There’s an increasing number of period dramas being created, but we think the best ones are based on historical fiction, so here’s our top 3 you should watch!
While we love a good period drama of any kind, we often find that the best ones are the ones that have been adapted from historical fiction. There’s something about a drama being based on a work that was created during the time it was set that adds veracity to the plot threads and makes the whole experience more immersive.
While there’s nothing wrong with a drama created in this century, we feel that the layer of authenticity the novel-based dramas provide makes them that bit more enjoyable. To help you find the best ones in this category, here are our top three British period dramas based on historical fiction.
#1 Pride and Prejudice
It should be no surprise that the show based on Jane Austen’s classic novel would be number one on our list. Originally released in 1995, this show may be older than some of our readers, but it is still just as good today as it was when it first aired. The cast is one of the strongest parts of this series, with the subtleties of 19th-century social etiquette being expertly performed —starring the hunky Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and the beautiful Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet.
As well as the two stars in the lead roles, the supporting cast is just as strong, with Alison Steadman, Julia Sawalha, and Susannah Harker all bringing their A-games to this series. Unfortunately for fans, the drama follows the British tradition of a short but sweet run-time, only lasting one series. However, we believe the show is made all the better by its brevity, as the story’s momentum is well preserved in its six episodes. If you haven’t already watched it, this should be top of your list!
#2 Robin of Sherwood
We’re going even further back in time for this one, as Robin of Sherwood was initially aired back in 1984! The show follows the titular Robin, who is chosen by Herne the Hunter to become his heir and champion the oppressed. Robin then gathers a band of friends and comrades to engage in a guerilla campaign against the Norman dictators. It stars Peter Llewellyn Williams and Ray Winstone and is one of the most well-loved iterations of the classic tale.
Robin of Sherwood, or Robin Hood, is a story that has been told many times in British folklore and has become a cultural icon all over the world, from the UK to the US and even as far as India. So much so that it has inspired lots of other media, such as films, tv shows such as this one, and even online slots! That’s right; you can play Robin Hood-themed slots, such as the Robin of Sherwood slot, which has fantastic animations that keep you wanting to play for hours. If you’re interested in this, there are comparison sites that can help you find the best site for your needs. You can also play your favourite classic casino games and claim different bonuses, giving you more chances to win. So, whether you want to pretend you’re Robin Hood, taking from the rich casino to give to the poor, or if you simply want to sit back and enjoy a card game, there’s a site that’s right for you.
The last drama on our list is Cranford, first published by Elizabeth Gaskell in 1851 and first aired by the BBC in 2007. It follows the story of a female-run English village called Cranford in the 1930s and their struggles to maintain their standards of life whilst amid poverty and living in the shadow of the impending Instudrial Revolution. As seems to be de rigueur for these British period dramas, the cast is outstanding. It stars Dame Judy Dench, Imelda Staunton, Julia McKenzie, Barabara Flynn, and Jim Carter — who fans may recognise from Downtown Abbey.
The show ran for 5, 60-minute episodes in 2007 before returning in 2009 for a two-part Christmas special. Cranford is perfect for those who want to harken back to a simpler time with more straightforward stories. There is minimal action or conflict in the story; instead, the show is more comparable to a window into life back in the early 19th century, displaying all the struggles and hardships of the time. While it may be a little slow for some people, true fans of period dramas will enjoy the dedication to historical accuracy.