Best period dramas on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has some of the best period drama series, as the paid subscription video on demand platform is touted as the leader of this filmic genre. 

With the continued saturation of the paid subscription video on demand platforms, there has been a move towards determining and classifying platforms according to their content.

As a paid subscription video on demand platform, Amazon Prime, is credited for hosting some of the best period dramas by far.

This is inclusive of both film and series. Amazon Prime also continues to grow its catalogue, as more period dramas are released on the platform yearly.

What’s the fascination with period dramas?

The biggest pull for anyone who is into watching period dramas is the attention to detail they tend to display.

For anyone that is a fan of period dramas, the fascination can be how closely the imagined world reflects the actual period that the story takes place in, as this is always the selling point.

This is unless the creators suggest the inconsistencies are intentional. Therefore, period dramas which fail to do so, are never able to retain their audiences for long.

This is especially poignant for long form period dramas, because the longer the story runs, the more apparent the inconsistencies within the fictional world become.

Best period dramas on Amazon Prime

To try and navigate the immense catalogue of period dramas series available on Amazon Prime, the article has tried to make it easier with a list of four of the best period dramas to start watching on the platform.

The aim is to provide a little bit of something for everyone. Whether it is an English period drama series or an American period drama from the not-so distant past, the list will have something for you.

1. A French Village

According to Amazon Prime Video, “In French with English subtitles. This acclaimed drama is about the German occupation of France during World War II and its effects on the inhabitants of a small village in Jura. In June 1940, the village of Villeneuve awakes to the arrival of the German army, and the next four years of occupation have a shattering effect on the lives of all its inhabitants.”

Watch A French Village on Amazon Prime Video

2. Mad Men

A television classic, Mad Men enjoyed an eight-year run from 2007until 2015. Amazon Prime shares the premise of the series as, “Set in 1960s New York City, this award-winning series takes a peek inside an ad agency during an era when the cutthroat business had a glamorous lure.”

The series is fronted by the dapper character of leading figure of the ad agency, Don Draper, who is played by actor, Jon Hamm.

Watch Mad Men on Amazon Prime Video

3. A Very English Scandal

The first series to see leading man and English veteran thespian, Hugh Grant act in a series. A Very English Scandal was a mini-series, with a single three-episode season in 2018.

A description of the series according to Amazon Prime reads, “The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy to murder. Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. His ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) is putting Thorpe’s brilliant political career at risk so Thorpe schemes and deceives until he realizes there’s only one way to silence Scott for good.”

Watch A Very English Scandal on Amazon Prime Video

4. Blackadder

Blackadder is a double-bill in terms of period dramas. This is as the world of the story is set towards the end of the British Middle Age, while the show was shot between 1983 and 1989, and Mr Bean’s Sir Rowan Atkinson was the lead actor.

Amazon Prime shares the premise thereof as, “The saga begins with a medieval tale of disaster and drollery. Season one of this classic comedy stars Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson. Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh, is the slimy, much-despised younger son of King Richard IV.”

Adding, “Haunted by his uncle Richard III whom he killed by mistake, he lurks in the castle corridors of power, scheming to get the better of hid splendid elder brother, Harry.”

Watch Blackadder on Amazon Prime Video


Period dramas are hinged on their ability to allow for the viewer to suspend their disbelief when watching. The viewer needs to believe the world in which the drama is happening, so much so that they do not pick up on any inconsistencies, which at times are there.

Moreover, the term is the umbrella word for a variety of shows which can range from the early 2000s to as early as the evolution of man.

However, the through-line for all of them is how well they tell the story using the research done in order to accurately portray the characters and the times.