5 of the Best Recent British Period Dramas on ITV

Last updated on the 1 April 2024 by Evandrus

British period dramas from ITV are enjoyable for their rich historical context, stunning set designs and costumes, and nuanced portrayals of complex characters.

 

Sanditon (2019)

Still from Sanditon with Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Rose Williams (british period dramas)

 

Our first of the British period dramas is Sanditon. Based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel of the same name, which follows the story of Charlotte Heywood, a young and idealistic woman who visits Sanditon, a fishing village that is being transformed into a seaside resort by entrepreneur Tom Parker. As Charlotte becomes acquainted with the town’s eccentric inhabitants, she finds herself drawn to Sidney Parker, Tom’s charismatic but brooding brother.

Top cast: Rose Williams, Theo James, Anne Reid, Kris Marshall, Kate Ashfield, Jack Fox, Charlotte Spencer, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Lily Sacofsky.

 

Belgravia (2020)

Still from Belgravia with Alice Eve

 

Written by Julian Fellowes who also the mthe story follows the lives of two families from different social classes who are brought together by scandalous secrets and events that took place decades earlier. In 1815, at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, Sophia Trenchard falls in love with Edmund Bellasis but their romance comes to an abrupt end when he dies on the battlefield. Twenty-five years later, Sophia’s daughter Anne finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue involving both families as she navigates her way through London high society.

Top cast: Tamsin Greig, Philip Glenister, Harriet Walter, Alice Eve, Tara Fitzgerald, Ella Purnell, Richard Goulding and James Fleet.

 

Upstairs Downstairs (2010)

Still from Upstairs Downstairs (2010)

 

The story takes place in Eaton Place, a luxurious townhouse in Belgravia, where Sir Hallam Holland (a member of Parliament) and his wife Lady Agnes move into the house with their children. With them come Rose Buck, who served as head parlormaid to the previous owners, and Mr Amanjit Singh – who becomes Butler after Hudson retires.

Top cast: Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Claire Foy, Adrian Scarborough, Anne Reid, Neil Jackson, Art Malik, Jean Marsh and Ellie Kendrick.

 

Victoria (2016)

A still from Victoria with Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes

 

It follows the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18 to her marriage to Prince Albert and beyond. Viewers are taken through various historical events that took place during Victoria’s reign, including political crises, social changes, and personal struggles.

Top cast: Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes, Rufus Sewell, Alex Jennings, Peter Firth, Catherine Flemming, Daniela Holtz and Nell Hudson.

 

Downton Abbey (2010)

A still from Downton Abbey

 

Downton Abbey is one of two British period dramas (Belgravia being the other) from Julian Fellowes in this list. It follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as they navigate through social changes, political upheaval and personal dramas.

Top cast: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, and Thomas Howes plus many more.

 

These British period dramas can be found at ITVX

 

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