6 of the best British period dramas set in the 1990s

We conclude our look back at the best British period dramas set in each decade of the 20th Century.

Here we have some recommendations of movies and TV series set in the 1990s!


Derry Girls (1994-1998)

Set in Derry, Northern Ireland in the mid-nineties, this charming and surprisingly sweet comedy series launched in 2018 on Channel 4.

Derry Girls follows a group of four best friends, along with hapless English cousin James, as they navigate their teenage years in a Catholic girls’ secondary school during the end of the Troubles in Derry.


White Teeth (1975-2000)

Based on Zadie Smith’s novel, Channel 4’s four-part adaptation from 2002 starred Naomie Harris (Skyfall), Phil Davis (Poldark), Geraldine James (Downton Abbey Movie), Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet), Om Puri (The Jewel in the Crown), and James McAvoy (Atonement).

White Teeth is set in a multicultural area of north-west London, telling the interlinked stories of three families over three generations.

Beyond the late 20th Century, the series also includes scenes set in the Second World War and the 1857 Indian Mutiny.

White Teeth is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.


Quiz (1998-2001)

ITV’s three-part 2020 mini-series dramatises the extraordinary and sensational story of how former army major Charles Ingram and his wife Diana attempted an ‘audacious heist’ on the TV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001, winning the £1,000,000 jackpot.

Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), Quiz stars Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street), Michael Sheen (Staged), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), and Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders).


The Crown – Seasons 4-5 (1990-1997)

The fourth season of Netflix’s award-winning period drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom entered the nineties in its later episodes, while the fifth season fully explores the decade.

The show covers Margaret Thatcher’s final days as Prime Minister, the John Major era, and the breakdown of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage.

The Crown is available on DVD on Amazon.


This is England ’90 (1990)

Following on from the 2006 movie This is England and its spin-off TV series This is England ’86 and This is England ’88, this fourth chapter in Shane Meadows’ saga aired in Channel 4 in 2015.

The BAFTA-winning four 1999-set episodes catches up with the characters against the backdrop of the Manchester rave scene and the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

This is England ’90 is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.


The Queen (1997)

From the creator of The Crown, this 2006 movie depicts the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana in August 1997.

Helen Mirren won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II, appearing alongside Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Queen is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.