Period Dramas I’ve been enjoying recently | January 2022

I don’t know what it is about the colder months, but nothing beats watching a period drama with a cup of tea – either early in the morning over breakfast (normally how I start my day!), or finishing off the day when it gets dark. Either way, here are some of the period drama shows I’ve been catching up on and enjoying recently:

All Creatures Great and Small

I grew up watching Christopher Timothy play James Herriot, the beloved vet in the fictional Yorkshire village of Darrowby. I think this new adaptation is just as delightful: Nicholas Ralph takes on the role of James, and Rachel Shenton is his love interest Helen. I loved the first season, and the second season has just started playing over here in the US. 

Grantchester

I’ve loved Grantchester since it was first on TV, and I realised I’d completely missed the fact Season 6 had screened, so I’ve been binge watching that recently. Tom Brittney plays unconventional vicar Will Davenport, who teams up with local Detective Inspector Geordie Keating to solve murders in 1950s Cambridgeshire. This season sees the exploration of PTSD relating to Geordie’s experiences as a prisoner of war in World War Two, as well as a particularly poignant storyline surrounding my favourite character, curate Leonard Finch, which highlights the horrendous nature of the UK’s Criminal Law Amendment Act which criminalised male homosexuality. Read Amanda-Rae Prescott’s excellent article about the history behind this storyline here.

Around the World in 80 Days

Thankfully this is playing not too much later in the US than the UK, although our episodes are released more slowly. This is a new adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel, starring David Tennant as Phileas Fogg (frankly genius casting), and Ibrahim Kona and Leonie Benesch as Passepartout and Abigail Fix Fortescue respectively. So far I’ve been able to watch the first couple of episodes, and the lead actors are incredible. I’m enjoying how much time is given to each part of the story by virtue of the fact it is split into eight episodes. And, it has reportedly been renewed for a second series! So much adventure to look forward to. 

Read some of my previous period drama recommendations here.

And on my watchlist…

King Richard

It’s set a little while ago, so I’m counting this – it’s probably more a biopic but I’m dying to watch it, so it’s here. This follows the story of the incredible Williams sisters and their rise to stardom in the tennis world, propelled forward by their hard work and the hard work, belief and determination of their father, Richard Williams. 

The Great

Unbelievably, I haven’t watched The Great yet. (As you can tell from my list, I’m quite behind on the world of period drama…) The Great is an irreverent look at the young years of Catherine the Great, starring Elle Fanning as the famed queen and Nicholas Hoult as her depraved husband Peter. 

Whilst I’m at it, I probably should also watch the Catherine the Great TV series (2019) starring Helen Mirren too. 

Want to visit some of your favourite period drama filming locations from home? Find them here.

What have you been watching recently, or what’s on your list? 

7 comments

  1. I do quite like this recent adaptation of Herriot’s stories as much if not more than the original series, and though I’m not entirely convinced there’s chemistry between James and Helen I’ve really warmed to the leads. As for Grantchester, the curate’s story was really heartbreaking at times.

    Around the World (as broadcast here in the UK seems to be really making progress as we’ve passed Hong Kong with, I think, three more episodes to go! If the trio don’t get a shift on though I can see a second series in a an absolute necessity…

    The other two shows you mention I’ve heard of, if course, but they’ve not crosses our radar — but then if they’re not in Netflix or Disney+ they won’t ever!

    • Yes, I think I prefer it to the Christopher Timothy version too, which I never thought I’d say – I grew up watching that one so it’s special to me!

      I’m so jealous you’re further ahead with Around the World over there! Apparently a second series has been commissioned, so maybe that is the plan!!

      I hope you enjoy them if you do find them! And thank you so much for reading! I don’t know what it is about autumn/winter, but I always feel like it is historical drama season!

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