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Preview the Latest Sensation from Masterpiece: VICTORIA!
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PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (December 20, 2016) -- Rhode Island PBS announces a preview screening of the first hour of VICTORIA, the latest sensation on MASTERPIECE. The preview, an exclusive event for members of Rhode Island PBS, will take place on Friday, January 6 at 7 p.m. at Rhode Island PBS studios, 50 Park Lane in Providence, RI. The one-hour screening begins at 7:30, following a reception of light refreshments. Snow date is Saturday, January 7.

VICTORIA stars Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as the young Queen Victoria at the outset of her epic reign, which set the stage for an entire era that would be named in her honor. Scripted by bestselling novelist Daisy Goodwin (The Fortune Hunter), VICTORIA airs in seven parts, boasting lavish costumes, elaborate sets, and a sweeping story of love, duty, duplicity, and determination. The series begins on Rhode Island PBS on Friday, January 27 at 9 p.m.

Following Victoria from her accession to the throne at age 18, through her education in politics, courtship and marriage, VICTORIA paints a portrait of a monarch who was raised to be the pawn of her powerful elders but who wasted no time in showing the empire who was in charge. The stellar cast includes Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle) as Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister who was Victoria's father figure and intimate friend; Tom Hughes (Dancing on the Edge) as the handsome, brilliant and awkward Prince Albert, who stole Victoria's heart after a rocky start; and Alex Jennings (Churchill's Secret) as Leopold I, King of Belgium, Victoria and Albert's matchmaking uncle who had dreams of a dynasty for his obscure royal line-which he amazingly achieved.

Paul Rhys (Borgia) plays Sir John Conroy, the rumored lover of Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, a German princess played by German actress Catherine H. Flemming. Conroy pictures himself as the de facto ruler of the realm - if only he can get the duchess appointed regent for the immature queen. Peter Firth (South Riding) appears as Victoria's conniving uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who is convinced that he rightfully belongs on the throne and diligently conspires to get there.

In VICTORIA, writer Daisy Goodwin imaginatively depicts what it was like for an ill-educated, emotionally deprived teenager to wake up one morning and find that she is the most powerful woman in the world. That it happened at all was practically a miracle. Victoria was queen only by virtue of ill luck and unfruitful marriages on the part of her uncles, who failed to produce legitimate heirs to the crown. Furthermore, her immediate predecessors were so disliked as kings that the institution of the monarchy seemed to be doomed.

VICTORIA charts how the new ruler rose to the challenge and weathered a series of crises - some of her own making - without ever losing her youthful charm and innate sense of justice, which made her popular with her subjects.

Goodwin has been careful to stay faithful to the facts, while reading between the lines to fill in the gaps where the early Victorians were scrupulously silent. The result is a gripping historical pageant that reveals a side of Victoria that is at odds with her later reputation for prudery and a high moral tone.

In other words, Victoria was not a Victorian as we use the term! 

If you'd like to see the preview, call Rhode Island PBS at 401-222-3636, extension 381, to make reservations or to become a member.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) content over the air on digital 36.1; on Rhode Island cable services: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable services: Comcast 819HD, Verizon 18 / 518HD; on satellite: DirecTV 36 / 3128HD, Dish Network 36. WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; on cable: Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 89, Comcast 294 or 312.

About Rhode Island PBS

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, WSBE Rhode Island PBS is operated by the Rhode Island PBS Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. WSBE Rhode Island PBS is a viewer-supported member of the PBS network of public broadcasting stations, and uses the power of noncommercial media to educate, engage, enrich, inspire, and entertain viewers of all ages in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut since 1967. WSBE-DT delivers content on three channels: Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1), Learn (digital 36.2), and Spanish-language content on Vme (36.3). For more information about programs and education services at WSBE, visit

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