44 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).

What did the reviews say?

“Although a world away from the likes of Downton Abbey in terms of setting, the series shares many themes including family drama and romance with the backdrop of a monumental time in history. While its truly magical and enchanting setting will leave you wanting to book a holiday to India, the element of mystery will leave you hungry for more.” ★★★★ – Metro

Beecham House is a feast for the eyes … [Tom] Bateman as Beecham has everything a Sunday-night hero needs…” ★★★ – The Times

 

Belgravia (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is adapting his 2016 book as a new six-part mini-series for ITV.

Described as “a tale of secrets and scandal,” the New York Times bestselling novel is set in London in the 1840s, over seven decades before the events of Downton.

When will it air?

Belgravia begins filming in early 2019 and is expected to air on ITV in the UK this autumn.

Julian Fellowes’ original Belgravia book is available to buy on Amazon.

 

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (TV movie)

What’s it about?

The 20th instalment of British writer Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror is far more than just another episode.

Set in the early 1980s and starring Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Will Poulter (The Revenant) and Craig Parkinson (Indian Summers), Netflix’s interactive TV movie follows a young programmer as he adapts a choose-your-own-adventure fantasy novel into a video game.

Then it all gets weird and very, very dark – in an almost infinite number of ways – as viewers are asked to decide what happens next and choose the direction of the story.

What did the reviews say?

“In just one episode, Charlie Brooker’s interactive adventure has upended everything we relied on for entertainment and sanity. What a rush.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“The show has entered another dimension, but time will tell whether we’ll view it as a one-off experiment or a groundbreaking moment for online video. It’s all too new, too exciting, and frustratingly mind-bending to process in the moment.” – Den of Geek

 

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.

 

Britannia – Season 2

What’s it about?

Sky’s British historical fantasy series set in 43AD returns for a second season, exploring the life of the Celts and Druids now living under Roman rule.

David Morrissey is back as General Aulus, romanising willing Celt tribes with the help of Celtic Queen Amena (Annabel Scholey), and crushing those who try to resist.

When will it air?

Season 2 is expected to premiere this autumn on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV.

 

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.

What did the reviews say?

“January can be a depressing month so thank the televisual deities for Call the Midwife, which was back to beam some period East End warmth into our living rooms.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph

“It was good, solid Sunday night stuff and writer Heidi Thomas is keeping the quality control steady.” ★★★ – iNews

Season 8 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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 this autumn 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) head the cast of this five-part mini-series.

Chernobyl dramatises 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.

What did the reviews say?

“Timely, bleak, intelligent and compelling, Chernobyl is a triumph of a disaster.” ★★★★ – The Independent

“The five-part miniseries is an unmissable television event, but it is one that will harrow you, a horror story in the guise of a historical docudrama.” – Mashable

 

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.

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 this autumn.

The first two seasons of The Crown are available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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.

Bram Stoker’s novel is available on Amazon.

 

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.”

What did the reviews say

“A welcome vacation from our own island of nightmares.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“So writer Simon Nye has done it again – expanded skillfully on the books while retaining their elegiac yet earthy tone. The resulting blend of character comedy and pathos is as warm and relaxing as a Greek sunset.” ★★★★ – iNews

The first three seasons of The Durrells are available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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.

What did the reviews say?

“As comforting as cheese on toast … Russell Lewis’s Inspector Morse prequel – a clever, well-crafted whodunnit oozing with period detail – gets better and better. ” – The Guardian

“Now equipped with a moustache, Shaun Evans is in complete command of the younger Morse’s array of tics and traits.” – The Arts Desk

Season 6 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

The English Game (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes makes his Netflix debut with The English Game, a new period drama exploring the origins of football.

Set in the late 1800s, the six-part event series will delve into how the sport crossed class lines and became a worldwide phenomenon despite its humble beginnings on the pitch at London’s Limes Field.

When will it air?

The English Game will premiere exclusively on Netflix around the world later this year.

 

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 10 new episodes 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.

What did the reviews say?

“…comic actor Mark Williams as the wise and wily Father Brown is one of the best things currently on television.” – Daily Mail

The first six seasons of Father Brown are available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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.

What did the reviews say?

“…it does something new, too: Hitting the accelerator and delivering major plot developments, hurriedly, in its home stretch.” – Variety

“The truth the hype industry can’t acknowledge is that Game of Thrones has grown less interesting as it has increased in size. Like anyone after sufficient feasting it is both bloated and cramped.” ★★★ – The Independent

Season 8 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

Gentleman Jack – Season 1

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.

What did the reviews say?

Gentleman Jack brightly but also quietly investigates Anne’s unusual life with a winning mixture of humor and charm, giving context to modern gender politics by looking to a pioneer from the past.” ★★★★ – Collider

“The 19th-century locutions of Jack feel lively and lived-in; the tone is neither starchy nor nostalgic but sardonic, playful and abundantly funny.” – The New York Times

Gentleman Jack is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

The Gilded Age – Season 1

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 HBO this autumn 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.

What did the reviews say?

“Don’t write this crimebusting clergy drama off as cosy, it’s much deeper than that.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph

“That’s always been the thing about Grantchester, though. It’s an unassuming little drama that boasts a brilliant cast who never fail to deliver.” ★★★★ – Metro

Season 4 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

Harlots – Season 3

What’s it about?

Set in a brothel 18th-century England, Hulu’s period drama series stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts) and Lesley Manville (Maleficent).

Season 3 sees Margaret Wells struggle to reconcile her roles as brothel owner and mother to daughters Charlotte and Lucy. When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley, a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back even if it means losing her family and possibly her life.

When will it air?

Harlots returns to Hulu in July.

The first season is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Based on Keith Badman’s 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe, this series from The Good Karma Hospital writer Dan Sefton will dramatise the last six months of Marilyn Monroe’s life.

Exploring the area “where the harsh glamour of 1960s Hollywood and the hard-edged politics of Washington intersect,” The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe will explore Monroe’s relationship with Hollywood studio bosses and US President John F Kennedy.

When will it air?

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe is expected to air on BBC One in the UK in late 2019 or 2020.

 

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 and final 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.

Season 3 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

The Last Kingdom – Season 4

What’s it about?

Set in the late 9th century AD, when England is divided into seven separate kingdoms, Netflix’s epic historical drama series is based on the Saxon Stories novels by English author Bernard Cornwell.

After the death of Alfred, the alliances between the kingdoms are fractured. Uhtred believes the timing is right to challenge his uncle Aelfric, played by Joseph Millson (Casino Royale), and take back his ancestral home, Bebbanburg.

However fate shifts in a different direction, leading Uhtred to realise that his destiny is tied to Alfred’s dream of a united land. This, and Uhtred’s feelings for Aethelflaed, drive him back into the politics that threaten to break out into war.

When will it air?

Season 4 is expected to arrive on Netflix in late 2019.

 

Les Misérables (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Andrew Davies (Pride and PrejudiceMr Selfridge) has adapted Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel about Jean Valjean, a former convict unable to escape the shadow of his past life, and his relentless pursuit by the chilling police officer Javert.

BBC One’s six-part drama stars Dominic West (The AffairThe Hour) as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (SelmaSpooks) as Javert and Lily Collins (Tolkien) as Fantine, alongside Josh O’Connor (The Durrells), Adeel Akhtar (Victoria & Abdul) and Olivia Colman (The Crown).

What did the reviews say?

“There are strong performances from famous actors, gorgeous cinematography and perfectly assembled period sets. If you like that sort of thing, sit down with the family and tuck in.” ★★★ – Financial Times

“Some powerful performances suggest this BBC series will be worth the investment of time and concentration.” ★★★★ – The Mirror

Les Miserables is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

The Luminaries (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Novelist Eleanor Catton has adapted her award-winning novel for BBC Two as a six-part mini-series.

Set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860s gold rush, The Luminaries is described as “an epic story of love, murder and revenge.”

The cast includes Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Eve Hewson (Bridge of Spies), Himesh Patel (EastEnders), Ewen Leslie (The Cry) and Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings).

When will it air?

The Luminaries will air in 2019 on BBC Two in the UK and on TVNZ1 in New Zealand.

Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries novel is available on Amazon.

 

The Pale Horse (mini-series)

What’s it about?

From the makers of The ABC MurdersAnd Then There Were None and Ordeal By Innocence, the BBC’s latest Agatha Christie adaptation is based on 1961’s The Pale Horse.

When a mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman, one of those named, Mark Easterbrook, begins an investigation into how and why his name came to be there.

When will it air?

The Pale Horse is expected to air on BBC One in the UK this Christmas and it will premiere in the USA on Amazon Prime Video at a later date.

Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse novel is available on Amazon.

 

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.

The first four seasons of Peaky Blinders are available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels – Season 1

What’s it about?

Featuring all new characters, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful spin-off moves the action on from Victorian London to Los Angeles in the 1930s.

Rooted in the conflict between characters connected to the deity Santa Muerte and others allied with the Devil, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will explore an exciting mix of the supernatural and the combustible reality of that period, creating new occult myths and moral dilemmas within a genuine historical backdrop.

When will it air?

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is expected to premiere in autumn 2019 on Showtime in the USA and on Sky in the UK.

The complete Penny Dreadful box set is available on Amazon.

 

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.

The first four seasons of Poldark are available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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.”

The cast includes Theo James (Downton Abbey), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise) and Rose Williams (Curfew).

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.

Jane Austen’s Sanditon book is available on Amazon.

 

The Serpent (mini-series)

What’s it about?

From the makers of Poldark and Endeavour, this eight-part crime thriller set in the 1970s is based on the phenomenal true story of how one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century was caught and brought to trial.

The Serpent is written by Ripper Street creator Richard Warlow.

When will it air?

The Serpent is expected to air on BBC One in the UK later in 2019.

 

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.

Luke Treadaway (Ordeal By Innocence) will lead the cast as reluctant hero Matthew Webb, alongside David Morrissey (Britannia), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous).

When will it air?

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

J.G. Farrell’s novel is available to buy on Amazon.

 

The Spanish Princess (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Starz’s follow-up to The White Queen and The White Princess is based on historical novelist Philippa Gregory’s books The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse.

Starring Charlotte Hope (Game of Thrones) and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey), The Spanish Princess dramatises the story of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII’s love affair and marriage after the death of his brother Arthur.

What did the reviews say?

“With sumptuous costumes and a cast including a couple of familiar and beloved costume-drama players, Starz’s The Spanish Princess, about the travails of Catherine of Aragon, seems designed to appeal to lovers of broadly drawn historical romance.” – Variety

The Spanish Princess continues the anthology’s dedication to sweeping cinematic beauty, spot-on casting and smart storytelling while introducing a fresh culture, language and religion to drab old England.” – Los Angeles Times

The Spanish Princess is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

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 this summer.

 

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.

Henry Fielding’s novel is available on Amazon.

 

Traitors (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, The Durrells) stars in this new six-part Netflix/Channel 4 spy thriller from Boardwalk Empire writer Bash Doran.

Set in 1945 London, Traitors is the dangerous, enthralling story of Feef, who is seduced by a rogue American spy into spying on her own country. Her task? To uncover a Russian agent in the heart of the British Government.

What did the reviews say?

“Doran’s script weaves politics, history, laughs and espionage thrills into a satisfying first episode that bodes well for what’s to come.” – Den of Geek

“Latest recruit to the spy drama game looks great but struggles to convince The period details and cast were top-notch, but credibility-straining plot twists and an unsympathetic main character are severe drawbacks.” – iNews

 

The Trial of Christine Keeler (mini-series)

What’s it about?

Amanda Coe (Apple Tree Yard) has written this new six-part BBC One drama, exploring the true story of the Profumo affair in the 1960s.

The Trial of Christine Keeler “will take viewers behind the headlines to tell a human story about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times.”

Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) will lead the cast as Christine Keeler, alongside James Norton (Grantchester), Ben Miles (The Crown) and Ellie Bamber (Les Miserables).

When will it air?

The Trial of Christine Keeler will air on BBC One in the UK in 2019.

 

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.

What did the reviews say?

“Sit back and enjoy the soapy ride. As light Sunday-night entertainment, the endlessly unsubtle Victoria does the trick … just don’t even think about fact-checking the plot.” ★★★ – The Guardian

“Anyone who has followed Victoria knows that it puts history through a soap opera wash with exotic floral fabric conditioner. Yet what comes out at the end is usually entertaining, if often perfumed and melodramatic.” ★★★ – The Times

Season 3 is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

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…

When will it air?

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).

Whats did the reviews say?

Year of the Rabbit is best thought of as a sitcom concoction comprising one part Ripper Street, one part The Sweeney, plus a dash of Murder in Successville and a few crumbs of Toast of London.” ★★★★ – The Independent

“It’s a strange kind of comedy – but it is also brilliant.” – Radio Times

 

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