Sure, it casts a rosy tint over the grim reality of the expansion of her empire, but that doesn’t make this biographic ITV series about Britain’s Queen Victoria any less riveting. Expect spectacular period costumes, whispered conversations and masterful political manoeuvring. Given that Victoria and Prince Albert’s relationship was the stuff of love legends, there’s plenty of romance too. And newcomer Jenna Coleman as a young Victoria is a delight. She’s also dating Tom Hughes, who plays Albert, in real life, which of course, the British tabloids are thrilled by. A second season is in the making.
Season 1 of Victoria is on ITV Choice (DStv channel 123) and DStv Catch Up.
During the Raj, when scorching summers rolled into India’s southern cities, its expats rolled out — seeking refuge in cooler towns at the foothills of the Himalayas. This decampment forms the backdrop to this two-season series, along with all kinds of colonial intrigue, mystery and murder. The show is set during the 1930s so it’s placed squarely within the rise of Indian nationalism and the last days of British rule. The cinematography is breathtaking. Colours are vivid, mansions sport billowing linen curtains and wide verandahs and the landscapes are verdant and unruly. And it stars the marvellous Julie Walters as the domineering Cynthia Coffin.
Season 2 of Indian Summers is on BBC First (DStv channel 119) and DStv Catch Up.
Also, keep an eye out for The Durrells. This six-part ITV series isn’t on local TV yet but it must be on its way. It’s based on Gerald Durrell’s books about the years spent living on the Greek island of Corfu with his family.