Are you interested in some of the best period dramas on Netflix? Then this article is for you. We need to escape the stress of contemporary life and technology occasionally.
Period dramas are widespread, depicting how people—often white royals—lived during crucial historical moments.
Or, more frequently, how they just survived without electricity, indoor plumbing, or Facebook (some innovations are vastly more important than others).
The good news for Netflix viewers is that the streaming service features excellent historical dramas and films from around the world, with fascinating tales stretching from ancient Greece to 1970s America, full of romance, intrigue, action, and stunning fashions.
They may not all be historically accurate, but they are all amusing. Here are the best period dramas on Netflix to watch when you want to escape from modern life:
1. Bridgerton (2020-)
Chris Van Dusen created the first season of the Shondaland television series Bridgerton. It follows the story of Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest child of the wealthy Bridgerton family, as she enters the competitive marriage market in Regency London.
Daphne’s chances appear unmatched as she searches for a partner who can ignite genuine love, hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps.
However, the high society gossip sheet authored by the enigmatic Lady Whistledown casts doubt on Daphne as her older brother starts to eliminate her potential suitors.
The Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), a committed bachelor and the season’s top catch for the mothers of debutantes, enters the picture.
Additionally, the connection between them is evident, and sparks fly despite their claims that they don’t desire anything the other has to give.
As they negotiate society’s expectations for their future while engaging in an intensifying intellectual struggle, they find themselves in a love triangle. The top cast includes, among others, Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote, and Olivia Cooke.
2. The Crown (2016-)
The crown is one of the best period dramas on Netflix. Netflix’s latest drama series, The Crown, tells the true story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign from 1952 until today.
This program portrays Queen Elizabeth II as a young newlywed who must run the most illustrious monarchy in history while developing a friendship with the late Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Although the British Empire is in decline and the political landscape is chaotic, a new era is just beginning.
In addition, the Queen’s intimate journey behind the public façade is revealed in Peter Morgan’s well-researched writings with bold honesty.
Get ready to peek behind the closed doors of Westminster and Buckingham Palace to discover the coveted world of privilege and power.
It stars Claire Foy as the Queen, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Jason Watkins, Jared Harris, Ben Daniels, and Tom.
3. Enola Holmes (2020-)
The year is 1884, and the world is about to change. Enola Holmes awakens on the morning of her 16th birthday to discover that her mother has vanished.
Her mother left an odd assortment of gifts but no obvious indication of where she had gone or why. After a carefree upbringing, Enola finds herself unexpectedly in the custody of her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft.
Furthermore, they both want to send her to a finishing school for “decent” young ladies. Enola flees to look for her mother in London after refusing to follow their instructions.
The top cast includes, among others, Sophie Okonedo, Gemma Arterton, and Jessica Brown Findlay.
4. The Duchess (2019-)
The Duchess is another great period drama on Netflix. This show was released in 2019 and is based on the novel by Philippa Gregory.
The story revolves around Catherine Parr, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. She becomes the sixth wife of his son Edward VI when he dies.
Catherine is forced to marry the King’s half-brother. However, this marriage ends up being disastrous because of the difference in age and status.
Catherine eventually escapes from England and returns home to her family. She then marries Thomas Seymour, a man much younger than her.
The movie was produced by Working Title Films and BBC Worldwide Productions. It stars Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Lesley Manville, Mark Gatiss, and Katherine Parkinson.
5. Victoria & Abdul (2017-)
Victoria & Abdul is also one of the best period dramas on Netflix. It premiered in 2017 and is based on a book by Deborah Moggach.
The story follows the lifecycle of Queen Victoria and her relationship with Abdul Karim, a Muslim servant. Abdul was appointed as the royal valet in 1895. He has served the Queen faithfully for more than 30 years.
However, he is not allowed to enter the palace grounds. He cannot even speak to anyone outside his religion.
Abdul is finally granted permission to visit the palace when the Queen passes away. Additionally, he meets the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Margaret Rose. They fall in love and get married.
This film was directed by Stephen Frears and co-written by Tony McNamara. It stars Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Gambon, and Billy Connolly.
6. Wolf Hall (2015-)
Wolf Hall is based on a book titled Wolf Hall: A Novel of Tudor England by Hilary Mantel. Additionally, the story takes place during the reign of Henry VII. It focuses on Thomas Cromwell, who later became Cardinal Wolsey.
Thomas Cromwell is born into a wealthy merchant family. Furthermore, he is educated at Cambridge University.
He joins the court of Richard III and rises through the ranks. Eventually, he became the chief minister of Henry VIII.
In 1529, Thomas Cromwell started working for Henry VIII. He helps him escape Rome and establish himself as head of the Church of England.
The Ink Factory and Masterpiece Entertainment produced the movie. It stars Damian Lewis, Paul Scofield, and Tom Hollander.
7. The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit is an American historical fiction television series that aired on CBS from January 7 to April 27, 2014.
It is based on a book called The Queen’s Gambit by Robert Harris. The story is set in 18th-century France. It revolves around the life of Louis XIV and his mistress Madame de Montespan.
Louis XIV was crowned the King. His rule over France is absolute. His power grows day after day. However, he starts having affairs with women other than his wife.
One of these mistresses is Madame de Montespan, the lover of the powerful Cardinal Mazarin. Louis XIV falls in love with her.
This leads to a significant conflict between them. It stars Natalie Dormer, Rupert Evans, and David Morrissey.
8. Pride and Prejudice (2005-)
Next on our list of best period dramas on Netflix is Pride and Prejudice. It was first published in 1813. The story is about Elizabeth Bennet, who lives in Hertfordshire with her father, Mr. Bennet, and mother, Mrs. Bennet.
She has five sisters named Lydia, Mary, Kitty, Georgiana, and Frances. Elizabeth is engaged to marry Mr. Darcy, a wealthy man living in Derbyshire.
Darcy comes to visit Elizabeth’s family. During this visit, they become good friends. Elizabeth eventually realizes that she loves Darcy. She breaks off their engagement.
Furthermore, Pride and Prejudice is a 2005 romantic comedy film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel of the same name.
It was produced by Working TitleFilms and released by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Joe Wright and starred Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Colin Firth, and Jennifer Ehle.
9. The English Game(2013-)
The English Game is a 2013 British drama film written and directed by Peter Kosminsky. It tells the story of two young men who are members of opposing sides in the English Civil War.
One is Oliver Cromwell, who becomes Lord Protector of England. The other one is Charles I, who rules England before Cromwell.
The movie is loosely based on the real-life relationship between Cromwell and Charles I. The top cast includes Dominic West, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, James Purefoy, and Olivia Colman.
10. Alias Grace
Alias Grace is a 2015 Canadian historical crime thriller film directed by Kim Nguyen and starring Sarah Gadon, Piper Perabo, and Liane Balaban.
It is based upon Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, which won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1986. Additionally, the film follows Grace Marks, convicted of murdering her employer and sentenced to hang.
Furthermore, Grace escapes from prison and goes into hiding. She meets Dr. John Forrester, who helps her escape from Canada.
Grace then travels across the United States, where she encounters many people. She also learns more about her past. The top cast includes Sarah Gadon, PiperPerabo, Liane Balaban, and Kiefer Sutherland.
11. The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
The Other Boleyn Girl is next on our list of best period dramas on Netflix is The Other Boleyn Girl. a 2008 historical fiction television miniseries based on Philippa Gregory’s 2003 novel about Anne Boleyn.
Anne Boleyn is the second wife of Henry VIII of England. She became Queen when Henry married her in 1533. However, she was executed in 1536. Her sister Mary Boleyn was later beheaded as well.
The series focuses on the life of Anne Boleyn. It stars Keeley Hawes, Lesley Manville, Mark Rylance, and Stephen Dillane.
12. Derry Girls (2017-)
Derry Girls is an Irish teen sitcom created by Lisa McGee. It premiered on RTÉ2 on January 7, 2017. Furthermore, the show revolves around three teenage girls who live together in Derry, Northern Ireland.
Additionally, they attend St Columb’s College, a nuns-run Catholic school. The characters include Michelle Bradley, played by Hannah Murray; Erin O’Connor, played by Emma Mackey; and Ciara Kelly, played by Lucy Boynton.
13. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a 2016 American zombie comedy horror film based on the 1995 novel Pride and Prejudice & Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
The five well-trained Bennett sisters in Georgian England must fight marriage proposals and unusual suitors while trying to find appropriate husbands for themselves and preserve the nation before it’s too late.
Furthermore, it was directed by Burr Steers and starred Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Bella Heathcote, Rob Lowe, Colin Farrell, Meghan Markle, and Adrien Brody.
14. Outlander (2015)
Outlander is a 2014 Starz original drama television series set during the Jacobite rising of 1745–46 in Scotland.
It is also inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling book, Outlander, which has been translated into over 30 languages. The first season consists of ten episodes.
It was directed by Ronan Bennett and starred Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin, Tobias Menzies, Jennifer Saunders, and Christopher Egan.
15. A Very English Scandal (2018)
Rounding off our list of best period dramas on Netflix is a very English Scandal. The movie is a 2018 British political satire-drama television series aired on Channel 4. In addition, it is based on the 2013 play of the same name written by Joe Penhall.
Furthermore, the series is set in London in 1982 and centers on Oliver Saxon, a Conservative MP accused of sexual harassment and blackmailing his former lover.
The top cast includes Hugh Grant, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, Ben Whishaw, Rupert Graves, and Peter Capaldi.