There’s always something about a period drama you just can’t shake off your mind. Whether it’s the escapism it provides, the unfamiliar aesthetics, or the pompous production accompanying the period episodes, these dramas are always worth watching.
British period dramas from different production ages always have a unique appeal and to date, these costume dramas, irrespective of how far back they hit our screens, continue to beguile contemporary audiences.
For fans of period dramas, 2022 has been an incredible year, with a lineup of the best drama series making a return to our screens. Here is a roundup of the best award-winning British period dramas that made a return on our screens in 2022.
1. Peaky Blinders
Top on our list is Peaky Blinders, a British period crime drama TV series that is a creation of Steven Knight. This captivating drama is set in Birmingham, England and it follows the adventures and struggles of Peaky Blinders. Though the story of the Shelby family is one of fiction, the exploits of the Peaky Blinders are based on a real urban youth gang that infiltrated the city of Birmingham in between 1800 and 1910s. This gang was notorious for sewing razor blades in their caps.
The drama returned to the screens in early 2022 with its sixth season, which ushers in Dec 5th, 1933, in the US after the repeal of prohibition. The Peaky Blinders see an opportunity in North America and as the membership of British Union of Fascists grows, Tommy is also faced with an old enemy and the struggles of dealing with Anti-Treaty IRA as well as the Irish Mob.
Peaky Blinders has been captivating from its very first season, and its one-of-a-kind production has won a number of awards, including BAFTA, BAFTA TV Craft, British Screenwriters’ awards and others. It has also gotten several nominations and other awards, including TV Choice Awards, Venice TV Awards and Writers’ Guild of Britain.
What’s more, as is common with most popular crime drama shows such as Narcos and CSI, there are already multiple video games based on the Peaky Blinders and, unsurprisingly, some online UK casinos have also tried to cash in on the shows hype by offering Peaky Blinders’ themed slots.
The sixth and final season of this great British period drama has set tongues wagging already, with many already considering it a winning series for many of the upcoming major awards.
Bridgerton took the title of the world’s most popular period drama after its second season pulled an astonishing 620 million hours of viewing in just under a month. Produced by Shonda Rhimes, this series comes packed thick with drama featuring handsomely endowed gentlemen, back-stabbing episodes, tense instances of romance, an all-seeing gossip columnist, and a Queen.
Based on Julian Quin’s best-selling novels and set in the early 1800s, this award-winning British period drama follows the lives of 8 close-knit siblings who endeavour for all things love and happiness in London’s High Regency society.
The second season presents the life of Anthony Bridgerton and his struggles to find a suitable wife for himself. Bridgerton has already won 12 awards and received close to 40 nominations, even though it’s just in its second season. This British period drama is expected to win even more awards, with its latest second season smashing various records once again.
3. Call the Midwife
Call the Midwife is a long-running BBC production as a drama series about a team of nurse midwives. The period drama series is set in East London in the 1960s.
The eleventh season, which aired early in 2022, ushers in the Easter of 1967, which is marked with celebrations for an Easter bonnet parade on display outside Nonnatus House. The start of this season shows Cyril and Lucille, the other members of the midwives’ group, enjoying their married life.
Being the longest-running period drama on this list, it is no surprise that Call the Midwife has one of the longest lists of awards won without even stating the number of nominations. It has won BAFTA, Gracie Allen, Christopher, NTA and TV Choice awards to mention but a few.
4. All Creatures Great and Small
All Creatures Great and Small is a thrilling British period drama based on James Herriot’s collection of stories. This drama series follows the humorous adventure of a county vet based in Yorkshire Dales. Set in the 1930s, this invigorating historical drama takes viewers through to the spring of 1939 when the Second World War was looming and all the Skeldale family could think of was to reconsider their purpose in Darrowby and the world beyond.
The latest season of this period drama aired in September 2022 as the series made its third run on our screens. The 3rd season sees big changes taking place at Skeldale as everyone is struggling to adjust – Tristan is now a qualified vet, while James and Hellen enter into a new stage of their lives at the practice.
Despite having its premiere two years ago, this drama has already been nominated for BAFTA Awards, Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, Online Film & Television Association and Royal Television Society Awards. The third season just concluded in October, but the show is expected to make another comeback before the end of the year with its annual Christmas special.