Top BBC Period Dramas

Note: while I was collecting dramas for this list,
I was also mindful of all the great dramas
that are NOT produced by the BBC!
I posted them here:
> Top Period Dramas (A-L)
> Top Period Dramas (M-Z)

Now onto the
How I wish that my local video store stocked all these great videos since many folks think that no one outshines the BBC when it comes to producing great period dramas. Just looking at all these DVD covers makes me realize how grateful I am to the BBC for hours and hours of entertainment that draw us into the past!

For anyone new to period films, if you're looking for my top recommendation, it would be the Elizabeth Gaskell collection which contains 3 of my all-time favourites: Wives & Daughters, Cranford and North & South!

Here's a look at some of the best mini-series and films made over the years including those based on Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, etc.

> More comprehensive list of 150 Top Period Dramas
> More listed here if you'd like a breakdown of dramas based on each author
> List of period dramas that came out in 2009 including BBC productions
> List of Edwardian Era films
> BBC poll (how many of these dramas, have you seen?)

How many of these BBC period dramas have you seen?

* Click here to take the poll *

Keep in mind, this is only a selection of period dramas produced by BBC. I know that a often people refer to almost any period drama as being "a BBC production" but there are plenty of others out there! I get a lot of visitors to this page but I much prefer my list of Top 150 or the films sorted by era to include many of our favourites.


  1. Hello! I would like to have seen many more changes to the BBC, but in Spain it is very difficult to reach us. I do not know that that will be there, but here ... It's very, very hard! We have to do on the internet and then completely dominate the English. A greeting from Spain.

  2. Thanks for this list.
    There are so many period dramas that i have not seen yet! so great =)
    Thank you dear BBC!!
    But like Noelia said, it's difficult to reach us when you're not British =(

  3. I hope the Brits know how lucky they are!

  4. Thanks so much for these lists. There are many I have still not viewed and you've reminded me of others I'd forgotten about.

    Warm wishes,


  5. Elizabeth, you're welcome! There are plenty that I'm still hoping to see!

  6. Hi I've been getting good information on what shows to watch from your blog. I have to say I have been very successful and enjoyed watching the dramas very much.

    Thank you from California

  7. You're welcome Fashion Diva! Glad you've enjoyed some new ones! There are many that I haven't seen myself on this BBC list but my Top 150 are all those that I've seen and loved. I'm trying to find the time to watch many others that I'm not seen yet so I'm pleased to hear when others are able to do so!

  8. Hello

    Really I don't know how to thank you ,
    I keep looking for English period drama in google and wikipiedea

    most English period drama and movies I like that based in Jane Austen novels .

    So hard to have it in my country
    so thanks to have internet

    thanks again and again

  9. You're welcome!! I remember when I first was looking for more period dramas and now there seem to be so many online!!

  10. This is wicked!

  11. Thank you from Italy

  12. Thank you so much for this.Helen from Greece

  13. i would love to see brittania mews by margery sharp! because it is such a cute movie!

  14. I would love to see a list of much much older productions, thank you

  15. AHHHHH!!! Thank you for this blog! I'm so excited! I can get most of these on Netflix and I have been looking for a list of more. I'm addicted!

  16. @Anonymous
    Thanks! Glad that you can find new titles to watch and jealous that you have Netflix! We currently don't have it in Canada.
    My fave list on here is the Top 150 which includes movies other than just the BBC!

  17. This list is fantastic! The entire site is, actually. It's one of the most comprehensive out there.

    My friends and I intend to run through all of it this summer. Individually, we've all seen about 10-15 but no one I know has actually managed to make it through every BBC production out there!

    Personally, I'm just happy to be watching Colin Firth as Mr Darcy for the 100th time!

  18. @Anonymous
    Thanks for your kind comments and good luck with your summer viewing! This list of BBC period dramas was a starting point for me but my fave list on the blog is the "Top 150" since it also includes all the great dramas that aren't produced by the BBC (quite a few!)
    I've not seen all the dramas in this list (especially some of the older ones) so I can't necessarily vouch for them as being worthwhile viewing but I'm glad that you have some suggestions to pursue!

  19. About to embark on Bramwell on Netflix. Have read reviews stating to skip the 4th season. Also, I could not find it in this website. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thank You

  20. @Gerry
    Sorry I can't be of more help. I've not seen Bramwell myself although I've heard it highly recommended from others!

  21. @Gerry
    Oh and just to clarify, Bramwell is NOT a BBC production, it was aired on ITV.

  22. CB -- Thank you for the information -- and the clarification of production. When I searched Netflix I used PBS rather than BBC, thus the search return. Glad I found it.

    Well, watched the first 4 episodes of season 1 and has been most enjoyable. Slowly developing the cast of main characters and the main story line that will follow the series. I like that they are well focused in each episode of 1 perhaps 2 plot lines but never more. A welcome respite from convoluted plots. Great period look (east end, the infirmary, and wardrobe). I also enjoyed the many "outdoor" scenes, it's a nice change from a mostly "indoor" look.

    High recommend.

  23. is there any new regarding more episodes of upstairs downstairs...I loved the 3 new ones.


  24. @Selena,
    they are doing 6 more episodes sometime in 2012

  25. Thank you so much for your amazing recommendations.

  26. @Anonymous
    I've not seen all of the BBC dramas listed above so I'm not necessarily recommending them but I have viewed all of the films listed in my Top 150 which does include BBC ones as well.
    Happy that you find it useful!

  27. Hello,

    Thanks for the list. I feel lucky that the pubic libraries in my city have many BBC period dramas for loan - for free! So I have viewed quite a bit but not all. I have become a period drama fan ever since I borrowed the 1st DVD from my library.

    I am surprised that "Bramwell" (about a female doctor) is not on the list. It was surprisingly good.


  28. @Anonymous
    Hi S,
    Bramwell is not a BBC production. It's listed here with the Victorian films!

    I too discovered many great period dramas at the library!

  29. Just discovered your post and can't wait to see some of these. We love BBC.

  30. I just watched all of "Downton Abbey" and was barely able to tear myself away from the screen to eat and sleep! Excellent! Thank you for this wonderful website! Kind regards, An American ex pat living in Hannover, Germany.

  31. Love your list!!
    I'll work my way through the ones I haven't seen yet :)
    Except Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 series),
    "The Moth" with Juliet Aubrey & Jack Davenport is my favourite periodic drama <3
    It's sooo adorable!!

  32. Thanks for this list. I love BBC mini series. Most recently I watched Downton Abbey and North and South.Must admit I'm in love with John Thornton!! Your list gives a good guide on the others I can watch.



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