Period Dramas 2021

Welcome to the ONLY comprehensive listing guide to the latest period drama in the UK – the best place to find your 2021 period dramas.

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
  • 1st Jan – The Serpent (BBC mini-series) – Story of con-man and mass-murderer, Charles Sobhraj, who is discovered and trailed by a young embassy official in mid-70’s southeast Asia.
  • 8th Jan – Dickenson (Apple TV) – The second series of the drama looking at the world of writer Emily Dickenson.
  • 15th Jan – Blithe Spirit (movie) – a new adaptation of the comic play by Noel Coward starring Dan Stevens
  • 15th Jan – One Night In Miami (Amazon movie) – One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.
  • 22nd Jan – Its A Sin (Channel 4 mini-series) – A new drama about the story of the Eighties and the AIDS epidemic.
  • 29th Jan – The Dig (Netflix movie) – An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938. Starring Lily James and Carey Mulligan.
February
  • 10th Feb – News Of The World (Netflix movie) – A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
  • 19th Feb – To Olivia (movie) – The story of tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl. Starring Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes.
  • 26th Feb – The United States Vs Billie Holiday (movie) – Follows Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair.
March
  • 10th Mar – The Terror (BBC2 series) – Inspired by a true story and based on Dan Simmons’ novel of the same name, The Terror centres on the British Royal Navy’s perilous voyage into unchartered territory as the crew attempts to discover the Northwest Passage.
  • 26th Mar – 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.
  • 26th March – Ammonite (movie) – 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
  • 26th March – 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.
  • 26th March – Six Minutes To Midnight (movie) – UK, Aug. 15, 1939: 17 days before WWII, an English teacher and his camera disappear on a coastal boarding school with 20 German teen girls. Miller gets the job 6 days later, secretly trying to find out what happened.
April
  • 2nd April – Madame Claude (Netflix movie) – Paris, the late 1960s. Madame Claude is at the head of a flourishing business dedicated to prostitution that gives her power over both the french political and criminal worlds. But the end of her empire is closer than she thinks.
  • 16th April – Leonardo (Amazon Prime 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
  • 18th April – Call The Midwife Series 10 (BBC series) – The tenth series of the popular period drama chronicling the lives of a group of midwives living in East London in the late-1950s to mid-1960s.
May
  • 9th May – The Pursuit of Love (BBC series) – Lily James plays “fearless” feminist Linda Radlett and Emily Beecham plays her cousin and best friend, Fanny Logan, as the pair embark on an adventure across Europe for their titular pursuit of love.
  • 14th May – The Underground Railroad (Amazon series) – A young woman named Cora makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in the deep south.
  • 14th May – Halston (Netflix series) – It tracks Halston 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.
  • 14th May – Domina (Sky Atlantic Series) – The life and rise of Livia Drusilla, the powerful wife of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar.
  • 17th May – The Nevers (Sky Atlantic series) – An epic tale following a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.
June
  • 1st June – Anne Boleyn (mini-series) – A new dramatization of the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life, starring Jodie Turner-Smith.
Aug
  • 6th Aug – The Last Letter From Your Lover (movie) – A pair of interwoven stories, set in the past and present, follow an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the center of a trove of secret love letters from 1965.
  • 13th Aug – The Courier (movie) – Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • 24th Aug – Britannia Series 3 (Sky series) – The third series of this fantastical series which pitches Celts against the Romans.
  • 27th Aug – The Nest (movie) – Life for an entrepreneur and his American family begins to take a twisted turn after moving into an English country manor. Set in the 1980s.
September
October
  • 3rd Oct – Ridley Road (BBC mini-series) – A four part romantic spy thriller set against the backdrop of the Swinging Sixties.
  • 10 Oct – The Larkins (TV series) – Set in the late 1950s, The Larkins is the story of a working-class family led by wheeler-dealer Pop Larkin and his wife Ma, together with their six children.
  • 15th Oct – 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.
  • 22nd Oct – 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”.
  • 29th Oct – Last Night In Soho (movie) – A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
November
  • 3rd Nov – The Harder They Fall (Netflix film) – When an outlaw discovers his enemy is being released from prison, he reunites his gang to seek revenge in this Western. Starring Idris Elba.
  • 5th Nov – Spencer (movie) – During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
  • 5th Nov – Louis Wain (Amazon Prime movie) – Biopic of the prolific English artist who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings.
  • 5th Nov – The Phantom Of The Open (movie) – The story of golfer Maurice Flitcroft whose performance at the 1976 British Open Golf Championship made him a legend.
  • 10th Nov – Passing (Netflix film) – Mixed-race childhood friends reunite in middle class adulthood and become increasingly involved with one another’s lives and insecurities. While Irene identifies as African-American and is married to a black doctor, Clare “passes” as white and has married a prejudiced, but wealthy white man.
  • 12th Nov – The Colour Room (movie) – The movie follows the journey of  determined, working class woman Clarice Cliff as she breaks the glass ceiling and revolutionises the workplace in the 20th century.
  • 19th Nov – Mothering Sunday (movie)- 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.
  • 26th Nov – House of Gucci (movie) – The story of how Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renowned fashion designer Guccio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga.
December
  • 1st Dec – The Power Of The Dog (Netflix movie) – Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.
  • 5th Dec – The Great Series 2 (Starzplay) – A royal woman living in rural Russia during the 18th century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.
  • 10th 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.
  • 22nd Dec – The King’s Man (movie) – a period action comedy spy film, a prequel to The Kingsmen series of films.
  • 24th Dec – The Amazing Mr Blunden (movie) – Based on Antonia Barber’s novels The Ghosts
  • 24th Dec – The Mezzotint (movie) – It’s 1922 and in the heart of an old English college, Edward Williams receives an engraving of an unknown country house. An imposing facade. A sweeping lawn. And, just perhaps, something else…?
  • 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”.
2022
January
  • 7th Jan – Operation Mincemeat (movie) – During WWII, two intelligence officers use a corpse and false papers to outwit German troops. Starring Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen.
  • 14th Jan – The Tragedy of Macbeth (movie) – A Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power.
  • 14th Jan – Save The Cinema (movie) – Set in a small Welsh town in the 1990s, Save the Cinema is a feel-good story based on the efforts of one woman bringing together a community to save the local cinema.
  • 14th Jan – Cyrano (movie) – Too self-conscious to woo Roxanne himself, wordsmith Cyrano de Bergerac helps young Christian nab her heart through love letters.
  • 21st Jan – Munich: The Edge Of War (movie) – A British diplomat travels to Munich in the run-up to World War II, where a former classmate of his from Oxford is also en route, but is working for the German government.
February
  • 11th Feb – Death on the Nile (movie) – While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.
  • 25th Feb – Mrs Harris Goes To Paris (movie) – A new adaptation of Paul Gallico’s much-loved novel about a cleaning lady in 1950s London who falls in love with an haute couture dress by Christian Dior and decides to gamble everything for the sake of this folly.
  • 25th Feb – Belfast (movie) – A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s. Directed and written by Kenneth Branagh.
  • 25th Feb – 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.
March
  • 18th Mar – Downton Abbey 2 (movie) – A second movie telling the continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early twentieth century.
Sometime in 2021

Against The Ice (Netflix movie) – Battling extreme hunger, fatigue and a polar bear attack, Denmark’s Alabama Expedition find their ship crushed in the ice and the camp abandoned. Hoping to be rescued, they must fight to stay alive.

Around The World In Eighty Days (mini-series) – A new series based on French writer Jules Verne’s classic book. Starring David Tennant.

Becoming Elizabeth (mini-series) – A new eight part Tudor drama series from Starz.

Death Comes As The End (BBC mini-series) – Set in Ancient Egypt, a young woman suspects her priest father may be tied up in the death of a concubine.

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.

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.

The Ipcress File (mini-series) – A new six-part adaptation of Len Deighton’s classic espionage novel.

Instrumental (movie) – An adaptation of the bestselling memoir of English concert pianist James Rhodes, played by Andrew Garfield (Breathe).

Killers of the Flower Moon (movie) – Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (movie) – After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterley is torn between her love for her husband and her physical desires. With her husband’s consent, she seeks out other means of fulfilling her needs.

The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe (BBC1 series) – Adapted from Keith Badman’s 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe, The Good Karma Hospital writer Dan Sefton is dramatising the last six months of Marilyn Monroe’s life.

A League Of Their Own (Amazon mini-series) – Comedy series about the WWII All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Let Me Count The Ways (movie) – A dramatization of the love affair between the Elizabeth Barrett Browning and playwright Robert Browning in the mid-19th century.

Life After Life (mini-series) – Ursula Todd who dies one night in 1910 before she can draw her first breath. On that same night in 1910, Ursula is born and survives.

Miss Austen (mini-series) – Inspired by Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra’s infamous burning of Jane’s letter.

My Name is Leon (movie) – My Name is Leon tells the uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine year old Leon, a mixed-race boy whose desire is to keep his family together, as his single-parent mother suffers a devastating breakdown.

My Policeman (movie) – Lily James and Harry Styles star in this romantic movie inspired by the life of E.M. Forster

Nell Gwyn (movie) – A dramatization of the life of Nell Gwyn, mistress of Charles II.

Persuasion (movie) – A new adaptation of Jane Austen’s final completed novel. Starring Dakota Johnson.

Pistol (mini-series) – Based on the memoir of Steve Jones, the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist who helped usher in a punk revolution in Britain.

The Reckoning (movie) – After losing her husband during the Great Plague, Grace Haverstock (Charlotte Kirk) is unjustly accused of being a witch and placed in the custody of England’s most ruthless witch-hunter, Judge Moorcroft (Sean Pertwee).

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.

Roosevelt (movie) – A biographical drama about President Theodore Roosevelt starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

SAS: Rogue Heroes (BBC1 series) – The six-part drama is based on Ben Macintyre’s SAS: Rogue Heroes book, which charts the creation of the famed Special Forces unit.

Seacole (movie) – The story of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who sought to work with Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.

Shackleton (movie) – A new biopic about the life of Sir Ernest Shackleton starring Tom Hardy.

A Special Relationship (movie) – A new biopic about Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.

Vikings: Valhalla – Series 1(Netflix) – Follow-up series to ‘Vikings’ set 100 years afterward and centering on the adventures of Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Hardrada and the Norman King William the Conqueror.

White Bird: A Wonder Story (movie) – Centers on a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

The Witchfinder (mini-series) – A comedy about a 17th Century witchfinder and his suspect on a bit of a road trip.

Women In The Castle (movie) – The story of three German women during and after the Second World War.

Series We Are Expecting To Return

Bridgerton – Series 2

Gentleman Jack – Series 2

The Last Kingdom – Series 5

Outlander – Series 6

Peaky Blinders – Series 6

Sanditon – Series 2

Taboo – Series 2

Victoria – Series 4

Vienna Blood – Season 2

World on Fire – Series 2

Sometime in 2022 or later

The 39 Steps (Netflix series) – A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Babylon (movie) –  Period, R-rated drama, set in the shifting moment in Hollywood when the industry turned from silent film to talkies. Margot Robbie is due to star as Clara Bow.

Blonde (Netflix series) –  A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.

Brideshead Revisited (mini-series) – A remake of the Evelyn Waugh novel.

Catherine, Called Birdy (movie) – The movie will follow the adventures of a teenage girl in Medieval England as she navigates through life and tries to avoid the arranged marriages her father maps out for her

Cleopatra (movie) – Feature film based on the life of the powerful Egyptian leader. Starring Gal Gadot.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton (TV series) – Based on the popular gothic novel

Curtain Call (movie) – The film, set in 1930s London, revolves around a feared theater critic named Jimmy Erskine (Beale), his loyal assistant (Essiedu), a newspaper owner (Firth) who wants to get rid of the critic and an actress (Arterton) who has been devastated by the excoriating theatrical reviews.

Dangerous Liaisons (mini-series) – A pair of scheming ex-lovers attempt to exploit others by usingthe power of seduction. TV adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ classic 18th Century novel ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’.

The Devil In The White City (mini-series) – An architect works to build up the 1893 World’s Fair, while the serial killer H. H. Holmes uses the fair to attract and kill women.

Eleanor of Aquitaine (mini-series) – A new series based on Alison Weir’s Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life and Captive Queen.

Emily (movie) – Emily imagines the transformative, exhilarating, and uplifting journey to womanhood of a rebel and a misfit, one of the world’s most famous, enigmatic, and provocative writers who died too soon at the age of 30.

Empire Of Light (movie) – Set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England in the 1980s, the film is described as a love story. Starring Olivia Colman.

The Empress (Netflix mini-series) – new series about the iconic Empress of Austria-Hungry

The English (movie) – Follows a woman as she seeks revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son.

The First Lady (mini-series) – In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies.

The Five (TV series)  – A drama series about the untold story of Jack The Ripper’s victims, based on the book by Hallie Rubenhold

Gaslit (movie) – A modern take on the 1970s political Watergate scandal centering on untold stories and forgotten characters of the time.

The Gilded Age (NBC) – A look at life of millionaires living in New York during the 1800s by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes

Great Expectations (BBC mini-series) – Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight turns his hand to Charles Dickens’ thirteenth novel.

Irena Sendler (movie) – The story of Polish nurse and social worker Irena Sendler, and her activities with the Polish Underground Resistance in German-occupied Warsaw during World War 2.

Josephine Baker Biopic (mini-series) – starring Ruth Negga as the legendary Jazz performer and civil rights activist

Masters Of The Air (Apple TV series) – Five miles above the earth and deep behind enemy lines, eleven men inside a bomber known as the “Flying Fortress” fight for their lives against swarms of enemy German fighters. As American bombers are picked off one by one, their mission becomes very clear: survive.

Mr Malcolm’s List (movie) – A Regency-era Romantic comedy drama.

The Man Who Saved Paris (movie) – The most successful brothel owner in Paris during the 1940s is asked by the government to restore the city’s image (City of Love, Romance, Light) after the Nazi Occupation and falls in love when he least expects it.

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’.

The Northmen (movie) – From acclaimed director Robert Eggers, The Northman is an epic revenge thriller that explores how far a Viking prince will go to seek justice for his murdered father.

Not Bloody Likely (movie) – Based on the true story behind George Bernard Shaw’s masterpiece Pygmalion. Starring Helena Bonham Carter and Pierce Brosnan.

The Three Musketeers (movie) – A new two-part movie adaptation, starring Eva Green.

War Magician (movie) – Based on the book by David Fisher.

Wolf Hall (BBC 2) – a second series of the popular series based on Hilary Mantel’s popular books

The Wonder (movie) – Set in the late 1850s, the story follows an English nurse who goes to a tiny village in Ireland to observe what some view as a medical anomaly and others consider a miracle: a young girl who has survived without food for months.

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (BritBox miniseries) – While golfing on the Welsh coast, Bobby Jones apparently hits a stranger who falls off the the sea cliff. His enigmatic last words are “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”

After more period dramas in 2021? Then check out my period drama blog posts for more viewing inspiration.

 

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