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I last updated what period dramas to watch on Netflix in 2016. So, I thought the new year was the perfect moment to update this hopefully helpful list. Over the past couple of years, the list of period dramas to watch on Netflix has changed dramatically. But, at the same time, the selections have become more diverse and the list has definitely lengthened. Not to mention, Netflix includes more original content from excellent period dramas all over the world. And while several British productions have moved on to Amazon Prime, Netflix still has several period dramas to watch on Netflix, including beloved favorites like North and South.

For period drama aficionados who love a good historical binge, this list is for you! As before, this particular list focuses on Mini-Series and TV shows only. (The Period films are for another day.) So, without further ado, here are 45 sensational period dramas to watch on Netflix.

(We aim to share less explicit content that has PG-13 “like” content and below minus a few exceptions for artistic merit and/or genre interest. If a program is Rated TV-MA, we will let you know.)

Note: These titles are available to watch on the US Netflix March 2019 and are subject to change at any time.

45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – 2019 Mini-Series and TV Shows Edition

(In Alphabetical Order)

 

#1: A.D. Kingdom and Empire [aka The Bible Continues] (2015)

A.D. - 45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-series and TV Shows Edition (2019)

Photo: Photo: NBC/LightWorkers Media

Netflix Synopsis: In the wake of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, his apostles dedicate themselves to spreading his message, risking their freedom and their lives.

Why You Should Check This Out: Watch A.D. if you like Biblical period dramas, particularly stories about Christ. The series also includes period drama favorites like Richard Coyle and Jodhi May.

Content: TV-14

#2: Alias Grace (2017)

Alias Grace - 45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-series and TV Shows Edition (2019)

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel.

Why You Should Check This Out: Road to Avonlea’s Sarah Polley adapted Margaret Atwood’s novel. Plus, Avonlea fans will also love seeing Mag Ruffman (Olivia) as a recurring character. On a different note, Sarah Polley is an amazing writer and this series is no exception. I also loved seeing Zachary Levi in a period drama. Just don’t go into this one for romance.

Content: TV-MA but never feels vulgar or overly explicit. Furthermore, the rape and attempted rape scenes are handled tastefully. It’s more of a closed door scenario. There’s one sex scene near the end of the show and violence sprinkled throughout the series.

#3: Always a Witch (2019)

45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-series and TV Shows Edition (2019)

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: A young 17th-century witch time travels to the future to save the man she loves, but first must adjust to present-day Cartagena and defeat a dark rival.

Why You Should Check This Out: Who doesn’t love time traveling stories about witches? Since I haven’t seen Always A Witch, I can’t comment on how much time is spent in the 17th century.

Content: TV-14.

#4: Anne with an E (2017)

anne with an e

Photo: CBC/Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: A plucky orphan whose passions run deep finds an unlikely home with a spinster and her soft-spoken bachelor brother. Based on “Anne of Green Gables.”

Why You Should Check This Out: Okay, so this particular period drama on Netflix doesn’t ‘much’ resemble the beloved books. Still, the characters are well drawn out and the production quality is excellent. While some may have a hard time with particular plot points that deviate drastically from the novels, you can still enjoy this period drama as a separate entity. On another Avonlea tidbit, R.H. Thompson (Jasper Dale) plays Matthew Cuthbert to perfection.

Content: TV-PG

#5: The Bible (2013)

The Bible

Samson and his mother

Photo by Joe Alblas – Lightworkers Media / Hearst Productions

Netflix Synopsis: Re-creating the Bible’s vision of human and divine history for modern audiences, this sweeping miniseries integrates key biblical tales and parables.

Why You Should Check This Out: For those period drama lovers looking for more religious fare set in ancient times, you may want to check out the popular miniseries, The Bible. Just please do yourself a favor and skip the Moses episode. I mean that seriously. It’s so bad. Like cringy bad.

Content: TV-14

#6: Cable Girls (2017)

Cable Girls

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: In 1920s Madrid, four women at the National Telephone Company ring in revolution as they manage romance, friendship and the modern workplace.

Why You Should Check This Out: Spanish cinema puts out some fantastic period dramas. Don’t just take my word for it though and read our full review on why Cable Girls is one romantic period drama that’s definitely worth your time.

Content: This series ranges between TV-14 (most of the time) and TV-MA  for brief sexuality.

#7: Call the Midwife (2012)

Call the Midwife

Photo: BBC

Netflix Synopsis: This period drama set in impoverished East London in the 1950s follows a newly qualified midwife and her colleagues at a nursing convent.

Why You Should Check This Out: Not many TV shows follow mostly female characters and deal with female problems. For those unfamiliar, the show is about a group of midwives and nuns working to help the people of Poplar and maybe even themselves in the process. The stories can be heartbreaking, uplifting, and sometimes even a little romantic. The standout in this is, of course, the hilarious Miranda Hart. There aren’t enough words of love I can give this one! One of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking period dramas available.

RELATED | FIVE REASONS TO WATCH PERIOD DRAMA CALL THE MIDWIFE

Content: Call the Midwife is rated TV-14 mostly for realistic childbirth scenes.

#8: The Carrie Diaries (2013)

National Dear Diary Day, Lists, The Carrie Diaries, The CW, Dramas, Romantic Dramas, Young Adult

Photo Credit: The CW

Netflix Synopsis: Teenage Carrie Bradshaw navigates high school while harboring dreams of becoming a writer in this “Sex and the City” prequel.

Why You Should Check This Out: Not only for Sex and the City fanatics but for those who love anything ’80s!!

Content: TV-14

#9: Charité (2017)

45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-series and TV Shows Edition (2019)

Photo: Global Screen/ Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: At Berlin’s Charité hospital in 1888, Ida finds romance, a path to her dream job and an inside look into cures for tuberculosis and diphtheria.

Why You Should Check This Out: For those who like romance and medical period dramas with a feminist Victorian twist. Plus, it’s a German TV Series, something I haven’t seen available often enough in the U.S.!

Content: TV-MA for nudity. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes thus far, however, this series doesn’t seem particularly vulgar. Nude dead bodies may be occasionally present due to the premise of the series.

#10: The Crown (2016)

Crown

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

Why You Should Check This Out: While the first episode is a little slow, the series picks up from there. The Crown has excellent production quality, gorgeous costumes, a fine detail for historical accuracy (even when hugely embellishing the royals’ lives), and brilliant performances from all of the actors and actresses involved. Everyone really is perfectly cast for these well known historical and famous figures. I’m looking forward to the new cast too!

Content: TV-MA. There is brief nudity, infrequent use of the F word sprinkled throughout the whole series, and one episode (season 2, episode 7) that has a very explicit sex scene (if this bothers you, the scene is easily skipped). Overall, the series feels TV-14 the majority of the time.

#11: The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2013) (EDIT: Now expired)

Doctor Blake Mysteries

Photo: ABC TV

Netflix Synopsis: After taking over his late father’s medical practice, Dr. Lucien Blake helps local law enforcement solve some of his hometown’s thorniest murders.

Why You Should Check This Out: If you love murder mysteries and excellent old-fashioned romances with characters not in their twenties, then you will love this Australian import!

Content: I’m really not sure why this period drama is rated TV-MA? I don’t recall anything overly explicit or vulgar. The series feels TV-PG or TV-14 most of the time because of violent crime scenes.

#12: Father Brown (2013)

Father Brown

Photo: BBC

Netflix Synopsis: In the wake of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, his apostles dedicate themselves to spreading his message, risking their freedom and their lives.

Why You Should Check This Out: Another wonderful British period mystery to sink your teeth into!

Content: TV-14

#13: Galavant (2015)

Galavant

Photo: ABC

Netflix Synopsis: In a time of legend, Galavant the knight embarks on a quest to save his fair lady and become a hero in this tongue-in-cheek musical comedy.

Why You Should Check This Out: This ABC series follows Galavant, a man seeking his happy ending after King Richard steals his true love. Worth watching if you love historical comedies.

Content: Galavant is rated TV-PG and includes some language and innuendo.

#14: Grand Hotel (2011)

Grand Hotel

Photo: Sky

Netflix Synopsis: To learn the truth about his sister’s mysterious disappearance, a young man infiltrates a hotel in the guise of a footman and begins an investigation.

Why You Should Check This Out: If you love Downton Abbey and don’t mind subtitles, then Grand Hotel is a must-see TV Series set in Spain. The star-crossed love story between Alicia and Julio is exquisite. The best part is that all three seasons are now available on Netflix (for now). You don’t even have to wait for an ending.

Content: There are a few scenes of sexuality sprinkled throughout the show, but they are extremely infrequent and not explicit. It is rated TV-PG.

#15: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2015)

Jonathan Strange

Photo: BBC

Netflix Synopsis: In 1806, ambitious magician Norrell leads a revival of practical magic in England and ignites a fierce rivalry with bold young conjurer Strange.

Why You Should Check This Out: Both fantasy and period drama, this magical adaptation of the best-selling novel is a must see!

Content: TV-14

#16: Kurt Seyit & Sura (2014)

Kurt Seyit and Sura

Photo: Ay Yapım/ Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: A Turkish lieutenant and the daughter of Russian nobles fight for their love against forces of family and social expectation and historical events.

Why You Should Check This Out: Watch this one for the sweeping romance.

Content: Rated TV-14 for wartime scenes and mild sensuality.

#17: Land Girls (2009) TV-PG

Land Girls

Photo: BBC

Netflix Synopsis: Follow the lives, loves, highs and lows of four members of the Women’s Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate during WWII.

Why You Should Check This Out: A period drama set in WWII, the series is about four women working the land during the War. While certainly not one of my favorites of all time, there’s a lot of romance to go around and hold your interest. I would wait, however, to watch Land Girls for when you’re bored. Overall, it’s rather mediocre.

Content: TV-PG

#18: Love Bird [aka Çalikusu] (2013) 

Love Bird

Photo: Kanal D

Netflix Synopsis: Spending school vacations with her aunt, feisty orphan Feride falls for her sophisticated older cousin, Kamran. Love blossoms, but can it flourish?

Why You Should Check This Out: Imported from Turkey, Love Bird is way more addictive and romantic than the premise suggests. Read our review for a more in-depth analysis!

Content: TV-14

#19: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015)

45 Sensational Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix (2019)

Photo: Lifetime

Netflix Synopsis: Exonerated in the murder of her father and stepmother, Lizzie Borden takes on crime lords, detectives and other foes as she savors her new infamy.

Why You Should Check This Out: Check this one out if you like darker period fare about murder.

Content: TV-14

#20: Mad Men (2007)

Mad Men

Don and Peggy
Photo: AMC

Netflix Synopsis: In 196os New York City, in the ego-driven Golden Age of advertising, everyone is selling something and nothing is what it seems.

Why You Should Check This Out: When I first started Mad Men, I hated all the characters and couldn’t get into it. It’s seriously about a bunch of terrible people working at an advertising company. Somehow, however, I just couldn’t take my eyes away from Don Draper and all of his lies. Finally, I just had to keep watching. The highlight (for me anyway) of the series is the strange friendship between Don and Peggy.

Content: There is definitely strong adult content verging on TV-MA. However, most of the time Mad Men is rated TV-14.

#21: Medici (2016)

45 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-series and TV Shows Edition (2019)

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: In 15th-century Renaissance Florence, the visionary Medici dynasty flexes its power in politics and the arts, risking its rivals’ lethal opposition.

Why You Should Check This Out: A fantastic cast: Richard Madden, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Bean, and Julian Sands to name a few…

Content: TV-14

#22: Merlin (2008)

Merlin

Lancelot and Guinevere in the BBC’s TV Series Merlin.
Photo: BBC

Netflix Synopsis: This family-oriented retelling of the King Arthur legend finds Merlin arriving in Camelot, where he hones his magic skills with the help of his uncle.

Why You Should Check This Out: Yes, sometimes Merlin can get COMPLETELY ridiculous but that’s why we love it! Not unlike Smallville, Merlin follows a young Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, and Gwen before their destinies as we know them begins. Worthy of note: possibly the hottest Lancelot of all time guest stars every once in a while (okay maybe Santiago Cabrera ties with Ioan Gruffudd) and Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy fame plays the sometimes villainous and hilarious Uther.

Content: TV-PG.

#23: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012)

Jack and Miss Fisher - Period Dramas on Netflix 2019

Jack and Miss Fisher on the verge of a waltz…
Photo: Acorn TV

Netflix Synopsis: Get ready to immerse yourself in the opulent, exciting and sometimes dangerous world of Australia’s leading lady, Det. Phryne Fisher.

Why You Should Check This Out: What’s not to love about this Australian 1920’s murder mystery? With a fantastic leading lady in Miss Fisher, a great leading man in Detective Inspector Robinson, witty dialogue to make you laugh out loud, and out of the world costume design, you will be nothing but entertained from start to finish of each episode. One of my personal favorites. It’s time to binge this before the new movie comes out later this year!

RELATED | MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS IS COMING TO ACORN TV

Content: Very infrequently, Miss Fisher does have some adult content thrown in (though not explicit). There’s also a lot of strong sensuality. It is rated TV-14.

#24: Morocco: Love in Times of War (2017)

Morocco Love in Times of War

Atresmedia Television, Bambú Producciones, and Beta Film

Netflix Synopsis: A duchess leads a group of high-society Madrid women to Melilla during the Rif War to open a hospital and nurse the wounded amid rough conditions.

Why You Should Check This Out: Another addicting Spanish period drama!

Content: While rated TV-MA, it feels more TV-14. There is war violence, gore, some profanities, and one sensual scene between a couple.

#25: Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Mr. Sunshine

Photo: Netflix

Netflix Synopsis: A young boy who ends up in the U.S. after the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident returns to Korea at a historical turning point and falls for a noblewoman.

Why You Should Check This Out: A Netflix original, Netflix is now in the business of distributing high budget Korean Dramas. So, if you love historical Korean romances, this epic series from the creator of Goblin is a must see!

Content: TV-MA for scenes of violence. No gore and nothing too explicit.

 

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