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The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in Medieval Times

Updated June 3, 2021 4.6k votes 1.0k voters 36.5k views36 items

List RulesVote up the best shows set in the Medieval Era (from the 5th to the 15th century).

The Medieval era spans a whopping thousand years, from the 5th to the 15th century. Appropriately also called the Middle Ages, it's a giant span of time between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. Television shows set in the Middle Ages have lots of themes to play with, including Vikings, knights, magic, and dragons.

Medieval TV shows seem to have a fondness for King Arthur's court, multiple Robin Hood adaptations and the appearance of Merlin as a main or side character. Although some shows set in the Middle Ages play the idea of knights and Vikings for laughs or fun, most series seem to embrace what the Medieval era used to be called: The Dark Ages. Treachery, battles and lots of gloom, shows such as The Last Kingdom and Marco Polo examine the ferocity with which the world reclaimed territory after the fall of the Romans.

Which of these top TV shows set in the Middle Ages are the best? Vote up your choices for the best shows set in the Middle Ages, and see where your favorite Medieval shows rank.

And if you like these shows, check out our list of the best Renaissance movies.

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    The Last Kingdom

    Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson

    PremieredOctober 10, 2015

    The Last Kingdom (BBC America, 2015) is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories series of novels. In 872 England, an unlikely hero (Alexander...  more

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    Vikings

    Katheryn Winnick, Moe Dunford

    PremieredMarch 3, 2013

    Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a...  more

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    The White Queen

    Max Irons, James Frain

    PremieredJune 16, 2013

    The White Queen (BBC One, 2013) is a British historical drama television miniseries based on the novel series by Philippa Gregory. In 1460s England, three women - Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca...  more

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    Merlin

    Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson

    PremieredApril 26, 1998

    Merlin is a television miniseries which originally aired in 1998 on NBC that retells the legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the wizard Merlin. Sam Neill stars in the title role in a story...  more

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    The White Princess

    Jodie Comer, Jacob Collins-Levy

    PremieredApril 16, 2017

    The White Princess (Starz, 2017) is a historical drama television miniseries developed by Jamie Payne and Alex Kalymnios, based on the 2013 novel by Philippa Gregory. After the marriage of Henry VII...  more

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    Marco Polo

    Lorenzo Richelmy, Michelle Yeoh

    PremieredDecember 12, 2014

    Marco Polo is an American drama series about Marco Polo's early years in the court of Kublai Khan, the Khagan of the Mongolian Empire and the founder of the Yuan dynasty, which lasted from 1271-1368....  more

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    The Pillars of the Earth

    Ian McShane, Matthew McFadyen

    PremieredJuly 23, 2010

    The Pillars of the Earth (Starz, 2010) is an eight-part TV miniseries based on the 1989 novel by Ken Follett. Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and...  more

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    Merlin

    Colin Morgan, Bradley James

    PremieredSeptember 20, 2008

    Merlin (BBC One, 2008) is a British fantasy-adventure serial drama television series created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Johnny Capps, and Julian Murphybased and is based on the Arthurian legends....  more

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    The Spanish Princess

    Charlotte Hope, Richard Pepper

    PremieredMay 5, 2019

    The Spanish Princess (Starz, 2019) is a historical drama television limited series developed by Emma Frost and Matthew Graham, based on the novels by Philippa Gregory. The beautiful Spanish princess,...  more

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    World Without End

    Tom Weston-Jones, Charlotte Riley

    PremieredSeptember 4, 2012

    World Without End is an eight-episode 2012 television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Ken Follett. It is a sequel to the 2010 miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, also based on a...  more
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    Cadfael

    Derek Jacobi

    PremieredMay 29, 1994

    Cadfael is the name given to the TV series adapted from The Cadfael Chronicles novels written by Ellis Peters. It was produced by the ITV Central between 1994 and 1998. The series was broadcast on...  more

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    Camelot

    Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Fiennes

    PremieredFebruary 25, 2011

    Camelot (Starz, 2011) is a historical-fantasy-drama television series developed by Chris Chibnall and Michael Hirst, based on the Arthurian legend. After the sudden death of King Uther, Arthur (Jamie...  more

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    Norsemen

    Kåre Conradi, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad

    Premiered2016

    Norsemen (NRK, 2016), originally premiering in Norway as Vikingane, is a Norwegian comedy TV series. Set in 790s Norway, the story covers the life of Vikings in the town of Norheim and them dealing...  more

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    The Mists of Avalon

    Anjelica Huston, Samantha Mathis

    Premiered2001

    The Mists of Avalon is a 2001 miniseries based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Produced by American cable channel TNT, adapted by Gavin Scott, and directed by Uli Edel...  more
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    Robin Hood is a British television programme, produced by independent production company Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC One, with co-funding from the BBC America cable television channel in the...  more
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    El Cid

    Jaime Lorente, Pablo Álvarez

    PremieredDecember 1, 2019

    El Cid (Prime Video, 2020) is a Spanish action-adventure, political war drama created by Luis Arranz and José Velasco. The series tells the story of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, a Castilian nobleman and...  more

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    1066 The Battle for Middle Earth

    Ian Holm

    Premiered2009

    1066: The Battle for Middle Earth is a British television documentary series. In this blend of historical drama and original source material Channel 4 re-imagines the story of this decisive year, not...  more
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    The Hollow Crown

    Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons

    Premiered2012

    The Hollow Crown is a series of British television films featuring William Shakespeare's History Plays. The first cycle is an adaptation of Shakespeare's second historical tetralogy, the Henriad:...  more
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    The Bastard Executioner

    Lee Jones, Katey Sagal

    PremieredSeptember 15, 2015

    The Bastard Executioner (FX, 2015) is an American historical fiction drama television series, created by Kurt Sutter. The show follows the exploits of Wilkin Brattle (Lee Jones) as the strife of 14th...  more
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    DreamWorks Dragons

    Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera

    PremieredAugust 7, 2012

    DreamWorks Dragons is an American computer-animated television series based on the 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. The series serves as a bridge between the first film and its 2014 sequel. A...  more

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    Galavant

    Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson

    PremieredJanuary 4, 2015

    Galavant is an American fairy tale-themed musical comedy television series that was created, written, and executive produced by Dan Fogelman with executive producers Alan Menken, Glenn Slater, Chris...  more
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    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    Richard Greene, Bernadette O'Farrell

    PremieredSeptember 26, 1955

    The Adventures of Robin Hood is a British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes broadcast weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV. It stars Richard Greene as the outlaw...  more
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    Cathedral of the Sea

    Jordi Aguilar, Aitor Luna

    Premiered2018

    Cathedral of the Sea (Antena 3, 2018) is a Spanish historical drama series. In 14th-century Barcelona, a serf's determined climb to wealth and freedom incurs the disdain of the noble class and the...  more

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    Roar

    Heath Ledger, John Saint Ryan

    Premiered1997

    Roar is a 1997 American fantasy action adventure television series that originally aired on the FOX network in July 1997. In the year 400 AD, a young Irish man, Conor, sets out to rid his land of the...  more
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    The Adventures of Sir Lancelot

    Martin Benson, Derren Nesbitt

    Premiered1956

    The Adventures of Sir Lancelot is a British television series first broadcast in 1956, produced by Sapphire Films for ITC Entertainment and screened on the ITV network. The series starred William...  more