35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-Series and TV Shows Edition (2016)

#16: Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Poirot - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: Carnival Films

While more episodes stream over on Acorn TV, there are still plenty to catch on Netflix. I love a good British Murder Mystery, and Agatha Christie is the best for a reason. Each episode is a new mystery and new cast of characters (outside the iconic detective) that will keep you guessing who did it right up to the very end…

Content Note: There’s a little violence because of the murders.

#17: Merlin

35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Lancelot and Guinevere in Merlin (I had to show off a picture of Lancelot…)
Photo: BBC Worldwide

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 tied with Ioan Gruffudd) and Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy fame plays the sometimes villainous and hilarious Uther.

Content Note: Rated TV-PG.

#18: The Grand (EDIT: Now expired…)

The Grand - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: ITV

Before Downton Abbey, there was The Grand about the upper and lower classes of a hotel. While definitely imperfect, it’s an enjoyable watch and has some good characterization in it thanks to the writer Russell T. Davies (the same man who would later bring back Doctor Who).

Content Note: Unrated but from what I’ve seen thus far, it feels somewhere between TV-PG and TV-14.

#19: Bomb Girls

Bomb girls - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: Muse Distribution

A Canadian look at WWII. While mediocre, I enjoyed Bomb Girls as a binge watch. Being Erica fans will enjoy seeing a period drama version of fan favorite Kai!

RELATED | Bomb Girls Review

Content Note: This is rated TV-PG and contains sensuality and violence.

#20: Foyle’s War

35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: ITV

Foyle’s War follows Superintendent Christopher Foyle as he solves crimes in the midst of the chaos WWII brings. With a female driver Samantha (Foyle doesn’t drive) and partner Paul Milner (he’s gets injured so can no longer fight), the criminals have no chance…It’s Samantha that really steals the show with her heart.

Content Note: This is rated TV-14.

#21: Land Girls (EDIT: Now Expired…)

Land Girls - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: BBC

Another 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 when you’re really bored.

Content Note: Rated TV-PG.

#22: Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)

35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Anne (Ellie Kendrick) looks back at the secret annex in a heartbreaking final scene after they have been discovered and arrested.
Photo: BBC

Rather than trying to convince you to watch this stellar adaptation, I’ll just let Amber convince you in her review: Anne Frank.

Content Note: While unrated, Anne Frank deals with darker themes like the Holocaust.

#23: The Bletchley Circle

The Bletchley Circle - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: PBS

Seven years after WWII, a group of women puts their old codebreaking skills to use in order to solve murders they think are connected. A fascinating period drama with interesting female characters to identify with.

Content Note: Rated TV-PG.

#24: Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: BBC

Not many TV shows follow mostly female characters and deal with female problems. 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 | Call the Midwife Review

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

#25: Velvet

Velvet - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: Antena

Another Spanish import, Velvet is a classic class divide love story set in the 1950s and ’60s that will make you swoon. The production values are also fantastic.

Content Note: Velvet is rated TV-14.

#26: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Jonathan Strange - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: BBC

Both fantasy and period drama, this magical adaptation of the best-selling novel is a must see!

RELATED | Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Review

Content Note: Rated TV-14. It contains non-sexual nudity during childbirth.

#27: Tamra The Island

Tamra the Island - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: MBC

Tamra the Island is a Korean romantic comedy meets period drama. You might just be entertained if you don’t take this one seriously. Like at all.

Content Note: Unrated, but as this is a Korean Drama, I doubt there is anything explicit here.

#28: The Bible

The Bible - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Samson and his mother
Photo by Joe Alblas – Lightworkers Media / Hearst Productions

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. And then go and watch The Ten Commandments instead.

Content Note: Rated TV-14 for a few sexual references, violence, and slight nudity.

#29: Granite Flats

Granite Flats - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: BYUTV

This cold war spy thriller likely has gone by most people’s radar, but it is actually quite good (though starts out slow) with an excellent cast that features Christopher Lloyd, Parker Posey, and even Cary Elwes for a few episodes. Because the focus is on 3 child sleuths, kids and adults will like this one! Though the focus does switch a little more to the adults in the second season.

Content Note: Rated TV-G, Granite Flats is completely family friendly.

#30: Galavant

Galavant - 35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix
Photo: ABC

This ABC series follows Galavant, a man seeking his happy ending after King Richard steals his true love.

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


Turn to page 3 for more period dramas including a new one coming soon!


By on October 10th, 2016

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely site and works as a YA Librarian.

More posts by this author.

26 thoughts on “35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix – Mini-Series and TV Shows Edition (2016)”

  1. This is the second time I’m reading your Netflix article (by the way, this website is amazing! 🙂 but this is only on the Netflix US right? Cause in France it looks like I can’t find them. Except Miss Fisher that I’m currently watching.

    • Thank you! And yes, this is only Netflix US. I should go back and clarify that. Hopefully, I can add what to watch in countries like France sometime in the future. And Miss Fisher is amazing! I hope you enjoy. 🙂

  2. Yes really fun show. :-)I do love the settings and costumes.
    Nice of you but you don’t have to bother. You live in the US so it’s kind of logical to talk only about these shows. I’m only a little jealous… lol

  3. I have watched both The Great Train Robbery and George Gently and didn’t find anything too objectionable in them. The first is a British miniseries based on real events. I love a good heist story (in theory – I’d really disapprove in real life), so I enjoyed it. George Gently is a detective series that was quite fun too. They’re both set in the 1960s. Love your site – just found it!

  4. I also just finished watching Lilies. I enjoyed it – flawed characters, so don’t expect everything to look beautiful or have a rosy glow. What I really appreciated was how close this family is.

  5. One of my favorite shows ever is Turn: Washington’s Spies. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters. AMC’s take on the American Revolution and the Culper Spy Ring is phenomenal. It’s very historically acurate, while taking some leeway for the drama of the show. Turn is an incredible learning experience full of action and mystery. It is so refreshing and intriguing to get into the mindset and everyday decisions of America’s most iconic men and women. The show is incredibly bold and rightly one of the best period dramas ever made.

  6. #34…Lillies does have nudity in at least one of the early episodes. I haven’t seen past that one. I stopped watching since I prefer no nudity.

    • The nudity in the series is very brief, and it’s a very good series and worth watching even if you don’t like nudity.

  7. I really like Magnificent Century about the Ottoman Empire. It’s Turkish with English subtitles. Unfortunately Netflix only has the first 48 episodes. I can’t find the rest anywhere.

    • Magnificent century is the BEST show EVER!!! Angela- the first 48 are actually the first season. But broken up differently. Anyways. You can find the Turkish episodes on “dailymotion.com” type it as Turkish muhtesem Y. Bolum
      Xx . … then after my source for subtitled google drive videos went mia – I found a website that kindly offers a GREAT translation of the episodes you need. – you could print ? Maybe copy paste? Print or just have phone open while watching on iPad or -streaming device. It actually works well!
      How this helps
      Main link
      Go to early posts on blog to find season 2 start.
      (Watch last Netflix refresher)

      But hmmm she may not go back as far as early seas 2
      Anyways there are some Facebook “summary type translations” I had to use if u search.
      The follow up series is OK.
      Season- 1 is GREAT!!!!!
      Season 2- to 2.5 ok. And then 2.5-end…. downhill
      Made me wonder what happened. But I’ve never ever watched anything Turkish –
      But I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Magnificent century. Sulleyman & Hurrem’s TRUE love story is amazing.
      That time period was a HOT time period… Henry viii was up in England w his 6 wives… he should’ve had the Harem not Sulleyman!!! Haha- kidding!!!
      The Harem was NOT a “sex” place it was a structured institution of education & rules
      – the Sultans mother typically chose the concubine to go to the Sultans bed chamber.
      Anyways- this has it all
      Family love
      Romantic love
      Historical accuracy & lots of historical “inaccuracies” due to dramatization .
      Court intrigue x 100 !!!
      I mean LIFE OR DEATH! Cut throat city!
      Some decent military scenes – battle of Mohacs- Hungary – 1526—- WOW!!!! What amazing filming!
      I love MC
      MC- kosem (1) & have been Lost without them!
      Hope this helps -Leslie

  8. Hi there!

    I am from India and I would love to know the sources (online streaming/download) of the period dramas mentioned above.

  9. My favourite of all time is Çalikusu/Lovebird. The story is so beautiful and the actors have amazing chemistry. Feride’s monologues always had me end up in tears and the interaction between the main couple was refreshingly sweet, fun and almost dangerous. I rate the chemistry between the actors and the characters developement 10/10. The plot was about 9/10.
    I highly recommend it!

  10. My favourite of all time is Çalikusu/Lovebird. The story is so beautiful and the actors have amazing chemistry. Feride’s monologues always had me end up in tears and the interaction between the main couple was refreshingly sweet, fun and almost dangerous. I rate the chemistry between the actors and the characters developement 10/10. The plot was about 9/10.
    I highly recommend it! ❤️

  11. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you



  13. I am ever so glad someone mentioned George Gently, I would add The Doctor Blake Mysteries to the list, great period drama.

  14. I love this! Thank you so much for all of your reviews!
    Another tip about Netflix….. in their search, type in 12123 and quite a few period piece movies come up. Some listed are all the way up to the 1970’s and beyond which aren’t my cup of tea. I’d much rather read your reviews and the commentaries here.

  15. Omggg you’re such a life saver. I’ve been looking forever for this tv series after I lost my Netflix account and had to get another one (forgot the name of the series) everytime I looked for it I hit a dead end.”Love Bird“ thanks for posting this I’m very much in your debt.


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