From epic romances to nostalgic favorites, these are currently the best period dramas on Amazon Prime Video.


Amazon Prime Video has become a hotspot for streaming period dramas in the last few years. When scrolling on the streaming platform, you can find hundreds of titles to choose from, making it difficult to know what to watch. So, to make it easier for all you period drama fanatics or newbies out there, we’ve narrowed down the best period dramas on Amazon Prime right now for you to watch – of the television variety. From favorites like romantic Jane Austen adaptations to some fabulous period drama mysteries, international dramas, lesser-known jewels, and more, there is something for everyone.

This list was first published a few years ago, so it’s now up to date as of July 2020. Starting now, we plan to update this page a couple of times a year. So, bookmark this page for future updates.

RELATED: THE 50 BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE MOVIES & TV SHOWS TO WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME (2018)

Overall, we compiled the list to have a good variety. Though, like always, we mostly selected series with less explicit content. We also linked to the reviews for each period drama (if we have one). Enjoy!

Note: Availability of these period dramas on Amazon Prime Video are subject to change at any time. Also, this list only includes available period dramas in the United States.


The 50 Best Period Dramas on Amazon Prime – Miniseries and TV Shows (2020)


#1 A French Village (2009-2017)

A French Village poster (best period dramas on Amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: In French with English subtitles. This acclaimed drama is about the German occupation of France during World War II and its effects on the inhabitants of a small village in Jura. In June 1940, the village of Villeneuve awakes to the arrival of the German army, and the next four years of occupation have a shattering effect on the lives of all its inhabitants.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re looking for an excellent international show to stream, this award-winning drama has it all: history, suspense, romance, fascinating characters, and more. The series brings a new perspective to what it was like to live in occupied France.

Content Note: Some of the episodes include mature content. It is rated TV-MA.

#2 A Woman Called Moses (1978)

a woman called moses poster (best period dramas on amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: A Woman Called Moses stars Cicely Tyson as real-life escaped slave Harriet Tubman. At the risk of recapture, Tubman helped organize the Underground Railroad, which enabled hundreds of enslaved African Americans to make their way to the freedom of the North. Adding to the tension are Harriet’s frequent epileptic fainting spells. Orson Welles narrates this adaptation of Marcy Heidish’s novel.

Why You Should Check It Out: Cicely Tyson gives a tour de force performance in this brilliant dramatic biopic about Harriet Tubman. It’s a must-see two-part miniseries.

Content Note: The miniseries is NR but categorized as 18+ on Prime Video.

#3 Anna Karenina (2013)

Anna Karenina (2013) image
Photo Credit: Nordic Productions and Lux Vide

Amazon Prime Synopsis: An aristocrat’s affair with a wealthy Count turns Russian high society upside down in this adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary classic.

Why You Should Check It Out: I haven’t seen this one yet, but it stars Santiago Cabrera – one of the most swoony actors ever to exist! So, I plan to watch this adaptation very soon. He’s one of my favorite actors. Plus, I’ve heard good things about this lesser-known version.

Content Note: 13+ (Content unclear)

#4 Anzac Girls (2014)

Anzac Girls movie poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: The true stories of extraordinary young women who witness the brutality and heroism of war and rise to meet the challenge.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re a fan of Australian dramas or war shows about women, then Anzac Girls should be at the top of your list! It’s a miniseries full of relatable female characters.

Content Note: TV-MA for violence and brief strong language.

#5 Aristocrats (1999)

Aristocrats BBC photo
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Aristocrats chronicles the long and often turbulent lives of the Lennox sisters, daughters of the Duke of Richmond. Set in the 18th century against a backdrop of royalty and rigid conventions, of political intrigue and scandal, each of the sisters’ searches for love and happiness, in an age of great change.

Why You Should Check It Out: This British drama series has a fantastic cast, including a supporting role from Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes. It’s an excellent historical drama about fascinating women.

Content Note: TV-PG

#6 The Bletchley Circle (2012-2014)

The Bletchley Circle poster (best period dramas on Amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Four seemingly ordinary women become the unlikely investigators of a string of grisly murders in this original thriller, set against the backdrop of post-war London. Starring Anna Maxwell Martin.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you love British mystery shows, you should watch The Bletchley Circle. It’s one of the better ones. Plus, it has a top-notch cast, and it will hook you from the start.

Content Note: TV-14

#7 Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Brideshead Revisited poster (best period dramas on Amazon Prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: “Brideshead Revisited” is a mini-series that’s set between the 1920s and the 1940s. On a fine day in Oxford, artist Charles Ryder befriends Sebastian Flyte, who belongs to a wealthy English aristocratic family. Charles gets involved with his family and spends time at their palatial mansion called Brideshead Castle. The series explores his journey of faith and anguish through his life.

Why You Should Check It Out: Jeremy Irons stars in what is considered a period drama masterpiece. If you’re into artistic period dramas, you’ll want to watch this Golden Globe-winning miniseries.

Content Note: 13+. Some mature content included.

#8 Daniel Deronda (2002)

Daniel Deronda promotional image
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Gwendolen Harleth falls in love with the idealistic Daniel Deronda, but they couldn’t be more different. When Gwendolen is forced by circumstances into an oppressive marriage, Daniel becomes involved with a talented Jewish singer. Torn between the two women, Daniel embarks on a quest to discover his true identity. Fate however, leads to a surprising twist.

Why You Should Check It Out: Romola Garai and Hugh Dancy have amazing onscreen chemistry. The period drama miniseries is also an excellent adaptation of the novel. And while somewhat tragic, the romance in this series is spellbinding.

Content Note: TV-PG

#9 David Copperfield (1999)

Maggie Smith and Daniel Radcliffe in David Copperfield 1999 (best period dramas on Amazon Prime)
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: The tale of David Copperfield from his birth and idyllic upbringing through hardship and adventure leading to his eventual discovery of his vocation as a novelist. On his journey, David encounters a gallery of Dickens’ most memorable characters, including Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Steerforth and others.

Why You Should Check It Out: Arguably the greatest adaptation of Dickens’ famous novel, this miniseries is must-watch British television. Not only is the writing and production quality sound, but the cast is fantastic. You’ll see Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Imelda Staunton, Ian McKellen, Dawn French, Tom Wilkinson, Emilia Fox, and even a young Daniel Radcliffe.

Content Note: TV-PG

#10 Dickensian (2016)

Dickensian promotional image (best period dramas on amazon prime)
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ critically acclaimed novels, Dickensian brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham, as their lives intertwine in 19th century London.

Why You Should Check It Out: Dickensian plays out like a prequel to a few of Charles Dickens’ novels. So, if you’re a fan of Dickens or Victorian period dramas, then this is must-watch television.

Content Note: TV-PG

#11 Doctor Thorne (2016)

Doctor Thorne
Photo: ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: From the creator of Downton Abbey. Dr. Thorne lives a quiet life with niece Mary in Greshambury, home of the wealthy Gresham family. Unbeknownst to others, the Greshams have lost their fortune and matriarch Lady Arabella has a scheme to regain it via an arranged marriage with her son and an American heiress.

However, her son plans to elope with Mary, which complicates Lady Arabella’s plans.

Why You Should Check It Out: Because I know there are many still going through Downton Abbey withdrawal. What better way to fill the void than another period drama by Julian Fellowes? If you’re looking for a romantic miniseries, add this one to the top of your list! You can catch the trailer now and begin streaming.

Content Note: TV-14

#12 Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey cast photo
Photo: ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Downton Abbey — a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape — needs an heir.

Dame Maggy Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham matriarch of Downton. Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflappable Lord Crawley. Elizabeth McGovern is his far-sighted American wife, Cora. From Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes. This is the original un-edited UK version of the program.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you STILL are one of the few people on the planet who haven’t seen Downton Abbey, go and make this a priority ASAP. This addictive period drama will capture your hearts with unforgettable characters and amazing love stories. Also, Maggie Smith’s one-liners are hysterical.

Content Note: TV-PG to TV-14

#13 Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great

Ekaterina TV series image
Photo: Russia-1

Amazon Prime Synopsis: This major international production traces the rise of Catherine the Great, Empress of 18th Century Russia and part of the Romanoff line. Ekaterina, a German princess, is selected to marry Peter the Third, heir to the Russian throne and grandson of Peter the Great. Her story, filled with emotion, struggle and passion shows that even in an age of imperial dynasties, power is not given. It is taken.

Why You Should Check It Out: Fans of historical dramas, international shows, and royal period dramas, won’t want to miss this popular series from Russia. It’s also a beautiful production.

Content Note: 13+ (Content Moderate)

#14 Empress Ki

Empress Ki poster (best period dramas on amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: From Goryeo girl to Empress of China, this period drama depicts the loves, betrayals, wars, and resolve of the woman who would one day rule the Yuan dynasty.

Why You Should Check It Out: Empress Ki is an epic historical drama starring Ji Chang Wook, one of the most popular Korean actors. If you enjoy compelling love stories or Korean dramas, you won’t want to miss this one.

Content Note: 13+

#15 Empresses in the Palace (2013)

Empresses in the Palace - Period Dramas on Amazon Prime
Photo: Dongyang Hua’er Film & TV Co.

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Set in 1722 during the Qing Dynasty, sweeping drama EMPRESSES IN THE PALACE is an epic tale of love, betrayal and scandal told from inside the Imperial Harem – the story of one emperor and his countless women. In a world filled with treachery and corruption, who will truly win the Emperor’s heart and reign supreme? In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Why You Should Check It Out: An epically romantic Chinese drama, the story has made my own ‘must-watch’ list. What’s also great about this historical drama is that we can watch the series from beginning to end!

Content Note: 7+

#16 Endeavour (2012-)

Endeavour
Photo: ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Before Inspector Morse, there was the rookie Constable Morse, fed up with police work and ready to nip his career in the bud by handing in his resignation. That is, until a murder turned up that only he could solve.

Why You Should Check It Out: Inspector Morse fans will love this series about a young “Constable Morse” and his early career during the 1960s. For those looking for another good British mystery series, make sure to add this one to your list! Don’t forget to see the 2012 Masterpiece Mystery movie first.

Content Note: Switches between TV-PG and TV-14.

#17 Grantchester (2014-)

Grantchester
Grantchester. Photo: PBS/ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: In GRANTCHESTER, a young vicar and a veteran cop join forces to solve baffling murders around a placid English village in 1953.

Why You Should Check It Out: James Norton is absolutely incredible in this role. A new addictive pleasure that every period drama fan should check out, particularly if you love shows with a focus on mysteries and characterization.

Content Note: TV-14

#18 GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1999)

Great Expectations 1999 (best period dramas on amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Violence and Victorian gentility meet in one of Dickens’ greatest creations. Pip’s epic journey from boy to man has at its center his relationships with the terrifying convict Magwitch, manipulative Miss Havisham and the beautiful but heartless Estella. Tony Marchant’s adaptation is dark, sometimes savagely comic and wholly unsentimental.

Why You Should Check It Out: The casting in this production is near perfect. Ioan Gruffudd (one of the best period drama actors) stars as Pip with Justine Waddell and Charlotte Rampling also starring.

Content Note: TV-14

#19 Heidi (1993)

Heidi - Period Dramas on Amazon Prime
Photo: Disney

Amazon Prime Synopsis: This version of “Heidi” is considered the definitive version. It stars Jason Robards and Jane Seymour. When Heidi, an orphan, is sent to live with her grandfather in the Alps, she ends up charming the embittered old man. She is sadly sent to Frankfurt where she befriends Klara, a young girl in a wheelchair. “Heidi” is a triumph of love, friendship, and forgiveness that will capture your heart.

Why You Should Check It Out: I think Amazon’s description kind of sells this version on its own (though I also love the Shirley Temple take on the story). Worth watching with the entire family!

#20 Home Fires (2015-2016)

Home Fires poster (best period dramas on amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Starring Masterpiece favorites Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey) and Francesca Annis (Reckless) as part of a remarkable group of women living in a small rural village during World War II. Separated from husbands, fathers, sons and brothers for years at a time, they find themselves under extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.

Why You Should Check It Out: A well written period drama about women that celebrates women. A great pick if you love the series, Call the MidwifeHome Fires is one that I watched with my mother, which made the experience more memorable. Be warned, however, it does have a cliffhanger because it was canceled after the second season. Books continue the story, though!

Content Note: TV-PG

#21 Howards End (2018)

Howards End
Matthew McFayden and Hayley Atwell stroll the grounds of Howards End. Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: The Schlegel sisters are two independent and unconventional sisters seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world.

Why You Should Check It Out: This visually stunning adaptation stars fan favorites Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell. It’s also a lovely version of the book.

Content Note: TV-14

#22 Indian Summers (2015-2016)

Indian Summers poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Julie Walters stars as the glamorous doyenne of an English social club in the twilight era of British rule in India.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you enjoy Masterpiece period dramas, then you’ll likely enjoy this one. It’s set in a similar time to Downton Abbey but takes place in India. The costumes and production design are beautiful.

Content Note: TV-14

#23 Jane Eyre (1983)

1983 jane eyre promotional image
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: After a wretched childhood as an orphan, Jane Eyre accepts the position of governess at Thornfield Hall. She soon falls in love with the brooding owner, Mr Rochester. Jane gradually wins his heart but, before they can find happiness as man and wife, they must first overcome the dark secrets of his past.

Why You Should Check It Out: Arguably just as good as the popular 2006 adaptation, Timothy Dalton shines as the Byronic Mr. Rochester. If you want more reasons to watch, check out our article: 10 Fantastic Reasons to Watch the 1983 Jane Eyre Adaptation

Content Note: TV-PG

#24 Jane Eyre (2006)

Jane Eyre 2006
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: After a wretched childhood as an orphan, Jane Eyre accepts the position of governess at Thornfield Hall. She soon falls in love with the brooding owner, Mr Rochester. Jane gradually wins his heart but, before they can find happiness as man and wife, they must first overcome the dark secrets of his past.

Why You Should Check It Out: The chemistry between Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens is incredible. The proposal scene will mesmerize you! Plus, it’s overall an excellent adaptation of the famous novel.

Content Note: TV-PG

#25 Little Dorrit (2008)

Little dorrit poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: This gripping series by Andrew Davies brings to life Dickens’s powerful story of struggle and hardship in 1820s London. When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, his curiosity is piqued by the presence in his mother’s house of a young seamstress, Amy Dorrit. Where will Arthur’s quest to discover the truth leave him in the scheme of things? And where will it leave the Dorrits?

Why You Should Check It Out: Little Dorrit has an all-star cast, including Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, and is one of the best romantic period dramas ever made.  

Content Note: TV-PG

Review: Little Dorrit (2008)

#26 Little Men (1998-1999)

Little Men 1998 promo image (best period dramas on amazon prime)
Photo: CTV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Set in rural Massachusetts, the series chronicles the heroic struggles of Jo Bhaer as she attempts to manage Plumfield, a boarding school for boys, after the tragic death of her husband Fritz. Based upon Louisa May Alcott’s classic sequel to Little Women.

Why You Should Check It Out: Little Men is a little-known Canadian series about the widowed Jo March. It diverts sharply from the books but is a heartwarming series fans of Road to Avonlea will enjoy.

Content Note: 7+

#27 Little Women (2018)

Little Women (2018)
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, as they navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss, and marriage.

Why You Should Check It Out: While the series feels more British than American, the miniseries adaptation is still very good with a likable cast. You also won’t want to miss Angela Lansbury give a memorable performance as Aunt March!

Content Note: TV-PG

#28 Lorna Doone (2000)

Lorna Doone

Amazon Prime Synopsis: John Ridd watches as his father is killed by the feared clan, the Doones, and swears to avenge his death. Years later, when he meets the beautiful Lorna the attraction is instant, but when Lorna later reveals herself to be a Doone, John is horrified. John realizes he cannot fight the love growing between them and he must rescue her from becoming the unwilling bride of her ruthless cousin.

Why You Should Check It Out: This story of star-crossed lovers will win over all the romantics out there.

Content Note: TV-PG

#29 Martin Chuzzlewit (1994)

Martin Chuzzlewit (best period dramas on amazon prime)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Old Martin Chuzzlewit is nearing his death. Who will inherit his riches? With such a prize to play for, the Chuzzlewit family bring forth all of their cunning, greed and selfishness.

Why You Should Check It Out: This witty adaptation of Charles Dicken’s lesser-known novel is must-see entertainment full of scheming, drama, and humor.

Content Note: TV-PG

#30 Melody 1963 (An American Girl Story)

American Girl: Melody 1963 poster

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Set in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement, “An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win examines the joyful life and troubled times of an irrepressible 10-year-old African-American girl whose vivid imagination and creativity reinforce her optimism. When shocking national events threaten her sense of security, Melody must find inner strength to restore her hope for a better world.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you’re looking for a period drama (that’s also historically accurate) for older children, check out this lovely optimistic series set in the 1960s. You can also watch the other seasons set in the 1950s and 1970s. Each season follows a different character in a different time period.

Content Note: 7+

#31 Mercy Street (2016-2017)

Mercy Street
Photo: PBS

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Based on real events, Mercy Street takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of a distinctive cast of characters — doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists — realizing the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War.

Why You Should Check It Out: This is an engaging romantic period drama that takes place in America! The series also improves as you get into it.

Content Note: TV-14

#32 Middlemarch (1994)

middlemarch

Amazon Prime Synopsis: A masterpiece of 19th Century literature is transformed into a triumph of 20th Century television in this turbulent classic drama. A multi-layered story of provincial life on the brink of momentous change.

Why You Should Check It Out: Middlemarch is a brilliant period drama miniseries based on George Eliot’s perfect novel. It’s romantic, thought-provoking, and one of the best BBC period dramas ever produced. Plus, Rufus Sewell stars as the romantic leading man. Also, Judi Dench plays George Eliot!

Content Note: TV-PG

#33 Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)

Moon Embracing the Sun
Photo: Pan Entertainment

Amazon Prime Synopsis: A powerful king and a female shaman carry out a secret romance In this historical drama, set in Joseon Dynasty-era Korea.

Why You Should Check It Out: This award-winning historical romance series from Korea is incredibly popular for a reason!

Content Note: 13+

#34 My Mother and Other Strangers (2016)

My Mother and Other Strangers
Credit: BBC/Masterpiece

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Shot on the stunningly beautiful Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland, My Mother and Other Strangers portrays the culture clash when a U.S. bomber base is established near the fictional village of Moybeg in 1943, bringing hundreds of gum-chewing, swing-band-listening American airmen to a remote Ulster farming community, with its winsome women and stolid workingmen.

Why You Should Check It Out: Hattie Morahan stars in this high-quality Masterpiece production! It’s part historical war drama, so expect some heartbreak.

Content Note: TV-PG

#35 Oliver Twist (2007)

Oliver Twist
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: On a dark and stormy winter’s night in a miserable, dank room, lit only by a few candles, Oliver is born into a life of poverty and misfortune. Growing up in a workhouse, watching the suffering and cruelty endured by the boys at the hands of his masters, Oliver decides he wants more and sets out for London. There he meets the Artful Dodger, Nancy, Fagin and gets the first warm welcome of his life.

Why You Should Check It Out: This miniseries is one of the best adaptations (and there have been many) of Dickens’ classic novel about an orphan in Victorian London.

Content Note: TV-PG

#36 Ordeal By Innocence (2018)

Ordeal by Innocence
Photo: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Synopsis: When wealthy philanthropist, Rachel Argyll, is murdered at her family estate, her adopted son Jack is arrested for her murder. He vehemently protests his guilt and eighteen months later, the identity of the murder is thrown in doubt. Now it is up to the rest of the family to decipher a killer amongst them.

Why You Should Check It Out: While not wholly faithful to Agatha Christie’s book, the cast alone makes this miniseries worth watching. The cast includes Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, Matthew Goode, Anna Chancellor, Anthony Boyle, and more.

Content Note: TV-MA (Brief strong language and other moderate mature content.)

#37 Our Mutual Friend (1998)

Our mutual friend (best period dramas on amazon prime)
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Bottom of FormThis highly acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens’ last completed novel paints a powerful portrait of Victorian London. Set against the contrasting backgrounds of new money and squalid poverty, two epic love stories unfold amid bitter tensions over money, class and passion. This classic is adapted by Sandy Welch.

Why You Should Check It Out: I can’t say enough good things about this British period drama. It has a fantastic cast, including Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Anna Friel, Pam Ferris, Timothy Spall, and David Morrissey. Also, Sandy Welch, the screenwriter behind period drama favorites, North and South, and Jane Eyre (2006) penned the brilliant script.

Content Note: TV-PG

#38 Poldark (2015-2019)

Poldark promotional image
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: It’s 1783 and Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. But Ross finds that hope and love can be found when you are least expecting it.

Why You Should Check It Out: Aidan Turner as the Byronic Poldark is just about pitch-perfect, and so is the rest of the TV Series. Romance, characterization, and the gorgeous Cornwall scenery make this one not to miss. You can now binge all six seasons. Anyone else love the Ross and Demelza love story?

Content Note: TV-14

#39 Pride and Prejudice (1980)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: A much-praised dramatization of the Jane Austen novel, adapted for television by Fay Weldon. Mrs Bennet frantically tries to find husbands for her five daughters.

Why You Should Check It Out: While not as beloved as the 1995 and 2005 adaptations, the 1980 version follows the book closely and is worth checking out. It’s a favorite among many Jane Austen fans.

Content Note: TV-PG

#40 Robin Hood (2006-2009)

Robin Hood 2006
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Robin returns home to find a corrupt and changed Nottingham. The ruthless Sheriff is now in charge, crippling the poor with greedy taxes and severely punishing them for stealing. Aided by a gang of outlaws the ever-gallant Robin is determined to fight for the good of these hapless people.

Why You Should Check It Out: Richard Armitage. Richard Armitage. Richard Armitage. Okay, the sweet love story between Robin and Marian is nice too! Robin Hood is a fun series if you’re in the mood for a period adventure story. Warning, season three is not as good as the first two seasons.

Content Note: TV-14

#41 Sense and Sensibility (2008)

Sense and Sensibility
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor’s warnings. Elinor struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?

Why You Should Check It Out: This is an excellent adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous story about sisters. The love stories mixed with social commentary will have you hooked from start to finish. It also has a brilliant cast, including Hattie Morahan, Dominic Cooper, and Dan Stevens.

Content Note: TV-PG

#42 Tess of the D’urbervilles (1998 & 2008)

Tess of the D'urbervilles
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008) Photo: BBC Worldwide

Amazon Prime Synopsis (1998): A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative “cousin” Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy.

Why You Should Check It Out: I couldn’t choose between the two adaptations as they’re equally good and fantastic for different reasons. Just be prepared for a tragic story. Watch the 2008 version HERE.

Content Note: TV-14/TV-PG

#43 The Durrells in Corfu (2016-2019)

The Durrells in Corfu
Photo: ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Based on naturalist Gerald Durrell’s much-loved trilogy of novels, The Durrells in Corfu sees impoverished but sparky widow Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes, MI-5) make the radical decision to leave 1930s England to seek out a new destiny for her family.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you enjoy a bit of zany fun in your period dramas, you won’t want to miss the crazy antics of the Durrells family. It’s entertaining, romantic, funny and has beautiful scenery. 

Content Note: TV-PG

#44 The Living and the Dead (2016)

The Living and the Dead
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: When Nathan Appleby, a pioneering psychologist, inherits Shepzoy House in a beautiful but isolated Somerset valley, he decides to make a new life for himself and his adored wife, Charlotte. But soon the idyll is compromised by strange and disturbing occurrences that all seem to inexplicably swirl around the increasingly troubled Nathan. Is he being haunted? Why? And by whom?

Why You Should Check It Out: Colin Morgan (Merlin) stars in this supernatural period drama full of beautiful scenery, romance, and spooky horror.

Content Note: TV-14

#45 The Scholar Who Walks the Night (2015)

Scholar Who Walks the Night
Photo: MBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: She’s fallen nobility, dressed as a boy to sell books on the street. He’s a vampire scholar, haunted by the face of his long-lost love. When night falls: anything goes.

Why You Should Check It Out: If you love historical fantasy or romantic vampire stories, you won’t want to miss this addicting Korean drama. It’s one you’ll want to binge-watch. Plus, it has a fascinating vampire villain.

Content Note: 13+

#46 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

the tenant of wildfell hall

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Anne Bronte’s classic story is as unforgettable as those of her more famous sisters. In a remote village on the Yorkshire moors, a beautiful widow and her son move into the near-derelict Wildfell Hall. Befriended by a handsome farmer, she remains mysteriously silent about her past and why she is afraid – until she becomes the focus of malicious village gossip.

Why You Should Check It Out: Toby Stephens (Jane Eyre) and Tara Fitzgerald star in this romantic adaptation of the overlooked and unconventional novel by Anne Brontë.

Content Note: TV-14

#47 The Way We Live Now (2001)

The Way We Live Now

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Anthony Trollope’s epic tale of Victorian power and corruption captures the turmoil as the old order is swept aside by the brash new forces of business and finance. It is packed with the trials and tribulations of young love, the enduring values of honorable men, the raw energy of one of the most powerful cities in the world, and the greed and corruption that lay below its glittering surface.

Why You Should Check It Out: The Way We Live Now is an example of good British drama. The cast is top-notch and the script riveting. My only real complaint is that the Southern accent in the miniseries is painful to hear! Be warned, Matthew Macfadyen plays a despicable and utterly unlikeable character, proving how versatile he is as an actor.

Content Note: TV-14

#48 To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters (2017)

To Walk Invisible Bronte sisters
Photo: BBC

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Learn the extraordinary story of how, against all odds, the famous literary trio had their genius for writing romantic novels recognized in a male-dominated 19th-century world.

Why You Should Check It Out: It’s a fascinating and eye-opening look behind the sisters who wrote some of the greatest novels ever created.

Content Note: TV-14 for brief strong language and an explicit scene.

#49 Vanity Fair (2018)

Vanity Fair (2018)

Amazon Prime Synopsis: In a world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having, no one is more determined to climb to the heights of English Society than Miss Rebecca Sharp.

Why You Should Check It Out: The story of the complex heroine, Becky Sharp, is told splendidly in this excellent adaptation of the novel, although it has a bit of modern flair.

Content Note: TV-14

#50 Victoria (2016-)

Victoria
Photo: ITV

Amazon Prime Synopsis: Bottom of FormCreated by Daisy Goodwin, this ambitious drama presents the early years of one of history’s greatest monarchs.

Why You Should Check It Out: One of the better period drama TV series, Victoria, mostly follows the love story of Victoria and Albert. It also has a Downton Abbey flair to the series. Overall, if you enjoy romanticized period dramas about royals, then this is a great series to watch.

Content Note: TV-PG

BONUS: Belgravia (watch the first two episodes on Prime)

Belgravia

Amazon Prime Synopsis: The Trenchard family ascends to London’s aristocratic society, Belgravia. However, secrets from the past threaten to emerge and jeopardize the family.

Why You Should Check It Out: Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) does it again with his new miniseries based on his historical fiction book. If you’re looking for a quick binge with a happy ending, then you’ll love this miniseries.

Content Note: TV-PG


Now, I didn’t cover everything on Amazon Prime, including several period drama TV shows with more mature content and ratings. So, if you don’t mind mature content, then The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for example,is a fantastic pick!

This list also only includes period drama TV shows and miniseries, but there are also several period films to watch. However, that list is for another day!

What period dramas on Amazon Prime do you plan on watching? Any recommendations? Sound off below…


Featured Image at Top: Poldark (BBC), Howards End (STARZ), Jane Eyre (BBC), Doctor Thorne (ITV).

Note: This article was first published in May 2016 and has been updated.

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