Most hobbies today involve some sort of digital element.
Even an industry like casinos, which were once the domain of social clubs with plenty of austere decorations, are now played online. Sites like oddschecker aggregate bonuses and offers so that players can pick which provider they want to game with, like 32red. Few gamers head to a brick-and-mortar establishments anymore.
Even the obsession with period dramas relies on global streaming giants like Netflix if they want to be circulated. Despite the fact that viewers love to see the Victorian and Georgian eras fleshed out on the silver screen, the feat involves plenty of technology. And even then, the reach of streaming platforms—and even the obsession with period dramas—doesn’t prevent a few gems from slipping below the radar.
While projects like Bridgerton and Endeavour have captured the attention of millions, even more haven’t seen their time in the sun. When it comes to some of the most underrated period dramas, which projects have you missed out on? Dive in below with our top three underrated picks.
Bright Star (2009)
This biographical romance recounts the life and death of poet John Keats. The film’s script was crafted in part by Andrew Motion, who penned one of the best biographies on John Keats back in 1997. The film’s title comes from a seeming ode to his partner, Fanny Brawne.
Though Keats died at a young age, which prevented him from marrying Brawne and continuing his career as a poet, the film captures his spirit—and also goes to painstaking lengths to draw connections between his work and what was likely occurring in his life as he neared his death.
While period drama fans will find plenty to adore in this film, from its stirring soundtrack to its elite acting, the film is lauded as one of the top projects on Keats. Hailed by film critics and academics who have studied Keats, there’s an endless array of touching details in this project.
This period drama takes a very deep dive into World War II—this time, from the perspective of a resistance group. Anthropoid tells the story of Operation Anthropoid, which involved a high-profile assassination in Czechoslovakia. The story tells the true-life tale of two Czech rebels, taking into account every historical source in order to ensure accuracy.
The film benefits from rehashing a tale that hasn’t been told often, though viewers will have to deal with the fact that Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan are left with the job of portraying two Czech heroes. Those who can deal with the switch-up will be treated to a highly intelligent and subtle project.
In fact, that’s probably one of the film’s greatest feats: a boiling intensity that never quite boils over—because that would be the end of the operation. If you enjoy WWII dramas that dive deep into minuscule details, then Anthropoid should be your next watch.
Victoria and Abdul (2017)
This project flew under the radar for far too many period drama fans. First and foremost, the film includes a stellar cast, including Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard. Second, it’s based on the true-life story of Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, a servant who hailed from India. The film draws on the book by Shrabani Basu, which was released back in 2010.
The film, like the book, is based on real-life interactions between the pair. Though the royal family destroyed all of the queen’s interactions with Abdul at the turn of the 20th century, enough source material was scrounged up to craft an accurate retelling. However, what makes this project stand out is its humor.
Along with incredible costume design and makeup, the film was lauded for its subtle and hilarious dialogue. For those who understand the formalities of Victorian England, there’s an almost endless series of details, commentaries, and jokes to work through. In other words, this is a period drama fan’s period drama.