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Previewing Upcoming 2017 Small Screen British and American Period Dramas

Upcoming 2017 Period Drama
Photo: ITV

There are plenty of summer blockbusters at the box office not unlike the plethora of crime dramas overwhelming our TV screens. (Not that I’m complaining since I am a bit of a TV show geek.) But nothing beats the beauty one can discover in a quiet and intelligent period drama.

This is why any hint of new period dramas sends me into fan girl excitement. As I Googled (a little too much), clicked, and swooned over the pictures, I discovered a few new dramas sure to become new favorites. Some of these are romances that, I am sure, will cause fits of swooning. Others sound like proper mysteries with classic prose as their originator. But the one thing these all have in common are ensemble casts dripping in talent and British companies that know how to deftly produce these dramas.

Today we’re looking at upcoming and returning period dramas, the likes of which cover a variety of eras.

Previewing 10 Upcoming 2017 Small Screen Period Dramas

Listed by premiere date; subject to change

1. Victoria (Victorian Period)

When: Sundays | Where: Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) | Rated TV-PG

Photo: ITV

ITV’s “Downton Abbey replacement” is airing now, and if you’re anything like me, it’s your new obsession. Suffice to say, it’s enchanting.

RELATED | Victoria Episode One Recap – Her Majesty, Queen Victoria (Plus there’s Rufus Sewell!)

2. Dark Angel (Victorian Period)

Period Drama Preview Dark Angel
Photo: ITV

When: May 21 | Where: Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) | Rating Unclear

Downton Abbey alum Joanne Froggatt stars in this new ITV series about Mary Cotton, the first female serial killer.

3. To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters (Victorian Period)

Period Drama Preview To Walk Invisible
Photo: ITV

When: March 26 | Where: Masterpiece Theatre | Rating Unclear

A 2-part miniseries, this drama chronicles the lives of the famous Bronte sisters in a kind of biopic formula.

4. Anne

When: March 2017 | Where: Netflix | Rating Unclear

This Netflix series is a remake of the classic L.M. Montgomery series, Anne of Green Gables. While the 80s series starring Megan Follows is always my favorite, I’m quite excited about this “new generation” adaptation.

5. Time After Time

When: Early 2017 | Where: ABC | Rating Unclear

This one might be stretching the “period drama” genre a little since it’s time travel, but it begins in 1893 with a young H.G. Wells before journeying to modern day New York. The show gives off Forever vibes, which sadly, was a short-lived ABC drama.

Future and In Production Period Dramas

Dramas without a US air date; listed in alphabetical order

1. The Alienist

TNT is set to air this “Gilded Age thriller” that is set to star Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl, and Luke Evans. It’s slated for a late 2017 premiere.

2. The Halycon

The Halcyon Promotion
Photo: ITV

This drama looks like a glitzy and beautiful one in the tradition of Downton Abbey or the Spanish drama, The Grand. It’s set in a ritzy hotel and following the second world war.

3. Knightfall  (Medieval Period)

This Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) and Julian Ovenden (Foyle’s War) led ten-part series is described as a 14th-century drama that will “look at the final days of Knights Templar.” Jeremy Renner is also rumored to be producing this, a History Channel series.

4. The Moonstone (Victorian Period)

The Moonstone 2016
Photo: BBC

A remake of the classic Wilkie Collins novel, this adaptation features a mostly fresh-faced cast that promises to be an old-fashioned ghost story. Considering this one has already aired in the U.K., I suspect a US air date isn’t far behind.

5. Witness for the Prosecution

Sarah Phelps returns to adapt this 2- part Agatha Christie story. Phelps already has a Christie adaptation to her name (And Then There Were None) as well as being a writer for Dickensian and Crimson Field. Needless to say, if prior work is anything to judge by, this will be a “gritty” mystery. (EDIT: This premieres on Acorn TV on January 30.)

Returning Series:

Call the Midwife, January (PBS), the 1960s
Endeavour, January (PBS), the 1960s
Mercy Street, January (PBS), Civil War
Murdoch Mysteries, January (Ovation), Victorian
X Company, January (Ovation), WWII
Z: The Beginning of Everything, January (Amazon Prime), Roaring 20s
The Durrells in Corfu, April (PBS), 1940s

Which of these are you most anticipating? Are there any period dramas not on this list you’re looking forward to? Sound off below. I’d love to chat with you.

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By on January 24th, 2017

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

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7 thoughts on “Previewing Upcoming 2017 Small Screen British and American Period Dramas”

  1. Definitely some interesting prospects. I think “Time after Time” looks interesting, though I’ll admit to already bracing myself for the series being pulled by ABC… And though I don’t know a think about “The Alienist”, you only have to mention Dakota Fanning to get my attention. Also- I’ve always been intrigued by the Brontes so of course I’m curious about that bio flick.
    Thanks for the heads up. ^^

    • Hi, Joni! I agree. “Time After Time” has “pulled” all over it – sadly. It has some interesting/unique promise, but I don’t expect it’ll last long. Still, one can hope. 🙂 Hope you enjoy “The Alienist” once it’s out in the world. It does indeed have great promise.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Thank you so much for that!! Except for the first two series, I didn’t hear about the others so lots of stuff to watch now. 😀


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