You might have not discovered yet, but watching British period dramas can very quickly grow and you.
After just a couple of episodes of amazing productions, you could go from “I’m not watching that” to googling when will the new season rolls out. For those of you that are still skeptical, we prepared a comprehensive list of top British period dramas you should at least give a chance to. And since trying out something new can be scary at times, we prepared short reviews for each recommendation.
So, get your popcorn ready and prepare to venture into the recent past or all the way back to 43 AD, because this genre can covers an awfully-big timeline.
Based on the novel by E.M Forster, Howards End is the new drama from Starz that excels in details and storyline. This rewarding-to-watch series showcases some of the best period costumes you will ever see in a TV show and it follows the story of how wealth and class changed at the turn of the century in Britain.
Howard’s End focuses on three families, each carefully picked to depict various evolutions of the time. We have the well-intentioned and idealistic Schlegels on one hand. There are the rich Wilcoxes and, of course, the working-class Basts. In this TV show you will be able to enjoy Hayley Atwell doing an amazing role as Margaret Schelegels.
Not exactly your standard British period drama, Jamestown ventures a bit over the standard of the genre by featuring British characters taking on the new world. However, this crossover is exceptionally handled by the creators of Downton Abbey and you will be able to enjoy the same high-level of fun and attention to details.
The eight-part series follows the story of three women – Alice, Verity, and Jocelyn – who find themselves among the first ones to go to Jamestown, the British colony in Virginia back in 1619. The trip is not exactly all about fun, since they are expected to marry men that financed their travel.
As you may already expect from reading the title of this British period drama, The Crown is all about the royal family and its fascinating story across different times. However, unlike the paparazzi today, the series doesn’t focus on Meghan or Harry.
Elizabeth and Phillip are the main protagonists of this Netflix show and each episode contains the proper amount of luxury, drama and infighting you could wish for from a TV shows telling the story of the British royal family. The 2-season show is available on Netflix and if the storyline alone doesn’t convince you to give it a go, perhaps the Emmy it won will.
Of course, it’s all about the royal family. They are the ones mainly responsible for the success of Imperial Britain back in the day and the source of inspiration for many of these series. If you want to take a look at the royals but from the 19th century, we warmly recommend you watching Victoria on PBS.
With Jenna Coleman, the actress that also starred in Doctor Who, Victoria tells you the story of a beautiful age – sometimes with accents of ugly – in the British history. Of course, the costumes are to die for and if you’re all about reenactment and historical accuracy, this one shouldn’t miss from your playlist.
Just because the royals are the main focus of these shows, it doesn’t mean that the period was all about smooth sailing within the country. As Peaky Blinders perfectly depicts, there was a lot of trouble going on post World War I in England.
The case of the Shelby crime family, lead by Thomas that’s perfectly played by Cillian Murphy, is one of the most relevant in that direction. The series, that just reached its fifth season, follows the story of the Shelby family as they gain influence and power in Britain, soon after WW I has ended.