Fans have been treated to the first look of Rufus Sewell as he makes his return to Victoria series two. The actor, who plays the swoon-worthy Lord M, stars opposite protagonists Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes in the ITV period drama. A sneak peek shows Lord M and Queen Victoria reuniting at Buckingham Palace, with the young monarch asking: "Tell me, Lord M. Do you find me much changed?" The former prime minister replies: "Only for the better ma'am."
Rufus' brief return to the show is a welcome surprise to viewers, who loved the dynamic between his character Lord M and the new monarch, Victoria. Speaking about reprising the role, the actor, 49, said: "I really didn't want Melbourne to be hanging around beyond the natural span of his story. All the same, I knew that if all went well, I'd probably regret leaving when it came to it and it turned out I was right. When the producers came to me with a way to bring him back in season two that was still true to the story, I was only too happy to come back."
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"What wouldn't work is trying to repeat the situation and the dynamic that Lord M and Victoria had in series one, fun though it was to play," he added. "That had to end and by the time Albert arrived, Melbourne's role and the nature of his relationship with Victoria had changed as it should. After that Melbourne, who had always been a very vital man, changed and aging caught up with him relatively quickly so what was interesting was navigating his changed relationship with Victoria and also with Albert."
Rufus returns as Lord M in the second series
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At the press launch for the second series, which HELLO! Online attended last week, scriptwriter and creator Daisy Goodwin said: "We were very lucky to have Rufus come back for a brief moment in episode two. It was brilliant to have him back. He's quite something. But I must say it's completely different now, now that Victoria's married." Explaining why Lord M returns, leading lady Jenna added: "Victoria calls upon him really. I think she finds herself in a place where she's needing a father figure, something familiar, something that she sees as safe. She's feeling slightly lost and navigates towards him for counsel."