There’s no time like the past

Steven
Blog > What to watch
13 Dec • 5 min read

With a new year on the horizon, we thought there’d be no better time to jump into our TV time machine and explore some of the nation’s favourite period dramas. So, whether you’ve got a penchant for the Victorian period, or an intrigue in wartime Britain - there’s something for you. With all the uncertainty surrounding our current climate, it’s easy to find extra comfort in the escapism that period dramas can bring.

And let’s face it - there’s something fascinating about even the smallest details when watching a program from a different time. Whether it’s the transport, the costumes or the language, watching a bit of telly from yesteryear is truly enthralling. So here’s what we came up with!

Downton Abbey

You can’t talk about period dramas without mentioning Downton Abbey, it’s simply one of the best about. The success of The Crown and Bridgerton both here, and stateside simply doesn’t happen without the ITV phenomenon that broke down doors back in 2010. Over a decade on, each of the 6 seasons still stands up and fans love it just as much today as they did all those years ago.

And the best thing is, T3-R + T3 owners can relive every minute of Julian Fellowes’ genius creation on Britbox. For new fans, we suggest you get your Downton fix now, as the ITV drama makes its big screen debut in 2022. It’s set to take the world by storm once more, so make sure you’re clued up on what’s going on before it takes the world by storm...again!

Call the Midwife

We absolutely love this! Based on the unforgettable memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a midwife based in London’s East End during the late 1950s and ’60s, this show has captured the hearts of the nation and stars some incredible female leads such as Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine, both of whom have gone on to achieve great success. The term “National Treasure” doesn’t seem to do this amazing show the justice it deserves.

And just like Downton Abbey, you can catch all of the Call the Midwife action on Britbox. So whether you’re a brand new fan, or you just want to refresh your memory before the new series starts, be sure to dive into the drama of Nonnatus House. We promise you won’t regret it!


Poldark

Some say Poldark is the series that made Sunday night sexy again - and who are we to argue? An instant hit, and one that had viewers left gripped with racy scenes and edge of the seat drama. 2015 is remembered for a lot of things, but when it comes to British telly, this might just have topped the lot. The nation’s obsession with the eye-catching Ross Poldark and his long-haired Damelza was apparent from the off-set, and it was every bit the tumultuous love affair that fans clamour for.

The 18th century Cornwall-based classic is responsible for creating some of the most climatic endings in recent memory. Each of Ross’ attempts to turn around the fortunes of his late father’s estate leads to more drama each time for the protagonist. And we’re totally here for the ride.

Anne Boleyn

A relative newcomer, but that doesn’t mean we love it any less. There’s a misconception that the role of period dramas is to simply retell historical events beat for beat - that’s just not the case though. Anne Boleyn offers an alternative point of view on a fascinating period in history with a progressive spin on it. The end product? A futuristic slice of history that will leave you wanting more.

The three-part psychological drama was short but oh-so sweet. Jodie Turner-Smith’s depiction of Henry VIII’s second wife was full of life, colour and depth. The series explored the final months of the eponymous Queen’s life in 1536. It’s funny, yet touching. Modern, yet classic. The only issue we have is that there weren’t more episodes!

So that’s it, those are our favourite period dramas. Have we missed any out? ​​We’d love to hear your choices! Let us know via email, Twitter or Facebook.