Netflix is nothing if not a goldmine of content, with basically something to watch for everyone, and today we are making a list of the best period dramas on Netflix you can watch right now. The shows in this list are not ranked.
Synopsis: Britain in 1919 is a tumultuous mix of despair and hedonism, a nation cleaned out by the extravagances of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutionaries and criminal gangs all fight for survival in an industrial landscape gripped by economic upheaval. Based on a true story, this drama follows a gang in Birmingham as they rise to become the most feared and powerful in town.
The Queen’s Gambit
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, the Netflix limited series drama THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess. The series is directed and written by two-time Academy Award nominee Scott Frank and executive produced by Frank, William Horberg and Allan Scott, who also co-created the series. THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling and Bill Camp.
Synopsis: Based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling book series and Executive Produced by Ronald D. Moore, OUTLANDER spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure as it follows Claire Randall, a married World War II combat nurse who mistakenly falls back in time to 1743. Forced by circumstance to marry Jamie Fraser, an outlawed Highlander, she finds herself falling in love and torn by her loyalties to two men in vastly different times. Claire must reconcile her modern mindset with this 18th Century world amidst threats from ruthless Redcoats, volatile clan politics and a brutal witch trial – and ultimately discovers that there is a fate worse than death as she must struggle to save Jamie’s heart, as well as his soul.
The English Game
Synopsis: The six-part drama charts the origins of football and how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport. The series is written and executive produced by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and produced by 42 (Watership Down, Traitors).
Synopsis: In a kingdom defeated by corruption and famine, a mysterious rumor of the king’s death spreads, as does a strange plague that renders the infected immune to death and hungry for flesh. The crown prince, fallen victim to a conspiracy, sets out on a journey to unveil the evil scheme and save his people.
Synopsis: Set over a thousand years ago in the early 11th century, VIKINGS: VALHALLA chronicles the heroic adventures of some of the most famous Vikings who ever lived — the legendary explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his fiery and headstrong sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and the ambitious Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). As tensions between the Vikings and the English royals reach a bloody breaking point and as the Vikings themselves clash over their conflicting Christian and pagan beliefs, these three Vikings begin an epic journey that will take them across oceans and through battlefields, from Kattegat to England and beyond, as they fight for survival and glory.
Call the Midwife
Synopsis: Call the Midwife follows the nurses, midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, who visit the expectant mothers of Poplar, providing the poorest women with the best possible care.
Synopsis: The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne… a new era is dawning. Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Golden Globe® winner for Best TV Drama Series, “The Crown,” created by Peter Morgan, explores the Queen’s private journey behind the public facade with daring frankness.
Synopsis: FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench probe further into the psyches of those who have done the unthinkable. With help from psychologist Wendy Carr, they apply their groundbreaking behavioral analysis to hunting notorious serial killers.
Synopsis: Narcos is an inside look into the world of international drug trafficking and the rise and fall of the world’s most dangerous criminals who would stop at nothing to attain the ultimate goal – power. The series offers viewers a window into both sides of what ultimately became the world’s most lucrative business – the import and export of illegal drugs. From the battles between the DEA, local law enforcement, the military and the most righteous of government officials, to the greed driven, even deadlier battles between the multiple cartel factions themselves – riddled with corruption from all sides – the rise of the drug war and major role the U.S. plays in it, being the largest consumer in the world, unfolds before us.
The Last Kingdom
Synopsis: A story of redemption, vengeance, and self-discovery set against the birth of England, this drama series follows young warrior and outsider, Uhtred on a fierce mission to reclaim his birthright. The Last Kingdom combines real historical figures and events with fiction, re-telling the history of King Alfred the Great and his desire to unite the many separate kingdoms into what would become England.
Troy: Fall of a City
Synopsis: An epic story of love and war, intrigue and betrayal. When Helen and Paris fall in love, they trigger a chain of events that threatens their families and the city of Troy. The myths surrounding the Trojan War are over 3,000 years old but have emotional depths and timeless themes of identity, love, revenge and belonging. Troy: Fall of a City grounds these primal myths in vivid psychological truth and explores the universal questions of human existence- how people battle to retain their love and humanity amidst the chaos and devastation of war.
Synopsis: The story of Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan), was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin), in 1843. James was hanged while Grace was sentenced to life imprisonment. Grace became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder, and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail. Her conviction was controversial, and sparked much debate about whether Grace was actually involved in the murder, or merely an unwitting accessory. Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Looking for Alaska, Take this Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol).
Anne With an E
Synopsis: Anne is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. Anne’s adventures will reflect timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.
Synopsis: Amidst the political conflict of Northern Ireland in the 1990s, five high school students square off with the universal challenges of being a teenager.
Synopsis: Notorious criminal Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) and his gang of outlaws are on a mission of revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a son-like protégé who betrayed the brotherhood. While on the run, Roy seeks refuge with hardened widower Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), an outcast herself, in a worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, NM — governed mainly by women. When word reaches La Belle that Griffin is headed their way, the town bands together to defend against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier.
Synopsis: A young boy who ends up in the U.S. after the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident returns to Korea at a historical turning point and falls for a noblewoman.
Synopsis: At 28, King Louis XIV of France commissions Versailles, the most beautiful palace in Europe, which serves as the King’s gilded prison – keeping his friends close and enemies closer. Enter a world of untold wealth, power, and passion. Where love and lust are just a heartbeat away from deceit and betrayal. Experience Versailles in all its brutal glory.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
Synopsis: Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Madam C.J. Walker, the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire. Inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the Netflix original series, SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER brings the uplifting story of this cultural icon to the screen for the first time. Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change. The four-part limited series also stars Blair Underwood as her husband C.J. Walker, Tiffany Haddish as her daughter Leila, Carmen Ejogo as Walker’s business rival Addie Monroe, Garrett Morris as Walker’s father-in-law, Kevin Carroll as her longtime lawyer Ransom and Bill Bellamy as Ransom’s cousin Sweetness. SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER was created by Nicole Jefferson Asher with co-showrunners Elle Johnson & Janine Sherman Barrois, directed by Kasi Lemmons and DeMane Davis, and executive produced by Barrois, Johnson, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Eric Oberland, Christine Holder, Mark Holder, Kasi Lemmons, LeBron James and Octavia Spencer.
Synopsis: Set in Nazi Germany during World War II, Charite at War shows us the story of a hospital in Berlin and the people who work in it, We see the effects of cruel Nazi policies on Doctors, Nurses, and Medical Students, there is a constant nerve-racking distrust, and sadness throughout the series. This six-part miniseries is the sequel to the German series Charite. The series shows us the deterioration of the hospital and the effects of World War II on people.
Synopsis: The series is set to begin in Madrid during 1928. The national telephone company opens its headquarters in the city centre and hundreds of girls queue up to get a job as a “cable girl” in the only place that represents progress and modernity for women at the time. Four girls, coming from very different backgrounds, will start work as operators. From that day on, jealousy, envy and betrayal will get mixed up with the hunger for success, friendship and love. The group of four is formed by Lidia (Blanca Suárez, El barco, El internado), Marga (Nadia de Santiago, Musarañas, Amar es para siempre), Carlota (Ana Fernández, Los protegidos) and Ángeles (Maggie Civantos, Vis a vis).
Synopsis: The series is an action-packed adventure drama following the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century. Told from multiple perspectives, the series takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Native tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts.
Synopsis: Hidden between the lines of the history books is the story of Mary Stuart, the young woman the world would come to know as Mary, Queen of Scots. The teenage Mary is already a headstrong monarch – beautiful, passionate and poised at the very beginning of her tumultuous rise to power.
Selena: The Series
Synopsis: Before she became the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla was a young girl from Texas with big dreams and an even bigger voice. Selena: The Series explores her journey from singing small gigs to becoming the most successful female Latin artist of all time — and the years of hard work and sacrifice the Quintanilla family navigated together.
Synopsis: From Shondaland and Creator Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne. Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.
Synopsis: The limited series HALSTON follows the legendary fashion designer (Ewan McGregor), as he leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that’s synonymous with luxury, sex, status and fame, literally defining the era he lives in, 1970’s and ‘80’s New York — until a hostile takeover forces him to battle for control of his most precious asset… the name Halston itself. The series is Executive Produced by Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Alexis Martin Woodall, Daniel Minahan, Ewan McGregor, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of Killer Films, Eric Kovtun and Sharr White. Minahan also serves as the series director.
When They See Us
Synopsis: Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro from Tribeca Productions executive produced the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Array FilmWorks. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, Michael Starrbury and Julian Breece also served as writers on the limited series. The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.