Last Updated on August 24, 2023

Love British costume dramas, historical romances, and period-set comedies, and have Acorn TV? Then you are in luck: North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television frequently adds new period dramas to its offerings. 

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Below, you’ll find which period dramas are new to Acorn in 2023, followed by a big list of other previously available historical, costume, and British period dramas that are streaming on Acorn TV in 2023. This list has been updated through September.

We’ve sorted that second list into various categories like literary adaptations, mysteries, foreign language dramas, and movies and series set in a specific time period. 

You’ll want to bookmark this page, as it will be updated all year as new movies and series in the genre are added. If you watch Acorn TV as a Prime Video add-on channel, click on “Add to your WATCHLIST” at the end of each description to save these shows for future viewing.

Acorn TV offers a free trial for subscribers, so they can start to binge programming from its ever-growing slate of world-class mysteries, dramas and comedies from Britain and other countries. The free trial is available on the Prime Acorn TV Add-on Channel.

Those interested can also sign up here on the Acorn TV website and use promo code WT30 for an extended 30-day free trial just for Willow and Thatch readers.


New for Period Drama Fans in 2023

Dalgliesh (Season 2), courtesy Acorn TV

Catherine Cookson’s A Dinner with Herbs (2000)

One night in 1851, the fathers of young Hal Roystan (Tom Goodman-Hill, Humans) and Roddy Greenbank (Jonathan Kerrigan, Heartbeat) are killed by the same man, setting off a chain of events that brings the orphan boys together into a fateful friendship with local girl Mary Ellen (Melanie Clark Pullen, George Gently) and then drives them apart with consequences that echo on to the next generation.

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6 episodes. Premieres May 15, 2023

Catherine Cookson’s The Round Tower (1998)

Vanessa (Emilia Fox) is the daughter of wealthy parents. Angus (Ben Miles) is the son of their housekeeper. But when Angus is blamed for a scandal that threatens her family, the pair form an unexpected bond that fuels his ambitions for their future.

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3 episodes. Premieres April 17, 2023

Catherine Cookson’s Tilly Trotter (1999)

Set in 1830’s rural England, Tilly Trotter is the compelling story of a courageous young girl envied by women for her beauty, lusted after by men, accused of witchcraft and forced to rise above the prejudice of many people in the community in which she lives.

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4 episodes. Premieres June 5, 2023

City of Vice (2008)

London, 1753. As the new Magistrates of Westminster, novelist Henry Fielding (Ian McDiarmid, Star Wars films) and his blind half-brother John want to set up a police force to tackle London’s soaring crime epidemic. They find a potential patron in Lord Newcastle, the Prime Minister’s brother, but he is unsure of such a force’s merits. With the help of Saunders Welch, the High Constable of Holborn, the brothers set out to show Newcastle they can rid the streets of the violent criminal gangs.

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Premieres June 19, 2023

Dalgliesh (Season 2) Acorn TV Original

Akin to other distinguished detectives, like Holmes and Poirot, this season sees DCI Adam Dalgliesh (Bertie Carvel, The Crown) taking us through 1970’s England as he solves unusual murders ranging from a senior forensic biologist found dead in his lab, to an illustrious but controversial defense barrister found deceased in her chambers, to a young doctor being set on fire in the grounds of his family museum. Read more about it. 

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Season 2 is split into three parts, each two episodes long, with part one “Death of an Expert Witness” premiering on Monday, April 24, part two “A Certain Justice” premiering on Monday, May 1, and part three “The Murder Room” premiering on Monday, May 8.  

The Great Train Robbery (2013)

This two-part series tells the story of the real-life event in 1963 – known as the Great Train Robbery – in which a gang of 15 robbers, led by mastermind Bruce Reynolds (Luke Evans, Beauty and the Beast), attacked a train and got away with more than £2.6 million. Part One tells the story from the robbers’ point of view, detailing how the robbery was inspired, planned, rehearsed and executed. Part Two takes a look at the police investigation into the robbery, led by London DCS Tommy Butler (Jim Broadbent, Moulin Rouge), as the team of detectives try to identify every criminal involved in the crime and bring them to justice before they flee England.

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2 episodes. Premieres August 7, 2023

The Larkins (Season 2) Acorn TV Original

This exciting new adaptation of H.E. Bates’ classic novel The Darling Buds of May follows the warm-hearted, wheeler-dealing adventures of the iconic Larkin family in the idyllic Kent countryside. Set in 1959, each episode contains a story of the week concerning their personal family sagas, and the politics of their village life alongside series arc stories. Starring Bradley Walsh, Joanna Scanlan and Lydia Page. Read more about it

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Premieres Monday, March 20, 2023

The Lost King (2023)

Not strictly a period drama, but a feature-length film that fans of British period dramas will love. Based on the true story of an amateur British historian’s (Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water) unlikely – and ultimately successful – quest to find the lost remains of King Richard III’s remains. Philippa Langley took on Britain’s most eminent historians, forcing them to rethink the legacy of one of the England’s most controversial rulers.

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Premieres August 7, 2023

Murdoch Mysteries (Season 16) Acorn TV Original

Set in the late 1890s and early 1900s, this top-rated series produced in Canada continues to explore the personal and professional developments in the lives of Detective William Murdoch, Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), Constables George Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Henry Higgins-Newsome (Lachlan Murdoch), and Detective Llewelyn Watts (Daniel Maslany) as they tackle Toronto’s toughest mysteries, from the serious and historic to the comical and unusual. Inspired by Maureen Jennings’ novels, Murdoch Mysteries.

This internationally acclaimed period drama returns with all new compelling mysteries featuring unique turn-of-the-century historic references that resonate with current and contemporary social issues. Read more about it

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Premieres Monday, March 27, 2023, with new episodes on Mondays. Among the August premieres are Episode 22 on August 14. In “Scents and Sensibility” Murdoch suspects a bride who suddenly died before her wedding was poisoned by her perfume. On August 28, watch the Season Finale, Episode 24, “The Long Goodbye, Part Two.” Having resigned from the constabulary, Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) is hired to find a missing heiress.

WPC 56 (Seasons 1 – 3)

Season 1: In 1950s England, Gina Dawson (Jennie Jacques, Vikings) is determined to prove her mettle as the first Woman Police Constable at the Brinford Police Station-no matter the roadblocks her male colleagues throw her way.

Season 2: WPC Gina Dawson continues to make her mark as the first and only policewoman on the Brinford beat. With a few fresh faces in the station, it’s business as usual as Gina and the men deal with teenage runaways, Teddy Boys and petty criminals. However, the lines of the law start to blur when the hunt for a killer draws our team into the criminal underworld of shady boxing clubs, brothels and nightclubs all run by a ruthless gangster, as dangerous as he is untouchable. And the unwanted attention of a senior officer pushes Gina to cross a line which could mean the end of her career forever.

Season 3: It’s 1956 and fresh-faced WPC Annie Taylor (Claudia Jessie, Bridgerton) is the one and only female officer in the Brinford Police. Trailblazer WPC Gina Dawson has now moved on to pastures new in the Met, leaving Annie to walk the very same beat, but with a rhythm all of her own. Hailing from a respected police family this way of life is in Annie’s blood, but as the first woman amongst them to join up she has big shoes to fill, not least of all her father’s. Annie is determined to be the best policewoman she can be, and with the same old attitudes to contend with at work and at home, it’ll be an uphill struggle. But Annie Taylor is gutsy and tenacious; she’s never given up on anything in her life, and she’s not about to start now…

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3 episodes. Season 1 Premieres May 22, 2023
5 episodes. Season 2 Premieres June 12, 2023
5 episodes. Season 3 Premieres June 26, 2023

Other Period Dramas on Acorn TV in 2023

The following list of historical, costume, and period dramas currently streaming on Acorn TV is divided into categories: Adapted from the Book, Set in New Territories, Set around The Great War & Second World War, Set in the 1950s and 1960s, Period-set Comedy and Fantasy, For Fans of Sleuthing, and Related Documentaries and Docudramas.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can still watch these shows: Acorn TV offers a free trial through their website, as well as through the Acorn TV Prime Video Add-on Channel.

Adapted from the Book

A Nightingale Falling: Set in Ireland during the War of Independence in the early 1920s, two sisters’ lives are changed forever as they care for a wounded soldier. What transpires is a tragic love story of a household and its inhabitants, caught in the crucible of dark deep secrets as history plays out inexorably around them. Based on the 2012 novel by PJ Curtis, and starring Tara Breathnach, Muireann Bird, Gerard McCarthy, Brian Fortune, Rosemary Henderson. Add to your WATCHLIST

A Woman of Substance Saga: From the novels by Barbara Taylor Bradford, this Emmy®-nominated miniseries charts the rise of Emma Harte from poor Yorkshire servant girl to one of the world’s richest tycoons. Propelled by star-studded casts and rich period detail, these brilliant adaptations of Bradford’s bestselling novels bring to life two of her most unforgettable heroines. The beloved trilogy that begins with Emma Harte’s remarkable rise from servant girl to international retailing magnate comes full circle when Emma’s granddaughter must struggle against powerful enemies to keep the family’s corporate empire from collapsing. From beginning to end, these are inspiring stories of love, power, and determination. Starring Deborah Kerr, Jenny Seagrove, Liam Neeson, Barry Bostwick. Add to your WATCHLIST

Dalgliesh (Season 1): Based on P.D. James’s global bestsellers, this riveting mystery series stars Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Doctor Foster) as enigmatic Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. A recent widower and acclaimed poet, Dalgliesh employs his exceptional empathy and insight to plumb the darker depths of the human psyche while investigating complex crimes in 1970s England. An Acorn TV Exclusive. Read more about itAdd to your WATCHLIST

Doctor Finlay: Based on the classic stories by A.J. Cronin, this charming period drama follows Dr. Finlay (David Rintoul, Pride and Prejudice), who returns home after WWII to a rundown medical practice in a Scottish village. There, he confronts small-town politics as he advocates for change. Annette Crosbie and Oscar nominee Ian Bannen co-star. Add to your WATCHLIST

I, Claudius: Winner of an Emmy and numerous other awards, this BBC epic is a tale of ambition, debauchery, and intrigue based on the novels by Robert Graves. Rated one of the “100 Best TV Shows of All Time” by Time magazine, the series spans the history of the Roman Empire from Augustus through Claudius and stars Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart, Sian Phillips, Lindsay Duncan, John Hurt, and Brian Blessed. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Larkins (Season 1): This exciting new adaptation of H.E. Bates’ classic novel The Darling Buds of May follows the warm-hearted, wheeler-dealing adventures of the iconic Larkin family in the idyllic Kent countryside. Set in the late 1950s, each episode contains a story of the week concerning their personal family sagas, and the politics of their village life alongside series arc stories. An Acorn TV Exclusive. Read more about itStarring Bradley Walsh (Law & Order UK), Joanna Scanlan (No Offence) and Sabrina Bartlett (Bridgerton). Add to your WATCHLIST 

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab: Based on the international bestselling novel by Fergus Hume, this twisty Victorian era period drama set in 1880s Melbourne starts with the murder of a man connected to wealthy benefactor, Mark Frettlby. The victim’s romantic rival, Brian Fitzgerald, is arrested for the crime, but refuses to provide an alibi. His lawyer, Duncan Calton, and his wealthy fiancée, Madge Frettlby, are forced to search for the truth themselves in order to save his life. Their investigation not only uncovers a trail of secrets and scandal from opium dens and brothels to the cream of society, but their revelation threatens to tear Madge’s family apart. Add to your WATCHLIST

Poldark: This epic saga created a sensation when it first aired on Masterpiece Theatre in 1975, drawing comparisons to “Gone with the Wind.” Set in 18th-century Cornwall after America’s War for Independence, Robin Ellis stars as Captain Ross Poldark, a young hero who returns home to find his estate in ruins, his inheritance gone, and his beloved Elizabeth (Jill Townsend) engaged to another man. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: Geraldine McEwan (Agatha Christie’s Marple) stars as imperious, unorthodox teacher Jean Brodie, who endeavors to fill her students, all impressionable young girls, with a love of art and as much self-confidence as she possesses. Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s, this seven-part series is adapted from the novel by Muriel Spark, who considered McEwan’s performance the best portrayal of her iconic character. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Scapegoat: Emmy winner® Matthew Rhys stars in this morally complex, darkly comic, and suspenseful film based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. When unemployed teacher John runs into his doppelgänger, he ends up switching places with the wealthy but wicked Johnny. Also starring Eileen Atkins. Set in the UK in 1952 as Britain prepares for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Scarlet Pimpernel: This Emmy-nominated adaptation of the classic swashbucking tale stars Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman) and Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited). While enemies of the new French Republic are carried to off to the guillotine, more than a few of France’s hated aristocrats have escaped execution thanks to the actions of a dashing young Englishman known as the Scarlet Pimpernel. Based on the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy. Add to your WATCHLIST

War & Peace: This magnificent adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic was filmed in six European countries by Oscar-nominated director Robert Dornhelm. Malcolm McDowell, Brenda Blethyn, Clemence Poesy, and Ken Duken star in this sumptuous adaptation of one of the world’s greatest novels about four aristocratic families in Russia during the Napoleonic era. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Sleuthing section below also has numerous Agatha Christie adaptations, alongside other period-set mysteries based on books, like “The Secret Agent.”

Set in New Territories

Dominion Creek: In 1897, the Connolly brothers-recent immigrants from Ireland-dream of striking it rich in the Wild West. When news reaches them of a fortune in the Yukon, youngest brother Samus heads north to the town of Dominion, leaving Tom and Pdraig no choice but to follow their wayward sibling. Add to your WATCHLIST

Set around The Great War & Second World War

And Then There Were None: On the brink of World War II, 10 troubled strangers are invited to an isolated island–and targeted for death, one by one. Based on the bestselling crime novel of all time by Agatha Christie, this period mystery boasts an all-star cast including Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Toby Stephens, Burn Gorman, Noah Taylor, and Aidan Turner. Add to your WATCHLIST

Close to the Enemy: An all-star cast including Jim Sturgess, Alfred Molina, Angela Bassett, Alfie Allen, and Lindsay Duncan anchors this lavish British drama set in a bomb-damaged London hotel during the aftermath of WWII. Intelligence officer Callum Ferguson must complete his last task for the Army: convince captured German scientist Dieter Koehler to work with the British government. Add to your WATCHLIST

Foyle’s War: Combining historical accuracy with compelling mysteries, this award winning British series is a must-watch. Michael Kitchen stars as Christopher Foyle, the upright, laconic detective tasked with investigating cases on the home front as WWII ravages the social fabric of his coastal community. Add to your WATCHLIST

Land Girls: Follow the lives, loves and highs and lows of four members of Britain’s Women’s Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate during World War II. They soon discover that their decision to serve their country will change their lives forever. The four girls in this BBC period drama each have their own reasons for signing up – patriotic Joyce wants to “do her bit,” argumentative Nancy is there under sufferance, and sensible Annie joined so that her younger sister Bea could escape an abusive father. Add to your WATCHLIST

Restless: This Emmy-nominated BBC drama is a tale of passion, duplicity, and betrayal. boasts a terrific cast. Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey) is stunned to learn that her mother (Charlotte Rampling, Broadchurch), has been living a double life. Her real name is Eva Delectorskaya, and she worked as a spy for the British in the 1940s. Read our review. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Shell Seekers: Partially period-set. Penelope Keeling (Vanessa Redgrave, Call the Midwife) reflects on her three very different children after she suffers a mild stroke. Visiting her daughter Olivia (Victoria Smurfit, Marcella) in Ibiza while recovering, she finds that her daughter’s lover has the same relationship problems she faced during WWII. When Penelope learns that one of her father’s paintings is worth a great deal of money and is urged to sell it, she has to decide what kind of future she wants for her family. Add to your WATCHLIST 

The Wipers Times: It’s 1916 and British Captain Fred Roberts and his detachment discover an abandoned printing press in the ruins of Ypres, Belgium. Roberts has an idea – he will produce a newspaper to raise the spirits of his soldiers. They call it The Wipers Times – after the army slang for Ypres – and fill it with spoofs, jokes, and subversive comedy. A hit with the troops on the Western Front, it also incurs the wrath of top brass who want it banned. Can Roberts’ comic distraction to the mayhem of war survive? Based on the remarkable true story of a satirical newspaper published on the front lines of World War One, this poignant yet comedic drama revels in the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity, telling for the first time how these inspirational men used humor and wit to remain sane amidst one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history. Add to your WATCHLIST 

Also see “Doctor Finlay,” listed in the Adapted from the Book section above. 

Set in the 1950s and 1960s

A Place to Call Home: This binge-worthy saga is brimming with secrets, passion, romance, and intrigue. Over six addictive seasons, “A Place to Call Home” explores the ties that hold families together and the betrayals that can tear them apart. Read our interview. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Hour: Set in the 1950s, this Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated BBC drama delves into the high-stakes world of TV news. Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, and Dominic West headline an all-star cast that includes Anna Chancellor and Peter Capaldi. Read our review. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Indian Doctor: This uplifting and charming period drama from the BBC follows an Indian doctor (Sanjeev Bhaskar) who moves to a small Welsh village in the early 1960s. As he and his upper class wife (Ayesha Dharker, Indian Summers) adjust to life in the mining town, they start to change the community–and the community changes them. Add to your WATCHLIST

United: From the creator of “Broadchurch,” this poignant, inspirational drama tells the true story of the legendary Manchester United team that turned tragedy into triumph after a 1958 plane crash that killed 8 players. “Powerful, haunting, and very human” (The Guardian). Starring David Tennant, Jack O’Connell, Dougray Scott, Dean Andrews, Sam Claflin. Add to your WATCHLIST

Also see “Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries” in the Sleuthing section below.

Period-set Comedy and Fantasy

Dead Still: A six-episode Victorian era crime drama and Acorn Original. Set in 1880s Ireland, this darkly comic murder mystery follows renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset (Michael Smiley), who makes a living out of taking photos of the dead in the Victorian era of “postmortem photography.” Blennerhasset becomes targeted as a possible suspect in a series of murders and with his family put in harm’s way, tenacious detective Frederick Regan (Aidan O’Hare) drags him into an investigation of Dublin’s criminal underbelly to track down the real serial killer before he strikes again. Inspired by a true-life Irish tradition in the 1800s, this series also stars Kerr Logan (Alias Grace) and Eileen O’Higgins (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots). Read our REVIEW. Add to your WATCHLIST

Decline and Fall: This acclaimed BBC adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s (Brideshead Revisited) novel follows Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall), an unassuming Oxford theology student whose expulsion finds him working under headmaster Fagan (David Suchet, Poirot) at a third-rate private school in Wales. Add to your WATCHLIST

Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal: In this lavish made-for-TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s novel–part of the bestselling, delightfully surreal Discworld series–con man Moist von Lipwig (Richard Coyle) is caught by the law and given two choices: suffer a painful death or take over a derelict post office. Claire Foy (The Crown), David Suchet (Poirot), and Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) also star. Add to your WATCHLIST

For Fans of Sleuthing

Agatha Christie Hour: From renowned mystery writer Agatha Christie come these tales of intrigue and romance set in Art Deco-era England. These classic adaptations feature star-studded casts, including John Nettles, Amanda Redman, Stephanie Cole, and Rupert Everett. Add to your WATCHLIST

Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime: Jessica Raine (Wolf Hall, Call the Midwife) and David Walliams (Little Britain) star in these delightful adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. Set in Cold War Britain, the bickering, bantering couple find themselves embroiled in a series of mysteries and espionage plots. Add to your WATCHLIST

Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution: An all-star cast including Kim Cattrall, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones, and David Haig feature in this acclaimed TV movie based on Agatha Christie’s timeless murder mystery. Set in 1920s London, this is a sumptuous adaptation. Add to your WATCHLIST

Foyle’s War: Combining historical accuracy with compelling mysteries, this award winning British series is a must-watch. Michael Kitchen stars as Christopher Foyle, the upright, laconic detective tasked with investigating cases on the home front as WWII ravages the social fabric of his coastal community. Add to your WATCHLIST

Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears: In this lighthearted feature film, Essie Davis returns in the role as the slinky, seductive and risk-taking Melbourne sleuth The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher embarking on an exhilarating new journey of mystery and mayhem through exotic 1920s British Palestine and the opulence of grand London manors. In 1929 Jerusalem, Phryne’s rescue of a young Bedouin girl leads her on a globe-trotting adventure to uncover priceless treasures, wartime secrets, and an ancient tomb bearing a terrible curse, with the help of handsome detective Jack Robinson. Read more about it. Add to your WATCHLIST

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: This stylish and sexy period mystery stars Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher, a thoroughly modern woman operating in a mostly male world. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the series follows the glamorous lady detective as she goes about her work with a pistol close at hand and, more often than not, a male admirer even closer. Add to your WATCHLIST

Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries: In this spin-off to the wildly popular Australian mystery series, Phryne Fisher’s long-lost niece, Peregrine, decides to follow in her stylish footsteps as a lady detective for a new era. With the help of the handsome, straitlaced Detective James Steed and a group of accomplished women, Peregrine investigates murders in 1960s Melbourne. Read our REVIEW. Add to your WATCHLIST

Murdoch Mysteries: In this beloved, award-winning Canadian series, Detective William Murdoch solves turn-of-the-century Toronto’s most intriguing mysteries with the help of Constable Crabtree, Dr. Julia Ogden, and Inspector Brackenreid. Read more about it. Add to your WATCHLIST

The Secret Agent: In this thrilling BBC adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s timeless novel, Golden Globe nominee Toby Jones stars as Anton Verloc, an unassuming Soho shopkeeper. Unbeknownst to even his loyal wife, Winnie, Verloc also works for the Russian embassy as a spy. Add to your WATCHLIST

Also see “Dead Still” in the Comedy section above. 

Related Documentaries and Docudramas

A Music Lover’s Guide to Murdoch Mysteries (TV Special): Acorn TV typically delights fans with the new season of “Murdoch Mysteries” on Christmas Eve, but production has been delayed this year due to COVID-19. So the producers of this long-running, award-winning Canadian series have created a behind-the-scenes music special with a seven-piece ensemble from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to perform a concert of Murdoch-era music (circa early 1900s.) Add to your WATCHLIST

A Tale of Two Sisters (Season 2): Anne and Mary Boleyn, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth II & Margaret: This series explores some of history’s most iconic royal female figures and their sisters, as well as their legacy. Add to your WATCHLIST

Being Poirot: After 25 years of playing one of television’s most beloved characters, David Suchet attempts to discover why fans have gravitated toward the great Hercule Poirot for all these years and shares his experience of portraying the iconic, enigmatic detective. Add to your WATCHLIST

Digging for Britain: In this captivating documentary series, Professor Alice Roberts visits archaeological excavations around the U.K. over a yearlong period, linking together the results of digs and investigations of the country’s history. Among the astonishing – and occasionally disturbing –stories explored: the thickening mystery of 97 baby skeletons found by the Thames, a Cambridgeshire site called the Pompeii of the Bronze Age provides an unparalleled glimpse of life 3,000 years ago; Marden Henge, where communal sweat lodges and feasting remains illuminate the lost rituals of Stonehenge; Trellech, an enormous lost Welsh city discovered seven centuries after it disappeared from historical record; and Kent’s Cavern, where Britain’s earliest human remains have been found. Add to your WATCHLIST 

Discovering Hamlet: Take this journey into Hamlet, the play and the man – through the experiences of the major actors and directors who have brought the play to life. This was filmed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon, in London, Canada and Italy, featuring Christopher Plummer, Sir Trevor Nunn, Franco Zeffirelli, John Nettles, John Simm and David Tennant. Add to your WATCHLIST

Elizabeth I & Her Enemies: Queen Elizabeth I was one of England’s greatest monarchs, but she spent her life surrounded by enemies. Presenters Dan Jones (Britain’s Bloody Crown) and Suzannah Lipscomb (Hidden Killers) tell this dramatic tale of jealousy, betrayal, and ambition, with Lily Cole (Snow White and the Huntsman) portraying Elizabeth in the key clashes that shaped her life. Add to your WATCHLIST

Grand Tours of Scotland (Seasons 1 & 2): With a Victorian guidebook in his hands, historian Paul Murton travels the country and traces the changes that have taken place since the birth of Scottish tourism 200 years ago. For centuries, “north of the border” had been regarded as a place to avoid and early travelers complained about the savage terrain and uncouth habits of the natives. To find out what changed to make Scotland an internationally celebrated tourist destination, Paul recreates six journeys suggested by a well-worn copy of “Black’s Picturesque Guide to Scotland” and follows in the footsteps of the first tourists to come here. Add to your WATCHLIST 

Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets: Mary Berry is given an exclusive invitation to some of the UK’s most lavish country houses. Mary is whisked away from the well-trodden tourist paths to meet the families who own these exceptional homes and their knowledgeable, dedicated staff. Revealing life both upstairs and downstairs, she will visit the gardens, kitchens and private quarters, unearthing secrets that only friends and family usually get to see. Add to your WATCHLIST 

Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas: In this sumptuous and heartwarming special, Mary Berry visits Harewood House in Yorkshire to meet its army of skilled staff and dedicated volunteers as they prepare the house for Christmas. With its Robert Adam interiors, Chippendale furniture and Capability Brown gardens, Harewood is one of the nation’s most beautiful stately homes. Mary discovers how houses like Harewood celebrate Christmas on a grand scale and shows us how to make delicious modern recipes inspired by forgotten festive dishes of the past. Add to your WATCHLIST 

Muse of Fire: A Shakespearean Road Movie: As schoolboys, Giles Terera and Dan Poole were made to feel that Shakespeare wasn’t for them – as actors, they now feel very differently. This documentary follows Dan and Giles over the course of four years on their extraordinary journey around the world trying to get to the heart of the greatest storyteller of all. Along the way, they meet acting royalty, including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellan, Ewan McGregor, Ralph Fiennes, and Jude Law. Add to your WATCHLIST

Poirot: Super Sleuths: Go behind the scenes of the beloved series starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s most famous detective. In this delightful documentary, the cast, crew, and a variety of experts discuss adapting Christie’s works and explore Poirot’s widespread appeal. Add to your WATCHLIST

Shakespeare – The Legacy: In this one-hour special to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 2016, host John Nettles takes us on a journey through the dangerous and dynamic times of Shakespeare’s life and reveals the real man who transformed the London theatre and the English language, yet remained a Stratford man. We unlock some of the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare’s life and the legacy of his work across the globe. Add to your WATCHLIST

She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens: Hosted by Dr. Helen Castor and filmed on location in England and France, this captivating BBC series explores the lives of seven English queens who challenged male power, the fierce and fiery reactions they provoked, and whether, in fact, much has changed. Add to your WATCHLIST

Tales of Irish Castles: This six part series explores the great stories, legends and characters associated with the most beautiful, notorious and historical castles across Ireland – in Dublin, Trim, Blarney, Limerick, Carrickfergus, Kilkenny, Birr and more. Hosted by Simon Delaney, the series takes the audience on an incredible journey throughout the island of Ireland – where more castles were built than in the rest of the British Isles combined. Add to your WATCHLIST

Victorian Farm: Frozen in time, lost in Victorian rural England, the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire is the setting for this landmark BBC Two observational series. In a unique project, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn immerse themselves in the life of the Victorian farmer. Using the antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family over the centuries and laboring for a full calendar year, the team rediscover a forgotten world of skills, craft and knowledge – assisted by the ever-dwindling band of experts who try to keep such crafts alive – providing a fascinating insight into a pivotal time in agricultural history. With Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn. Add to your WATCHLIST

Victorian Farm: Christmas: Following the success of BBC Two’s “Victorian Farm” series, three more one-hour specials look at the lives of 19th Century farmers. Filmed in and around the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn return to the Estate to tackle an array of new farming tasks; to explore life in the wider working countryside; and discover in depth how the Victorians created the celebration of Christmas as we know it today – from greeting cards and Christmas Carols to the rich array of festive food they put on the table. Add to your WATCHLIST

Walking Through History (Seasons 2 & 3): Tony Robinson embarks on spectacular strolls through some of Britain’s past. Tony discovers the hidden stories to many of the country’s landmarks and infuses each walk with an appreciation of some of the striking landscapes and geographical features Britain contains. Highlights include walks through the stone circles of Avebury to Stonehenge, the famed Lake District, the fabulous Cornish and North Norfolk coasts, and the iconic Pier at Wigan. Add to your WATCHLIST

Wainwright Walks: Expert walker Julia Bradbury explores four favorite walks in England’s Lake District region of famed author, Alfred Wainwright. Featuring stunning aerial footage, each episode centers on iconic locations in Wainwright’s best-selling series of walking books – which he wrote, illustrated and published himself. Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells became known as the perfect city escape guide, which is still highly popular today. Add to your WATCHLIST

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see The Period Films List, with British, historical and costume dramas sorted by era.