, was released, alongside a major new casting announcement.

Rufus Sewell, the BAFTA-, Tony- and Olivier-nominated actor, has joined the production to play Lord Melbourne, Victoria’s first prime minister. The two immediately connected, and their intimate friendship became a popular source of gossip that threatened to destabilize the British government in the 19th century.

Coleman and Sewell are joined by an ensemble cast including Paul Rhys (The Assets, Borgia, Being Human) as Sir John Conroy, the ambitious controller of the Duchess of Kent’s household, who controlled Victoria’s upbringing, hoping to rule through her, when she came to the throne. Peter Firth (Spooks, Undeniable, World Without End) is the Queen’s conniving uncle the Duke of Cumberland, and Catherine Flemming (No Place to Go) plays the Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria’s mother.

Victoria, which will go into production this month, is being made by Mammoth Screen, producer of BBC hit show Poldark. The series has been created and written by novelist Daisy Goodwin in her screenwriting debut.
Goodwin will serve as executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch (Endeavour, Indian Summers) and Mammoth Screen’s managing director Damien Timmer (Parade’s End, Poldark).

The series will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.