16 great British period drama box sets you can watch on BBC iPlayer right now

There’s currently a wonderful selection of British period drama series on BBC iPlayer.

UK viewers who have a TV licence can watch the BBC’s streaming service on a wide range of devices, including tablets, mobile phones, computers and smart televisions – all with no adverts!

In addition to featuring recently aired shows to catch up on, BBC iPlayer has recently started showcasing a huge array of classic series from the corporation’s archive.

We’ve put together this list of suggestions for British period drama fans to check out:

 

Father Brown (20 episodes)

Based on the stories by GK Chesterton, BBC One’s popular daytime crime drama stars Harry Potter actor Mark Williams as the titular clerical sleuth, solving mysteries in the Cotswolds during the early 1950s.

Available for 11 months.

Watch here!

 

Mrs Wilson (3 episodes)

Based on the fascinating life of her own grandmother, Ruth Wilson starred in this complex tale of espionage, betrayal and polygamy set in 1960s London, 1940s London and 1930s India. The cast also includes Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) and Iain Glen (Downton Abbey).

Available for 10 months.

Watch here!

 

Merlin (65 episodes)

Based on the legend of King Arthur and Merlin, this fantasy adventure drama ran for five seasons on BBC One.

Available for 10 months.

Watch here!

 

Robin Hood (39 episodes)

BBC One’s Saturday night drama series gives a contemporary feel to the classic Robin Hood legend, focusing on Robin Hood’s fight against the evil and corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham.

Available for 10 months.

Watch here!

 

Gentleman Jack (8 episodes)

From the creator of Last Tango In Halifax and based on a true story, Gentleman Jack is a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the 1830s in the complex, changing world of Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Available for 4 months.

Watch here!

 

A Christmas Carol (3 episodes)

Written by Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight, the BBC’s 2019 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel starred Guy Pearce (Memento), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) and Stephen Graham (Line of Duty).

Available for 10 months.

Watch here!

 

Vienna Blood (3 episodes)

Sherlock writer Steve Thompson has adapted the Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis, following brilliant young English doctor Max Liebermann as he studies under the famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in 1900s Vienna.

Available for 9 months.

Watch here!

 

Life on Mars (16 episodes)

John Simm stars in the cult BBC series about a police officer from the Greater Manchester Police from the year 2006 who wakes up in 1973 after being involved in a road accident.

Available for 6 months.

Watch here!

 

Ashes to Ashes (24 episodes)

The Durrells star Keeley Hawes leads the cast of the BBC’s follow-up to Life on Mars, playing a London police officer who is shot in 2008 then finds herself back in 1981.

Available for 6 months.

Watch here!

 

Call the Midwife (69 episodes)

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the BBC’s hit period drama series follows a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s.

Available for 7 months.

Watch here!

 

Fosse/Verdon (8 episodes)

This American biographical mini-series, shown on the BBC in 2019, stars Sam Rockwell as director-choreographer Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as actress and dancer Gwen Verdon.

Available for over 12 months.

Watch here!

 

The Musketeers (30 episodes)

Based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas’s novel The Three Musketeers, BBC One’s action adventure series aired for three seasons between 2014 and 2016.

Available for 5 months.

Watch here!

 

Rillington Place (3 episodes)

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer appeared in this biographical crime drama about the case of serial killer John Christie, and the wrongful execution of Timothy Evans on BBC One in 2016.

Available for 3 months.

Watch here!

 

Summer of Rockets (6 episodes)

Stephen Poliakoff’s 1950s Cold War drama aired on BBC Two in 2019, starring Keeley Hawes from The Durrells.

Available for 4 months.

Watch here!

 

Burton & Taylor (TV movie)

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West play Hollywood’s most glamorous couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, in BBC Four’s 2013 film about the pair’s final performance together in Noel Coward’s Private Lives in 1983.

Available for 3 months.

Watch here!

 

War and Peace (6 episodes)

Three young people experience life, love and loss against the epic backdrop of Russia’s wars with Napoleon in BBC One’s 2016 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel, featuring James Norton (Grantchester) and Lily James (Downton Abbey).

Available for 5 months.

Watch here!