If you have been a fan of Masterpiece Classic for a while then you will know each year many British period shows are released featuring lords, ladies, colonialists, and farmers doing all sorts of things in all different time periods with many of these miniseries being based on famous novels, especially anything by Jane Austen. These are some of our most recent favorites if you want to grab a scone and a cup of tea to prepare yourself!
BBC’s War and Peace
Based on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel that follows five noble families during the final years of Imperial Russia as Napoleon tries to invade. This 6-part miniseries has it all: war, romance, and intrigue. The series was actually filmed in Russia, and the magnificent palaces along with the period costumes make this a visual feast. Like any great Russian novel though, this one is not without one or two tragedies.
If you read the book series by author Diana Gabaldon then you will know that you are in for a series that spans two time periods and various countries. From the courts of France to the colonial outposts of Virginia this time traveling series which is going into its fourth season will have you captivated. Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall are the main characters, but the series is kept fresh by a wide array of new characters that arrive with each country they move to, and their children as they come of age.
Going into its third season Victoria is a drama similar to Netflix’s The Crown and focuses on her reign and the political dance she had to with the Tories and the Whigs. While her love for her husband Prince Albert is a focal point of the show, the supporting characters such as the infamous Lord Melbourne and her German family members add many a comedic moment to the show making it a good rainy afternoon watch.
BBC’s The Long Song
This three-part mini series was only released in the winter of 2018 and moves you from the courts of Europe to the plantations of Jamaica and the abolition of slavery. It follows the life of a young slave named Miss July and the hardships she must face before finding her peace. You will recognize Jack Lowden from War and Peace as the plantation owner in this one, but he is definitely not the sweet prince here. This offers an interesting historical look at this time period, and while it is heartbreaking at moments well worth a watch.