Table of contents:

12 best historical TV series
12 best historical TV series

Real and fictional characters will help you to feel the atmosphere of bygone eras.

12 best historical TV series
12 best historical TV series

1. Rome

  • USA, UK, Italy, 2005-2007.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 8.

Having finally conquered Gaul, Julius Caesar triumphantly returns to Rome. The main characters of the series - legionnaires Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullon - inevitably find themselves involved in an insidious conspiracy against the ruler.

The project will appeal to those who still live "Game of Thrones". Here, too, there are large-scale filming, historical entourage, and "Rome" was filmed by the same channel - HBO. Only instead of magic, dragons and the King of the Night, the series takes on believability: by watching it, viewers will learn a lot about the birth of the Roman Empire.

2. The Tudors

  • Canada, Ireland, UK, 2007-2010.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 4 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 1.

The action takes place in England in the 16th century. Each season focuses on a different period of the reign of King Henry VIII, famous for marrying six times (beheading two of his wives) and reforming the Church of England.

The stormy personal life of Henry VIII itself draws on a ready-made plot for the series. The controversial monarch was played by Jonathan Rhys Myers, whom viewers could see in Woody Allen's drama Match Point. Natalie Dormer, who embodied Anne Boleyn, later became famous for her role as Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

3. Nicolas le Flock

  • France: 2008 - present.
  • Historical detective.
  • Duration: 6 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 4.

France, the era of King Louis XV. The young detective Nicolas le Flock arrives at the service in Paris. Each episode is devoted to the investigation of a new case, and gradually the series becomes more confusing and more exciting.

The project is based on the works of the French writer Jean-Francois Parot. Nicolas le Flocq combines an entertaining detective story with an informative historical film. At the same time, as befits French cinema, it is full of subtle humor and irony.

4. Spartacus

  • USA, 2010-2013.
  • Action, drama, adventure.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 5.

Another series set in the scenery of Ancient Rome. The main character is the legendary rebel gladiator Spartacus. He will become famous not only in the arena, but also in the political arena.

The series is filmed in the spirit of "300 Spartans": historical realities are heavily embellished here, and violence and sex are shown very frankly. But thanks to its spectacularity, the audience liked Spartak so much that the Starz channel also filmed a prequel entitled "Gods of the Arena".

5. Borgia

  • Hungary, Ireland, Canada, 2011-2013.
  • Drama, crime, history.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 7, 9.

The action takes place at the end of the 15th century. The series tells about the ascension to the throne of the new Pope Alexander VI and the rise of his native - and far from holy - the Borgia family.

The series was produced by Michael Hirst, also known for other iconic historical television projects - "The Tudors" and "Vikings".

6. Empty crown

  • UK, 2012-2016.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 4.

The plot is based on historical plays by William Shakespeare. In the best traditions of English drama, the series tells about the rise and fall of three dissimilar monarchs. The fate of each of them largely predetermined the history of the whole country.

Famous British actors played the roles of the rulers. Ben Whishaw played Richard II, Jeremy Irons (by the way, who embodied Alexander VI in the television series Borgia) - Henry IV, and Tom Hiddleston - Henry V.

7. Vikings

  • Ireland, Canada, 2013 - present.
  • Action, historical drama, melodrama.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 6.

The events of the series are centered around the semi-legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok and his kin. Ragnar, a direct descendant of Odin, must overcome many trials to become the Jarl of the Vikings.

Vikings is by far one of the most spectacular TV series in recent years. And even if it does not always accurately reflect the life of the inhabitants of ancient Scandinavia, viewers all over the world love it due to its mesmerizing gloomy atmosphere.

8. Peaky Blinders

  • UK, 2013 - present.
  • Historical drama, crime.
  • Duration: 4 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 8.

The action takes place in England at the beginning of the 20th century. In the difficult post-war times, many people lose their jobs and barely make ends meet. The general atmosphere of despair leads to the fact that in the English town of Birmingham, one after another, small gangs are emerging. Of these, the bloody and violent faction that calls itself the Peaky Blinders stands out the most.

The series was highly praised by the press. Critics especially praised the incomparable performance of Cillian Murphy, who played the leader of the gang. Although in "Peaky Blinders" there is enough charm, style and drama.

9. Musketeers

  • UK, 2014-2016.
  • Adventures.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

The French king Louis XIII completely trusts his faithful musketeers - Athos, Aramis and Porthos. Meanwhile, the young Gascon D'Artagnan arrives in Paris, where he loses his father during a night skirmish. The last thing he managed to say before his death was "Athos." D'Artanyan goes in search of an unknown villain to take revenge.

The British channel BBC departed as much as possible from the literary source of Alexandre Dumas, keeping only the names of the main characters. The result is a frivolous, but very entertaining series, full of stylish fights and love affairs.

10. Marco Polo

  • USA, 2014-2016.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 1.

The series tells about the adventures of the famous Venetian traveler Marco Polo in China, under the rule of the Mongols. To appease the Mongol ruler, Father Marko offers the Khan to give his son to him in exchange for permission to trade on the Silk Road. After that, the young man begins a new life. The young Italian learns local traditions, becomes a close associate of the khan and inevitably becomes involved in political intrigues at the court.

The audience appreciated the large-scale, vivid and expensive series, but the critics did not like the too loose treatment of the story by the creators. Perhaps this is why streaming service Netflix made the decision to close the project after the second season.

11. War and peace

  • UK, 2016.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 1 season.
  • IMDb: 8, 2.

The English TV series, filmed for the BBC channel, offers its own perspective on Russian classics, telling in a new way a complex family story familiar to the Russian audience from school.

The series follows the plot of the novel exactly, even though screenwriter Andrew Davis interpreted some of Leo Tolstoy's scenes quite boldly. The main roles were played by wonderful actors: Paul Dano organically fit into the image of Pierre Bezukhov, and the refined Lily James played Natasha Rostova.

12. Crown

  • USA, UK, 2016 - present.
  • Historical drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8, 7.

The series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain from the moment of her marriage in 1947 to the present day.

The creators have invented their own original approach: every two seasons, the cast will change to match the age of the characters. For example, young Elizabeth was played by Claire Foy. And in the upcoming third season, she will be replaced by Olivia Colman. Literally from the first episodes, the series won the hearts of viewers thanks to its historical believability and incomparable acting.

Popular by topic