I love a good period drama.
But I live for a good British period drama, an affinity I largely got from my mother, who I'd watch Masterpiece Theater classics with when I was much younger. (Featuring all my favorites like Dame Maggie Smith! Dame Judi Dench! Sir Ian McKellen!) There's something about the romance, the history and, of course, the costume and set design of it all that serves as the most wonderful escape — to an era and setting so vastly different from my own. Time traveling from the comfort of home, so to speak. Which is why I was so excited to partner with Acorn TV, a new-to-me streaming service featuring beloved classics and hard-to-find theatrical gems from across the UK to share my current favorite shows, mini-series and documentaries. (Just a quick housekeeping note: While my Instagram post was sponsored, this blog post isn't -- I just wanted to save my show recommendations here in case you needed to refer back to it!)
In case a certain Regency-era show sparked a new obsession for you, I urge you to make haste and add this to your social calendar at once. And don’t forget to use my code KRYSTAL30 to snag your first month trial for free -- you can sign up right here.
- Anna Karenina: One of the greatest books of all time comes alive in this romantic saga based on Leo Tolstoy's novel. In 19th century Russia, aristocrat Anna Karenina (Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders) has a passionate extramarital affair with the dashing Count Vronsky (Kevin McKidd, Grey's Anatomy) that could lead to both their ruin. Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) also star.
- Restless: This Emmy-nominated drama is a tale of passion, duplicity, and betrayal. Ruth Gilmartin (Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey) is stunned to learn that her mother (Charlotte Rampling, Broadchurch), has been living a double life. Her real name is Eva Delectorskaya (Hayley Atwell, Captain America), and she worked as a spy for the British in the 1940s. Also starring Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon.
- A Suitable Boy: A Suitable Boy is a "groundbreaking" (The Guardian) BBC period drama based on the global bestseller by Vikram Seth, directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), and adapted by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice). Amid the cultural upheaval of 1950s India, Lata (Tanya Maniktala) is torn between romance and duty, while wayward Maan (Ishaan Khatter) has a perilous affair with a glamorous courtesan (Tabu).
- The Witness for the Prosecution: An all-star cast including Kim Cattrall, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones, and David Haig feature in this acclaimed TV movie based on Agatha Christie's timeless murder mystery. Set in 1920s London, this sumptuous adaptation was praised for its "period flair" (Variety) and "surprisingly dark and twisty--and satisfying--ending" (Hollywood Reporter).
- Close to the Enemy: Intelligence officer Callum Ferguson (Jim Sturgess, Across the Universe) must convince a captured German scientist (August Diehl, Inglourious Basterds) to develop a jet engine for the British government at the dawn of the Cold War in Stephen Poliakoff's engrossing drama featuring Angela Bassett, Alfie Allen, and Alfred Molina in its all-star cast.