TV Review: Victoria - 'Comfort and Joy'
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On the first day of Christmas, Daisy Goodwin gave to us... a stunning retelling of some of the most exciting events in young Victoria's life, complete with drama, heartbreak and incredible visuals. This Christmas special was the jewel in the crown of this year's festive telly, with the true message of family festivity shining through. Victoria is known for its lavish sets, superb plots and stellar cast, which are always balanced with a delicate dusting of history and morally enlightening stories - and this year was no exception. In addition to the exceptional visuals and sets, today's audience learnt an incredible amount on the topical issues of the 19th century, and were implored by the stellar performances of the cast to actually feel something about them. This special episode touched on the slave trade of 19th Century America, which was still very much in full swing. Mrs Skerrett comes across a life-changing inheritance which would see her through her life in an extremely comfortable position - but which is tainted with the lost freedom of a group of slaves. The audience are also given the chance to form a personal perspective on the issue, as the child of an African family sold in slavery is presented as a 'gift' to the Queen, who takes her under her wing as her godchild. That's a present you won't be finding in the Boxing Day sales. Family is an underlying theme within this year's special, with Victoria donning a corset over her baby bump (not just a food baby one) and Prince Albert dusting off his elf uniform and picking up the slack that England has made during the festive period. We learn that it is he who is responsible for bringing the Christmas tree tradition to England, as he insists upon a tree being suspended from the ceiling by its trunk, and surrounded by several smaller trees, decorated with an abundance of candles and oranges. He adapts this from the tradition originally coined by Martin Luther, whose idea was to have candles that shone like the stars of Bethlehem. (I bet that would be a nightmare trying to hoover up the pine needles as they fall from the ceiling.)
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