Who’s ready for a new decade of period dramas / historical dramas / costume dramas (with a specific time period)?
This year’s featured couple is Jamie and Claire from Outlander S5 (the same couple in Period Dramas 2014). I never would have imagined that when I selected the period drama couple photo for 2019 (Victoria and Albert), that was how 2019 would turn out for me. So I’m choosing a happier image for 2020 (Emma and Mr Knightley have too much tension).
I would like to thank my readers for following my blog for my period dramas list. I have had fun organising lists but the time has finally come for me to return to creating the lists for myself. This means I will not be spending as much time online looking for all the upcoming historical dramas out there. As more and more period drama websites and Instagram accounts appear online, it has become clear to me that the current audience prefers visual updates and regular new posts. Having said that, readers or visitors are still welcome to inform me of upcoming period dramas and I will continue to give credit if I decide to add it to my ‘watch list’.
You will have noticed that the following pages are no longer updated:
I may return to updating those pages one day but for now, only the Upcoming Period Dramas post will be updated and other films will be added to my imdb lists.
The following list is in chronological order (alphabetical where no date is specified) by release date and will be updated as more films and release dates are known. You can preview some of the trailers in Current & Upcoming Period Drama Trailers. Films that I have seen are rated out of 5 stars and will include a very short review.
My Top 10 Period Dramas of 2020 Predictions
- The Crown S4
- Call The Midwife S9
- Outlander S5
- Project Blue Book S2
- Death on the Nile
- The English Game
- The Windermere Children
- Babylon Berlin S3
Last updated: 11 December 2020
1-3 Jan 2020 UK / 4 Jan 2020 (Netflix) – BBC One’s Dracula (TV Mini-Series) ★ ★ ★ ★
A three-part series on Dracula, set in London in 1897.
Review: This was not only quite different from the novel but I was surprised that the end of E2 and almost all of E3 were set in the present day. My favourite character was Sister Agatha. Probably could have been a longer series.
2 Jan 2020 – Netflix’s The Flemish Bandits / Thieves of the Wood (TV series)
Ten episodes set in Flanders (Aalst, Belgium) in 1741 about highwayman Jan de Lichte who leads a revolt against the corrupt aristocracy.
3 Jan 2020 UK / 8 Nov 2019 US / 25 Oct 2019 Canada – Jojo Rabbit (movie) ★★★★ Available online to rent/buy!
A dark comedy loosely based on Christine Leunen’s novel Caging Skies. A young Hitler’s Youth boy find out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl.
Review: I didn’t laugh until much later in the movie but I enjoyed the scenes between the boy and his mother and the boy and the girl.
3 Jan 2020 Netflix / 22 Sept 2019 Canada – CBC’s Anne S3 (TV Series)
Series finale with ten episodes.
6 Jan 2020 UK – BBC One’s Father Brown S8 (TV series)
10 episodes. Renewed for S9.
10 Jan 2020 UK/Canada / 25 Dec 2019 US – 1917 (movie) Available online to rent/buy!
Set during WWI.
12 Jan 2020 US/Canada (Masterpiece) / 12 Nov 2017 UK – BBC One’s Howards End (TV Mini-Series) ★★★★
Four-part drama based on E.M. Forster’s novel of the same name about social and class divisions in early 20th Century England. Starring Hayley Attwell, Matthew Macfadyen, etc.
Review: I think I enjoyed this version more than the 1992 movie but it still wasn’t my cup of tea.
12 Jan 2020 US/Canada (Masterpiece) / 25 Aug 2019 UK – ITV’s Sanditon (TV series) ★★★★★
Eight-part adaption of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen.
Review: I enjoyed every episode until the finale because, like the novel, it was left unfinished. In fact, it was worse because it left the viewers with a heartbreak. Here’s hoping it will be picked up for S2 so that we can have our promised happy ending!
17 Jan 2020 – Dolittle / The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle (movie) Available online to rent/buy!
A fantasy film about Dr. Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr) who sets off on an epic journey to find a cure for the young and gravely ill Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley).
17 Jan 2020 UK / 13 Dec 2019 US – A Hidden Life (movie) Available online to rent/buy!
Set during WWII about an Austrian conscientious objector who refuses to fight for the Nazis.
19 Jan 2020 Canada/US (PBS) / 18 Nov 2019 UK – BBC Two’s Vienna Blood S1 (TV mini series) ★★★★
Three-part series (six-part series for PBS viewers) based on the Liebermann crime novels set in Vienna in the 1900’s. Renewed for S2.
Review: Since I enjoy historical murder mysteries, I enjoyed this mini-series set in Vienna.
21 Jan 2020 @ 10pm US/Canada – History’s Project Blue Book S2 (TV series) ★★★★★
Ten-part drama set in 1952-69 about UFO investigations.
Review: The last three episodes were especially exciting and I really hope there will be a S3!
24 Jan 2020 Canada/US / 31 Jan 2020 UK / 29 May 2019 Philippines – Quezon’s Game (movie)
Set in 1938 about Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon who saves Jewish refugees from Germany.
29 Jan 2020 US / 20 Jun 2019 Russia – Dylda / Beanpole (movie)
Set in Leningrad in 1945 about two female friends who have been reunited and search for hope after traumatic experiences.
31 Jan 2020 – Netflix’s Luna Nera / The Black Moon (TV series)
Book-to-film adaptation with six episodes set in the 17th Century Italy about a group of women suspected of witchcraft.
31 Jan 2020 UK / 18 Oct 2019 US – The Lighthouse (movie) ★
Horror film set on a remote island in New England in the 1890’s about two lighthouse keepers.
Review: Too frightened to watch the entire film but the cinematography was very good from what I did see.
1 Feb 2020 US (Ovation) / 6 Jan 2020 @ 8pm Canada / 13 Jan 2020 UK (Alibi) – CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries S13 (TV series) ★★★★★
Series began with nine episodes on 16 Sept 2019 on CBC. Continues with nine more episodes on CBC on 6 Jan 2020. Renewed for S14.
7 Feb 2020 UK – Mr. Jones (movie)
Welsh journalist Gareth Jones (James Norton) uncovers the famine in the Soviet Union during Stalin’s regime in the early 1930’s.
7 Feb 2020 US / 14 Feb 2020 UK – Waiting for Anya (movie)
Adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same name. Set during WWII about a shepherd who helps smuggle Jewish children from France to Spain.
14 Feb 2020 Worldwide (Netflix) – Las Chicas del Cable S5 / Cable Girls: Part 1 (TV series)
First six episodes of the series finale. Second half available on 3 July 2020.
14 Feb 2020 UK / 21 Feb 2020 Canada/US – The Call of the Wild (movie) Available online to rent/buy!
Book-to-movie adaptation of the novel by Jack London in 1903. Buck, a St Bernard – Scott Collie dog, is stolen from his home in California to become a sledge dog in Yukon, Canada during the 1890’s Klondike Gold Rush and has the adventure of a lifetime. Starring Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Cary Gee, etc.
14 Feb 2020 Canada/US / 28 Feb 2020 UK / 18 Sept 2019 France – Portrait de la jeune fille en feu / Portrait of a Lady on Fire (movie)
Set on an island in Brittany at the end of the 18th Century about a female painter who paints a wedding portrait of a young woman.
16 Feb 2020 US/Canada (W Network) / 17 Feb 2020 UK (Amazon Prime) – Starz’s Outlander S5 (TV series) ★★★★★
23 Feb 2020 US – Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart S7 (TV series)
Renewed for S8!
1 March 2020 Worldwide (Netflix) / 20 Dec 2019 Spain (Netflix) – Velvet Colección: Grand Finale (TV movie)
Christmas special and series finale set in Christmas 1969 which reunites past and present staff of Velvet.
6 March 2020 US / 28 Feb 2020 Canada / 14 Feb 2020 UK – Emma (movie) ★★★★★ Available online to rent/buy!
A new adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse.
Review: A very well done adaptation of Emma with the right costumes, hair, makeup, lighting, film locations, and original score. Not my favourite adaptation of Emma but at least it didn’t turn out to be a disaster!
16 March 2020 – HBO’s The Plot Against America (TV Mini-Series)
Six-part drama. An alternative history set in 1940 in which President D. Franklin was defeated the presidential election by Charles Lindbergh.
20 March 2020 – Apple TV+’s The Banker (TV movie)
Set in the 1950s-1960’s about the first two African-American bankers.
20 March 2020 – Netflix’s The English Game (TV Series) ★★★★★
Six-part drama penned by Julian Fellowes on the history of football (soccer) set during the 19th Century.
Review: You may have heard that football is a gentleman’s game played by ruffians. This drama shows a bit of why that was during its early days. It’s a very inspiring series and fans of football will enjoy it.
20 March 2020 – Netflix’s The Letter for the King (TV series)
Six-part adaptation of Dutch novel De brief door de Kooning by Tonke Dragt set in a fantasy Medieval world.
20 March 2020 – Netflix’s Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker (TV movie) ★★★★★
Set in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in the US about African American entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker (Octavia Spencer) who became a self-made millionaire from her hair care and beauty products.
Review: Firstly, Octavia is one of my favourite actresses so I loved seeing her shine in this role. I especially liked the ending which showed Madam C. J. Walker’s current and future employees (actors) talk about how they benefited from working for her or her company.
23 March 2020 Worldwide – Netflix’s Freud (TV series) ★★★★
Eight-part German-language mystery thriller set in Vienna in the 1880s about young Sigmund Freud who investigates a murder conspiracy.
Review: This series had many similar cases in Vienna Blood (TV series) but there were some parts that were so demonic that I had to skip them.
29 March 2020 Canada/US (PBS) / 5 Jan 2020 UK – BBC One’s Call the Midwife S9 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1965. Series renewed for S10 and S11.
Review: This series was especially moving, even though I’m not a fan of the 60s. So looking forward to the new series next year!
4 April 2020 US (Ovation) / 21 Jan 2020 UK (Alibi) / 16 Sept 2019 Canada – CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries S3 (TV Series)
10 episodes. Renewed for S4.
5 April 2020 Canada/US (Masterpiece) / 29 Sept 2019 UK – BBC One’s World on Fire S1 (TV series) ★★★★★
Seven-part WWII drama about the ordinary people from different countries whose lives are being affected by the war. Renewed for S2.
Review: This is the first series I’ve seen in which Sean Bean hasn’t been murdered or executed. I thought this would only be told from the Allies’ perspective but it’s been nice to see it from the German side too.
5 April 2020 Canada/US (PBS) / 27 Jan 2020 UK / 27 Jan 2020 Germany (ZDF) – BBC Two’s The Windermere Children / Die Kinder von Windermere (TV movie) ★★★★★
Based on a true story of the 300 child survivors of the Holocaust who were brought to Lake Windermere during the summer of 1945. This 90 min TV movie will air on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.
Review: One of the most moving films I’ve seen. The epilogue with the child survivors talking about their experiences and gratitude had me choking in tears inside.
8 April 2020 Portugal – RTP’s A Espia (TV Series)
Eight-part drama on espionage and romance set in neutral Portugal in 1941.
12 April 2020 US (Epix) / 17 May 2020 Australia / 15 March 2020 UK – ITV’s Belgravia (TV Series) ★★★★★
Adapted from Julian Fellowes’ novel of the same name set in the Napoleonic era and 1840s.
13 April 2020 UK – CBBC’s Hetty Feather S6 (TV series)
Series finale with three episodes.
23 April 2020 NZ / 27 Feb 2020 Australia / 23 March 2020 Canada/US (Acorn TV) – Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (movie) ★★★★★
Set in the former British Palestine and the UK in 1929.
Review: I am grateful for this Miss Fisher movie and I hope the series will be continued. We simply need more Phryne and Jack!
26 April 2020 Worldwide (Netflix) – The Last Kingdom S4 (TV Series) ★★★★★
Renewed for S5.
Review: Aside from S1, this has to be the best series. I truly hope there’s a S5 so we can find out what happens to everyone.
? April 2020 Canada (CBC Gem) / 5 May 2019 US – Hallmark’s When Calls The Heart S6 (TV series)
Nine episodes. *Currently available for streaming on CBC Gem.
1 May 2020 – Netflix’s Hollywood (TV Mini-Series) ★★★★
Seven-part series set in LA post-WWII about a group of actors who try to become famous.
Review: This was one of those too good to be true of that time films but sometimes we need that.
1 May 2020 Worldwide (Netflix) / 2-11 Dec 2019 Italy (Rai 1) – Medici: Masters of Florence S3 / Medici The Magnificent: Part 2 (TV series) ★★★★★
Series finale with eight episodes continuing from where S2 left off.
Review: The first five episodes were so intense that I couldn’t stop watching. Whilst it tapered off towards the end, I’m happy with the ending.
1 May 2020 Canada (CBC Gem) / 9 Oct 2017 UK – ITV’s Timewasters S1 (TV Series)
Six-part comedy set in South London during the 1920’s about a group of four young Black men who time travel to the past and realise it’s not as ‘glamorous’ as Downton Abbey had led them to believe.
2 May 2020 UK (BBC Four) / 28 Oct 2018 Norway – NRK’s State of Happiness / Lykkeland S1 (TV series)
Eight episodes set between 1969-72 in a small coastal town in Norway that’s just struck oil about four main characters and their experiences. Renewed for S2 which should air in 2022.
15 May 2020 US / 16 May 2020 Canada (Amazon Prime) – Hulu’s The Great (TV series)
Ten-part satirical period drama starring Elle Fanning as young Catherine the Great.
15 May 2020 Ireland/Canada (CityTV) / 18 May Canada/US (Acorn TV) – RTE’s Dead Still (TV Mini-Series)
Six episodes set in Dublin in the 1880s about a postmortem memorial photographer who investigates the murder of the deceased.
16 May 2020 – Netflix’s La Reina de Indias y el Conquistador / The Queen and the Conqueror (TV Series)
Sixty episodes set in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia during the 16th Century about Catalina, the daughter of an Indigenous Chief, who was abducted and betrayed by Spaniard conqueror, Pedro de Heredia.
22 May 2020 Canada (Netflix) – Ophelia (TV movie) ★★★★★
This adaptation of Lisa Klein’s novel of the same name came out in 2018. Daisy Ridley stars as Ophelia in this spinoff of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Review: I read this book ages ago so I can’t say how faithful this film adaptation is to the novel but I loved it. The recurring theme in the music repeats the famous love quote from Hamlet: ‘Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.’
25 May 2020 US – National Geographic’s Barkskins (TV Series)
Eight-part series based on the novel of the same name by Annie Proulx about two immigrants and their descendants in New France.
5 June 2020 Canada (CBC Gem)/ 6 Oct 2018 US (Ovation) / 4 June 2018 (BBC Two) / 23 April 2018 France (Canal) – Versailles S3 (TV series)
14 June 2020 @ 9pm Canada/US (Masterpiece) / 10 Jan 2020 UK – ITV’s Grantchester S5 (TV series) ★★★★★
Set in 1957. Renewed for S6.
Review: Overall, well done but there are times when I have to question Rev. William Davenport’s sermons and actions.
14 June 2020 @ 10pm Canada/US (Masterpiece) / 23 Jun 2019 UK – ITV’s Beecham House (TV series) ★★★★★
Six-part drama set in the 19th century in Delhi (before the British ruled that region) about the residents of Beecham House.
Review: I really enjoyed the scenes in India even if some of the costumes were low-budget. It’s a shame the series wasn’t renewed, especially since I have so many questions about some of the characters’ connections and the ending was very shocking.
19 June 2020 – Netflix’s Girls from Ipanema S2 / Most Beautiful Thing / Coisa Mais Linda (TV series)
Six episodes set in Brazil in 1960.
19 June 2020 UK (Amazon Prime) / 27 March 2020 US (Amazon Prime) – Resistance (Movie) Available online to rent/buy!
A group of Jewish Boy Scouts who worked with the French Resistance to save the lives of ten thousand orphans during World War II.
21 June 2020 UK (BBC One) / 17 May 2020 NZ – NZTV’s The Luminaries (TV series)
Six-part series adapted from Eleanor Catton’s novel of the same name. Adventure mystery set in New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860’s Gold Rush.
21 June 2020 US / 22 June 2020 UK (Sky Atlantic) – HBO’s Perry Mason S1 (TV Series)
Eight-part crime series set in Los Angeles in 1932; an origin story about defence lawyer Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) based on characters from Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels. Renewed for S2.
26 June 2020 UK (Amazon/iTunes/Google/etc)- Fanny Lye Deliver’d (digital movie)
Set in Shropshire in 1657 about Fanny Lye whose world changes with the unexpected arrival of two strangers.
3 July 2020 Worldwide (Netflix) – Las Chicas del Cable S5 / Cable Girls: Part 2 (TV series)
Second half of the series finale with six episodes.
10 July 2020 – Apple TV+’s Greyhound (Movie) ★★★★★
American WWII drama written by and starring Tom Hanks. Based on The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester.
24 July 2020 UK / 31 July 2020 Canada/US – Summerland (Movie)
Set during WWII (London Blitz) about a folklore investigator (Gemma Arterton) who eventually re-evaluates her views when she has to take in a young evacuee.
24 July 2020 US / 20 March 2020 UK – Radioactive (movie)
About Marie (Rosamund Pike) and Pierre Curie (Sam Riley).
7 August 2020 Canada/US – Netflix’s High Seas (Alta Mar) S3 (TV Series) ★★★
Series finale with 8 episodes.
Review: This series was cancelled earlier this year and it’s terribly ironic that it focused on a virus outbreak on the ship. I didn’t find it particularly interesting until the last few episodes. But I did like how they brought in another actor from Gran Hotel whose character happens to be the son of Inspector Ayala!
9 August 2020 Canada/US (Masterpiece) / 9 Feb 2020 UK – ITV’s Endeavour S7 (TV Series) ★★★★★
Three episodes set in 1970. Renewed for S8.
Review: My only complaint is that it was too short. Otherwise, it was interesting to observe the tension between Morse and Thursday.
14 August 2020 Canada/US – Fatima (Movie)
A drama about the three children who had visions of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
16 August 2020 Canada (Crave) / US – HBO’s Lovecraft Country (TV Series)
A horror drama set in the 1950’s about a young African American who travels across the US in search of his father.
18 August 2020 US (digital release) / 2021 UK/Canada – Emperor (Movie)
Inspired by Shields “Emperor” Green, a descendant of African kings, who escaped enslavement in the South pre-Civil War and fights is way north to seek freedom for his family.
28 August 2020 Canada/US / 24 Jan 2020 UK – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Movie)
An adaptation of Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’ with Dev Patel in the lead role.
1 September 2020 UK / 10 January 2021 US/Canada (Masterpiece) – Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small S1 (TV Series)
New adaptation of James Herriot’s books on country veterinarians in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s. Six episodes plus a Christmas special.
4 September 2020 Canada (CBC Gem) / 11 March 2019 UK – ITV’s Timewasters S2 (TV Series)
7 September 2020 (online) – Waiting for the Barbarians (Movie)
Based on the novel by J. M. Coetzee set in an unnamed Empire.
13 September 2020 UK – ITV’s The Singapore Grip (TV Series)
Six-part adaptation of J.G. Farrell’s novel of the same name about a British family living in Singapore during WWII.
16 September 2020 – Netflix’s The Devil All the Time (TV Movie)
Book-to-movie adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s novel set in Ohio in the 1960s about a group of people suffering from the effects of WWII.
22 September 2020 Canada / 21 August 2020 US – Tesla (Movie)
Ethan Hawke stars as inventor Nikola Tesla in this biographical film.
23 September 2020 – Netflix’s Enola Holmes (TV Movie) ★★★★★
Based on Nancy Springer’s novel series about Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ teenage sister, starring Millie Bobby Brown as Enola, Henry Cavill as Sherlock, and Sam Claflin as Mycroft.
Review: This was such a good movie and Millie was superb as Enola!
1 October 2020 (Netflix) / 8 September 2020 Germany – ARD’s Oktoberfest 1900 / Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood (TV Mini-Series) ★★★★
Six-episode thriller series set in Munich in the year 1900 about two rival brewers during Oktoberfest and the tragedy that ensues when brewer Curt Prank’s daughter falls for his rival’s heir.
Review: This series is like Romeo & Juliet meets ‘Peaky Blinders’. Everything could have been avoided if only the rivals weren’t so blinded by hatred.
2 October 2020 US / 23 October 2020 UK – A Call To Spy (Movie)
Inspired by true stories. Set during WWII about the SOE who recruit two female spies to undermine the Nazis in France.
2 October 2020 US – Cinemax’s Warrior S2 (TV Series)
Set in the late 1870s in San Francisco’s Chinatown about a martial arts prodigy.
11 October 2020 Germany (ARD Das Erste) / 1 March 2020 Canada/US/Australia (Netflix) / 6 March 2020 UK (Sky) / 24 Jan 2020 Germany (Sky1) – Babylon Berlin S3 (TV Series) ★★★★
Set in Berlin in Autumn 1929, just before the stock market crash. Renewed for S4.
Review: It took me a few episodes before I could enjoy this series again.
11 October 2020 US – Starz’s The Spanish Princess S2 (TV Series)
The series concludes with eight episodes.
21 October 2020 – Netflix’s Rebecca (TV Movie) ★★★★
Adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name. Starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, Keeley Hawes, Kristin Scott Thomas, etc.
Review: My only issue with this movie was the hairstyle and costume choices.
22 October 2020 (Netflix) / 19 July 2020 US – TNT’s The Alienist: Angel of Darkness (TV Series) ★★★★★
Based on Caleb Carr’s second novel The Angel of Darkness. Set in New York a year after S1, Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) has now set up her own private detective agency and reunites with Dr. Kreizler (Daniel Bruehl) and John Moore (Luke Evans) to solve another crime.
Review: This series was as good as S1!
23 October 2020 UK / 7 August 2020 Canada/US (Premium video on demand) – The Secret Garden (Movie)
Another adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel but set in 1947. Starring Colin Firth (who was in the 1987 version) and Julie Walters.
23 October 2020 – Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit (TV Mini-Series)
This six-episode series based on the novel by Walter Tevis is set during the Cold War and follows chess prodigy Beth Harmon from age 8-22 in her quest to become the greatest chess player in the world. Anya Taylor-Joy plays the older Beth.
25 October 2020 Norway / Spring 2021 Canada/US (Masterpiece PBS) – NRK’s Atlantic Crossing (TV Series)
8 hour-long episodes about Crown Princess Märtha who fought for her country and marriage during WWII (1940).
30 October 2020 UK / 19 February 2021 US – Ironbark (Movie)
Set in 1962 during the Cold War about MI-6 Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky (codename: Ironbark), who try to end the Cuban Missile Crisis.
13 November 2020 US – Ammonite (Movie)
Set in 1840’s England inspired by the life of Mary Anning.
13 November 2020 – Netflix’s Jingle Jangle (TV Movie) ★★★★
A holiday musical set in an imaginary Victorian world about an eccentric toymaker and his adventurous granddaughter and their magical inventions.
Review: This was a fun musical!
15 November 2020 – Netflix’s The Crown S4 (TV Series)
Set in the late 70s-80s. Claire Foy will also reprise her role as a younger Queen Elizabeth. Renewed for S5 and S6 (series finale), with Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip. S5 will premiere in 2022.
20 November 2020 US – The Last Vermeer (Movie)
Based on a true story. Set just after the war in the Netherlands about a soldier who investigates Dutch artist Han van Meegeren.
4 December 2020 – Netflix’s Mank (TV Movie) ★★★★★
Black and white film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s adaptation of Orsen Welles’ 1941 movie ‘Citizen Kane’ set in the 1930s.
Review: I thought this was a good homage to the B/W movies from the 1930s-1940s.
4 December 2020 UK – A Christmas Carol (Movie)
A radical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale, featuring Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis.
7 December 2020 Canada/US (Acorn TV) / 26 July 2020 UK – BBC One’s A Suitable Boy (TV series)
Based on Vikram Seth’s novel set in newly independent India in 1951 about a woman who must choose between family duty and love.
11 December 2020 Canada (CBC) / 13 March 2020 US (Amazon Prime) / 9 Feb 2020 UK – BBC One’s The Pale Horse (TV Series) ★★★
A two-part (60 min each) adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1961 novel set during the same time period.
13 December 2020 US – Epix’s Pennyworth S2 (TV series)
Set in 1950s-60s about Alfred Pennyworth, who ends up working for Bruce Wayne’s father.
18 December 2020 – Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (TV Movie) ★★★★★
Based on August Wilson’s play set in Chicago in 1927 about Ma Rainey’s band and the tensions that arise in the recording studio. Chadwick Boseman played trumpeter Levee.
Review: Chadwick was exceptional in this movie! I recommend watching the short documentary on the movie to learn more about Ma Rainey and all the BTS details,
23 December 2020 UK – BBC Two’s Upstart Crow S4: Christmas Special (TV Series)
‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: A Lockdown Christmas 1603’, a Christmas special set during the plague in 1603.
23 December 2020 – Amazon Prime’s Sylvie’s Love (TV Movie)
Set in Harlem in the late 1950s about a woman whose life is changed when she meets an aspiring saxophone player.
25 December 2020 – Netflix’s Bridgerton (TV Series) ★★★★★
Eight-part series adapted from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series set in the Regency era. S1 is based on the first novel ‘The Duke & I’. Renewed for S2!
Review: If you can ignore the historical inaccuracies, this colourful series is quite delightful. Do be warned that this is a raunchy series.
25 December 2020 UK – Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small S1: Christmas Special (TV Series)
Takes place on Christmas Eve.
25 December 2020 UK/Canada/US (PBS) – BBC One’s Call the Midwife S9: Christmas Special (TV Series)
Set in December 1965.
25 December 2020 Sweden / 2021? US/Canada (SundanceNow) – SVT’s Vår tid är nu / The Restaurant S4 (TV series)
Episode 1 is a Christmas special set in Stockholm in the summer of 1951. The series continues in 2020 with the 1960s.
26 December 2020 UK / 19 February 2021 Canada/US – Blithe Spirit (Movie)
Comedy based on the 1941 play set in the 1930s about a writer suffering from writer’s block who deals with a complex love triangle with his second wife after a spiritualist accidentally summons the spirit of his late first wife.
27 December 2020 UK – Black Narcissus (TV Miniseries) Just added!
Three-part adaptation of Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel of the same name.
31 December 2020 US – Jumanji: Level One (Movie)
Set in 1869, this is the prequel to the Jumanji movies.