The best period dramas for those wanting to escape the 21st century

And where to watch them in Australia…

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, there’s a unique allure to the lavish settings, intricate costumes, and complex social dynamics of period dramas.

These shows offer a mesmerising escape from modern life, transporting viewers to different eras filled with romance, intrigue, and historical grandeur.

So whether you’re yearning for the elegance of Regency-era London or the opulence of Gilded Age New York, we’ve got you covered when it comes to a refuge from the 21st century.

These are the best period dramas and where to watch them in Australia…


The hit Netflix show Bridgerton, set in the Set in Regency-era London, follows the lives and romantic entanglements of the elite Bridgerton family and their peers.

With its opulent settings, lush costumes, and a modern twist on historical storytelling, Bridgerton offers a fresh and inclusive take on the period drama genre.

Lauded for its compelling characters and steamy romance, not to mention the mysterious narration by Lady Whistledown (who’s voiced by icon Julie Andrews), Bridgerton is simply a must-watch.

Where to watch: Netflix Australia.

The Gilded Age

Set in 1880s New York City, The Gilded Age delves into the lives of the wealthy and influential families during America’s transformative era of industrial growth and social upheaval.

The series showcases the clash between old money and new money, highlighting opulent lifestyles, societal expectations, and intense rivalries.

With meticulous attention to historical detail, a stellar cast, and intricate plotlines, we can’t recommend The Gilded Age enough.

Where to watch: Paramount+.

Stream now on Paramount+ from $9.99/mth, with a 7-day free trial.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is an acclaimed period drama that chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in early 20th-century England.

Set against the backdrop of significant historical events, such as the sinking of the Titanic and World War I, the series intricately explores themes of class, tradition, and societal change.

A compelling narrative, emotional depth, and superb acting, has made Downton Abbey a beloved classic, so if you haven’t already seen it, hop to it!

Where to watch: Binge and Prime Video.

Stream now on Binge from $10/mth, with a 7-day free trial.

Stream now on Prime Video from $6.58/mth, with a 30-day free trial.

The Crown

Delving into the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and offering an intimate look at the British monarchy from the mid-20th century to the present, The Crown is a critically acclaimed period drama.

The series meticulously portrays the political, personal, and societal challenges faced by the late Queen and her family, interweaving historical events with personal drama.

With its exceptional writing, high production values, and outstanding performances, particularly by Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown provides a nuanced and captivating exploration of power, duty, and legacy.

Where to watch: Netflix Australia.

Mary & George

Mary & George chronicles the true story of Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, and her son, George Villiers, who rose to become the powerful Duke of Buckingham in early 17th-century England.

The series delves into their ambitious and manipulative rise to power within King James I’s court, showcasing the intrigue, scandal, and political manoeuvring of the era.

With its rich historical context, complex characters, and a seriously gripping narrative, Mary & George is definitely one of the best period dramas ever made.

Where to watch: Binge.

Stream now on Binge from $10/mth, with a 7-day free trial.

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