30 new British TV period drama series to watch in 2019

2019 looks set to be another incredible year for period dramas on British television.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the new British period drama series, mini-series and TV movies you need to see!

 

Beecham House – Season 1

What’s it about?

Created by Gurinder Chadha (Viceroy’s HouseBend It Like Beckham), ITV’s new six-part drama is set on the cusp of the 19th century in India.

The story is based in Delhi, before the British ruled the region, and follows the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns.

The cast of Beecham House includes Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Adil Ray (Citizen Khan), Marc Warren (Hustle), Leo Suter (Victoria) and Dakota Blue Richards (Endeavour).

When will it air?

Beecham House began filming in August 2018 and is expected to air on ITV in the UK in early 2019.

 

Black Narcissus (mini-series)

What’s it about?

BAFTA award-winning writer Amanda Coe (Life in Squares) is bringing this new adaptation of Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel Black Narcissus to BBC Two.

The three-part mini-series will return the haunting love story to its original setting in the 1930s, as the western colonial order is about to explode into the crisis of World War Two.

Black Narcissus follows Sister Clodagh and the nuns of St Faiths, who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu.

When will it air?

Black Narcissus is expected to air in late 2019 on BBC Two.

 

The Boys (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Opening in London, 1981, Channel 4’s new five-part mini-series will follow the story of the 1980s, the story of the AIDS epidemic, and the story of three young men, Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin, across the decade.

Award-winning Welsh screenwriter Russell T Davies (A Very English Scandal) commented: “I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this. And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten. So it’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.”

When will it air?

The Boys will air on Channel 4 in the UK later in 2019.

 

Call the Midwife – Season 8

What’s it about?

BBC One’s long-running period drama series returns with eight new episodes, set in 1964.

The eighth season will introduce two new sisters; Sister Hilda, played by Fenella Woolgar (War & Peace), and Sister Frances, played by Ella Bruccoleri (The Last Kingdom). They’ll be joined by Georgie Glen (Waterloo Road) as the surgery’s new receptionist, Miss Higgins, and Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes as Sister Mildred.

When will it air?

Season 8 begins in the UK on BBC One in January and will air in the USA on Masterpiece on PBS in the spring.

 

Catherine the Great (mini-series)

What’s it about?

HBO and Sky’s upcoming four-part mini-series is set against the lavish backdrop of the politically ruthless 18th century Russian court.

The Queen star Helen Mirren will play the titular Empress of Russia, who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for 34 years.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great will follow Catherine towards the end of her reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin, played by Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty).

When will it air?

Catherine the Great will premiere in 2019 on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Ireland, and on HBO in the US and in Canada.

 

Chernobyl (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Jared Harris (The Crown), Stellan Skarsgård (River), Emily Watson (Apple Tree Yard) and Jessie Buckley (Taboo) will head the cast of this five-part mini-series.

Chernobyl will dramatise the true story of the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history which occured in April 1986 in Ukraine, revealing how and why it happened and telling the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who fought and fell.

When will it air?

Chernobyl will premiere on HBO in the USA and on Sky Atlantic in the UK in 2019.

 

A Christmas Carol (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Based on Charles Dickens’ classic festive novel, BBC One’s new three-part mini-series will see Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight and Taboo star Tom Hardy team up with Gladiator director Ridley Scott’s production company.

As the miserly Ebenzer Scrooge is visited by ghosts from the past, present and the future on a freezing Christmas Eve, he must face up to how his self-interested behaviour has impacted his own life and those around him.

The cast hasn’t yet been announced, but if Tom Hardy doesn’t end up playing Bill Sykes then we’ll be very surprised!

When will it air?

A Christmas Carol will air on BBC One over Christmas 2019.

 

The Crown – Season 3

What’s it about?

Netflix’s award-winning period drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II returns for a third season with an all-new cast as the story moves further into the second half of the 20th Century.

Broadchurch star Olivia Colman will take over the role of Elizabeth from Claire Foy.

She’ll be joined by Josh O’Connor (The Durrells) as Prince Charles, Tobias Menzies (Outlander) as Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter) as Princess Margaret.

When will it air?

Season 3 will premiere around the world on Netflix in the spring.

 

Dracula – Season 1

What’s it about?

Sherlock writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are teaming up again for a new version of Bram Stoker’s classic Gothic novel Dracula.

Set in Transylvania in 1897 as the blood-drinking Count draws his plans against Victorian London, BBC One’s three 90-minute episodes will “re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy.”

When will it air?

Dracula will air on BBC One in the UK towards the end of 2019 or in 2020.

 

The Durrells – Season 4

What’s it about?

Concluding ITV’s family drama series based on Gerald Durrell’s classic trilogy of Corfu memoirs, The Durrells returns to 1930s Corfu for a final season on ITV.

Bodyguard star Keeley Hawes, who plays Louisa, has promised that the last ever episodes will provide “a fitting and fabulous farewell.”

When will it air?

Season 4 is expected to air in the UK on ITV in March/April and in the USA on Masterpiece on PBS in the autumn.

 

The Elephant Man (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton will star in BBC One’s new two-part drama from the makers of The Missing and the producer of Poldark.

The Elephant Man tells the story of Joseph Merrick, who was born in England in 1862 and appeared in a freak show as the “Elephant Man” due to his severe face and body deformities. He was later well known in London society after becoming friends with a prominent surgeon.

When will it air?

The Elephant Man will air on BBC One in the UK in 2019.

 

Endeavour – Season 6

What’s it about?

Shaun Evans is back as the young Inspector Morse with a new look for 1969 as he begins his new role as a uniformed officer at the Woodstock police department in the sixth season of ITV’s crime drama series.

Returning Endeavour cast members include Roger Allam as DI Fred Thursday, Anton Lesser as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw as Dr Max DeBryn, Sara Vickers as Joan Thursday, Abigail Thaw as Dorothea Frazil and Caroline O’Neill as Win Thursday.

When will it air?

Season 6 is expected to begin on ITV in the UK in January or February and will air on Masterpiece on PBS in the summer.

 

Englistan (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Riz Ahmed has created this nine-part multi-generational 20th century family drama for BBC Two.

Englistan will follow the story of three generations of a British Pakistani family, the Latifs, as they pursue their dreams over four tumultuous decades.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, hinted: “Set against the familiar backdrop of the late 20th but from a point of view which feels entirely new, Englistan is the story of the birth of multicultural Britain as seen from the inside.”

When will it air?

Englistan will air on BBC Two in the UK later in 2019.

 

Father Brown – Season 7

What’s it about?

Harry Potter actor Mark Williams is back as the crime-solving Roman Catholic priest in a new season of BBC One’s hit daytime crime drama.

Based on the stories by GK Chesterton, Father Brown is set in the Cotswolds in the early 1950s.

The seventh season sees Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) return from Northern Rhodesia in need of help, while a familiar face returns to Kembleford, putting Sergeant Goodfellow (John Burton) in grave danger.

When will it air?

Season 7 is expected to begin in January on BBC One in the UK.

 

Game of Thrones – Season 8

What’s it about?

After a two-year break, the long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones concludes George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy saga.

When will it air?

Season 7 begins on Sky Atlantic in the UK and on HBO in the USA in April.

 

Gentleman Jack (mini-series)

What’s it about?

From the creator of Last Tango In Halifax and based on a true story, BBC One’s eight-part drama is a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the 1830s in the complex, changing world of Halifax, West Yorkshire – the cradle of the industrial revolution.

Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones plays Regency landowner Anne Lister and Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders) plays Ann Walker, the wealthy heiress who Anne Lister soon sets her sights on marrying.

When will it air?

Gentleman Jack will air in the UK in early 2019 on BBC One and in the US at a later date on HBO.

 

The Gilded Age

What’s it about?

Created by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, The Gilded Age is set in New York in 1882 and will focus on the emerging rich and the working class.

The series follows Marian Brook, the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who embarks on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell.

It has been rumoured that younger versions of popular Downton Abbey characters could appear in the series!

When will it air?

The Gilded Age will premiere in the USA on NBC in autumn 2019 and in the UK at a later date.

 

Grantchester – Season 4

What’s it about?

Based on James Runcie’s novels and set in the 1950s in Cambridgeshire, the fourth season of ITV’s period crime drama features the final episodes with original star James Norton, as Sidney Chambers departs the village.

Outlander and Call the Midwife actor Tom Brittney has joined the Grantchester cast as Geordie’s new crime-solving partner, Reverend Will Davenport.

When will it air?

Season 4 is expected to begin on ITV in the UK in early spring and will air on Masterpiece on PBS later in 2019.

 

Jamestown – Season 3

What’s it about?

Written and created by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise) and made by the producers of Downton Abbey, Sky One’s period drama series follows the first English settlers as they establish a community in 17th century America.

In the third season of Jamestown, with trade booming and the tobacco farms established, the settlers’ pioneering aspiration soon clashes with reality as they begin to strive for more than new lives – now they crave control and power.

When will it air?

Season 3 will air on Sky One in the UK in early 2019.

 

Peaky Blinders – Season 5

What’s it about?

Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk) is back as Tommy Shelby in six new episodes of BBC Two’s hit drama series about a crime family in Birmingham, England in the 1920s.

The fifth season of Peaky Blinders finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929, with opportunity and misfortune everywhere.

When Tommy is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.

When will it air?

Season 5 began filming in October 2018 and is expected to air on BBC One in the UK in early summer.

 

Poldark – Season 5

What’s it about?

Based on the series of historical novels by Winston Graham, BBC One’s Cornish period drama series returns.

Set during the 10 year time gap that occurs between the seventh book, The Angry Tide, and the eighth, The Stranger from the Sea, the final season of Poldark sees Ross resolve to spend more time with his loved ones and put Westminster behind him following the tragic death that concluded Season 4, while George gets involved with corrupt powers whose influence spans the British Empire.

When will it air?

Season 5 will air on BBC One in the UK this summer and on in the USA on Masterpiece on PBS in the autumn.

 

Sanditon (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Mr Selfridge creator Andrew Davies has adapted Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel as a new mini-series for ITV.

Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells “the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing.”

When will it air?

Sanditon is expected to air in the UK on ITV in the autumn and in the USA on Masterpiece on PBS at a later date.

 

The Singapore Grip (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Oscar winning screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton (AtonementDangerous Liaisons) has adapted Booker Prize winner J.G. Farrell’s classic novel as a new six-part mini-series for ITV.

Set during World War Two, The Singapore Grip centres on a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion in 1941.

When will it air?

The Singapore Grip is expected to air on ITV in the UK in late 2019.

 

Summer of Rockets (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff (Dancing on the EdgeThe Lost Prince), BBC Two’s new six-part Cold War thriller stars Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) and Toby Stephens (Lost In Space).

Summer of Rockets is set in the UK during the tumultuous year of 1958, as Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb and the Soviets launch their first ballistic missile, beating the Americans by successfully sending a Satellite into space.

When will it air?

Summer of Rockets is expected to air on BBC Two in the UK in early 2019.

 

Taboo – Season 2

What’s it about?

Created by actor Tom Hardy and Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight, Taboo launched way back in January 2017 and a second season is finally on the way.

Set in 1814, the first season followed James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), believed to be long dead, who returned home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself.

Eight new episodes of the dark period drama will see our anti-hero “continue to explore many realities as he takes his band of misfits to a new world.”

When will it air?

Season 2 is expected to air towards the end of 2019 on BBC One in the UK and on FX in the USA.

 

Tom Jones (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Gwyneth Hughes, the screenwriter behind ITV’s Vanity Fair, is reuniting with the makers of War & Peace and Victoria, for a new version of Henry Fielding’s 1749 novelTom Jones.

Executive producer Damien Timmer (Poldark) commented: “Popular culture has Tom Jones down as a womanising rogue, based on previous adaptations. But Fielding’s original is so much more complex than that: he’s a goodhearted hero, trying to make his way in a world where no one understands the rules, which reminds us very much of today.”

When will it air?

Tom Jones is expected to air on ITV in late 2019 or 2020.

 

Victoria – Season 3

What’s it about?

Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) and Tom Hughes (The Game) reprise their roles as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in eight new episodes of Victoria.

Starting in 1848, the third season will depict a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy. With revolutions on the continent and the Chartist movement reaching its peak in London, Victoria is under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety.

When will it air?

Season 3 will air on ITV in the UK and on PBS in the US in January.

 

The War of the Worlds (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Wallander writer Peter Harness’s upcoming drama series is the first ever British television adaptation of H. G. Wells’s classic sci-fi novel – and the first to be set in the book’s original Victorian time period.

Horsell Common in Surrey is struck by a huge meteor, and the inhabitants of Earth slowly fall victim to a vicious invasion. The three-part drama follows one man’s attempt to escape the ruthless Martians – but they are determined to destroy all human life as they attempt to conquer the earth…

What did the reviews say?

The War of the Worlds is expected to air on BBC One in the UK in early 2019.

 

World on Fire (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets), Sean Bean (Lord Of The Rings), Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal) and Lesley Manville (River) will lead the cast of BBC One’s new seven-part World War II drama from the makers of Parade’s End.

Set during the first year of the Second World War, World on Fire begins with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ends with the Battle of Britain.

When will it air?

World on Fire will air in the UK on BBC One in 2019.

 

Year of the Rabbit – Season 1

What’s it about?

From Emmy Award-winning Veep writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, Year of the Rabbit is “irreverently and profanely inspired by the unhinged chaos of Victorian-era London.”

Channel 4’s new six-part crime-solving comedy series stars Matt Berry (The IT Crowd), Freddie Fox (Parade’s End) and Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum).

When will it air?

Year of the Rabbit will air on Channel 4 in the UK in early 2019.

 

Take a look at our list of 2018’s best British TV period dramas here.