Fans of ITV’s Victoria are getting a surprise treat this year, with the Jenna Coleman royal drama bringing back Rufus Sewell’s fan-favourite heartthrob Lord Melbourne for the second series.
Sewell starred as the real-life Whig Prime Minister and confidante to Queen Victoria in the first five episodes of the ITV series, before his character was written out due to historical fact (the real Melbourne and Victoria grew apart over time) as well as Sewell’s commitments to Amazon Prime series The Man in the High Castle.
And given that Lord M and Victoria’s coy romance was resolved when the latter married Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) and Melbourne is no longer Prime Minister by the start of the new series, many fans would be forgiven for thinking that was the last we’d see of him – at least until today, when creator Daisy Goodwin revealed that Melbourne will be back in the throng this year.
Speaking at a special screening for series two, Goodwin told assembled guests that Melbourne would reappear in the second episode of the new run (possibly recurring for more than one episode), before showing off new footage of Sewell’s Viscount in the series.
And according to producer Damien Timmer (who was also at the screening), fans can expect “twists and turns” in Melbourne’s return, with Victoria calling on him in a moment of crisis despite Albert’s objections and the political dangers.
Overall, the news will be greeted warmly by the numerous fans who actually preferred Melbourne and Victoria’s relationship to that with her real-life husband Albert, and who were sad to see Sewell’s time in the series cut so short. Hopefully he’ll get a happier ending than the real Lord Melbourne did…
Victoria returns to ITV on Sunday 27th August at 9:00pm