Fascinating and engaging, a dive into the past with the best period TV series

TV series set in past eras always manage to conquer us. Not only are the events they narrate often emotional, dramatic and engaging, but the atmosphere they emanate always manages to fascinate us. From Renaissance Italy to Regency England where the most romantic sentimental intrigues unfold, costume series, or period drama as they are known in the Anglophone language, they are indispensable both for those who love history (and aren’t too picky about the particular “poetic license” of screenwriters) and for those who are ready to discover past eras and their glories. Here you are a list of some of the most interesting period TV series of recent yearswith which taking a leap into the past will certainly be pleasant.


Based on the romance novels written by Julia Quinn set in England during the Regency period, Bridgerton has certainly been a very successful series since its arrival on Netflixperhaps also thanks to the hand of the Shonda Rhimes who already gave us the eternal sentimental drama of Grey’s Anatomy.

The books from which the following events are taken the sentimental adventures of the Bridgerton brothers – who give the series its name – are eight, one for each of the brothers, and after seeing the love story between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings (i.e. the Simon Basset played by Rege-Jean Page) and that between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simon Ashley), the third season, already announced for some time as well as the following one, will focus on Colin Bridgerton, thus moving away from the novels that would see Benedict as the protagonist of the third volume.

The Tudors

English history has given us so many interesting characters whose lives have lent themselves so well to being adapted for both the big and small screens. Among the series that have been more successful on the eccentric characters that have dotted the English crown, there is certainly The Tudors. The series follows and romances the events that disturb life within the court of Henry VIII. Created and written by Michael Hirstformer screenwriter of Elizabeth I duology with Cate Blanchett, this series has fascinated lovers of costume series until 2010, acting as a springboard for actors such as Natalie Dormer and Henry Cavill. The perfect synergy between a very skilled cast led by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the role of the famous sovereign and the maniacal care of scenography and costumes makes The Tudors a historic series worthy of rewatch.

The doctors

The Renaissance in Italy it was a century very rich in historical events and with an incredible cultural flowering. And, among the most important protagonists of those years, there was certainly the family Doctorsfocus of an excellent series set in a Florence in turmoil.

The three seasons follow the protagonist family as they reinvent themselves after the death of patriarch John, played by Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. Taking over the reins of the family business, and reinventing it to the point of making it the most prominent of the period, is the Cosimo de Medici played by Richard Madden. Intrigue and subterfuge are at the basis of a high-level series for interpretation and scenographyand which presents us in a fictional way events such as the conspiracy of the Pazzi and historical characters and personalities such as Girolamo Savonarola.


Glitz, machinations, political and sentimental intrigues: the court of Louis XIV it’s just the ideal place to set a period TV series, and the idea certainly hasn’t escaped notice Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroftcreators of Versailles.

The undisputed protagonist of the series is the reconstruction of the costumes and sets that manage to convey the idea of ​​the ostentatious wealth within the court, but there is certainly no shortage of melodrama in the story of the events that lead to the rise of the one to come remembered by history as the Sun King. Perhaps the pace could be too slow, but the intent was not to create an action-packed series, rather to to make the spectators participate in a sumptuous and intricate era of which what we want to bring out is the charm of the psychological deepening of the characters.

The Great

An occasionally true story“: the authors of The Great have seen fit to warn us immediately that what we see in the series are not real events. So away the purists of history and forward to all those who wish to look at themselves a dark comedy with a delightful Elle Fanning in the role of Catherine herself played by Helen Mirren in its adult version in another tv series, and a super-charismatic Nicholas Hoult playing a Peter III too funny to be a loathsome villain.

The Great is a very enjoyable dark comedy that follows the arrival at court of the very young Caterina, offering to the public a series of almost nonsense and politically incorrect sequences which, however, blend perfectly into thepop atmosphere à la Marie Antoinette of Coppola created by the author who has already given us another very interesting costume film, the Tony McNamara de The Favourite.

The White Queen trilogy

The White Queen, The White Princess And The Spanish Princess make up one trilogy of TV series based on the novels of Phillipa Gregory. The events range in different eras characterized by rather dramatic events within a tumultuous England that starts with the war of the roses up to the reign of Henry VIII.

What is striking in this trilogy is an exceptional cast in which, among others, stand out Rebecca Ferguson which gives the face to Elizabeth Woodville in The White QueenAnd Jodie Comer who instead plays Elizabeth of York in The White Princess. Three TV series that are truly unmissable gems for all lovers of period drama and English history in general.


If you are looking for action and an epic story, the series you cannot do without is vikings. Designed by himself Michael Hirst that he gave us The Tudorsthis series goes back and forth between history and myth, bringing some of the gods to the small screen most famous viking warriors. The undisputed protagonist is Ragnar Lothbrok, played by Travis Fimmelwhich has been at the center of incredible battles and unforgettable events.

In six seasons that make vikings you can follow his deeds and those of his children, but for those who want more, the sequel has arrived Vikings: Valhallawhose second season hits Netflix on January 12.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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