Period Dramas – 2020

Welcome to the ONLY comprehensive guide to upcoming period dramas in the UK.

This page is regularly updated with details of the latest period drama due in the cinemas and on your TV.

Heard about a new period drama or think something is missing? Then head over to my Twitter account and let me know.

January

February
  • 7th Feb – Mr Jones (movie) – A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s
  • 9th Feb – The Pale Horse (BBC One) – Is a trio of witches responsible for a series of sudden deaths or is there a rational explanation?
  • 9th Feb – Endeavour (ITV) – The seventh series of the show following Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable.
  • 14th Feb – Emma (movie) – a new film production of the popular Jane Austen novel, starring Ana Taylor-Joy
  • 14th Feb – Waiting for Anya (movie) – During the harrows of WWII, Jo, a young shepherd along with the help of the widow Horcada, helps to smuggle Jewish children across the border from southern France into Spain
  • 14th Feb – Outlander – Series 5 (Amazon Prime) – An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, Based on the popular series of books by Diana Gabaldon.
  • 28th Feb – The True History Of The Kelly Gang (movie) – Based on Peter Carey’s novel. The story of Australian bush-ranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s.
March
  • 13th Mar – Misbehaviour – A group of women hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty contest in London. Starring Keira Knightley.
  • 15th Mar – Belgravia (ITV)– ITV has commissioned a series based on Downton Abbey’s creator Julian Fellow’s novel Belgravia, a tale of secrets and scandals set in 1840s London.
  • 20th Mar – Radioactive (movie) – A story of the scientific and romantic passions of Marie and Pierre Curie, and the reverberation of their discoveries throughout the 20th century.
  • 20th Mar – Self Made – Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Netflix) – The story of hair care pioneer, Madam C.J. Walker and the trials faced on the road to becoming America’s first black, self-made millionaire.
  • 20th Mar – The English Game (Netflix) – The story of the invention of football and how it quickly rose to become the world’s game by crossing class divides.
April
May
  • 1st May – Blithe Spirit (movie) – a new adaptation of the comic play by Noel Coward starring Dan Stevens
  • 1st May – Hollywood (Netflix series) – A group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood try to make it big – no matter the cost.
  • 15th May – The Great (TV series) – A royal woman living in rural Austria during the seventeenth century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.
  • 29th May – Green Knight (movie) – A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
June
September
October
December
  • 18th Dec – West Side Story (movie) – An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Sometime in 2020
  • Ammonite (movie) – The film reveals the life, plight and loves of the eminent Mary Anning, an 1800’s fossil hunter – navigating her career and research in a male dominated society. Predominantly unknown despite her spectacular finds, and notwithstanding the fact that Darwins’ ‘Origin of Species’ was largely influenced by her work.
  • An Unquiet Life (movie) – The story of tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl.
  • The Banishing (movie) – The Banishing tells the story of the most haunted house in England. In the 1930s, a young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret
  • Banking on Mr Toad (movie) – A biopic about the writer Kenneth Grahame, the birth of his iconic story “The Wind In The Willows”, and his life with wife Elspeth, and Alastair their troubled young son.
  • Bridgerton (Netflix) – Wealth, lust, and betrayal set in the backdrop of Regency era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family
  • Blonde (movie) –  A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
  • The Crown (Series 4) – Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
  • Dead Still (BBC) – Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of ‘postmortem photography’ the six-episode period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects.
  • Death Comes As The End (BBC) – Set in Ancient Egypt, a young woman suspects her priest father may be tied up in the death of a concubine. An Agatha Christie story
  • The Dig (movie) – An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938. Starring Lily James.
  • The Elephant Man (BBC1) – Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton is to star as Joseph Merrick, the title role in BBC1’s upcoming two-part drama The Elephant Man.
  • Enola Homes (movie) – Millie Bobbie-Brown stars as Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister, who is also a private detective herself
  • Fanny Lye Delivered (movie) – Set on an isolated farm in Shropshire in 1657. The story of Fanny Lye, a woman who learns to transcend her oppressive marriage and discover a new world of possibility – albeit at great personal cost
  • Gentleman Jack (BBC) – Second series about the life of Anne Lister
  • The Gilded Age (NBC) – A look at life of millionaires living in New York during the 1800s by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes
  • Josephine and Napoleon (TV series) – partly based on the biography of Josephine by Kate Williams
  • Leonardo (TV series) – The series recounts Leonardo’s extraordinary life through the works that made him famous, through the stories hidden within those artworks, revealing little by little the inner torment of a man obsessed with attaining perfection
  • Louis Wain (Amazon Prime movie) – Biopic of the prolific English artist who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century.
  • The Luminaries (BBC 2) – Adventure mystery set in the midst of New Zealand’s 1860’s gold rush.
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (movie) – When Ma Rainey, the “Queen of the Blues,” makes a record in a studio in Chicago, 1927, tensions boil between her, her white agent and producer, and bandmates.
  • Medici: Masters of Florence – Series 3 (Netflix) – A political family drama set in Florence in the early fifteenth century. Cosimo de Medici finds himself at the helm of his banking dynasty when his father, Giovanni, dies suddenly.
  • The North Water (TV series) – The North Water tells the story of Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic
  • Tesla (movie) –  A film about the intriguing life of Nikola Tesla, as a young man in NYC.
  • Rebecca (Netflix movie) – a new adaptation of Daphne de Maurier’s gothic novel starring Lily James
  • Seacole (movie) – The story of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who sought to work with Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.
  • The Singapore Grip (ITV) – The Singapore Grip is an epic story set during World War Two, centering on a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion
  • Six Minutes to Midnight (movie) – Summer 1939. Influential families in Nazi Germany have sent their daughters to a finishing school in an English sea side town to learn the language and be ambassadors for a future looking National Socialist. A teacher there sees what is coming and is trying to raise the alarm. But the authorities believe he is the problem.
  • Taboo – Series 2 (BBC1) – Adventurer James Keziah Delaney returns to London during the War of 1812 to rebuild his late father’s shipping empire. However, both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost – even murder.
  • A Very British Scandal – Series 2 (BBC) – the second series looks at the notorious divorce case of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, known by some back in 1963 as the “Dirty Duchess”.
  • Sylvie (movie) – Set in New York City between the late 1950s and early 1960s, the film follows Sylvie what meets an aspiring saxophonist.
  • Lady Whistledown (Netflix) – new period drama based on historical romance author Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons Series.
  • Wolf Hall (BBC 2) – a second series of the popular series based on Hilary Mantel’s popular books
  • The Children (BBC)
2021
  • 15th Oct – Hamilton (movie) – The real life of one of America’s foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Filmed live on Broadway from the Richard Rodgers Theatre with the original Broadway cast.

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