Sponsored
555 voters

The Greatest Period TV Shows Set in the Victorian Era

Updated February 3, 2021 2.0k votes 555 voters 34.8k views52 items

List RulesVote up the best shows set in the Victorian Era (from 1837-1901) that are not Westerns.

The Victorian era technically spans the reign of England's Queen Victoria, from 1837-1901, and marks a time of social change and the industrial revolution. The early-mid 1800s into the first steps of the 20th century was full of big changes all over the world. The same set of years contains everything from straightforward Charles Dickens adaptations to steampunk reimaginings of the era's most notable literary characters and detectives.

One of the more fascinating aspects of television series set in the Victorian Era is the knowledge that just across the pond (from 1865-1895 at least) was the Old West. The simultaneous experience of a world undergoing vast industrial change while also forging new horizons is part of what defines the Victorian era. As important as the West was, the best television series about the Victorian era focus not on cowboys but cities. Think The Alienist, not The Virginian.

Which of these top TV shows set in the Victorian era are the best? Check out the list below and vote up your favorite period dramas and series, while voting down the shows that aren't as great.

Photo:
...more
  • Penny Dreadful1
    217
    43

    Penny Dreadful

    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton

    Premiered2014

    Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Alienist2
    173
    23

    The Alienist

    Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans

    Premiered2018

    The Alienist (TNT, 2018) is an American television period drama event series created by Cary...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Victoria3
    131
    21

    Victoria

    Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes

    Premiered2016

    Victoria (ITV, 2016) is a drama television series created by Daisy Goodwin. The show depicts ...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Ripper Street4
    120
    21

    Ripper Street

    Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn

    Premiered2012

    Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in London's East End in 1889, six...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Sherlock Holmes5
    99
    11

    Sherlock Holmes

    Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray

    Premiered1984

    Sherlock Holmes is the name given to the TV series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Alias Grace6
    89
    16

    Alias Grace

    Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcraft

    Premiered2017

    Alias Grace (Netflix, 2017) is a miniseries based on the 1996 novel by Margaret Atwood. Grace...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • North & South7
    75
    13

    North & South

    Richard Armitage, Sinéad Cusack

    Premiered2004

    North & South is a British television drama serial, produced by the BBC and originally...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Murdoch Mysteries8
    67
    16

    Murdoch Mysteries

    Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys

    Premiered2008

    Murdoch Mysteries (Citytv, 2008) is a Canadian television drama series based on characters...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Paradise9
    57
    13

    The Paradise

    Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott

    Premiered2012

    The Paradise (BBC, 2012) is a British television costume drama series and adaptation of Émile...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Belgravia10
    44
    7

    Belgravia

    Alice Eve, Philip Glenister

    Premiered2020

    Belgravia (Epix, 2020) is a television drama series based on the novel of the same name by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Lark Rise to Candleford11
    35
    11

    Lark Rise to Candleford

    Dawn French, Sheridan Smith

    Premiered2008

    Lark Rise to Candleford (BBC One, 2008) is a British television period drama created by Bill...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Forsyte Saga12
    35
    13

    The Forsyte Saga

    Damian Lewis, Ioan Gruffudd

    Premiered2002

    In 2002, the first two books and the first interlude of John Galsworthy's trilogy The Forsyte...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The English Game13
    30
    8

    The English Game

    Edward Holcroft, Kevin Guthrie

    Premiered2020

    The English Game (Netflix, 2020) is a historical drama series created by Julian Fellowes, Tony...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Bleak House14
    26
    6

    Bleak House

    Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan

    Premiered2005

    A trio of orphans becomes embroiled in a mysterious and long-running lawsuit in this sprawling...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Terror15
    31
    13

    The Terror

    Derek Mio, George Takei

    Premiered2018

    The Terror (AMC, 2018) is an American horror drama anthology television series developed by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Return to Cranford16
    21
    5

    Return to Cranford

    Judi Dench, Jonathan Pryce
    Return to Cranford is the two-part second season of a British television series directed by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Cranford17
    23
    7

    Cranford

    Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton

    Premiered2007

    Cranford is a British television series directed by Simon Curtis and Steve Hudson. The...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Doctor Thorne18
    22
    9

    Doctor Thorne

    Tom Hollander, Stefanie Martini

    Premiered2016

    Doctor Thorne (ITV, 2016) is a three-part (divided into four parts for broadcast in North...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Dickinson19
    17
    4

    Dickinson

    Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski

    Premiered2019

    Dickinson (Apple TV+, 2019) is an American comedy web television series created by Alena...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Bleak House20
    16
    4

    Bleak House

    Diana Rigg, Denholm Elliott

    Premiered1985

    Bleak House is BBC television drama first broadcast in 1985. The serial was adapted by Arthur...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Forsyte Saga21
    16
    5

    The Forsyte Saga

    Michael York, Kenneth More

    Premiered1967

    The Forsyte Saga is a 1967 BBC television adaptation of John Galsworthy's series of The...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Tipping the Velvet22
    17
    6

    Tipping the Velvet

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Sally Hawkins

    Premiered2002

    Tipping the Velvet is a 2002 BBC television drama serial based on the best-selling debut novel...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Desperate Romantics23
    19
    12

    Desperate Romantics

    Tom Hollander, Aidan Turner

    Premiered2009

    Desperate Romantics is a six-part television drama serial about the Pre-Raphaelite...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Copper24
    18
    11

    Copper

    Franka Potente, Anastasia Griffith

    Premiered2012

    Copper is a drama television series created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos for BBC America. It...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Miss Scarlet and The Duke25
    2
    0

    Miss Scarlet and The Duke

    Kate Phillips, Stuart Martin

    Premiered2021

    Miss Scarlet and The Duke (PBS, 2021) is a British-Irish period crime drama created by Rachael...  more
    Amazon buy button