When it comes to relaxed evening entertainments, there are few pastimes that can beat snuggling down on the sofa with a glass of red and a Netflix/Amazon series. These TV streaming services have opened up a whole world of new shows for us to sink our teeth into, and with so much choice, there really is something for everyone.
When it comes to genres, period dramas are an especial favourite of ours. Offering an intoxicating combination of history, romance, and action, they tend to combine sumptuous costumes with great scripts and some truly gripping scenes.
So, the next time you’re on the lookout for something new to watch, here are four that we’d recommend.
The Last Kingdom (Netflix)
Where period dramas are concerned, we often have a very narrow view of what they should look like. We imagine ladies in long, flowing gowns being charmed by some handsome 17th century gentleman, but some of the best historical shows on TV are full of grit and gore. The Last Kingdom is a perfect example. One of the most impressive series to grace the small screen in recent years, it follows the charismatic Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon) as he seeks to reclaim his ancestral homeland. Set in the time of Vikings and Saxons, it focuses on a period that’s rarely depicted in television: the birth and beginning of England as we know it.
Viking culture has provided inspiration for numerous entertainment mediums. Breathing life into everything from video games including The Banner Saga through to daily jackpot slots like Wild Nords, which is available at sites such as Paddy Power, this unique civilisation was famed for being bloody, violent, and adventurous. In Vikings, its tale is told through the eyes of famed warrior Ragnar Lothbrok, whose battle prowess and brilliant mind take him from farmer to king over the course of the series. With epic battle scenes, a host of charismatic characters, and brilliantly written action, it’s sure to have you hooked.
Black Sails (Amazon)
Based on a host of characters borrowed from both real life and Treasure Island, Black Sails is the often violent and intensely gripping tale of the golden age of piracy. Starring a host of talented actors, from Toby Stephens (Die Another Day and Jane Eyre) through to Tom Hopper (Merlin, Umbrella Academy, and Game of Thrones), it features unconventional love stories, unlikely friendships, and a story par excellence. You’ll be gripped from start to finish.
Alias Grace (Netflix)
Based on the book by Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace is not your standard period drama fare. Harrowing, haunting, and sure to keep you engrossed, it tells the tale of a 19th century murderess and the psychiatrist who’s been sent to judge her insanity. Set in the frozen wastes of Canada, its antihero is at once compelling and divisive, leaving you continually questioning the nature of true evil. Often sympathetic and sometimes chilling, this historical piece is as thought-provoking as they come.
Isn’t it time you settled on a new series to watch? With these four fantastic recommendations to consider, you really will be spoilt for choice.