Period dramas to watch on TV over Christmas

Not sure what to watch this Christmas? We've rounded up the best period dramas to have on your watch list. Image BBC Studios.

Call the Midwife

Friday 24th December – Christmas Eve


9.00pm All Creatures Great and Small – Channel 5

Christmas Eve marks the end of All Creatures Great and Small series two. In this episode, Helen and James find themselves in a bit of a dilemma, and a furry friend’s health takes a turn for the worst. You can catch up on all episodes on BBC iPlayer.

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10.00pm Grantchester – ITV3

Set in the 1950s, Granchester documents a vicar of a small English church who finds himself in an unlikely friendship with the local detective. This episode is full of mystery – a woman reports her husband missing and Sidney and Geordie question the motives for the upcoming Winter wedding.


Saturday 25th December – Christmas Day


8.00pm Call the Midwife – BBC1

Christmas Day marks the return of our favourite midwives at Nonnatus House. Fans of the show will undoubtably be awaiting the wedding of Lucille and Cyril, but after a wild Hen party ends with an injury, will she make it down the aisle in time?


9.00pm The Larkins at Christmas – ITV1

It’s Christmas at the Larkin’s residence. Mariette and Charley return home for the festivities, much to Pop & Ma’s joy, but the arrival of Charley’s parents takes a turn for the worse…


Sunday 26th December – Boxing Day


5.50pm Around the World in 80 Days – BBC1

A new series set in 1872, Fogg, played by David Tennant, takes a bet that he can take a trip around the globe and return in time for Christmas. With a reporter and waiter recruited as his travelling team, will he make it back in time?


9.00pm A Very British Scandal – BBC1

You might have seen A Very English Scandal featuring Hugh Grant, but this new series tells the story of a rather notorious divorce case from 1963. When Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, who is played by Claire Foy, meets Ian Campbell, played by Paul Bettany, flirting leads to the beginning of an affair. But when they take a trip to Invernay Castle, the home Ian will inherit, trouble arises.


Monday 27th December

9.00pm A Very British Scandal – BBC1

Episode two of this fact-based drama sees Margaret feeling trapped by her marriage, and her husband’s moods only make things worse. Will she stay in an unhappy marriage, or will she take matters in to her own hands?

10.00pm Agatha Christie’s Poirot – ITV3

Murder on the Orient Express follows the story of detective Poirot. When Poirot refuses to look out for a man on the train, he is forced to investigate when that same man ends up dead the very next day.



Tuesday 28th December

9.00pm A Very British Scandal – BBC1

It’s the final episode of the short series. Finally, the Duke and Duchess finally separate, and with the media watching with bated breath, will Margaret’s private life be the talk of the town, or will she be able to keep her secrets? You can watch the full series on iPlayer once the first episode has aired.


Netflix


Downton Abbey

Old but a classic, Downton Abbey is always top of the list when it comes to period dramas. Whether you fancy reminiscing on Christmas at the abbey or you plan to watch it from the start, all series’ of Downton Abbey are available to stream on Netflix, as well as the film.


Bridgerton

With the release of season two just around the corner, the Christmas break is a great time to refresh your memory on all things season one. Immerse yourself in the Regency era and the rocky beginnings of Daphne and Simon’s romance.


Little Women

The 2019 remake of Little Women has arrived on Netflix. This coming-of-age period drama follows the lives of the four March sisters in the 19th Century. You might have seen one of the previous remakes (there have been about 8 in total) but this one sees Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen playing the sisters and Meryl Streep makes an appearance as the Aunt!


Suffragette

Based on the historical movement, Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, shares the stories and emotions of the women who risked everything for women’s rights and the sacrifices they made to get there.


The Dig

A heartwarming story that begins the night before World War II began, a widow with a strange mass on her land hires an archeologist, whose skills are somewhat self-taught, to discover what lies beneath it.


Amazon Prime


Outlander

An Amazon exclusive series, Outlander follows the journey of Claire Randall, played by Catriona Balfe, whose life as a married combat nurse in 1945 is turned on its head when she finds herself travelling back in time to 1743 Scotland. And when she meets Jamie, a Scottish clan member, everything she once knew about her life is questioned. Will she stay in her new era or return to her husband in 1945?

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The Underground Railroad

Season 1 arrived on Prime in 2021 and shares the story of Cora Randall’s fight for freedom from slavery on a plantation in Georgia. Her escape leads her to an amazing discovery – the underground railroad. There are 10 episodes in series one of The Underground Railroad and an absolute must add to your watch list.