Edwardian drama films and shows are historically placed between 1901 and 1914, although King Edward VII’s reign did officially come to an end upon his death in 1910.
Known more popularly as costumed period drama films, we will discuss some of those few selected gems that managed to bring the Edwardian Era to life, along with the plot itself.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find all of them on any one streaming service, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them at all either. Just take a look at the top ten classic streaming services to find the services you need in order to stream your favorite British period dramas and other types of entertainment that interests you.
This episodic, historical drama begins on 28th of June, 1914, the very date on which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip and his group of five Serbians, and follows a complex chain of events that finally leads to Britain’s declaration of war against Germany, exactly 37 days later. It came on air six years ago in 2014 for the first time, which also marked the 100th year since The Great War started in 1914.
37 Days is a complex and thrilling political drama that focusses on a chain of events that led to the First World War but doesn’t fail to do justice to the timeline it is set in either. Released back in 2014, there are three episodes in this masterful creation by Justin Hardy, which was originally written by Mark Hayhurst, specifically for BBC drama.
Angel is one of those rare English movies to be ever directed by French director Francois Ozon, and it is an artistic tribute and ode to the strength of desire above everything else. Angel Deverell, played by Romola Garai, is a teenage girl with big dreams and not a lot of writing talent! Critics have a mixed opinion about Angel, but no one argues the fact that it’s worth a watch before forming your own opinions about it.
The film follows the self-absorbed Angel through her journey as she goes from being a simple shopkeeper’s daughter to a successful romance novel author. She buys the house of her dream and chases after the man of her dreams, all of which was made possible because of Angel’s desire to have her own little fairy tale, even when she did not have much talent to bank on. Supported well by Michael Fassbender and Sam Neil in their respective roles as Angel’s mentor/editor and her love interest, the film from 2007 is a beautiful Edwardian British drama, full of colors, vibrance, and the very costumes the Costumed Era was famous for.
A Night to Remember
39 years before Titanic was released in 1997, A Night to Remember (1958) did an excellent job of portraying the tragic incident that took place in 1912, two years after the death of King Edward VII. Based on the novel by Walter Lord, Roy Ward Baker’s A Night to Remember is considered by most film critics to be a better rendition of the time period and the tragedy than what we saw in Titanic.
If you were to watch just one black & White tragedy from the old British eras, let it be this one. The brilliance of Kenneth More, David McCallum, Michael Goodliffe and others in the cast will not leave you disappointed but speechless in melancholy.
Another Life (2001) is not a drama for children, and that’s where it differentiates itself from the many Edwardian dramas that are more fanciful than Another Life. Although Philip Goodhew’s Edwardian drama is just as full of life and the colors of pre-World War London as anything comparable out there, it is based on the true and dark story of Edith Thompson.
She was accused and hanged for murdering her husband, which later turned out to be a false accusation. Although the story begins in 1913, it continues well past the Edwardian era, and even after the First World War. Another life is recommended particularly on account of Natasha Little’s excellent portrayal of Edith, as well as for the way it manages to capture subtle differences between the multiple eras the film spans through, while following the story in all its expected complications.
Admittedly, films and shows placed in the Victorian era which preceded it are a lot more diverse and popular because of the long, 64-year old regime they have to draw their inspirations from, but Edwardian Era dramas have their own charms as well. In fact, those charms are considered by some to be more precious due to the briefness of Edward’s reign and the four years that followed.
When you are in the mood for some classic pre-first world English dramas from the Costumed Era, the films and shows we have here will not disappoint you.