The Victoria TV Series currently airs on PBS and ITV. Unfortunately, the production is also taking a “breather,” according to Jenna Coleman. With Series 4 on temporary hiatus, now is the perfect time to fill that Victoria TV show void in your life.
So, if you love sweeping romances and royals, then you will love this list. Of course, I also include amazing period dramas starring our favorite Victoria stars like Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, and even the swoony Rufus Sewell.
Sure, we all hope it won’t be long before the return of Victoria on PBS Masterpiece. Nevertheless, here are several other lovely period dramas to enjoy until that day comes.
25 Period Dramas to Watch if you Like Victoria on PBS
(In Alphabetical Order)
#1: The Aristocrats (1999)
An under the radar period TV series, The Aristocrats tells the true story of the high born Lennox Sisters. A perfect fit for those of us Victoria fans who don’t mind a little embellishing in our historical period dramas.
#2: The Crown (2016)
The Crown is for the Victoria fans who pretty much love all historical shows about royals! This time, the series is about a different British Queen: Queen Elizabeth II.
While the time period is vastly different from Victoria, the show has similar themes. In particular, Philip attempting to find his place in the world when his wife just so happens to be the Queen. The writing is also excellent and the acting superb. That being said, don’t go into this one for a sweeping romance.
Content Note: Rated TV-MA. Most of the series feels TV-14. However, there are instances of mild nudity, strong language sprinkled infrequently throughout the show, and one explicit sex scene in season two.
#3: Dancing on the Edge (2013)
Dancing on the Edge takes place in 1930s England and tells the story of a black Jazz band intermingling with the white British elite. Mystery, drama, and intrigue follow as the band members deal with racism, love, and maybe even a murder. Naturally, Victoria TV Series fans should tune in because BOTH Tom Hughes and Jenna Coleman are part of the large and very talented ensemble.
Content Note: There are a few sex scenes, but not many and are easy to skip over if you prefer cleaner content. Also, there are a couple of scenes that briefly use the F word.
#4: Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)
It’s six years after the ending of Pride and Prejudice and all of our favorite characters are back! But there’s been a murder and Wickham is the number one suspect. Jenna Coleman, our favorite Queen, plays his wife Lydia.
#5: Downton Abbey: The Movie (2019)
While we love the similar upstairs and downstairs elements to both Downton Abbey and the Victoria TV Series, the movie features a special visit to Downton from Queen Mary and King George V. It’s bound to be a royal success! The film is scheduled to open on September 13 in the UK and September 20 in the U.S. Enjoy!
On a side note, Matthew Goode has now been in four out of the five titles thus far! He’s another dashing actor that knows how to make a splash in our period drama favorites…
#6: Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen (2005)
If you’re looking for a passionate and exquisite period drama about Queen Elizabeth I, look no further than the BBC’s miniseries production. And make sure to read our review!
Content Note: There is some explicit content in the first episode.
#7: Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
For those who watch Victoria on PBS because you adore Victorian old-fashioned romances, I highly suggest the 2015 take on Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. While there are other lovely adaptations, the romance in this one is perfection. And Matthias Schoenaerts as the leading man is particularly swoony.
#8: Grace of Monaco (2014)
Princess Grace, a former Hollywood movie star, faces political turmoil in this 1960’s biopic. While flawed, the film is a great fit if you enjoy period dramas based on real-life royals and the political disputes they must overcome. Plus, the performance by Nicole Kidman is, per usual, extraordinary.
#9: The King’s Speech (2010)
The King’s Speech follows King George VI and his struggles with a debilitating speech disorder. Colin Firth is amazing in this fabulous true drama about a King who learns to overcome his stammer and lead his country in a time of turmoil.
Content Note: Rated R for language in a scene necessary to a story about speech.
#10: The Lady Vanishes (2013)
Now, if you watch the Victoria TV Series for Tom Hughes’ romantic portrayal of Albert, then you should definitely watch another period film in which he plays the leading man. This time, the film’s a mystery.
#11: Middlemarch (1994)
So, as much as we all love Albert, I know there are also several Lord Melbourne fans as well. Rufus Sewell just oozes romance and sex appeal. For that reason, I thought it fitting to share at least one period drama in which he plays the leading man getting a happily ever after.
This is my personal favorite in the sea of his wonderful period drama performances. The miniseries is a gorgeous adaptation of the George Eliot classic novel and a must-see for anyone who adores the romantic Lord Melbourne.
#12: Mrs. Brown (1997)
If you want a look into Queen Victoria’s later years, look no further than Mrs. Brown. This time, the legendary Judi Dench plays the iconic Queen.
#13: Poldark (2015)
For Victoria fans seeking comparable high-quality period drama series currently airing on PBS, then Poldark should be at the top of your list. Plus, Aidan Turner as the leading man is fantastic as the dynamic and tortured rogue.
#14: Reign (2013)
If you’re seeking a royal period drama for entertainment purposes only, then look no further than the underrated Reign. Sure, the historical accuracy of the series is absurd, however, that’s not the purpose of the wonderfully soapy show. Reign is truly a soap embracing all that soapy goodness.
Furthermore, the show really is more historical fantasy than an actual biopic about Mary Queen of Scots. You should tune in for the epic romances and fabulous scheming by Catherine de Medici that just gets better with each episode. Megan Follows is phenomenal and hilarious as Catherine.
#15: A Royal Night Out (2015)
Based lightly on a true story, this cute royal romantic comedy about Queen Elizabeth II is just what you need as a remedy for all the darkness in the world. The film just makes you feel good in a Roman Holiday sort of way!
#16: The Spanish Princess (2019)
Catherine of Aragon, a Spanish Princess, takes front and center in this new high production period piece. Just don’t go in looking for historical accuracy. For those interested, this is considered a sequel to The White Queen and The White Princess.
Content Note: Rated TV-MA for nudity in a bath scene and some sexuality.
#17: Titanic Miniseries (2012)
Jenna Coleman enters a vastly different moment in history with the Titanic. Interestingly enough, Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, wrote this highly ambitious miniseries.
Despite the talent involved, the structure doesn’t quite work. Nevertheless, the miniseries is still entertaining and definitely worth watching if you love Jenna Coleman and have an interest in the history of the tragic sinking of the Titanic.
#18: Victoria & Abdul (2017)
Judi Dench is back as Queen Victoria! Again, the movie focuses on her later years after Albert’s death.
#19: Victoria & Albert (2001)
Victoria TV Series fans don’t want to miss this underrated miniseries starring a fabulous British cast. From Victoria Hamilton, Jonathan Firth, Victoria‘s own Diana Rigg to Downton’s Penelope Wilton, Victoria & Albert is sure to fill that Victoria hole in your life. Naturally, the series focuses on the passionate love story between Victoria and Albert.
#20 & 21: Victoria the Great & Sixty Glorious Years (1937-1938)
Watch these two British films for a classic look into the romantic lives of Victoria and Albert.
Where to Watch: You must buy imported DVDs for both films.
#22: The White Queen (2013)
Before the Tudor dynasty, there was the House of York. The White Queen, an adaptation of Phillipa Gregory’s phenomenal historical novel, comes a story about Elizabeth Woodville’s marriage to a King. As an extra plus for Victoria fans, David Oakes (Ernest) plays a Duke in several episodes.
Content Note: This is rated TV-MA but the UK version is less explicit. They filmed extra unnecessary scenes for the Starz production here in the US.
#23: Wolf Hall (2015)
If indeed you prefer the Tudor dynasty Masterpiece style (so, not The Tudors), I highly recommend the intelligent series Wolf Hall about King Henry VIII. It’s a brilliant production well worth your time.
#24: Young Catherine (1991)
Julia Ormond, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave star in this beautiful costume drama about a young Catherine the Great. Catherine, like Victoria, is a naive and sheltered princess who gets thrust into the limelight. This time, Catherine is a potential bride of the Russian heir.
#25: The Young Victoria (2009)
While the film is a little too short, the screenplay by Julian Fellowes and the performances by Emily Blunt as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Albert are absolutely beautiful. Not to mention, the film embraces romance in the best possible way.
BONUS: A Discovery of Witches (2018)
Catch up on this epic contemporary fantasy before the arrival of season two. Not only is the romance superb (once again starring Matthew Goode) but Tom Hughes is joining the cast for season two during Victoria‘s hiatus. As the show involves a bit of time travel, season two turns to the Elizabethan past. Tom Hughes will be playing Kit Marlowe: the famous poet and playwright.
Content Note: It’s rated TV-MA though it feels mostly TV-14. There are moments of strong language, sensuality, and violence.
Do you watch Victoria on PBS? Do you have any film and TV recommendations for people looking to fill that Victoria void?
Top Photo Credits: Victoria (ITV); The Crown (Netflix); Downton Abbey (Focus Features); and The White Queen (Starz)