Historical TV Through Time

This is a list of tv series set throughout history (cut off at World War 2), starting with the most recent first. Let me know in the comments any to add.

1940s USA, France, Germany

Band of Brothers

The story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division from 1942 to the end of World War II. A collection of fifty portraits illustrated by archive footage and recounted in voice.

9.4 IMDB 97% Rotten Tomatoes 96% Google Audience

1920s – 1930s USA

Boardwalk Empire

Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition is a place where the rules don’t apply. And the man who runs things — legally and otherwise — is the town’s treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, who is equal parts politician and gangster. Side by side with his brother Elias, Atlantic City’s sheriff, and a crew of ward bosses and local tough guys, Nucky gains a reputation as the man to see for illegal alcohol.

8.6/10 IMDb 88% Metacritic 8.5/10 TV.com

1929 Germany

Babylon Berlin

The series is set in Berlin during the latter years of the Weimar Republic, beginning in 1929. It follows Gereon Rath, a police inspector on assignment from Cologne who is on a secret mission to dismantle an extortion ring, and Charlotte Ritter, police clerk by day, prostitute by night, who aspires to become a police inspector

8.4 IMDB 100% Rotten Tomatoes 92% Google Audience

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

1916 Ireland, United Kingdom


A mini-series depicts fictional characters in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. The commemorative drama begins with the outbreak of World War I. As expectations of a short and glorious campaign are dashed, social stability is eroded, and Irish nationalism comes to the fore. The tumultuous events that follow are seen through the eyes of a group of friends from Dublin, Belfast, and London as they play vital and conflicting roles in the narrative of Ireland’s independence.

7.1/10 IMDb 40% Rotten Tomatoes

1912 – 1926 England

Downton Abbey

Robert Crawley risks losing the family estate after his heirs die on the Titanic. Soon, the Crawleys are introduced to Matthew, the next heir in line, who resists the aristocratic way of life.

8.7 IMDB 93% Google Audience

1900 USA

The Knick

At the start of the twentieth century, Dr John Thackery takes over as the chief surgeon at the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York and deals with a racially charged city and drug addiction.

8.5 IMDB 92% Rotten Tomatoes 97% Google Audience

1894 – 1918 Russia

The series follows the reign of Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, from his accession to the throne in 1894 to his execution along with the Romanov family in 1918.

7.6 IMDB 56% Rotten Tomatoes 79% Google Audience

1876 – 1898 USA

People flee to Deadwood, South Dakota, with the dream of getting rich. However, not everyone can survive the chaos and confusion the town has to offer due to the lack of law facilities.

8.6/10 IMDB 92% Rotten Tomatoes 88% Google Audience

1850s USA


Driven by the dreams of a courageous blacksmith named Noah, some plantation slaves in 1850s Georgia band together to attempt a daring escape. The fight for their lives, their futures and their freedom leads to Noah’s risk-filled plan to travel hundreds of miles away via the Underground Railroad.

7.8 IMDB 96% Rotten Tomatoes 91% Google Audience

1837 England


The first series depicts the first few years of the reign of Queen Victoria, from her accession to the throne at the age of eighteen, to her intense friendship and infatuation with Lord Melbourne, to her courtship and early marriage to Prince Albert  and finally to the birth of their first child, Victoria. The second series follows Victoria’s struggles on managing her role as Queen with that of her duties to her husband and children.

8.2/10IMDb87%Rotten Tomatoes8.9/10TV.com

1812 Russia

War and Peace

Tells the story of events surrounding the the Napoleonic invasion of Russia and the impact of the era on pre-reform (Tsarist) Russia.

8.2/10IMDb 88%Rotten Tomatoes

1770 – 1826 USA

John Adams

The series revolves around the life of the second President of the United States of America, John Adams and traces his formative years and the first fifty years of USA’s development.

8.5/10 IMDB 82% Rotten Tomatoes 91% Google Audience

1750 – 1800 Russia

The Great

A young Catherine the Great comes to Russia to get married to Peter III of Russia but finds herself embroiled in a world of dogmatic beliefs and customs, which she tries to alter.

8.2/10 IMDB 94% Rotten Tomatoes 90% Google Audience

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


There’s money to be made in the fur trade in the 1700s, which is why Declan Harp is trying to get a piece of it. The outlaw trapper is leading a campaign to breach the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly on fur in Canada. Lord Benton, on the other hand, is bent on restoring the company’s stranglehold on fur and is on a mission to stamp out Harp, who turns to an old ally when bounty hunters close in on him. Harp eventually devises an elaborate scheme to plunder Hudson’s Bay and set a trap for Benton.

7.2/10 IMDb 7.9/10 TV.com

1667 – 1670 France


It’s 1667 and 28-year-old King Louis XIV has finally taken over sole command of France. When he commissions Versailles, Europe’s most beautiful palace, the nobles seek entry into the lavish residence, which they do not realize is meant to imprison and control them. Among the ruler’s prime targets is his younger brother, Monsieur. There’s also romance in King Louis’ life, as his queen, Marie Theresa, tries to tame his wandering eyes and win his heart back from his mistress, the English king’s sister. Love, power, betrayal and war are all part of daily life in Versailles.

7.9/10 IMDb 88% Rotten Tomatoes 9.4/10 TV.com

1589 – 1651 Ottoman Empire (Turkey)

The Magnificant Century: Khosem / Muhtesem Yuzyil: Kosem

Kosem (The Magnificant Century: Kosem): it recounts the life of Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan, a slave girl who became one of the most powerful women in Ottoman history after she was captured and sent to the harem of Sultan Ahmed I.

Historical fiction based on the life and court of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hurrem Sultan.

6.5/10 IMDB 92% Google Audience

1557 France, England, Scotland


Queen of Scotland Mary Stuart travels to France with four ladies-in-waiting to secure her politically strategic engagement to the king’s son, Prince Francis. Mary and Francis share a mutual attraction, even though he has reservations about the wisdom of an alliance with Scotland. Complicating issues is Bash, Francis’ illegitimate half-brother whom Mary finds herself drawn to in spite of herself. The French Court is also full of less romantic challenges for Mary, who finds her engagement — and life — threatened until she finds an ally in a mysterious shrouded guide. With all that she faces, Mary rallies, readying herself to rule and trying to find a balance between the demands of her country and those of her heart.

7.6/10 IMDb 8.4/10 TV.com

1520 – 1566 Ottoman Empire (Turkey)

Muhtesem Yuzyil (The Magnificant Century)

A Turkish historical fiction television series. It is based on the life of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave girl who became a Sultan.

6.8/10 IMDB 92% Google Audience

1520s Spain

Carlos, Rey Emperador

The series tells the story of Charles I or Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, one of the most powerful men Europe has met, the ruler of an empire as great in size as in diversity. As the life of Charles of Habsburg is told since his arrival to Spain, it can be seen how the heir to the crowns of Germany, Burgundy, the Netherlands, the Free County, Artois, Nevers and Rethel, of the territories of the Crown of Aragon and its related Italian territories, and of the territories of the Catholic Monarchs in Castile, North Africa and the Americas, matures as a statesman and gets stronger in face of menaces around him and good and bad advice from his counselors.

7.6/10 IMDb

Early 1500s England

The Tudors

This Showtime drama focuses on the early years of King Henry VIII’s nearly 40-year reign (1509-1547) of England. The series looks at Henry’s famous female companions like Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and delves into his relationships with important figures like Sir Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey (head of the Catholic Church of England during its break with Rome) and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who was Henry’s best friend and unofficial adviser.

8.1/10 IMDb 8.7/10 TV.com

1509 – 1525 England, Spain, France

The Spanish Princess

Teenaged princess Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Spanish rulers Isabella and Ferdinand, finally travels to England, to meet her husband by proxy, Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent of Henry VII of England, to whom she has been betrothed since she was a child. Unwelcome by some, she and her diverse court, including her lady-in-waiting Lina, who is of Moorish ancestry, struggle to adapt to English customs. Catherine is horrified to learn that Arthur’s younger brother, the arrogant Henry, Duke of York, is the author of the romantic correspondence she has received. When Arthur dies suddenly, her destiny as the one who will bring peace between Spain and England seems in doubt, until she sets her sights on Prince Henry.

6.9/10 IMDB 75% Rotten Tomatoes 85% Google Audience

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

1485 – 1496 England

The White Princess

In the eight episode series, the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York effectively ends the Wars of the Roses by uniting the houses of Lancaster and York. However, their mutual enmity and distrust, as well as the political plots of their mothers, threaten to tear both the marriage and the kingdom apart. 

7.5 IMDB 76% Rotten Tomatoes 86% Google Audience

1477 France


After the death of her father, the Duke of Burgundy, Mary takes up the throne. Many suitors try to woo her but it is Maximilian of Habsburg who has better chances of win her heart.

7.4/10 IMDB 84% Google Audience

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

1461 Castille (Spain)


The life of Isabel, a sweet child who, through the exercise of power and personal suffering, will become one of the greates rulers in the history of Spain.

8.3/10 IMDb

1429 Italy


The wealthy Medici family rise to power during great social upheavals throughout medieval Italy. Their contributions to the artistic life of the country is in contrast to their quest for control and the envy of those who wish to depose them.

7.9/10 IMDB 50% Rotten Tomatos 4.8/5 Google Audience Rating

1306 France


In 1306, the Knights Templar are winding down their run as one of the most powerful organizations in the Christian world. Acre, the Templars’ last stronghold, has fallen and years later a rumour is heard that the lost Grail is still in that area. The Templars, led by the courageous, headstrong, but noble Templar Knight Landry have shifted their attention to regaining a foothold in the Holy Land.

6.8 IMDB 57% Rotten Tomatoes 76% Google Audience

1304 – 1307 England, Scotland

Outlaw King (Film)

After being crowned King of Scotland, legendary warrior Robert the Bruce is forced into exile by the English and leads a band of outlaws to help him reclaim the throne.

6.9/10 IMDB 62% Rotten Tomatoes 76% Google Audience Rating

1200s Ottoman Empire (Turkey)

Diriliş: Ertuğrul (The Revival: Ertuğrul),

A Turkish historical drama based on the history of the Muslim Oghuz Turks and takes place in the 13th century. It centers around the life of Ertuğrul, the father of Osman I, who was the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

7.1/10 IMDb

1200s Mongolia, China

Marco Polo

Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo journeys across Europe and Asia and lands up as a prisoner in the palace of Kublai Khan, a 13th century Mongolian emperor.

8/10 IMDB 66% Rotten Tomatoes 87% Google Audience

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

1002 – 1066 England, Denmark, Norway, Russia

Vikings Valhalla

Vikings: Valhalla is set more than 100 years after the events of Vikings; in England, tensions between the descendants of the Vikings (Norse or “Danes”) and native English reach a bloody breaking point. The Norse also clash amongst themselves over conflicting Christian and pagan beliefs.

The beginning of the series depicts the St. Brice’s Day massacre in 1002 and intends to conclude with the end of the Viking Age, marked by the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.

7.3/10 IMDB 95% Rotten Tomatoes 90% Google Users

801 – 900 England, Denmark

The Last Kingdom

(A personal favourite) 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.

8.4/10IMDb 91%Rotten Tomatoes 8.8/10TV.com

793 Denmark, England, France


Viking Ragnar Lothbrok is a young farmer and family man who is frustrated by the policies of Earl Haraldson, his local chieftain who sends his Viking raiders east to the Baltic states and Russia, whose residents are as poor as the Norsemen. Ragnar wants to head west, across the ocean, to discover new civilizations. With assistance from his friend Floki, Ragnar builds a faster, sleeker fleet of boats to help him make it to the Western world. Through the years Ragnar, who claims to be a direct descendant of the god Odin, continues to struggle with Earl until the two face each other in a final battle for supremacy. Following that, Ragnar goes on a search for new lands to conquer.

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

169 China

Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms is a 2010 Chinese television series based on the events in the late Eastern Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period.

8.2/10 IMDb 8.7/10 MyDramaList

0 – 100 AD Roman Empire


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

43 AD Britain


“Britannia” is set in A.D. 43, when the Romans invaded Britain led by General Aulus Plautius, who is determined to succeed where Julius Caesar failed and conquer this mythical land on the very end of the Roman Empire. Kerra, daughter of the King of the Cantii, is forced to put her differences with archrival Queen Antedia aside in order to unite the tribes and supposedly magical Druids and face their invaders. But General Aulus carries a secret that threatens to undermine the entire mission.

9 AD Germany, Roman Empire


The story takes place during the Roman occupation of Germania Magna (an area between the Rhine river and the Elbe) in the latter part of 9 AD . The Romans had occupied the region for twenty years, and the Germanic tribes are oppressed by the empire’s heavy taxes and demands for tribute. Attempts to form a unified Germanic resistance are hampered by petty in-fighting between the tribal chieftains, and the selfish aspirations of certain tribesmen desiring peace with Rome.

7.2/10 IMDB 86% Rotten Tomatoes 82% Google Audience

73 – 71 BC  Roman Republic


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

13th Century BC Troy (Greece, Turkey)


A miniseries based on the Trojan War and the love affair between Paris and Helen. The show tells the story of the 10 year siege of Troy, which occurred in the 13th century BC.

3.5/10 IMDb 67% 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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