Historical TV Series Through Time

This is a list of tv series set throughout history, starting with the most recent first. You can use it to get a feeling for and as inspiration on settings in those periods, or if your like me and love a good historical series, just have a look and see which appeal to you and do some easy going “research”. I’ve watched all these on the list over the years and have loved most, if not all of them. I believe all of them are good (if a bit dramatised) representations of life and events at those times.

I will keep it updated as we go, so keep checking back, and if you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments. I will also do the same for films, games and documentaries at some point.

1920s – 1930s America

Boardwalk Empire:

1919 – 1924 England

Peaky Blinders: A gangster saga set in Birmingham during the aftermath of World War I.

8.8/10 IMDb 93% Rotten Tomatoes 9.5/10 TV.com

1812 Russia

War and Peace: Tell the story of events surrounding the the Napoleonic invasion of Russia and the impact of the era on pre-reform (Tsarist) Russia.

1715 Bahamas, England

Black Sails: Tells the story of Captain Flint and his pirate escapades as he tries to rally the pirate world against the rest of humanity.

8/10 IMDb 8.5/10 TV.com 58% Metacritic

1700s Canada

Frontier

1667 – 1670 France

Versailles

1557 France, England, Scotland

Reign

1500s England

The Tudors

1492 Italy

The Borgias: Follows the rise of the Borgias family to the top of the Catholic Church and their efforts to maintain it against threats from within the church and without.

7.9/10 IMDb 8.4/10 TV.com 71% Rotten Tomatoes

1464 England

The White Queen: Set in the bloody War of the Roses, the long war between the rival houses of Plantagenet, York and Lancaster, it follows the stories of three powerful women who manipulate events from behind the scenes, Elizabeth Woodville, Margret Beaufort and Anne Neville. Full of court intrigue, backstabbing and the cold hearted quest for power. You can easily see why the War of the Roses was cited as inspiration for Games of Thrones.

7.8/10 IMDb 8.6/10 TV.com 78% Rotten Tomatoes

1194 England

Robin Hood: Robin returns from fighting in the crusades to find that his home is suffering under the high taxation and corruption of the Sheriff of Nottingham and along with his band of Merry Men fights for the freedom of the people.

7.6/10 IMDb 8.6/10 TV.com 92% Rotten Tomatoes

801 – 900 England

The Last Kingdom: The kingdoms of England are attacked and in places occupied by Vikings. The southern Kingdom of Wessex is the bastion of defense against the Danes. The protagonist Uhtred, son of Uhtred, is a the son of a Saxon noble who is captured, adopted and raised by Danes, and his loyalties are tested as he must decide between his people and his homeland, and those who raised him.

793 Denmark, England, France

Vikings: Tells the story of legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok and his escapades across Europe.

8.6/10 IMDb 9.2/10 TV.com 91% Rotten Tomatoes

169 China

Three Kingdoms

0 – 100 AD (Generally set in the 1st century) Roman Empire

Rome: Follows the lives and actions of historical (Julius Caeser, Marc Anthony, Octavious etc) and wealthy Roman families as well as two common soldiers who get wrapped up in the action. This one is a personal favourite.

8.9/10 IMDb 8.8/10 TV.com 71% Metacritic

73 – 71 BC  Roman Republic

Spartacus: The Spartacus series tells the famous story of Spartacus’s escape from the Gladiatorial grounds and his major slave uprising across Roman Italy which threatens the very core of the Republic.

8.6/10 IMDb 8.5/10 TV.com 65% Rotten Tomatoes

Honourable Mention

Game of Thrones: I’m sure you’ve all seen this, but its good inspiration for the level of backstabbing and court intrigue that went on in Feudal/ Medieval societies.

9.5/10 IMDb 94% Rotten Tomatoes 9/10 TV.com

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