I love History and that includes Historical fiction. Even though they take some, or a lot of, poetic license to create a show. If I want that I can read a book or watch a documentary. Which I do. But there are loads of great box sets and shows on the telly to satisfy your Historical TV Drama needs.
These are just a few I recommend. Otherwise, this would have been a really long post. The plots are all based on real events and real people throughout history. So, although I love shows like Game Of Thrones, that’ll be for another list. Unless there’s a dragon queen I didn’t learn about in School.
However, if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and haven’t ventured into Historical Dramas before you’re sure to find something here that you’ll like.
On BBC Two, this series set in 1667 focuses on Louis XIV’s endeavours to build what we know as The Palace of Versailles. Somewhere I’ve read about but sadly not been to…yet.
The production is opulent and incredibly well made. With fantastic casting and the compelling story, it pulls you in straight away. Whether you’re a history geek (like me) or not, you’ll appreciate this thrilling programme.
I’m two episodes in and I can’t wait for the third.
Vikings (2013 – Present)
The History Channels ‘Vikings’, is incredibly entertaining. Now currently on series 4, there’s always something exciting in every episode. They use the languages, Viking theology and historical facts to create a truly compelling show.
It has a great balance of violence, emotion and humour. With well-written and complex characters. Making it addictive viewing.
You may recognise the actor Travis Fimmel (Ragnar) from this year’s ‘Warcraft’ film, and the English Priest’s George Blagden as King Louis from Versailles.
Wolf Hall (2015)
Henry VIII’s court is fraught with danger for Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance ‘Bridge of Spies’) who becomes a close advisor to the King (Damien Lewis ‘Billions’). Taking place during the period when Henry was moving onto his second Wife, Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy ‘Season of the Witch’), schemes and intrigue are rife.
The show is expertly produced and the lighting is gorgeous. Using only candlelight to light the nighttime scenes, they’ve created a beautiful and atmospheric aesthetic. There were complaints when it was on the telly about it being too dark. But you can’t please everyone.
I am hoping they bring out another series of the show. Although there have been plenty of TV series about the Tudors, I haven’t seen one like this before. Simply brilliant.
The White Queen (2013)
Set before the Tudors and based on Philippa Gregory’s ‘The White Queen’, ‘The Red Queen’, and ‘The Kingmaker’s Daughter’.
This War of The Roses saga has murder, conspiracy, treason, war, love and jealousy to name a few. Compelling and with a stunning cast you can’t help but want to watch the next episode.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and found a new show to start watching.
Are any of these already one of your favourites? What’s your favourite historical drama at the moment?