There are plenty of summer blockbusters at the box office not unlike the plethora of crime dramas overwhelming our TV screens. (Not that I’m complaining since I am a bit of a TV show geek.) But nothing beats the beauty one can discover in a quiet and intelligent period drama.
This is why any hint of new period dramas sends me into fan girl excitement. As I Googled (a little too much), clicked, and swooned over the pictures, I discovered a few new dramas sure to become new favorites. Some of these are romances that, I am sure, will cause fits of swooning. Others sound like proper mysteries with classic prose as their originator. But the one thing these all have in common are ensemble casts dripping in talent and British companies that know how to deftly produce these dramas.
Today we’re looking at upcoming and returning period dramas, the likes of which cover a variety of eras.
Previewing 10 Upcoming 2017 Small Screen Period Dramas
Listed by premiere date; subject to change
1. Victoria (Victorian Period)
When: Sundays | Where: Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) | Rated TV-PG
ITV’s “Downton Abbey replacement” is airing now, and if you’re anything like me, it’s your new obsession. Suffice to say, it’s enchanting.
2. Dark Angel (Victorian Period)
When: May 21 | Where: Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) | Rating Unclear
Downton Abbey alum Joanne Froggatt stars in this new ITV series about Mary Cotton, the first female serial killer.
3. To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters (Victorian Period)
When: March 26 | Where: Masterpiece Theatre | Rating Unclear
A 2-part miniseries, this drama chronicles the lives of the famous Bronte sisters in a kind of biopic formula.
When: March 2017 | Where: Netflix | Rating Unclear
This Netflix series is a remake of the classic L.M. Montgomery series, Anne of Green Gables. While the 80s series starring Megan Follows is always my favorite, I’m quite excited about this “new generation” adaptation.
5. Time After Time
When: Early 2017 | Where: ABC | Rating Unclear
This one might be stretching the “period drama” genre a little since it’s time travel, but it begins in 1893 with a young H.G. Wells before journeying to modern day New York. The show gives off Forever vibes, which sadly, was a short-lived ABC drama.
Future and In Production Period Dramas
Dramas without a US air date; listed in alphabetical order
1. The Alienist
TNT is set to air this “Gilded Age thriller” that is set to star Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl, and Luke Evans. It’s slated for a late 2017 premiere.
2. The Halycon
This drama looks like a glitzy and beautiful one in the tradition of Downton Abbey or the Spanish drama, The Grand. It’s set in a ritzy hotel and following the second world war.
3. Knightfall (Medieval Period)
This Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) and Julian Ovenden (Foyle’s War) led ten-part series is described as a 14th-century drama that will “look at the final days of Knights Templar.” Jeremy Renner is also rumored to be producing this, a History Channel series.
4. The Moonstone (Victorian Period)
A remake of the classic Wilkie Collins novel, this adaptation features a mostly fresh-faced cast that promises to be an old-fashioned ghost story. Considering this one has already aired in the U.K., I suspect a US air date isn’t far behind.
5. Witness for the Prosecution
Sarah Phelps returns to adapt this 2- part Agatha Christie story. Phelps already has a Christie adaptation to her name (And Then There Were None) as well as being a writer for Dickensian and Crimson Field. Needless to say, if prior work is anything to judge by, this will be a “gritty” mystery. (EDIT: This premieres on Acorn TV on January 30.)
Call the Midwife, January (PBS), the 1960s
Endeavour, January (PBS), the 1960s
Mercy Street, January (PBS), Civil War
Murdoch Mysteries, January (Ovation), Victorian
X Company, January (Ovation), WWII
Z: The Beginning of Everything, January (Amazon Prime), Roaring 20s
The Durrells in Corfu, April (PBS), 1940s
Which of these are you most anticipating? Are there any period dramas not on this list you’re looking forward to? Sound off below. I’d love to chat with you.Want to help us spread the popularity of Romance in Entertainment? Share this article with your friends!