I’m sure by now you’ve probably watched the season ending of season 3 of Downton Abbey, and now you are wondering what you should do with your Sunday evenings! Growing up, our family did not have cable tv, so I watched a lot of PBS and a lot of Masterpiece Theater. I especially loved the period dramas. I used video tapes to record the Anne of Green Gables series and watched it more times than my family thought was humanly possible. In college, I recorded The Buccaneers in secret and would watch it when my roommates were out on dates. I’ve continued to watch the different series offered by Masterpiece Theater, the BBC and other British channels. So in case you are missing your Downton Fix, here are 5 suggestions for period dramas that should help fill that empty hole.
1. Land Girls
This BBC show chronicles the lives of several girls in Britain’s Woman’s Land Army during WWII. There are 3 seasons, with 5 episodes each. This show shows the complex sides of women who are suddenly thrown together and might not have been friends in a different phase of life. You can view it on Netflix streaming or purchase DVD’s from Amazon.
2. The Paradise
Shown on BBC one, this television series showcases the love story between a shop girl and shop owner in the 1870’s. It also touches on the limits females had to further their careers in this time period. The setting is fabulous (I really want the fabric cutting table!) and the costumes are lovely. It was shown on our PBS channel, but is not listed on the website. You can find the shows for purchase on Amazon.com
3. The Village
Another BBC show, this series is a look back at the life of the main character, Bert Middleton. You experience what the small Derbyshire village went through during the First World War. It’s a touching story of families and the communities they build. It was shown briefly on our tv, but I’m not sure what channel (PBS or BBC America maybe?), but is a very difficult series to locate online. The dvd series is expensive on Amazon, but I did find it much cheaper on the BBC’s website, but be sure to check postage prices. There is one season completed, and season 2 is in the works.
4. Call The Midwife
Another very popular show on Masterpiece Theater, Call the Midwife is a great period tv series. The show is set in the East End of London in the 1950’s. Such a charming show about the ups and downs of nursing, dealing with poverty, and the relationships we build as we are finding our place in the world. Jenny Lee is just darling, and exactly as I imagine myself, although truthfully I know I am probably seen as the awkward Chummy to most people! If you haven’t watched this series—catch up! Season 3 airs March 30 in the States on your local PBS channel. You can find season 1 and 2 on Netflix, or for purchase from Amazon Streaming.
5. North and South
Last, but not least is my favorite out of all the shows. North and South was a miniseries produced by the BBC that aired in 2004. Taking place in an industrial town in Northern England, it follows a young girl and her troubles adjusting to living in this town that is centered around the cotton mill. Perhaps I enjoy this show because my Great Grandmother worked in a English Cotton Mill, and grew up in a similar town. Either way, this show is my favorite of all of the above. There is a love story in the mix and the cinematography is outstanding. You can find the miniseries on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
So what are you watching to fill your Downton Abbey void? Leave a comment and maybe I can add some new shows to my watch list.