With so many TV shows available on so many platforms, it can get difficult to decide on which series you should watch. This article will hopefully help you with that. The three shows that will be presented here are all historical dramas with a manageable number of episodes, making them perfect to binge watch.
“Just because you pestered me to know everything was no reason for me to tell you.”
This is the attitude of Grace Marks, a celebrated murderess who may or may not killed two people in 1843, during her interviews with the psychologist Dr Simon Jordan, who evaluates whether Grace should be released from the insane asylum she has been living in for 15 years.
This show is based on the book “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood, who also wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale”, and was released in autumn of 2017 on Netflix. It is the fictional story of the real Grace Marks. The 6 episodes invest the audience from the first minute and are interesting until the last shot.
All performances are outstanding. Sarah Gadon shines as Grace. She delivers her lines in an enchanting way I cannot get enough of. Edward Holcroft also does a great job portraying Dr Simon Jordan. The scenes with these two are my favourites in the show. Another highlight is Rebecca Liddiard as Mary Whitney, a good friend of Grace.
A special aspect of the series is that the story is mostly told through flashbacks and even though I usually don’t like this type of storytelling, I love this show.
“Those who are seen dancing were thought insane by those who cannot hear the music. It’s just a matter of finding a way to hear the music.”
This view is held by the psychologist Dr Laszlo Kreizler in “The Alienist”. He, together with illustrator John Moore and police secretary Sara Howard, tries to find the murderer of young male prostitutes in 1890s New York City.
Because of their unorthodox and mostly psychology-based methods, the team receive nearly no help from the local police. Only two Jewish pathology brothers and future president Theodore Roosevelt help them to solve the gruesome mystery.
This 10-episode limited series was released at the beginning of 2018 and is available to binge watch on Netflix. Just as in the previous series, this show is based on a book. This time it’s Caleb Carr’s “The Alienist”.
This show explores early forensic science and profiling of the 1890s in an interesting way, but the most investing part is definitely the drama of the characters. All the performances are really good. Daniel Brühl plays the peculiar character of Dr Kreizler, who has to deal with personal as well as professional problems, with Excellency. Dakota Fanning’s Sara Howard is the first woman working for the police and therefore has to encounter constant prejudice by her male colleagues. The actress manages to portray Sara’s struggle with these problems in a realistic way. Luke Evans as John Moore is the most relatable character of the team. He is a bit too sensible for what the society in the 19th century deems acceptable, which Evans does a great job portraying. The dynamic between these three and their helpers is the most investing part of the series.
All in all, this a slow-burning show for detective story fans.
“I have a use for you.”
This is the catchphrase of James Keziah Delaney, who suddenly appears in London in 1814 after being in Africa for 12 years and already presumed dead by his family. After his father’s death, he wants to take over the company and import goods. Both the East India Company and the Monarchy do not like Delaney’ plans in the least.
This show, which was created by Tom Hardy and his father Chips Hardy, is a twisted story with many topics, including incest and magic. 8 episodes with 55 minutes each pass by quickly and leave the audience wishing for another season, which is currently in production. The first season is available to watch on Amazon Prime since January 2017.
Tom Hardy is believable as James Delaney. He is a mysterious character with personal problems as well as possible magical powers. The audience never fully understands Delaney and so it’s fun to try to figure out what his plans are.
So, if you’re in the mood for historical fiction, check out these fantastic shows!