The ultimate gateway to a long-lost world of romance, intrigue, mystique, and history — period dramas are in fact, an escape from the current day-to-day life. And that’s why we love watching them. Obviously, there’s no dearth of these shows that dramatize everything from the 1500s to the 1960s. But there are some masterpieces that are available for immediate viewing on online streaming platforms. So if you are searching for some titles that you can stream right away on Netflix, then you are at the right place. Our guide is here to help, as always!
We can’t definitely begin this list without mentioning The Crown. Based on the British Queen Elizabeth II, this series is a real take on the life of the young monarch from her ascent to the throne in the 1940s to the modern era. Set amidst lavish settings, Netflix has premiered two of its seasons till date. The third season will premiere somewhere in 2019.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Packed with some of our favorite elements — fashion, jazz, sex, feminism, and murder — Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is the perfect period drama. It follows the gorgeous and sophisticated Phryne Fisher in 1920s Melbourne as she solves gruesome crimes in her free hours. All three seasons of this series are now streaming on Netflix.
Sense and Sensibility
An adaptation of Jane Austen’s first published novel with the same name, Sense and Sensibility stars Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in leading roles. The movie also features Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and Greg Wise. The plot follows the previously wealthy Dashwood sisters who suddenly fall prey to poverty and must seek financial security through marriage.
This historical fiction series first released on the TV channel Showtime and is loosely based on the notorious 16th-century English king — Henry VIII. You are given a glimpse into the life of the young seductive monarch, his six marriages, and the English Reformation during his reign — along with scenes of dangerous political alliances and of course, a lot of lust. The show’s first episode premiered on April 1, 2007, and the finale of the 4th, last season was broadcast on June 20, 2010.
Outlander is another book-based period drama which stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall — a married World War II nurse. The story revolves around the year 1945 where she suddenly finds herself being transported back to Scotland in 1743. This is where she gets involved with the Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite Risings.
This Canadian 6-episode miniseries is based on Margaret Atwood’s novel – Alias Grace – written in 1996. Sarah Gadon plays the role of Grace Marks who has been imprisoned for 15 years under the accusation of murder. The plot follows the celebrated murderess as she undergoes a psychiatric evaluation to examine her crimes. Amidst flashbacks and the hypnotic performance of Gadon, this show is worth to be included in the catalog of Atwood’s adaptations.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This historical-romantic-drama film stars Lily James and is set in 1946 on the island of Guernsey — that was under the Germans during World War II. The story takes us through the life of a London-based writer who begins exchanging letters with a resident.
Cosimo de’ Medici in Medici: Masters of Florence
Watch the dashing Richard Madden in the titular role of Cosimo de’ Medici in Medici: Masters of Florence. The 2-season British-Italian period drama is set in Florence during the 15th century. When Cosimo inherits the Bank of Medici after his father Giovanni’s mysterious death, we get a glimpse of medieval Italy and Giovanni’s relationship with both his sons.
An American period drama television series, The Alienist is an adaptation of the novel with the same name written by Caleb Carr. The ten-episode, 1-season show stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning — who play the roles of members in a team — assembled to track down a serial killer, accused of murdering street kids. The story is set in mid-1890s New York City.
This British biographical drama film was written by Michael Hirst and directed by Shekhar Kapur. It features Cate Blanchett in the title role of the English Queen Elizabeth I and chronicles the early years of her reign — after she ascended the throne following the death of her half-sister Mary I. As her early years continue, she faces plots and threats to take her down.
Well, this finishes our list. Do leave your comments in the section below telling us about your favorite period dramas on Netflix.