Historical dramas have the unique ability to transport you back in time and give you a new perspective on things that you probably knew about and have read in school about. There are so many excellent TV shows being made right now and a history buff is spoiled for choice all the time. If you suffer from the same dilemma and have a Netflix subscription handy, sit back and enjoy this list of the best historical dramas that you can catch on the streaming service right now.
The Crown is Netflix’s retelling of the story of the currently serving Queen Elizabeth. It’s three seasons old and is already counted among the best shows of all time. It takes you inside the Buckingham Palace and gives you a rare insight into the private lives of the queen and her close family members based on accounts out in the media and other speculations. The first two seasons starred Claire Foy as the queen, whereas the latest one, which focused on her later years, starred Olivia Coleman.
Mindhunter is an intricately crafted drama that that chronicles two FBI agents’ attempts to understand the psychologies of serials killers. In their attempts to publish a book on the subject, they meet infamous serial killers from the recent decades like Richard Speck, Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper and others. Mindhunter’s at its best when it thrills you about what’s to come, and it’s these instances that really make the show one of the best of our times.
Peaky Blinders does not feature direct references to history. However, while telling the story of a ruthless family thriving in England after World War I, it ties its plots with various historical incidents of the time. Peaky Blinders is one hell of a ride, from the first season to its latest one. The thrilling sequences, the understated performances, the stunning period sets, everything about this show is mind-blowing.
The Last Kingdom
Based on stories from Anglo-Saxon England during the ninth and tenth centuries, The Last Kingdom is an excellent watch through and through. It gives you a full history lesson of the periods portrayed while providing ample drama and thrills. It’s based on a series of fiction novels called The Saxon Stories, so don’t expect much historical accuracy from it, but it’s surely a window into what the times were like.
Another show chronicling the Vikings is called Vikings itself. It’s inspired from the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lodbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France. Originally planned for the History Channel, Vikings slowly took shapes as a full-fledged high-budget TV show, and now, Netflix has also commissioned a sequel series titled Vikings: Valhalla that’s currently in development.
Inspired by Marco Polo’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan, this show really gives you a great insight into life in thirteenth-century Mongolia during the period of the Yuan dynasty. The show received plenty of accolades but was unfortunately cancelled after the first two seasons.