17 Excellent British Period Dramas You Can Binge Right Now

6 of 18

Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in the 1995 “Pride and Prejudice”. (Photo: BBC)

Pride and Prejudice (The 1995 Version)

This 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s most famous novel is pretty much one of the greatest period dramas ever made. You probably saw it years ago, but it’s worth another viewing (or several).

Pride and Prejudice centers on the story of the five Bennet sisters and their family, along with the classic Regency question of who they’re all going to marry. (And how rich that person may or may not be.) The romance between second-eldest daughter Elizabeth and prickly, but still swoon-worthy Fitzwilliam Darcy is basically the stuff of literary legend.  And this version of their love story does not disappoint.

The six-hour costume drama is very faithful to Austen’s novel (hence the run time), but manages to maintain a modern, romantic feel. There are sumptuous costumes, glorious sets – a lot of those English manor houses are the real deal – and fantastic actors in every level of role.

The series was a pop culture phenomenon. Suddenly everyone was shipping Darcy and Elizabeth. Additionally, it also introduced the world to a certain actor named Colin Firth, who rocketed to stardom after he climbed out of a lake in a wet shirt.  (Seriously, this scene is iconic. It actually topped a poll of the most memorable moments in British TV history back in 2013.)

Number of Seasons: 1

Where to Watch: Hulu or Amazon Prime