It’s the day you’ve been looking forward to all year – the upcoming period dramas / historical dramas / costume dramas of 2016 list is here! This year, I will include my own star ratings (out of 5) once I have seen a movie or TV series so that you can see what I thought of it. Secondly, I will no longer be embedding YouTube trailers as I’m sure it takes forever to load the page.
This list is in chronological (alphabetical where no date is specified) order by release date and will be updated as more period/costume dramas and release dates are known.
Click on the links for the complete lists of Period Dramas – Movies and Period Dramas – TV series. If you want to catch up on last year’s films, visit Period Dramas 2015.
Final update: 29 December 2016
- 1 Jan @ 8:30pm 2015 UK / 7 Feb Australia (BBC First) – BBC’s Dickensian (TV series) ★★★★.5
Episodes 5-20 continues in 2016. *Times vary. Usually around 8pm every Wednesday and Thursday. Cancelled.
- 1 Jan @ 9pm UK (BBC1)/US/Canada (PBS) – Sherlock S3 Special: The Abominable Bride (TV movie) ★★★★★
Our beloved stars will portray their Victorian characters in this New Year’s Special on BBC and PBS. (trailer)
- 1 Jan UK / 27 Nov 2015 US – The Danish Girl (movie)
True story about a Danish transgender, Lili Elbe, and her artist wife Gerda Wegener in the 1920’s. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili and Alicia Vikander plays Gerda. (trailer)
- 1 Jan Spain – Acacias 38 (TV series)
An ongoing TV series (S1) that started in April 2015 set in the 19th Century.
- 3 Jan @ 8pm UK – ITV’s Endeavour S3 (TV series) ★★★★★
Crime drama set in 1967 in Oxford. Renewed for S4!
- 3 Jan @ 7pm UK – ITV’s Beowulf (TV series) ★★★.5
13 episodes about Beowulf, set in the late 5th C AD. Stars Kieran Bew (Da Vinci’s Demons) as Beowulf. (trailer)
- 3 Jan @ 9pm UK (BBC One) / 18 Jan @ 9pm US & Canada* (A&E*, Lifetime, History) / 31 Jan @ 8:30pm Australia (BBC First) – BBC’s War and Peace (TV series) ★★★★★
6 x 60-min episodes for BBC One. 4 x 2 hour episodes for US. 8 x 45-min episodes for international broadcasters. Stars Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Natasha, James Norton (Death Comes to Pemberley) as Prince Andrei, Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge) as Sonya, Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen) as Boris, etc. (trailer)
- 3 Jan US/Canada (PBS) – Downton Abbey S6 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1925. This is the series finale.
- 4 Jan Spain – Seis Hermanas / Six Sisters (TV series)
An ongoing TV series (S1) that started in April 2015 about six sisters during the early 20th Century.
- 5 Jan UK @ 10pm (History) / 19 May 2015 US – Texas Rising (TV Series)
Set in 1836 in Texas.
- 5 Jan US / 19 Jan Canada (CTV) / 28 Jan UK (Fox TV) – Agent Carter S2 (TV series)
WWII. Set in the West Coast. Series not renewed..
- 7 Jan Spain – El secreto de Puente Viejo / The Old Bridge’s Secret (TV series)
- An ongoing TV series (S1) that started in February 2011 about a young lover whose lover betrays her. Set in the 19th Century.
- 7 Jan UK – ITV’s Jericho (TV series) ★★★★
Possibly Britain’s first [8-part] Western set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870’s. Stars Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), Hans Matheson (The Tudors), etc. Not renewed. (trailer)
- 8 Jan UK / 24 Dec 2015 US/Canada – The Hateful Eight (movie)
Set in Post-Civil War era. Stars Channing Tatum, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, etc.
- 8 Jan US / 15 Jan UK – The Revenant (movie)
A western thriller set in the 1820’s. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina), and Will Poulter (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
- 11 Jan @ 10:25pm Spain (returns) – Carlos, Rey Emperador (TV series)
Part 14 out of the 17-episode drama on the reign of Charles I of the Spanish Empire or Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. (trailer)
- 11 Jan Canada (returns) / 23 Jan USA (Ovation @ 7pm) / 25 Jan UK (Alibi) – CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries S9 (TV series) ★★★★★
For Canada: Second half of S9. The first half featured William Shatner as Mark Twain in S9E2 and welcomed Mouna Traoré (Book of Negroes) as Rebecca James, assistant to Julia. Renewed for S10.
- 11 Jan @ 9pm Canada (CBC) / 25 Oct 2015 UK – ITV’s Jekyll & Hyde (TV series)
Set in the 1930’s about Robert Jekyll, grandson of the Dr by the same name, and his quest to discover the nature of his family’s cursed history. (trailer)
- 17 Jan @ 9/10C US/Canada (PBS) – Mercy Street (TV mini-series)
About two volunteer nurses from opposing sides during the American Civil War. Renewed for S2.
- 22 Jan UK / 27 Aug 2015 China – The Assassin / Nie yin niang (movie)
Set in 9th Century China about a woman tasked with assassinating a political leader.
- 24 Jan US – Black Sails S3 (TV series)
- 25 Jan US/Mexico (Univision) / 11 April Mexico (Canal) – El Hotel de los secretos (TV series) Just added!
- 27 Jan Canada – CBC’s X Company S2 (TV series)
Set in Canada and Europe during WWII about an espionage camp. Renewed for S3!
- 27 Jan US (film festival) – Ali and Nino (movie)
Love story set between 1918-1920 in Baku, Azerbaijan about Muslim Azerbaijani boy and Christian Georgian girl.
- 28 Jan Denmark – Tordenskjold & Kold (movie)
A comedy set in the 1720’s about Vice Admiral Tordenskiold and his valet, Kold. (trailer)
- 29 Jan US/Canada / 19 Feb UK – The Finest Hours (movie)
Set in 1952 when the Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard. (trailer)
- 3 Feb France – Chocolat (movie)
Set in the late 19th Century about Chocolate, the first black circus artist/clown in France.
- 5 Feb Australia – The Doctor Blake Mysteries S4 (TV series)
Australian series about a sleuthing medic set in the late 1950’s in Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia. 8 episodes.
- 5 Feb UK/US – Dad’s Army (movie)
Remake of the 1968 sitcom set in WWII. Stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Nighy, and Toby Jones. (trailer)
- 5 Feb US / 12 Feb UK – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (movie)
Based on the novel of the same name, starring Lily James as Elizabeth Bennett. Also stars Douglas Booth, Aisling Loftus, Lena Headey, and Matt Smith.
- 5 Feb UK / 25 Nov 2015 US / 27 Nov 2015 Canada – Trumbo (movie)
Set in 1947. Based on a true story about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (who wrote Roman Holiday). Starring Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, etc. (trailer)
- 8 Feb China / 26 Feb US – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (movie)
To be shown on IMAX and Netflix concurrently. Sequel to CTHD.
- 10 Feb UK – The Doctor Blake Mysteries S3 (TV series)
Australian detective series set in the late 1950’s in Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia. 8 episodes.
- 16 Feb Germany/Austria – Die Hebamme 2 / The Midwife 2 (TV movie)
Set in the early 1800’s about how women and their babies used to die due to the lack of advanced medical facilities. (trailer)
- 18 Feb – Vikings S4 (TV series)
- 19 Feb Spain – La Corona Partida / A Broken Crown (movie)
Set in 1504, after the death of Isabel I of Castille. (trailer)
- 19 Feb UK / 2015 US – Bone Tomahawk (movie) Just added!
Western film about a group of four who rescue captives from cannibals. Starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, etc.
- 21 Feb US – Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart S3 (TV series)
Let’s hope this is the finale and Elizabeth and Jack are married and live happily ever after. Renewed for a 4th series.
- 2 March @ 9pm UK / 27 March US/Canada (PBS) – ITV’s Grantchester S2 (TV series)
1950’s crime drama set in Grantchester, starring James Norton (War & Peace) as Rev Sidney Chambers.
- 4 March UK / 5 Feb US/Canada – Hail, Caesar! (movie)
Set in 1950’s Hollywood. Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney, etc. (trailer)
- 6 March UK – ITV’s Doctor Thorne (TV series) ★★★★★
3-episode Victorian melodrama set in Greshamsbury. Stars Tom Hollander.
- 11 Mar UK / 22 Feb US – Witch (movie)
Set in New England in the 1630s.
- 11 March US/ 18 March 2016 UK / 16 Sept 2015 France – Marguerite (movie)
Set in Paris in the 1920’s about Marguerite Dumont who (does not know that she) is not a good singer and wants to perform in front of an audience.
- 13-14 March 2016 US (Lifetime Network) / 26-28 Dec 2015 UK – BBC’s Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (TV mini-series) ★★★★
3-part drama set in 1939.
- 18 March UK – High-Rise (movie)
Set in London, 1975.
- 20-23 March Germany – ZDF’s Ku’damm 56 (TV miniseries)
Set in Berlin in 1956 about a domineering mother who runs a dance school and her three daughters. The actor who plays Ludwig II (Sabin Tambrea) plays Joachim Franck. (trailer)
- 25 March Germany – ARD’s Das Geheimnis der Hebamme / The Midwife’s Secret (TV movie)
Based on the bestseller of the same name by Sabine Ebert. Set in the 12th Century about a young woman who has the ability to heal the sick. The actor who plays Ludwig II (Sabin Tambrea) plays Randolf. More details in German. (trailer)
- 25 March Germany – RTL’s Duell der Brüder: Die Geschichte von Adidas und Puma (TV movie)
Set in the 1920’s about two brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, who manufacture sports shoes. After WWII, the rivalry between the two brothers gave us Adidas and Puma (I prefer Adidas)! (trailer)
- 25 March US / 5 Feb UK – I Saw the Light (movie)
Set in the 1940’s about country singer Hank Williams, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.
- 27 March US/Canada (PBS) / 8 Jan @ 9pm UK – Mr Selfridge S4 (TV series) ★★★★
The 10-part series finale focusing on Harry Selfridge and the Dolly sisters. Set in 1928, 9 years after S3.
- 28 March UK – ITV’s Maigret Sets A Trap (TV movie) ★★★★★
Set in 1950’s Paris starring Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) as Georges Simenon’s fictional French detective Jules Maigret. Two more films will follow at the end of 2016 and in 2017.
- 3 April @9pm UK – ITV’s Home Fires S2 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in rural Cheshire during WWII, the series continues to follow a group of inspirational women. WARNING: Ends on a cliffhanger and ITV has axed the series.
- 3 Apr US/Canada (PBS) / 17 Jan @ 8pm UK / 19 Jan @ 8:30pm Australia – BBC One’s Call The Midwife S5 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1960’s Poplar, beginning around Easter.
- 8 April UK / 21 Jan Denmark – The Man Who Knew Infinity (movie)
Set during WWI in Cambridge, UK, about mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar who is accepted into Cambridge University and becomes a pioneer in maths with the guidance of his professor. Stars Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) and Jeremy Irons. (trailer)
- 9 April US / 10 April Canada (Showcase) / UK (Amazon Prime) – Starz’s Outlander S2 (TV series) ★★★★★
Based on the second of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels, Dragonfly in Amber, set in the 18th Century and 1960’s. Renewed for S3 & 4. (trailer)
- 10 April @ 9pm UK / 15 Feb US – Fox’s 11.22.63 (TV series)
High school teacher Jake (James Franco) time travels to the 1960’s to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (trailer)
- 15 April UK – Despite the Falling Snow (movie)
Set in Moscow during the Cold War about a female spy and an idealistic politician. Stars Rebecca Ferguson, Charles Dance, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amy Nuttall, Sam Reid, etc.
- 17 April France – Un village français S7 (TV series)
The final series is set in November-December 1945.
- 22 April UK / 29 Jan US – Jane Got A Gun (movie)
Western. Stars Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. (trailer)
- 24 April @ 8/7c US (Sundance TV) / 3 Jan Ireland – Rebellion (TV mini series) ★★★★
Five-part drama about the birth of modern Ireland told from the perspective from fictional characters during the 1916 Easter Rising. On Netflix UK & Ireland since April 2016.
- 25 April US/Canada – Reign S3 (TV Series)
S3 continues with episode 11. I still don’t consider this a period drama but it’s supposed to be ‘based on’ Mary of Scots… Renewed for a 4th series.
- 29 April UK / 4 Nov 2015 France / 18 Dec 2015 US – Son of Saul / Saul fia (movie)
Set in 1944 in Auschwitz.
- 2 May @ 9pm ET/PT Canada (Global TV) / US (Fox) / 13 March @ 22.15 UK (ITV) – ITV’s Houdini & Doyle (TV series)
A UK/Canada production and 10-part supernatural crime drama on Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set in 1901. Series began filming in Manchester and Toronto in summer 2015. (trailer)
- 5 May @ 9pm UK (BBC2) – Peaky Blinders S3 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1924. Thomas Shelby gets married. Renewed for 2 more series.
- BBC2’s The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (TV mini-series) (trailer) ★★★★★
- 7 May @ 9pm UK – Henry VI Pt 1
- 14 May @ 9pm UK (Wales on 15th @ 10pm) – Henry VI Pt 2
- 21 May @ 9pm UK – Richard III
- 9 May UK (BBC) – Upstart Crow S1 (TV mini series)
6 part comedy set in 1592 about Will Shakespeare and his plays. It will be followed by a Christmas Special and a S2 in 2017.
- 10 May UK (BBC) – Hetty Feather S2 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1887 in the Foundling Hospital in London. Renewed for S3.
- 13 May France (Cannes) – Ma Loute / Slack Bay (movie)
A French comedy set in the Channel Coast in the Summer of 1910. Stars Juliette Binoche, etc. (trailer)
- 13 May US / 27 May UK /27 April France – Love & Friendship (movie)
Based on the novel, Lady Susan, by Jane Austen! Set in the 1790’s about widow Lady Susan Vernon, starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Savigny. (trailer)
- 27 May UK/US – Alice Through the Looking Glass (movie)
- 28 May UK / 14 May US (Hulu) / 10 April 2016 Canada (Showcase) – BBC’s The Musketeers S3 (TV) ★★★★
- 30 May US (History/Lifetime/A&E) – Roots (TV Miniseries)
An 8-hour miniseries based on the novel by Alex Haley and a remake of the 1977 TV miniseries about the history of an African slave sold to America and his descendants. Spanning from the Colonial times in 1750 to post-Civil War. Starring Anika Noni Rose, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anna Paquin, Matthew Goode, Jonathan Purefoy, T.I., etc. (trailer)
- 2 June Australia / 3 Sept 2015 Germany – Queen of the Desert (movie)
A biographical film starring Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell, who was a British explorer, traveller, cartographer, archaeologist, and political offer at the dawn of the 20th C.
- 3 June UK / 5 May Germany / 19 Feb Canada/US – Race (movie)
Race (running and ethnic background). Jesse Owens. 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Jesse Owens won track & field in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
- 15 June UK (EIFF) – Tommy’s Honour (movie)
About the founders of modern golf! Set around the late 19th Century. Stars Sam Neill.
- 17 June UK (BBC iPlayer) – The Living and the Dead (TV)
6-part spooky drama set in Somerset in 1894. All 6 episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.
- 17 Jun 2016 – Amazon Prime’s The Last Tycoon (TV series)
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel, set in the 1930’s. Stars Lily Collins, Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemarie De Witt, etc.
- 20 June UK (EIFF) / 19 Feb US – Forsaken (movie)
Father and son, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, team up for a western film.
- 24 June UK / 12 Feb Norway – The Last King / Birkebeinerne (movie)
Set in 1206 in Norway during a civil war.
- 24 June UK (EIFF) / 27 Nov 2015 (Spain) – Nobody Wants the Night / Nadie quiere la noche (movie)
Set in Greenland in 1908 about Josephine Peary (Juliette Binoche) searching for her husband, Arctic explorer Robert Peary, with the help of an Inuit woman (played by a Japanese actress, Rinko Kikuchi). Also stars Gabriel Byrne.
- 24 June US (online) – The Duel / By Way of Helena (movie)
An American Western mystery set in the Great Plains during the 1880’s.
- 1 July USA/Canada / 6 July UK / 21 July Germany – The Legend of Tarzan (movie)
Set in 1880’s Congo and London. Alexander Skarsgård plays Tarzan, Margot Robbie (Pan Am) plays Jane Porter, Samuel L. Jackson plays explorer George Washington Williams. Also stars Christoph Waltz, Jim Broadbent, etc. (trailer)
- 1 July UK/USA/Canada (Netflix) – Marco Polo S2 (TV series) ★★★
- 2 July Denmark – Gold Coast / Guldkysten (movie)
Set in 1836 about the Danishman Wulff who goes to the Gold Coast to create plantations and discovers the brutal reality of the slave trade.
- 17 July (UK) – BBC1’s The Secret Agent (TV mini-series)
BBC1 three-part adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel of the same name, set in London in 1886.
- 29 July US – Genius (movie)
Film about Max Perkin’s time as editor at Scribner. Cast includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Jude Law, etc. (trailer)
- 5 Aug @ 22/21:00c US (BBC America) / 22 Aug @ 9pm UK (BBC2) / 15 Jan UK/US (Amazon Prime) – Ripper Street S4 (TV series) ★★★★
8 episodes set in 1897, 3 years after S3. Renewed for a 5th series. (trailer)
- 19 Aug UK – Swallows and Amazons (movie)
- 19 Aug UK – The Childhood of a Leader (movie)
Set in 1918 about the childhood of a future dictator.
- 28 Aug @ 9pm UK / 15 Jan 2017 US/Canada (PBS Masterpiece) – ITV’s Victoria (TV series) ★★★★★
An 8-part hour-long drama on the life of Queen Victoria from the age of 18 onwards. First episode is 1.5 hour long. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) has been cast as young Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes (The Lady Vanishes) will play Prince Albert. Also stars Rufus Sewell as Lord ‘M’. Series has been renewed. (trailer)
- 31 Aug Netherlands/US / 24 Nov Germany / 6 May UK – Florence Foster Jenkins (movie)
Set around the 1940’s (TBC) about American heiress and tone-deaf opera singer (Meryl Streep) and her aristocratic manager (Hugh Grant) who was determined to protect her from the truth that she sings terribly. (trailer)
- 2 Sept US/UK– Amazon Prime’s The Collection (TV series) ★★★★
8-part drama series exclusively for Amazon Prime UK. Set just after WWII in Paris about a French haute couture fashion house run by two brothers.
- 2 Sept UK / 5 Aug US / 11 May France (Cannes) – Café Society (movie)
A romantic comedy by Woody Allen set in Hollywood in the 1930’s starring Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, etc. (trailer)
- 4 Sept UK / 25 Sept (PBS) – BBC1’s Poldark S2 (TV series) ★★★★
10 episodes set in Cornwall in the 1780’s, based on the 3rd and some of the 4th (out of 12) novels. There will be new characters. S3 is currently being cast. Possible S4-6.
- 8 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Death of Louis XIV / La Mort de Louis XIV (movie)
Set around August 1715 in Versailles about the dying Louis XIV. (trailer)
- 9 Sept UK / 12 Aug USA – Anthropoid (movie)
Set in Prague during WWII about the true story of Operation Anthropoid, the mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich (one of the main architects of the Holocaust). Stars Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan, Toby Jones, etc. (trailer)
- 9 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Frantz (movie)
A tale of love and remembrance set in a small German town just after WWI. (trailer)
- 9 Sept UK / 24 June US – The Free State of Jones (movie)
- 9 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Marie Curie (movie)
Set around the turn of the 20th Century about physicist and chemist, Marie Curie.
- 10 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Limehouse Golem (movie)
Crime thriller set in Victorian London based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel of the same name. Stars Bill Nighy. (Ironically, partly mentioned in Ripper St S4.) (trailer)
- 11 Sept Australia – A Place to Call Home S4 (TV series)
A ‘domestic romantic melodrama’ with 12 episodes set in New South Wales, Australia post-WWII.
- 11 Sept US (PBS Masterpiece) / 28 Feb UK – ITV’s Churchill’s Secret (TV movie) ★★★★★
Set in 1953 when Churchill suffers a stroke (the secret from the world). Starring Michael Gambon as Churchill, Lindsay Duncan as his wife, Matthew Macfadyen, Romola Garai, etc.
- 11 Sept Canada (TIFF) – The Promise (movie)
Love triangle story set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Stars Christian Bale.
- 11 Sept US (PBS Masterpiece) / 13 March UK – Channel 4’s Indian Summers S2 (TV series)
Set in 1932 in England & India.
- 11 Sept US – Masters of Sex S4 (TV series)
Series finale on the relationship between Dr William Masters and Virginia Johnson and their research on human sexuality during the late 1950’s – early 1960’s.
- 12 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Brimstone (movie)
A thriller set in 19th Century America, inspired by American Southern Gothic and Dutch religion. Starring Dakota Fanning, Kit Harrington, Carice van Houten, Guy Pearce, etc.
- 12 Sept Canada (TIFF) – In Dubious Battle (movie)
Set in California in the 1930’s. Based on Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. Directed by James Franco.
- 12 Sept Canada (TIFF) – The Kaiser’s Last Kiss / The Exception (movie)
‘A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.’ – IMDB Cast includes Lily James, Christopher Plummer, Janet McTeer, etc. (film clip)
- 15 Sept 2016 Spain – Aguila Roja S9 (TV series)
Final series of Aguila Roja set in 17th Century Spain.
- 21 Sept France – Cézanne et moi (movie)
Set in the 19th Century about the friendship between post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne (Guillaume Gallienne) and novelist/playwright Émile Zola (Guillaume Canet).
- 22 Sept Netherlands / UK (Netflix) – Riphagen (movie) Just added!
Dutch traitor who helped the Nazis round up Jews and went after Resistance groups.
- 23 Sept Norway – Kongens Nei / The King’s Choice (movie)
When German soldiers invade Oslo on 9 April 1940, King Haakon VII of Norway must make a choice that will change his country forever. (trailer)
- 28 Sept France – La Danseuse / The Dancer (movie)
Set in 1887 about dancer Loïe Fuller. Starring Lily-Rose Depp, Gaspard Ulliel, etc.
- 29 Sept UK – Alone in Berlin (movie)
Set in 1940, Berlin about a couple who resist the Nazi regime in their own way after losing their only son during the war. Cast includes Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson, and Daniel Bruehl.
- 1 Oct US (Ovation) / 1 June UK (BBC2) / Nov 2015 France & Canada (Super Channel) – Canal Plus’ Versailles S1 (TV series) ★★★★
10 part series by Canal Plus in English! George Blagden (Vikings) plays young King Louis XIV (age 28) in 1667 and the ‘birth’ of the Chateau de Versailles. Already renewed for a 2nd series to debut in 2017 and a 3rd series to begin filming in 2017. (trailer)
- 2 Oct USA/Canada (HBO) / 3 Oct Australia (Showcase) / 4 Oct UK (Sky Atlantic) – Westworld (TV series)
Based on the 1973 film of the same title. Probably not a period drama (Wild West-themed amusement park with robots) but has 19th Century costumes. Stars Angela Sarafyan, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Barnes, James Marsden, etc.
- 5 Oct France / 14 May France (Cannes) – The Handmaiden (movie)
Based on the Victorian novel, Fingersmith, the Korean thriller is set in Japan-occupied colonial Korea in the 1930’s about a pickpocket hired to be the handmaiden of a fragile Japanese heiress but ends up falling for her mistress. (trailer)
- 5 Oct Spain – Velvet S4 (TV series)
- 7 Oct US – The King’s Daughter / The Moon and the Sun (movie)
Pierce Brosnan stars as King Louis XIV in his quest for immortality by taking the life force from a mermaid (Fan Bingbing).
- 7 Oct US / 20 Jan 2017 UK – The Birth of a Nation (movie)
Former slave Nat Turner leads a liberation movement in Virginia, USA in 1831.
- 7 Oct Global (Netflix) – The Siege of Jadotville (movie) Just added!
Based on the book by Declan Power about Irish Commandant Pat Quinlan who led a stand off with troops against French and Belgian Mercenaries in the Congo in the 1960’s. Starring Jamie Dornan, Guillaume Canet, etc.
- 10 Oct Canada (CBC) – Murdoch Mysteries S10 (TV series)
Set in 1904 in Toronto.
- 12 Oct 2016 (Amazon Prime) / UK 2017 – Ripper Street S5 (TV)
The final series of Ripper Street.
- 13 Oct UK (LFF) / 11 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Their Finest (movie)
A comedy set in London about a group of filmmakers struggling to boost morale with an inspirational film during the Blitz. Starring Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin, Jeremy Irons, Richard E Grant, etc.
- 15 Oct US (New York Film Fest) / 4 May 2017 NZ – Lost City of Z (movie)
Set in 1925 about British explorer, Percy Fawcett, and his journey into the Amazon jungle.
- 16 Oct UK – ITV’s Tutankhamun (TV miniseries) ★★★★
4-part drama set in 1905 about British archaeologist Carter (Max Irons) and Lord Carnarvon (Sam Neill) in Egypt. (trailer)
- 16 Oct US (PBS Masterpiece) / 3 April UK – ITV’s The Durrells S1 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1935 about an English widow who moves to Corfu. Based on Gerald Durrell’s trilogy memoirs. Renewed for a 2nd series, coming out next year.
- 31 Oct @ 2:15pm UK – BBC One’s The Moonstone (TV miniseries)
5-part drama adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ detective novel set in the 19th Century.
- 31 Oct @ 9pm UK / 21 May 2017 US/Canada (PBS) – ITV’s Dark Angel (TV miniseries) ★★★★★
2-part drama series about Victorian serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton (Joanna Froggatt). (trailer)
- 1 Nov France – La folle histoire de Max et Léon (movie)
Two friends, Max and Leon, try to escape WWII. (trailer)
- 1 Nov UK / 2 Sept 2016 US – The Light Between Oceans (movie)
Set after WWI in Western Australia. Based on the novel by M. L. Stedman. Stars Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, etc.
- 2 Nov US/Canada – Salem S3 (TV series)
- 4 November (Netflix) – The Crown (TV series) ★★★★★
10-episode drama on the British Royal Family. Stars Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) as Princess/Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Prince Phillip, and Vanessa Kirby (Great Expectations) as Princess Margaret. S2 is currently being filmed. There will be 60 episodes altogether. (trailer)
- 4 Nov USA – Hacksaw Ridge (movie)
About WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for refusing to kill people in Okinawa. (trailer)
- 4 November US / 3 Feb 2017 UK / 16 May France (Cannes) – Loving (movie)
In 1958, the interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, were sentenced to prison in Virginia for getting married.
- 10 Nov UK (BBC2) / 14 Nov US (Acorn TV) – BBC’s Close to the Enemy (TV series) ★★★★
8-part drama set in a bomb-damaged hotel in London during WWII. Stars Alfie Allen, Charlotte Riley, Freddie Highmore, etc. (trailer)
- 11 Nov 2016 UK / 11 Nov 2015 France – Francofonia (movie)
Set in 1940 just before the German troops enter Paris, two men work together to protect the treasures / art work in the Louvre. From the director of ‘Russian Ark’. (trailer)
- 11 Nov UK / 15 July Canada – The Innocents / Les Innocentes (movie)
Based on the case notes of French doctor and Resistance fighter Madeleine Pauliac. French Red Cross doctor, Mathilde, is in Poland in December 1945 where she helps a convent of pregnant nuns who were raped by Russian soldiers.
- 13 Nov UK – BBC One’s My Mother and Other Strangers (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in a small community in Northern Ireland in 1943. Stars Hattie Morahan. (trailer)
- 16 Nov 2016 France – Planetarium (movie)
Set before WWII in France. Two sisters (portrayed by Natalie Portman and Lily Rose Depp) believe they can communicate with the dead. (trailer)
- 18 November – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (movie)
Based on J.K. Rowling’s novel of the same name. Set in 1926 in NYC, before Harry Potter’s time. Stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston (Boardwalk Empire), etc. (trailer)
- 23 Nov 2016 France – Une Vie / A Woman’s Life (movie)
Adapted from Guy de Maupassant’s novel of the same name. Set during the early 19th Century about Jeanne who discover the harsh realities of being a woman.
- 18 Nov UK / 29 July US – Indignation (movie)
Set in 1951, during the ongoing Korean War, about a working-class Jewish student named Marcus struggling with sexual repression and cultural disaffection in a small Ohio college.
- 18 Nov UK / 8 Sept Canada (TIFF) – A Quiet Passion (movie)
A biographical film about American poet Emily Dickinson. Starring Jennifer Ehle, Cynthia Nixon, etc. (trailer)
- 23 Nov US/Canada / 25 Nov UK – Allied (movie)
Romantic thriller set in London in 1942. Cast includes Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Goode, etc. (trailer)
- 23 Nov US / 27 Jan 2017 UK – Rules Don’t Apply (movie)
A romantic comedy set in 1958 in the US about an aspiring actress, her driver, and the billionaire filmmaker they work for. Cast includes Lily Collins, Alec Baldwin, Steeve Coogan, Martin Sheen, etc. (trailer)
- 25 Nov Spain – La reina de España (movie)
A comedy sequel to Trueba’s 1998 drama The Girl of Your Dreams set during the Spanish Civil War. Stars Penelope Cruz. (trailer)
- 25 Nov UK / 9 Sept Canada (TIFF) – A United Kingdom (movie)
Based on the inspiring true story of Seretse Khama, the King of Bechuanaland (today: Botswana), and Londoner Ruth Williams who married in 1948 despite fierce opposition. Starring David and Jessica Oyelowo (but they don’t play husband & wife), Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael, Jack Davenport, Charlotte Hope, etc.
- 29 Nov UK – BBC One’s Rillington Place (TV series) ★★★★
3-part drama set in Ladbroke Grove, London about serial killer John Christie and the women he murdered at 10 Rillington Place between the 1940-50’s.
- 30 Nov France – Les Enfants de la chance (movie)
Set in France in July 1942 and based on a true story of a group of young children and their friendship under the care of the hospital staff. (trailer)
- 2 Dec 2016 US / 20 Jan 2017 UK / 11 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Jackie (movie)
Starring Natalie Portman as First Lady Jackie Kennedy, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. (trailer)
- 2 Dec US / 9 Sept Canada (TIFF) – The Duelist (movie)
A cold-hearted noble and professional duellist in 19th Century Russia has second thoughts about his profession after meeting the beautiful sister of a future opponent. (trailer)
- 7 Dec @ 9pm UK – ITV’s In Plain Sight (TV miniseries) ★★★★
3-part crime drama set in the late 1940-50’s about the true story of Lanarkshire detective William Muncie’s mission to bring Scottish killer Peter Manuel to justice.
- 9 Dec UK/Ireland/Canada/US (Netflix) / 17 Oct Italy (Rai 1) – Medici: Masters of Florence S1 (TV series) ★★★★★
About the Medici banker family. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden, etc. Commissioned for a 2nd series in 2017. (trailer)
- 12 Dec Canada (CBC) – Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas (TV)
2-hour Christmas special.
- 15 Dec Germany – Paula (movie)
Set in the 19th and 20th Centuries about German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker during her time in Worpswede, Germany and Paris, France. (trailer)
- 16 Dec US / 6 Jan 2017 UK / 8 Sept Canada (TIFF) – Neruda (movie)
Set in 1948 in Chile about the poet and politician Pablo Neruda.
- 16 Dec Global (Amazon Prime) – The Man in the High Castle S2 (TV series) Just added!
Loosely based on the 1962 novel by Phillip K. Dick. Four more series to follow.
- 20 Dec UK (BBC iPlayer) / 24 Nov US (PBS) / 15 Feb Canada (YTV) – L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (TV movie) ★★★★★ Just added!
Another adaptation of the well-known novel, starring Martin Sheen, Ella Ballentine, Sara Botsford, etc. (trailer)
- 23 Dec US / 1 Jan 2017 UK/US / 16 Feb 2017 Australia – Silence (movie)
Two Jesuit priests are persecuted in Japan during the 17th Century when they try to locate their mentor. Stars Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, etc.
- 24 Dec @ 9pm UK – ITV’s Grantchester: Christmas Special (TV series)
- 25 Dec @ 8pm UK – BBC One’s Call the Midwife S6: Christmas Special (TV series) ★★★★★
Nonnatus House travels to South Africa to help Hope Clinic. (trailer)
- 25 Dec @ 9pm UK – ITV’s Maigret‘s Dead Man (TV movie) ★★★★
Based on the 1948 novel Maigret et son mort; starring Rowan Atkinson as Detective Maigret in Paris.
- 25 Dec UK (BBC) – Upstart Crow Christmas Special (TV mini series)
- 25 Dec US – Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart S3: Christmas Special (TV series)
- 25 Dec US / 13 Jan 2017 Canada / 24 Feb 2017 UK – Hidden Figures (movie)
It’s thanks to a team of African-American women (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson) who helped NASA launch its first successful space mission. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Jangle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, etc. (trailer)
- 25 Dec US / 3 Feb 2017 UK – Fences (movie)
Set in the US in the 1950’s about an African-American father struggling with race relations whilst raising his family.
- 25, 28, 30 Dec Sweden – Miss Friman’s War / Fröken Frimans krig S3 (TV mini-series)
Swedish TV mini-series and series finale set in 1907 on equal rights, namely battling out-of-date prostitution laws and challenging the traditional male role.
- 26-27 Dec @ 9pm UK – BBC One’s The Witness For The Prosecution (TV mini series) ★★★★★
Two-part drama adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name set in 1920’s London. Starring Kim Cattrall, Billy Howle, Monica Dolan, Andrea Riseborough, etc. Part 2 airs on 27 Dec.
- 28 Dec @ 7:30pm UK – BBC One’s Ethel & Ernest (TV animation*)
An animation based on Raymond Briggs’ novel about his own parents, Ethel and Ernest Briggs. The film covers follows his Londoner parents from their first meeting in the 1920’s to the 1960’s. (trailer)
- 29 Dec @ 9pm UK – BBC One’s To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters (TV movie) ★★★★★
A 2-hour TV movie about the Bronte sisters. Starring Jonathan Pryce, Chloe Pirie, Finn Atkins, Charlie Murphy, and Adam Nagaitis. (trailer)
For a list of upcoming period dramas in 2017 and beyond, please visit Upcoming Period Dramas 2017 – Future.