Top 5 British Period Drama Films and TV Series Set in Boarding Schools

Period dramas are films or TV series set in a specific period in history.

The primary distinguishing features of such works are well-designed historical sets, props, and costumes that immerse the audience in the era demonstrated on the screen.

Viewers of all ages love period dramas due to many reasons. They are incredibly emotional, tell fascinating stories, and teach us a variety of historical and personal lessons. That’s why everyone should watch them at least from time to time, especially while in school or college. And British period dramas are among the best ones to get familiar with the genre.

If you are ready to open the world of British period dramas, you’ve come to the right place. In the article below, we’ve gathered some of the best films and TV series of this genre that were set in boarding schools, which should make them particularly interesting for students. Now, be sure to find a trusted essay writing service to write paper for me to have more time for watching these masterpieces without affecting your grades or missing assignment deadlines. And let’s discover some of the genre’s best pieces to start your journey with!

1.   Goodbye, Mr. Chips

This movie, released in 1939, is an absolute classic of British period dramas. In the center of the plot is Mr. Chips (Robert Donat), the students’ favorite teacher at a fictional boys’ boarding school called Brookfield, England. Throughout the story, Mr.Chips recalls his experiences in school and life. The leading actor, Robert Donat, won an Oscar for his excellent and emotional performance in this movie. Apart from this great actor, the film’s cast involved such notable actors as John Mills, Greer Garson, and Paul Henreid. Even if you aren’t a big fan of old movies, this one is definitely a must-watch, thanks to the excellent performance of the actors, emotional story, and great production.

2.   The Browning Version

The next suggestion is another classic drama released in 1951. The movie is based on the same-named 1948 play written by Terence Rattigan. The plot of The Browning Version tells us a story of an aging Classics master, Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave), who teaches at a boys’ boarding school in England. Losing his health, the teacher is forced to retire, and the movie demonstrates his last days in school as he comes to a realization of his failure as a teacher and loses passion. We promise that you will gain plenty of valuable insights from this period drama.

3.   To Serve Them All My Days

Next up on our list is a British period drama TV miniseries released in 1980. The series was adapted from the same-named 1972 novel (by R. F. Delderfield) and broadcast by the BBC. The series includes a total of 13 episodes that tell us the story of David Powlett-Jones (John Duttine), who served as a Second Lieutenant during World War I. His service ends in 1918 when David gets shell-shocked and injured. After his retirement from the armed forces, David Powlett-Jones arrives at Bampfylde, a fictional boys’ boarding school in southwest England, to teach modern history. In his role as a teacher, David quickly earns the respect and affection of students and colleagues. This series is incredibly emotional and attention-grabbing, so it’s another must-watch if you are into period dramas.

4.   The History Boys

If you want to see something fresher than our previous suggestions, this film is for you. This British period drama is the adaptation of the same-named Alan Bennett’s play, which won the Best Play titles in the Olivier Award and Tony Award. An interesting fact about this film is that it features the original cast from the original play production performed at the Royal National Theatre in London. The film tells us a story of a group of A-level students who dream about being accepted to Oxford or Cambridge. To achieve their goal, they attend the Watford Grammar School for Boys to prepare for and ace their university exams. Throughout the plot, the viewers can observe the growth and development of students and go with them through various hurdles. Although it’s a drama, this film also has comedy features in it, so it’s quite fun to watch.

5.   The Crown

The last one on our list is a trending period drama TV series that aired from 2016 to 2022. The series was written by a famous British screenwriter and playwright, Peter Morgan, based on his previous works—The Queen (a 2006 drama film) and The Audience (a 2013 stage play). The series immerses us in the era of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and tells us the story of the queen’s life. Although this series isn’t completely set in a boarding school, it does feature scenes set at an exclusive boy’s boarding school Eton College. In any case, it’s a must-watch.

The Bottom Line

These are our top picks of the most fascinating British period drama films and TV series set in boarding schools. Whether you are in school or college, each of these masterpieces is a must-watch. We bet that these pieces will not leave you indifferent!