Who among us loves a good period drama? I know I sure do. There aren’t enough of them in my mind. This is why sometimes it’s fun to re-visit some of our old nostalgic favorites. Some of these can be found on various streaming services, which is why today I want to feature one such platform, and talk about a kind of roundup of the best period drama on Amazon Prime.
I’ve tried to collect as many as I could without creating something that is, for me or you, too overwhelming. (Because we can always have a part two, right?). Hopefully, this list offers a bit of variety and maybe even one (or two!) period dramas you haven’t seen, though certainly I suspect most are titles you’ve seen, but can re-discover as favorites. From Austen to Dickens, fairy tales and 1950s mystery, there’s a little something for whatever you like – and at the time I’m writing this, the best news is, these are all available on Amazon Prime.
Let’s take a look and visit yesteryear in these stories.
Best Period Drama on Amazon Prime
Please note, at time of publication, these are all on Amazon Prime, but this is subject to change at any time. Always check the price before buying/watching.
1: Beauty and the Beast (2014)
This indie-esque fairy tale re-tells the legend, and while it’s worth a second look, I do have lots of thoughts on this one. All of which shall be shared in a review that is on my April publication calendar.
There is some suggestive sexual content, and the two-part show is TV-14
2: The Buccaneers
This one isn’t iconic in my opinion, but the BBC miniseries about four women who try to find their happy end is worth watching if you’ve never seen it. The costumes are gorgeous, and the cast is good (it even includes Greg Wise!), but the story feels more down-trodden than truly fulfilling.
There’s sexual content, including a rape and the fallout of this emotionally and otherwise; there’s talk of a man preferring the same-sex, etc. Most episodes would be TV-PG or – 14.
3: Daniel Deronda
This one seems to be more underrated than anything, but as I work through this list, it’s actually one that I would like to re-watch myself. Based on a George Eliot novel, it features Hugh Dancy as a character who falls for a girl outside his reach, and the woman who develops unrequited love for him.
There is some adult content; implications and scenes of physical abuse and some sexual material. The series is TV-PG
4: Doctor Thorne
Penned (for TV) by Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey), this sweet Amazon exclusive is too short in my opinion, but it’s also one of those relaxing, happy and charming period dramas that makes you smile big.
I mean we all know about this drama about a family during WWI (and beyond), right? If not, make a trip to this family estate, meet the Crawley family and their loyal servants, and be swept into their lives.
Set during the 1950s, and beyond, this British series is a mystery that follows the sleuthing adventures of a vicar and a police detective. But the series is also so much more as both characters fight their respective haunted pasts.
Depending on the episode, most of these would be a TV-14; there’s death (because it’s a mystery series), adult conversations/situations (including sexual content) and other thematic elements that crop up during the investigations
7: Home Fires
Set during WWII, this one follows the lives of those not on the front lines of battle, but rather on the Homefront. It’s a fabulous cast and features so many wonderful characters, and stories with hints of romance here and there.
The show rates TV-14 or TV-PG depending on the episode, but of course, there are some adult situations and other thematic elements given the period in history
8: Jane Eyre (1983)
Believe it or not, this is one of the 80s era period dramas I actually do enjoy – one of the rare ones. For some reason I have a soft spot for this adaptation of the popular Bronte adaptation, and so was excited to see it on Amazon.
9: Jane Eyre (2006)
Another of my most favorite adaptations of this Gothic love story, this Masterpiece version features Tobey Stephens and Ruth Wilson, both of whom turn in memorable performances.
10: Little Dorrit (2008)
Before he was Mr. Darcy, Matthew McFayden played the ironic Dickens character of Arthur Clennam. To be honest, I don’t remember much about this adaptation, but do know I enjoyed it a great deal more than its counterparts. That said, this one is, like most Dickens, dark and dreary.
The rating is TV-PG
11: Little Women (Masterpiece Theatre / PBS)
The most recent PBS version of this classic story can be found on Prime, and while it isn’t what I anticipated it being, it’s still a wonderful little period drama with a cast of relative unknowns – bravo!
12: Lorna Doone
This is one of those period pieces I watched years ago during my earlier days of being a period drama aficionado. It’s an adventure story of forbidden love, and though I don’t have clear memories of all the details, I still love this one.
13: Miss Austen Regrets
Most people don’t really care for this biopic about the latter years of Jane Austen’s life, but my one-time viewing was a memorable experience, though it does paint her in something of an unfavorable light.
14: The Moonstone
Normally I’m not into ghost type stories, but this period drama is sweet and charming, and takes more of a romantic approach to its storytelling.
15: My Mother and Other Strangers
This one is definitely unique and won’t be the right fit for everyone. (I did enjoy it.) It’s about a family during WWII whose lives are changed when a U.S. army base sets up in their village.
This one has very little visual content, there are implications of adultery and abuse, but nothing graphic; the show is TV-PG
16: Our Mutual Friend
Another Dickens adaptation, one I haven’t seen in years. But if my memory serves me well, it’s one I did really quite enjoy.
Started this one at its introduction, loved it and then fell away because I just couldn’t deal with its titular character. Still, someday I’d like to return to finish out the lush, now-cancelled British series.
TV-14 is the rating of this adult drama; there’s sexual content (in certain episodes), violence and other thematic elements (including adultery)
18: Royal Night Out
A fun little story about Queen Elizabeth on V-E Day, and the mischief she and her sister Margaret get up to on their one night of freedom!
The film is mostly PG, but the girl’s do encounter some seedy places, and men who try to do them harm
Hands down, my favorite version of this beloved Jane Austen story. The cast is brilliant, the scenery gorgeous, and overall, the story is just that much more fleshed out. It’s gorgeous.
You can also find a variety of other Austen productions on Prime like Love & Friendship; plus the 1980s versions of Mansfield Park, Pride & Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
With exception to the suggestive opening scene, this one is TV-PG, and age appropriate for all to enjoy
Charming and sweet, this film ranks as a nostalgic favorite of mine. Keeley Hawes stars as a schoolteacher with whom a local penniless man falls for, and her father disapproves of even as more suitable candidates line up to court the pretty new arrival.
How many of these have you seen? Do you have any ‘best period dramas on Amazon Prime’ to recommend? Comment all of your thoughts in the comments section; I look forward to chatting with you.Some of the Best Period Drama on Amazon Prime. Have you seen any of these? #PeriodDrama #CostumeDrama #Romance #AmazonPrime Click To Tweet