First of all, let me say that Barbara Stanwyck has long been one of my favorite actresses. Her performances in STELLA DALLAS, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (among others) are nothing short of brilliant.
That said, IMO, she was just terrible in THE BIG VALLEY! Perhaps the fault wasn't entirely hers; perhaps the producers and directors were at least partly to blame. Victoria Barkley was supposed to be a respectable matriarch, the mistress of a large ranch and four children. She was supposedly meant to entertain graciously, do charitable works, and leave the actual running of the ranch to her three sons. Maybe it's not exactly PC, but that's how things were in the 19th century. Well, what proper matron would go about in tight britches or culottes, a short haircut, and blue eye shadow? Worst of all, she was made to overact so badly that she was as hammy as Lesley Warren in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.
Make no mistake, I greatly admire strong, brave, and smart women of any era. In fact, one of my favorite characters is Miss Kitty Russell of GUNSMOKE, but her social position was far different from Victoria's.
In short, the top brass of THE BIG VALLEY tried to turn Victoria Barkley into another Ben Cartwright. And it didn't work!
These "bulldykes" were generally of a lower socio-economic class than Victoria Barkley, and they had to act as they did just to survive. And this ended either when they remarried or when their sons were old enough to manage the property for them.
As for Queen Victoria, it must be remembered that the UK was (and still is) a constitutional monarchy. The actual business of governing was handled by Parliament, with the final say by the Prime Minister. The Queen herself had little say in state affairs.
The only episode I ever saw was Season 4, Episode 1, “In Silent Battle.” In this one, Adam West guest stars in his first post-Batman role, playing an army officer and decorated hero who Audra gets a Thing for. But the truth is, he is a psychopath and serial killer who murders women who he feels don’t live up to his high standard (HINT: Nobody does). West is actually pretty good in this. Impressive, even.
If no one comes from the future to stop you from doing it then how bad a decision could it really be?