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British Period Drama for Christmas and the New Year

period drama
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Photo: BBC.

Christmas has got to be the best time of year for period drama. And am I prejudiced, or does Britain do it particularly well? Here are some highlights coming up over Christmas and into the new year. Let’s hope they make it to you, wherever you are in the world!

Downton Abbey

period drama
Downton Abbey. Photo: ITV.

Lace handkerchiefs at the ready! The final series of Downton Abbey has already finished in Britain, with the last ever episode due to air on Christmas Day. Can Lady Edith find happiness?  Can the Bateses have a child? Can Thomas Barrow be good? And what will the Dowager have to say about it all? Find out as we say a fond farewell to our beloved Abbey and its inhabitants. The Christmas special should reach U.S. viewers in a couple months.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

period drama
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride. Photo: BBC.

Yes, the rumours are true. Coming New Year’s Day, a special episode of Sherlock set in the original period. Thomas Ricoletti is a bit surprised to see his wife in her old wedding gown because she’d died several hours earlier. Will Holmes and Watson discover the shocking truth behind the Abominable Bride? Can’t wait to see how this one pans out…

And Then There Were None

period drama
The cast of And Then There Were None. Photo: BBC.

If you’re getting Poldark withdrawal symptoms, never fear! Aidan Turner joins an all-star cast in a new series adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famous crime novel. In 1939, 10 strangers are invited to Soldier Island, which is cut off from the mainland. When one of the party suddenly dies, they soon realise they might be harbouring a murderer among their number.


period drama
Jacob Marley played by Peter Firth in Dickensian. Photo: BBC

Coming sometime soon, this ambitious new BBC 20-part (yes, we did say 20-part!) series will see the beloved characters created by Charles Dickens living next door to one another on one cobbled street. You can expect Oliver Twist’s Mrs Bumble (Caroline Quentin) and Bleak House’s Inspector Bucket (Stephen Rea) to bump into the likes of Martin Chuzzlewit’s Mrs Gamp (Pauline Collins) and Great Expectations’ Amelia Havisham.

Peter and Wendy

period drama
Maurice Cole as John and Hazel Doupe as Lucy in Peter and Wendy. Photo: ITV

A very special two-hour version of JM Barrie’s classic, featuring Paloma Faith as Tinkerbell. It opens in Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Lucy Rose, 12, who doubles as Wendy Darling is awaiting treatment. The night before she’s due to have her operation, she reads Peter Pan and after falling asleep, dreams this version.

War and Peace

period drama
Lily James and James Norton kiss in War and Peace. Photo: BBC

Really, really looking forward to this one! Lilly James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) leads a stellar cast, including Paul Dano, James Norton and Gillian Anderson in a sumptuous new adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic Russian novel. Expect battles, passion, palaces and snow!

Which of these period dramas are you looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments!

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By on December 1st, 2015

About Elizabeth Hopkinson

Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy writer from Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK - home of the Brontë sisters and the Cottingley Fairies. She loves fairy tale and history, especially the 18th century, and is currently writing a trilogy set in a fantasy version of baroque Italy. Her short fiction has appeared in many publications, and her historical fantasy novel, Silver Hands, is available from all good book outlets. You can check out Elizabeth's website at hiddengrove.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.

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