Period Drama – 2020

Welcome to the ONLY comprehensive guide to the latest period drama 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
April
  • 26th April – The Last Kingdom – Series 4 (Netflix) – As Alfred the Great defends his kingdom from Norse invaders, Uhtred – born a Saxon but raised by Vikings – seeks to claim his ancestral birthright.
May
  • 1st May – 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.
  • 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.
  • 18th May – Dead Still (Acorn TV) – 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.
June
  • 19th June – Girls From Ipanema (Netflix) – Series 3 – After the disappearance of her husband, Maria Luiza opens a Bossa Nova club in defiance of her normally conservative demeanor.
  • 21st June – The Luminaries (BBC 1) – Adventure mystery set in the midst of New Zealand’s 1860’s gold rush.
  • 26th June – 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
  • 28th June – Robert The Bruce (movie) – The story of the nobleman-turned-outlaw hero who was crowned king of Scots in the 14th century.
July
  • 3rd July – Hamilton (Disney+ movie) – The real life of one of America’s foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Captured live on Broadway from the Richard Rodgers Theatre with the original Broadway cast.
  • 8th July – Mrs America (BBC series) – Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly leads an unexpected fight against the Equal Rights Amendment movement during the 1970s. Starring Cate Blanchett.
  • 10th July – Greyhound (Apple TV movie) – Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks. Starring Tom Hanks.
  • 24th July – Summerland (movie) – During World War II, an Englishwoman “Gemma Arterton” opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him in this moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.
  • 26th July – A Suitable Boy (BBC1 series) – A vast, panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families and exploring India and its rich and varied culture at a crucial point in its history.
August
  • 7th Aug – The Secret Garden (movie) – An orphaned girl discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle’s estate
  • Tesla (movie) –  A film about the intriguing life of Nikola Tesla, as a young man in NYC.
September
  • 1st Sept – All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5 series) – The numerous adventures of a friendly staff at a country veterinarian practice in 1930s to 1940s Yorkshire. A remake of the 1978-1990 series. Taken from the autobiographical books by James Herriot.
  • 13th September – The Singapore Grip (ITV series) – The son of a British family living in South East Asia becomes involved in a love triangle.
  • 16th Sept – The Devil All The Time (Netflix movie) – Book-to-movie adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s novel set in Ohio in the 1960’s about a group of people suffering from the effects of WWII.
  • 18th Sept – Ratched (Netflix series) – A young nurse at a mental institution becomes jaded, bitter and a downright monster to her patients. Loosely based on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
  • 23rd Sept – Enola Homes (Netflix movie) – Millie Bobbie-Brown stars as Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister, who is also a private detective herself
  • 25th Sept – 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.
October
  • 11th Oct – The Spanish Princess (Series 2) – The beautiful Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, navigates the royal lineage of England with an eye on the throne.
  • 16th Oct – The Trail of the Chicago 7 (Netflix movie) – The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 16th Oct – La Revolution (Netflix series) – In a reimagined history of the French Revolution, the guillotine’s future inventor uncovers a disease that drives the aristocracy to murder commoners.
  • 21st Oct – Rebecca (Netflix movie) – a new adaptation of Daphne de Maurier’s gothic novel starring Lily James
  • 22nd Oct – 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
  • 23rd Oct – The Queens Gambit (Netflix series) – Centers the “life of an orphan chess prodigy” named Beth Harmon “from the age of 8 to 22 as she struggles with addiction in her quest” to become a Grandmaster in chess
  • 30th Oct – The Courier (movie) – Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
November
  • 13th Nov – 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.
  • 15th Nov – 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.
  • 20th Nov – Small Axe (BBC1 series) – Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.
  • 23rd Nov – Black Narcissus (mini-series) – Adaptation of the 1939 novel. A group of nuns face challenges in the hostile environment of a remote old Himalayan palace that they wish to make a convent.
December
  • 4th Dec – Mank (Netflix movie) – Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane.
  • 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.
  • 18th Dec – 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.
  • 18th Dec – Death on the Nile (movie) – While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress
  • 25th Dec – Bridgerton (Netflix) – Wealth, lust, and betrayal set in the backdrop of Regency era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family
  • 26th Dec – Blithe Spirit (movie) – a new adaptation of the comic play by Noel Coward starring Dan Stevens
Sometime in 2020
  • An Unquiet Life (movie) – The story of tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl.
  • The Elephant Man (BBC2) – Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton is to star as Joseph Merrick, the title role in BBC1’s upcoming two-part drama The Elephant Man.
  • 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
  • Green Knight (movie) – A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  • The Irregulars (Netflix series) – The Irregulars’ offers a twist on the classic tale of Sherlock Holmes, by focusing on a group of children whose crime-solving work is taken credit by Holmes.
  • The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe (BBC1 series) – Adapted from Keith Badman’s 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn MonroeThe Good Karma Hospital writer Dan Sefton is dramatising the last six months of Marilyn Monroe’s life.
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Pursuit of Love (mini-series) – Based on the novel by Nancy Mitford.
  • Seacole (movie) – The story of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who sought to work with Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.
  • 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.
2021
  • 22nd Jan – Respect (movie) – The life story of legendary R&B singer, Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson
  • 12th Feb – The King’s Man (movie) – a period action comedy spy film, a prequel to The Kingsmen series of films.
  • 23rd Dec – The Nightingale (movie) – The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah’s novel ‘The Nightingale’.
  • 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.
  • Blonde (movie) –  A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton (TV series)
  • The Dig (movie) – An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938. Starring Lily James.
  • The Duke (movie) – In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, steals Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London.
  • The Essex Serpent (Apple TV) – An adaptation of the bestselling book, it will follow a newly widowed woman, played by Keira Knightley, who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to a small village in the county of Essex.
  • 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 Five (TV series)  – A drama series about the untold story of Jack The Ripper’s victims, based on the book by Hallie Rubenhold
  • The French Dispatch (movie) – A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch Magazine”.
  • Josephine and Napoleon (TV series) – partly based on the biography of Josephine by Kate Williams
  • Louis Wain (Amazon Prime movie) – Biopic of the prolific English artist who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century.
  • Mothering Sunday – A maid living in post-World War I England secretly plans to meet with the man she loves before he leaves to marry another woman. Starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth.
  • The Nightingale (movie)- The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah’s novel ‘The Nightingale’. Staring Dakota and Elle Fanning.
  • The Last Duel (movie) –  King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.
  • The Rising: 1916 (movie) – To free his people from centuries of oppression, a young polio survivor sacrifices true love to mastermind a secret rebellion against the greatest empire the world has ever known.
  • 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”.
  • Lady Whistledown (Netflix) – new period drama based on historical romance author Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series.
  • Wolf Hall (BBC 2) – a second series of the popular series based on Hilary Mantel’s popular books

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