The characterization of the characters that changed the course of history, the reconstruction of emblematic places and the mixture of fiction and reality in diabolical plots offer you great historical series to learn and enjoy.
If you want to move to the French court of Louis XIV or delve into the palace intrigues of the England of Henry VIII, if you want to walk through the Birmingham of the twenties controlled by mafia gangs or let yourself be seduced by the most cruel and erotic Rome, you have to follow the series that we offer below.
1. Historical series to learn.
2. Historical series on Netflix.
20 historical series to learn
Great historical series such as Boardwalk Empire, Rome or The Tudors made the historical genre fashionable. These are some of the titles that you cannot miss, the best historical series to learn and transport yourself to other times.
1. Boardwalk Empire (2010)
The New Jersey of the underworld that sought to survive the Prohibition of 1920 is the setting chosen by Terence Winter to shoot one of the most entertaining historical series, whose pilot episode directed by Martin Scorsese cost 18 million of dollars, and whose result was the clamor of the critics and the public for its careful aesthetics and historical fidelity.
Shine with your own light Steve Buscemi, who in fiction had already flirted with the world of the mafia with a prominent role in the series The Sopranos. In Boardwalk Empire he plays Nucky Thompson, a rising figure in the city who combines politics with dirty business to control Atlantic City.
The series, produced by HBO, consists of five seasons, is based on the book by Nelson Johnson and is adapted by the screenwriter of The Sopranos, Terence Winter. A guarantee of success that won several awards .
2. The Last Kingdom (2015)
Bernard Cornwell’s saga of novels The Saxon Stories set in medieval Great Britain are the material that serves as the basis for one of the best history series, The Last Kingdom, produced by the BBC andwhose public success has motivated the extension in successive seasons. He’s already on his fourth.
In the year 872, the kingdom of Wessex is the only one to survive the Danish invasion of England, during which the noble Lord Uhtred is assassinated. His son Uhtred of Bebbanburg is raised by the Danes, but soon he will have to decide between his family and his homeland , and will play a very important role in the recovery of the territories for the rebirth of his country.
The attractive plot, the careful presentation and the historical fidelity of the facts and the atmosphere that surrounds the fictional characters make it a highly recommended series.
3. The Tudors (2007)
But if a series aroused interest in British dynastic sagas, it was The Tudors, one of the most famous historical series that in this case takes us back to the England of Henry VIII . Through 38 episodes spread over 4 seasons, we go through that exciting period of history where intrigue and conspiracy prevail.
In this series we see parading the most interesting characters of the time, from Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon to Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More and Pope Paul III. Although it was praised for the setting, it also received much criticism for the excessive liberties that the script takes in favor of the interest of the plot.
Derived from this, there are not a few historical inaccuracies that raised blisters among the most purist historians, although it continues to maintain the interest of the characterization of crucial characters for the history of England .
4. Isabel (2012)
Spanish fiction, increasingly interested in historical series, found the perfect material in the dizzying time of the marriage between Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon that gave rise to the greatest empire ever known . The time of the Catholic Monarchs gave rise to a huge series: Isabel.
Michelle Jenner gives a special appeal to the figure of this fundamental historical figure for the history of Spain. Throughout 39 episodes and 3 seasons she travelsthe most important historical events of his reign, such as the discovery of America or the religious unification of the kingdom, as well as his personal ambitions and royal intrigues.
The epic claim and the careful treatment of the facts prevail in the critics, who nevertheless criticized the choice of actors, the special effects and the poor sets.
5. Downton Abbey (2010)
The Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes directed this series produced in Great Britain about life in the kingdom during the so-called Edwardian era, corresponding to the reign of Edward VII in the first decade of the 20th century. Downton Abbey managed to revive interest in British historical series at a time of maximum saturation (and mediocrity).
Perhaps the secret was the devilish speed of its script and a cast of unknown faces to embody a distant and close story at the same time about the decline of the British aristocracy. The series contains the most outstanding events of the time such as the sinking of the Titanic, the outbreak of the First World War or the formation of the Irish Free State.
Although in appearance it may be a toston with the classic aristocratic plots, in reality it is a highly recommended series with a most ingenious script . In the summer of 2018, the shooting of a film by Julian Fellowes himself was announced.
6. The Borgias (2011)
The Borgia dynasty, a family of Aragonese origin that achieved glory when its patriarch was crowned Pope Alexander VI in 1492, is the common thread of this ambitious production with epic pretensions that received applause from critics.
Jeremy Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia in a Renaissance painting of undeniable artistic height in which director Neil Jordan manages to capture the spirit of the time with magnificent beauty. With careful photography in detail and great historical fidelity, the series accurately reflects the conspiracies and the bitter face of power.
By the way, the attraction that this Spanish family has aroused in the world of television led to the premiere of another series in 2012, Borgia: Faith and Fear, with a Franco-German label .
7. Roma (2005)
When we talk about historical series, many will immediately think of Roma, a blockbuster that premiered in the United States in 2005 and became one of the most successful products in this genre. Many of the epic series about antiquity have followed in the footsteps of that series that included history, action, intrigue and sex, lots of sex .
In total there are 22 episodes spread over 2 seasons in which the adventures of two Roman legionnaires, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, are narrated, through which the viewer witnesses the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Empire , with events such as the assassination of Julius Caesar and the civil war between populists and conservatives.
The characterization of historical characters such as Julius Caesar, Cicero or Pompey, and the recreation of historical settings give it a unique dimension.
8. Spartacus (2010)
With a budget of 5 million dollars per chapter, Spartacus followed the path set by Rome, although in this case it is a much more commercial product where the story is just a mere anecdote. In its favor we must highlight the great visual appeal , and the interest aroused by the plot, a mixture of action, sex and blood, a lot of blood.
In this case, the series recovered, within the films and series about the Roman era, the genre of gladiators, and in particular the cinematographic character of Spartacus. In his first season he was played by Andy Whitfield, a young and attractive actor who, at the time of his greatest splendor , died when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgins lymphoma .
He was replaced by Liam McIntyre in the lead role, and three more seasons were shot. In this series we can see what the life of the gladiators was like and their fight for survival.
9. Blood Brothers (2001)
This 10-episode miniseries co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks revived the sometimes-maligned war genre with a compelling tale of brotherhood among soldiers during World War II told with great visual power.
As the film is an adaptation of the book written by the prestigious historian Stephen Ambrose , historical fidelity is more than assured, and the job of its directors is to give it that emotional and epic note reminiscent of the mythical Saving Private Ryan.
With that atmosphere they recreate the experiences of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division of the United States under the command of officers Herbert Sobel and Richard Winter.
all the characters are realand the facts are based on reality, although some war veterans stated that the series had some historical inconsistencies.
10. The White Queen (2013)
Once again, a British production managed to attract the interest of the public, in this case with a series set in the Wars of the Roses that pitted the House of York against the House of Lancaster between 1455 and 1487, and with the history of the women caught up in the conflict . Despite the success, the BBC decided not to shoot new seasons.
In a single season of ten chapters, the series describes the struggle for the throne between the Yorks, whose symbol is a white rose, and the Lancasters, represented by the red rose. When the head of the Yorks defeats his rival and becomes king,he marries the beautiful Elizabeth Woodville , the White Queen, played by Rebecca Ferguson.
Elizabeth will have to assert her position in a court where intrigues and betrayals are the order of the day, especially by Margaret Beaufort, who will do everything possible so that her son Henry Tudor reaches the throne.
11. The Man in the High Castle (2015)
It was without a doubt the great bet of Amazon Productions, and its first chapter released in January 2015 was the most watched of all its productions to date. The series reached such popularity that it was extended to 30 episodes spread over three seasons, in which the dystopian fiction of the victory of the Axis powers in World War II is narrated.
The plot follows Philip K. Dick’s original narrative in his novel The Man in the High Castle (1962), in which a series of characters organize resistance in the German- and Japanese-occupied United States. One of those characters receives a tape describing the alternate reality in which the allies win the war.
Although it may be a contraction, this is one of the best historical series that reflects on the propaganda and the speech of the victors .
12. Klondike (2014)
Klondike is a miniseries released in 2014, produced by Discovery Channel and directed by Paul Scheuring. The plot focuses on the time of the Alaksa gold rush, also known as the Klondike gold rush, and the common thread is the expedition of two adventurers to Yukon , Canada, in 1880.
The journey of the two friends Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein, the climatic adversities and the dangers that lie in wait along the way, are the great attraction of this series , which also features the appearance of the character of Jack London, an aspiring writer who returned from there without an ounce of gold. but with great ideas for his novels.
Ridley Scott is one of the producers of this ambitious production thatIt has two familiar faces in the casting : Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) and Augustus Prew (The Borgias).
- You can also read: The 12 best series to learn English according to your level.
Historical series on Netflix
Among the great success series that sweep the Netflix distributor, there are also the best history series to learn about the English mafia of the twenties, the Viking conquerors or drug trafficking in Colombia.
13. Peaky Blinders (2013)
Peaky Blinders is the successful series that sweeps Netflix and takes us to the Great Britain of the twenties . In this case, the current gangster genre is combined with a detailed setting in the post-war industrial Birmingham, where the illegal activities of the Peaky Blinders gang attract the attention of an inspector.
The duel between the feared gang boss Tommy Shelby and Inspector Chester Campbell, aa man of principles willing to clean the streets of crime, offers us at the same time a great duel of interpreters between Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill.
Series produced by the BBC and distributed by Netflix, it is directed by Steven Knight (screenwriter of Eastern Promises) and this 2019 will premiere its fifth season . Criticism has put her through the roof, especially for the originality and artistic height of her photography.
14. Narcos (2015)
One of the most overwhelming successes of recent years on the small screen bears the seal of Netflix and has the merit of having relaunched an exciting character to famePablo Escobar, who at the time came to control the fortune and power of an entire country thanks to the drug business.
The Narcos series combines a vertiginous script, a careful mixture of reality and fiction , a characterization of the characters that borders on perfection, a luxurious setting in the Colombia of the nineties and the incorporation of attractive explanations and real images that induce the viewer to an exciting historical review.
The first two seasons focus on the creation, rise and fall of the Medellin cartel, whose central figure was Pablo Escobar, played brilliantly by Wagner Moura. The third season focuses on the Cali cartel, and in November 2018 a fourth season about the Juarez cartel was released in Mexico.
15. Vikings (2013)
Preceding The Last Kingdom, this series sparked interest in the chronicles of medieval England and was enthusiastically received by both critics and the public . Both for its staging, as for its plot and historical evocation, Vikings surpasses The Last Kingdom and becomes one of the historical series where we can learn the most.
The legendary chronicles written in the 8th century by one of the first Norse kings, Ragnar Lodbrok, are the basis for the Vikings argument, which focuses on the figure of that conqueror who sacked France and Britain. Characterized by Travis Fimmel, this king is presented as aambitious and innovative warrior to conquer new territories .
The series, produced by MGM and distributed by Netflix, is very attractive to the general public as it has large doses of action and sex .
16. The cable girls (2017)
The cable girls is the first series produced by Netflix in Spain , and was enthusiastically received by the public until it became a successful series that has crossed our borders. It is one of the best historical series for its setting in Madrid in the twenties with a very original look.
And it is that The girls of the cable reconstructs the private life of four women who go to work as employees of a new and modern telecommunications company in Madrid in 1928. Much of its budget was dedicated, precisely, to the preparation of the sets , among which the reconstruction of the Gran Via in the 1920s stands out.
Hence, in addition to its undoubted artistic value, the series has also been acclaimed for its historical accuracy . So far three seasons have been shot.
- More Spanish series: The 12 best Spanish series of all time.
17. The Crown (2017)
Created by Peter Morgan, The Crown is one of those series that has all the ingredients to become one of the best historical series to learn and enjoy: with a cast of actors up to the best characterizations , the series manages to capture the spirit of the British monarchy at the time of the reign of Elizabeth II .
Not in vain is it officially the most expensive series in history: 130 million dollars for the first season alone. The lead role falls to actress Olivia Colman , opposite Helena Bonham-Carter as the queen’s sister, and Tobias Menzies as Elizabeth’s husband, Philip of Edinburgh.The series has been produced by the BBC and so far two seasons have been shot, in which the political movements of the crown
are combined with the biographical experiences of the queen, her interiorities, her memories and her ambitions.
18. Versailles (2015)
There are many reasons why Versailles is worth seeing. The portrait of a total historical character like Louis XIV , the Sun King, the setting of an evocative time in history like 17th century France, the intrigues derived from the ambition for power and an attractive love triangle between Philip of Orleans, his wife and his mistress.
This and much more can be found in this blockbuster, without a doubt the most ambitious French series, whose undoubted historical and artistic value has been diluted among the saturated offer of series and period movies.
However, those who have seen it put it through the roof, as it seriously and elegantly reflects the court of Louis XIV since he decided to build the Palace of Versailles . The magnificent plans of one of the most emblematic buildings in the history of the European monarchy will transport you to an unforgettable time and an exciting history.
19. The Reign (2013)
For lovers of that time, The Reign is a good historical series to be entertained while learning. This series, very visually attractive, with a light rhythm and an original plot, is based on the journey of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, to France, to marry Francis, and thus seal an alliance to deal with England.
As you may have already guessed, this is one of those period series in which political movements intermingle with the personal ambitions and emotions of the characters, especially the Scottish queen when her plan is jeopardized by the appearance of other characters of the French court such as Catherine de Medici.
An interesting story of conspiracies, intrigues, loves and betrayals that will make you enjoy while you learn about sixteenth-century France.
20. 1983 (2018)
Can you imagine if the iron curtain had never fallen and Poland was still under the yoke of the Soviet Union
? This is the dystopian panorama presented by the first Polish Netflix production, 1983, in which a brilliant law student and an inspector of Police tormented by his past investigate the causes of such a conspiracy.
The plot is set in 2003, ten years after the attacks that frustrated the liberation of Poland, and the viewer will be able to easily recognize two influences that give it a particular character: one cinematographic, the cyberpunk inspiration of Blade Runner, and another literary, a clear homage to Orwell’s 1984 where the Party becomes Big Brother.
A very grateful experience to see and very interesting that reflects on the methods of political and social control, as well as on the recent history in Eastern Europe .
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