55 brand new British period drama TV series you need to watch in 2022

2022 looks set to be another wonderful year for fans of British period dramas on television.

Here, in alphabetical order, are all the brand new British historical and period drama series and mini-series you need to watch this year!

Check out our epic previews of this year’s British period drama movies and returning British period drama TV series too.

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Anne

What’s it about?

ITV’s four-part drama tells the inspirational true story of justice campaigner Anne Williams as she attempts to uncover the truth about what her son’s death in 1989’s Hillsborough football tragedy.

The Village star Maxine Peake leads the cast as Anne Williams.

What did the reviews say?

“…for all its polish, and Peake’s commanding lead, Anne sometimes verges on being too much to bear … Anne is well written, tense, beautifully acted, unrelentingly sad and angry. It does everything a drama ever could.” ★★★★ – The Independent

“Maxine Peake exudes raw horror in extraordinary Hillsborough drama.” ★★★★★ – The Guardian

 

Around the World in 80 Days

What’s it about?

Doctor Who star David Tennant leads the cast of this new series based on French writer Jules Verne’s classic 1873 book.

Around the World in 80 Days follows the adventures of Phileas Fogg from London (Tennant) and his valet Passepartout (French actor Ibrahim Koma) as they attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager.

What did the reviews say?’

“There is something about this time of year that demands a good, solid adaptation of a literary classic. Right on cue, here is Around the World in 80 Days for the entire family to enjoy.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

…the series is a charming festive adventure ideal for family viewing. It’s chock-full of wonder, fun, and remarkable backdrops, so promises to be the perfect antidote to any dreary January lockdowns.” ★★★★ – Evening Standard

Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days novel is available on Amazon.

 

Audrey

 

The Ballad Of Renegade Nell

 

The Battersea Poltergeist

 

Becoming Elizabeth

What’s it about?

Starz’s eight-part Tudor drama series depicts the struggles of Queen Elizabeth I (German actress Alicia von Rittberg) to control her own destiny and take real power as the men around her attempt to claim her sovereignty.

Becoming Elizabeth creator Anya Reiss commented: “Drama seems to skip straight from Henry VIII’s turnstile of wives to an adult white faced Gloriana – missing out boy kings, religious fanatics, secret affairs and a young orphaned teenager trying to save herself from the vicious scramble to the top.”

When will it air?

Becoming Elizabeth will premiere on Starz in the US and on StarzPlay in the UK in early 2022.

 

Brideshead Revisited

 

The Chronicles of Narnia

What’s is about?

Netflix announced plans in 2018 to adapt all seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

The streaming service is developing new TV series and film projects based on the classic tales by British author C.S. Lewis.

When will it air?

Details are still unconfirmed, but the first of these Narnia projects is expected to premiere exclusively on Netflix later in 2021.

The BBC’s classic Narnia adaptations are available on DVD on Amazon.

 

A Column of Fire

What’s is about?

Following The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, A Column of Fire is the third book in Ken Follett’s successful Kingsbridge series.

A Column of Fire follows the 1558 romance between Ned Willard and Margery Fitzgerald, continuing on through half a century of political intrigue and turmoil.

When will it air?

A Column of Fire is expected to premiere on Epix in the US in 2021.

Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire novel is available on Amazon.

 

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

 

The Curse

 

Dick Turpin

What’s it about?

Noel Fielding (The Great British Bake Off, The IT Crowd) stars as legendary British highwayman Dick Turpin in this new AppleTV+ comedy-adventure series.

In this irreverent retelling, Dick is the most famous, but least likely of highway robbers, whose success is defined mostly by his charm, showmanship and great hair.

When will it air?

The currently-untitled Dick Turpin series will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ later this year.

 

Dodger

What’s it about?

CBBC’s comedy-drama Dodger follows the exploits of the infamous pickpocket, The Artful Dodger, and Fagin’s gang as they find ingenious ways to survive the grim and exploitative conditions of early Victorian London in the 1830s.

The ten-part family adventure series stars Billy Jenkins (The Crown) as Dodger, and Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) as Fagin.

When will it air?

Dodger will premiere in the UK on CBBC and BBC iPlayer soon.

 

1899

 

The Elephant Man

What’s it about?

Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton stars in BBC One’s new two-part drama from the makers of The Missing and the producer of Poldark.

The Elephant Man tells the story of Joseph Merrick, who was born in England in 1862 and appeared in a freak show as the “Elephant Man” due to his severe face and body deformities. He was later well known in London society after becoming friends with a prominent surgeon.

When will it air?

The Elephant Man will air on BBC One in the UK in 2022.

 

The English

 

The English Patient

 

Englistan

 

What’s it about?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Riz Ahmed created this nine-part multi-generational 20th century family drama for BBC Two.

Englistan will follow the story of three generations of a British Pakistani family, the Latifs, as they pursue their dreams over four tumultuous decades.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, hinted: “Set against the familiar backdrop of the late 20th but from a point of view which feels entirely new, Englistan is the story of the birth of multicultural Britain as seen from the inside.”

When will it air?

Englistan will air on BBC Two in the UK in 2022.

 

The Essex Serpent

What’s it about?

Adapated from Sarah Perry’s 2016 novel by the writer of Mrs Wilson, this Apple TV+ mini-series stars Claire Danes (Homeland) and Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager).

The Essex Serpent follows newly widowed Cora (Danes) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

When will it air?

The Essex Serpent will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ in May.

Sarah Perry’s novel The Essex Serpent is available on Amazon.

 

The Final Round

What’s it about?

Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones is adapting The Final Round, the memoir of five-time female world boxing champion Jane Couch.

Couch carved out her trailblazing career in the 1990s, when it was still illegal for women to box in the UK. Her memoir charts her upbringing in a fishing village through to her ascent in the boxing world. At the center of the story is Couch’s legal battle with the U.K. Boxing Board of Control to recognize female boxers.

When will it air?

The series is expected to premiere in 2022.

Jane Couch’s memoir is available on Amazon.

 

Funny Girl

What’s it about?

Based on About a Boy author Nick Hornby’s 2016 novel of the same name, this comedy drama series stars Gemma Arterton (Their Finest) as a young woman from Blackpool finding her comic voice in the male dominated world of the 1960s sitcom.

The cast of Funny Girl also includes Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding), David Threlfall (Shameless), and Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express).

When will it air?

Funny Girl will premiere in the UK exclusively on Sky and streaming service Now TV in 2022.

Nick Hornby’s novel Funny Girl is available on Amazon.

 

The Gallows Pole

 

The Gilded Age

What’s it about?

Created by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, this long-delayed series is set in New York in 1882 and focuses on the emerging rich and the working class.

The Gilded Age follows Marian Brook, the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who embarks on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell.

While this is an American series, it has been rumoured that younger versions of popular Downton Abbey characters could appear.

When will it air?

The Gilded Age will premiere in the US on HBO and in the UK on Sky Atlantic in January.

 

The Gold

 

Great Expectations

What’s is about?

From Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, with producers Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and Tom Hardy (Taboo), this new six-part drama brings to life Charles Dickens’ thirteenth novel for the BBC and FX.

The cast of Great Expectations includes Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk).

When will it air?

Great Expectations will premiere on BBC One in the UK and on FX in the US in 2022.

 

Hotel Portofino

What’s it about?

Set during the ‘Roaring 20s’, BritBox’s new six-part period drama follows a British family who open a hotel for upper class travellers on the magical Italian Riviera.

Leading the cast are Natascha McElhone (Ladies in Lavender), Anna Chancellor (Downton Abbey), Adam James (Vigil), and Mark Umbers (Home Fires).

What did the reviews say?

“1920s period drama tries, and fails, to copy Downton and The Durrells … but the show’s setting is undeniably beautiful.” ★★ – The Telegraph

“A romantic costume drama that’s as blissful as a good gin cocktail.” ★★★★ – Daily Mail

 

House of the Dragon

 

The Ipcress File

What’s is about?

ITV’s new six-part adaption of Len Deighton’s classic espionage novel stars Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) as Harry Palmer, alongside Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), and Tom Hollander (The Night Manager).

Set against the backdrop of Cold War Europe in Berlin and London during the 1960, The Ipcress File is a stylish and tense tale of abducted scientists, brainwashing, inter- departmental rivalry, treason, and a possibly unwise romance.

When will it air?

The Ipcress File will premiere on ITV in the UK in early 2022.

Len Deighton’s original novel is available on Amazon.

 

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe

What’s it about?

Based on Keith Badman’s 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe, this series from The Good Karma Hospital writer Dan Sefton dramatises the last six months of Marilyn Monroe’s life.

Exploring the area “where the harsh glamour of 1960s Hollywood and the hard-edged politics of Washington intersect,” The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe explores Monroe’s relationship with Hollywood studio bosses and US President John F Kennedy.

When will it air?

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe is expected to air on BBC One in the UK in 2022.

 

Life After Life

What’s is about?

Based on Kate Atkinson’s acclaimed novel, this four-part mini-series stars Sian Clifford (Fleabag), James McArdle (Man In An Orange Shirt), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), and Jessica Hynes (Up the Women).

Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) plays Ursula Todd, who is born one night in 1910, but dies before she draws her first breath. On that same night in 1910, Ursula is reborn and survives. Time and time again, living and dying in different circumstances, Ursula is reborn into a new, alternative iteration of life once more.

When will it air?

Life After Life premieres at 9pm on Tuesday 19th April on BBC One, with subsequent episodes airing weekly.

Kate Atkinson’s novel Life After Life is available on Amazon.

 

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

What’s it about?

Exploring previously unseen parts of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world and set thousands of years before the Lord of the Rings movies, Amazon’s new TV series brings to life the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history.

The Rings of Power features His Dark Materials star Morfydd Clark as Galadriel, Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir, Sophia Nomvete as Disa, and Robert Aramayo as Elrond, alongside Joseph Mawle (Ripper Street), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), and Lenny Henry (The Long Song).

When will it air?

The series premieres on 2nd September on Amazon Prime Video.

The Lord of the Rings movies collection is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

Magpie Murders

What’s it about?

From the creator of Foyle’s War and based on his acclaimed 2016 novel Magpie Murders, BritBox’s new crime series is a murder mystery within a murder mystery, spanning two time periods (1950s and contemporary Britain) with cast portraying multiple characters in different literary dimensions.

World on Fire star Lesley Manville leads the cast, alongside Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood), Tim McMullan (Foyle’s War), Daniel Mays (Ashes to Ashes), Pippa Haywood (Bridgerton), and Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones).

What did the reviews say?

“Lesley Manville is a superb twist on Miss Marple.” ★★★★ – The Times

“Finding a fresh twist on the traditional detective mystery is virtually impossible, but Anthony Horowitz made a bold stab at it with Magpie Murders.” ★★★★★ – The Arts Desk

Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders novel is available on Amazon.

 

Maigret

 

Marie Antoinette

 

Miss Austen

What’s is about?

Set in 19th-century Britain, Miss Austen is inspired by Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra’s infamous burning of Jane’s letters.

This series from the makers of Gavin & Stacey is based on Gill Hornby’s acclaimed novel, which was hailed as one of the books of 2020 by the Financial Times and The Times.

When will it air?

Miss Austen is expected to air in 2022.

Miss Austen: A Novel is available on Amazon.

 

Nautilus

 

Nolly

What’s it about?

Russell T Davies, the acclaimed writer of It’s a Sin and A Very English Scandal, returns with this ’80s-set ITV mini-series about Crossroads legend Noele Gordon.

Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown) stars as the titular ‘Nolly’ in this three-part “sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon.”

When will it air?

Nolly will premiere on ITV in the UK later in 2022.

 

Our Flag Means Death – Season 1

What’s it about?

From the team behind Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows, HBO’s new historical comedy series stars Rhys Darby as legendary kind-hearted pirate Stede Bonnet.

After trading in his comfortable life for one of a buccaneer, Stede becomes captain of a pirate ship, but struggles to earn the respect of his potentially mutinous crew. Stede’s fortunes change after a fateful run-in with the infamous Captain Blackbeard, played by Taika Waititi.

The cast also includes Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Nathan Foad (Bloods), Samson Kayo (Timewasters), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Con O’Neill (Chernobyl), Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting), and Joel Fry (Cruella).

When will it air?

Our Flag Means Death premieres on HBO Max on 3rd March.

 

Pistol

What’s it about?

Based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, Danny Boyle’s six-part biopic of English punk rock band the Sex Pistols explores “the moment that British society and culture changed forever” in the 1970s.

Pistol stars Toby Wallace (Babyteeth) as Steve Jones, Anson Boon as Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, and Christian Lees as Glen Matlock.

The cast also includes Thomas Brodie-Sangster (The Queen’s Gambit) as manager Malcolm McLaren, Talulah Riley (Westworld) as designer Vivienne Westwood, and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as punk icon Jordan.

When will it air?

FX will debut Pistol on Hulu on 31st May.

Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol by Steve Jones is available on Amazon.

 

The Reckoning

 

Roads to Freedom

 

SAS: Rogue Heroes – Season 1

What’s it about?

Created by Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight, this action-packed six-part BBC series tells how the world’s most renowned and ruthless Special Forces unit, the SAS, came to exist.

SAS: Rogue Heroes is set during darkest days of World War Two and is based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book Rogue Heroes.

The cast includes Connor Swindells (Sex Education), Jack O’Connell (Skins), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Sofia Boutella (Atomic Blonde), and Dominic West (The Hour).

When will it air?

SAS: Rogue Heroes will air in 2022 on BBC One in the UK.

Ben Macintyre’s book Rogue Heroes is available on Amazon.

 

Sister Boniface Mysteries

What’s it about?

Based on the character of Sister Boniface from Father Brown, this spin-off series stars Lorna Watson (Watson & Oliver), reprising her role as the sleuthing nun in ten new light-hearted murder mysteries.

Created by Father Brown writer Jude Tindall and set in 1960s England, The Sister Boniface Mysteries sees Sister Boniface using advanced techniques for tracking down killers.

When will it air?

The Sister Boniface Mysteries will be available to watch exclusively on BritBox in the US in February.

Father Brown is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

The Serpent Queen

 

A Spy Among Friends

What’s is about?

Based on Ben Macintyre’s book, Cold War espionage thriller A Spy Among Friends stars British actors Damian Lewis (The Forsyte Saga) and Guy Pearce (Memento).

The six-part mini-series from the executive producer of Homeland tells “one of the greatest spy stories ever.”

When will it air?

The series is expected to premiere in autumn 2022 on BritBox.

Ben Macintyre’s book A Spy Among Friends is available on Amazon.

 

Stonehouse

What’s is about?

Married Spooks star Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes are reuniting in a new three-part drama for ITV and BritBox from the writer of  A Very English Scandal.

Stonehouse tells the story of how disgraced Labour minister John Stonehouse disappeared from the beach of a luxury hotel in Florida in November 1974, leaving behind only a neatly folded stack of clothes as he swam off into the sea, intending to fake his own death.

When will it air?

Stonehouse will premiere in the UK on ITV later this year, then on BritBox in the US and internationally.

 

Three Little Birds

What’s it about?

Written by Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch, The Long Song), this life affirming six-part drama is inspired by his mother’s stories about leaving Jamaica in the 1950’s for Great Britain, which became her lifelong home and where she raised her family.

Three Little Birds narrates the adventures of gregarious sisters Leah and Chantrelle, who hail from St Anne’s district in Jamaica, and their virtuous, bible-loving acquaintance, Hosanna as they board a cruise ship heading for a new life in Great Britain.

When will it air?

Three Little Birds will premiere on ITV in the UK in 2022.

 

A Town Called Malice

 

Tom Jones

 

Vikings: Valhalla

What’s is about?

Netflix’s Vikings follow-up series stars Leo Suter (Sanditon), Sam Corlett (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Frida Gustavsson (Swoon), and Bradley Freegard (Keeping Faith).

Set over a thousand years ago in the early 11th century, Vikings: Valhalla chronicles the heroic adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived — the legendary explorer Leif Eriksson, his fiery and headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter, and the ambitious Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson.

When will it air?

Vikings: Valhalla will premiere exclusively on Netflix in February.

Vikings is available on DVD on Amazon.

 

The War Rooms

 

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?

 

The Winter King

What’s is about?

This new TV series from the makers of His Dark Materials adapts the first of Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles novels, set in Britain during the time of King Arthur.

The Winter King sees Derfel Cadarn, a former warrior sworn to Arthur and now an elderly monk, tell the story of how Arthur became warlord of Dark Age Britain despite illegitimacy to the throne.

When will it air?

The Winter King will premiere on Epix in the US in 2022.

Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles novels are available on Amazon.

 

The Witchfinder

What’s it about?

Created by Alan Partridge writers Neil and Rob Gibbons, The Witchfinder stars Daisy May Cooper (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Tim Key (Alan Partridge).

BBC Two’s new six-part comedy series follows a witchfinder and his suspect on a road-free road trip through an England gripped by civil war, famine and plague in the 1647.

When will it air?

The Witchfinder begins on BBC Two in the UK in March.

 

The Yorkshire Ripper

What’s it about?

From the makers of Des and White House Farm, ITV’s six-part true crime drama depicts one of the most notorious and shocking serial killer cases in the world.

The Yorkshire Ripper follows the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe between October 1975 and January 1981, as police undertake the biggest manhunt in British criminal history.

When will it air?

The Yorkshire Ripper is expected to air on ITV in 2022.

 

Take a look back at our list of 2021’s best British period drama TV series here!