17 Excellent British Period Dramas You Can Binge Right Now

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Chiwetel Ejiofor in “Dancing on the Edge”. (Photo: : Courtesy of © Ruby Films and Television (DOTE) Limited)

Dancing on the Edge

Dancing on the Edge tells the story of the Louis Lester Band, a group of black jazz musicians who become the darlings of English society in the 1930s. This five-part series is inspired by true accounts of the Duke Ellington Band’s frequent mingling with the future Duke of Windsor Edward VIII in Europe. And it adds a much-needed boost of diversity to this British period drama list.

Although 1930s Britain was full of social change, much of the upper-class loathed the idea of Black musicians performing in polite society. But over time, the city’s more progressive socialites (including members of the Royal Household) befriend the ensemble and introduce them to posh life.  Countless aristocrats ask them to play at parties, the media rushes to interview them and they’re offered record deals. But the band’s blissful success is soon cut short. Tragedy strikes and they find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery that could ruin their careers.

Man. Pretty sure there is literally nothing that a British show can’t insert a murder mystery into.

Dancing on the Edge stars Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester, alongside Angel Coulby, Wunmi Mosaku, Matthew Goode, Jenna Coleman, Anthony Head, Tom Hughes and more. The series is positively beautiful to look at and artfully directed. Although, fair warning, it can feel occasionally slow moving and a bit pretentious at times. The subject matter  – and glorious soundtrack! – make this series worth a look.

Number of Seasons: 1

Where to Watch: Netflix