Historical Series on Netflix: For all friends of bygone times, Netflix offers a colorful range of historical series. Fight with the proud Vikings, call the first “Cabel Girls”. Have fun with this list of the 20 best historical series on Netflix!
Best Historical Series on Netflix
1. The Crown:
To date, Queen Elizabeth II is the most outstanding and influential monarch of modern times. The English lady sits ironically on her throne. She saw dozens of government leaders come and go. Neither wars nor the numerous scandals within the Royal Family could really shake Elizabeth.
“The Crown” traces the life of this unusual woman from adolescence to the present. The Queen is portrayed by Claire Foy (young), Olivia Colman (middle years) and Imelda Staunton (older Queen). The look behind the scenes of the Royals is delightful and exciting at the same time.
Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) rose in the 8th century from a simple Viking fighter to the most influential clan chief of his time. The determined Viking achieves great success through looting, violence and skill. His shady brother Rollo (Clive Standen) initially fights at his side, but then becomes a bitter adversary. The viewer experiences how the daredevil Ragnar deteriorates more and more through power and wealth. Also part of the party is the crazy and brilliant shipbuilder Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård), Ragnar’s first wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and finally the new Queen Aslaugh (Alyssa Sutherland).
“Vikings” is an opulent battle painting, a relentless contemporary document and a magical sex orgy rolled into one. If you can’t see blood and find severed heads disgusting, you’d better not switch on!
In 1743 the Scots dared to revolt against the nasty oppressor England. The Scottish freedom fighters and clan chiefs also have to deal with traitors from their own ranks. Claire (Caitriona Balfe), who actually belongs to 1947, lands in the middle. The young military nurse has been transported back in time through a magical stone circle. She falls in love with the Scottish fighter Jamie (Sam Heughan) and soon travels back and forth between two times and worlds.
“Outlander” is one of the current top hits on Netflix. A great epic of love, magic, time travel and historical events.
4. Marco Polo:
In the 13th century, the later discoverer and world traveler Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) is left behind in the Far East by his father as a pledge. The authentic reports of Polo about the ruler Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) and his magical realm Xanadu made Polo world famous.
In the series, Polo’s fascinating journeys and discoveries become real worlds of images. Beautifully composed and excitingly told, this history series is something for the joy of writing history and exotic worlds. Sex, intrigue and love are not neglected in Mongolia either, and so Marco Polo turns into entertaining entertainment. Due to the high production costs, the series was unfortunately not continued after only two seasons.
5. The Last Kingdom:
Uhtred von Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon) is a young Anglo-Saxon nobleman who is kidnapped by the plundering Northmen. The historic Viking boss Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann) becomes his foster father. When he is murdered, Uhtred returns and claims his old title for himself.
In order to regain his place in the homeland, he has to enter into a covenant with the seedy Alfred King of Wessex (David Dawson). He soon tries to sideline him with a cunning plot. A bitter struggle for justice, lands and peace breaks out.
A visually stunning and at times brutal history series.
6. The Medici rulers of Florence:
In Italy every child knows the name “Medici”. The wealthy Florentine family was considered the most influential and scheming clan in Italy for three centuries. The series begins in the 15th century when Giovanni de Medici (Dustin Hoffmann) rises to the position of banker of the Vatican through a clever move. However, his success will soon cost the patriarch their lives. After Giovanni’s murder, his son Cosimo de Medici (Richard Madden) goes in search of the perpetrators. In the process, he himself gets deeper and deeper into the swamp of crime, intrigue, sex and power.
Somewhat more leisurely and with many great stars, “The Medici” also inspire viewers who do not like carnage and blood. Instead, there are interesting characters, culture and the beauty of Italy to marvel at. There are currently 24 episodes from three seasons to stream.
The notorious Sun King Louis XIV (George Blagden) moved his pompous court from Paris to Versailles in 1682. With enormous effort, he converted what was once a small hunting lodge into a luxurious home. After numerous wars and domestic intrigues, he considers it safer to care less about his opaque aristocrats than to allow them to plots somewhere in the country. It is clear that the round of greed for power, sexual desires and unbelievable extravagance does not come to an end in Versailles either!
Once again, a historical series shows that our world is governed much more by lust and decadence than by reason and politics. On the fringes, viewers experience the very own world of the secret rulers of this era. The king’s mistresses were considered the most influential women in the country. Beautifully and lavishly staged in original locations, the series devoured production costs of USD 30 million. Netflix has all 3 seasons with a total of 30 episodes.
8. Peaky Blinders:
“Peaky Blinders” takes us to England after the First World War. The members of the Peaky Blinders Gang have to make their way through the bitterly poor slums of the metropolis of Birmingham. The head of the group is Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy), who is still struggling with his traumatic war experiences. When the gang boss gets hold of an arms shipment from the British Army, he faces Winston Churchill (Andy Nyman) and Chief Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill). In addition to the tried and tested robber and gendarme plot, the story of the Shelby family of gypsies is told.
The protagonists of the British drama series are fictitious, the gang actually existed. Peaky Blinders is a picture opera with its own pace. The minimalist composition with lots of slow motion is somewhat reminiscent of the Guy Ritchie films. Overall, “Peaky Blinders” is an exciting and entertaining gangster and family saga. The star line-up is impressive and whoever liked the “godfather” will love this series!
The Norwegian series production is sometimes macabre, sometimes hilarious and all too often just as bloody poking fun at the “Vikings”. In the case of the Norsemen, however, it is more about the problems of the Vikings among themselves. The setting is the fictional settlement of Norheim in 790 AD. Orm (Kåre Conradi), Arvid (Jørgen Kaalstad) and Rufus (Trond Fausa) plunder, jealously and let the proud Vikings love them. The series gets bizarre as soon as very practical problems of modern times arise in the Viking village.
Critics criticized the sometimes too brutal oversubscription, which does not want to fit in with a comedy series . So far, there are twelve episodes from two seasons to be seen and the makers are currently working on a sequel.
10. Penny Dreadful:
What happens when Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) with his monster (Rory Kinnear) and lots of modern stars meet? “Penny Dreadful” horror novels are the most popular dime books of the Victorian era. In fact, from the middle to the end of the 19th century, this epoch was a high point of the horror stories.
Great genre novels such as “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” were created during this dark and glamorous time. You can experience Eva Green as the mysterious heroine Vanessa Ives, Josh Hartnett as the daring American Ethan Chandler and Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm Murray in search of his daughter Mina.
If you like it scary and love good entertainment, the 27 episodes of this original series are just the thing!
11. The Reign:
“The Reign” adapts the real historical figure of the King of Scotland for a fictional event in France in 1557. Here the young Mary Stuart (Adelaide Kane) is supposed to get to know her future husband Prince Francis (Toby Regbo). The marriage of the two is arranged and serves the political alliance between the Scots and France. As soon as she arrives at court, Mary gets caught up in the intrigues of the royal family.
Once again there is sex, lust for power and scheming to pull the strings. There is also a touch of magic and lots of opulent costumes. “The Reign” offers an opulent mix of sparkling eroticism, great emotions and political entanglements. Although the series barely adheres to historical facts, it still provides interesting insights into the medieval aristocracy. There are 4 seasons with a total of 78 episodes.
Once again, a series delivers the successful mixture of historical epic and horror fairy tale. The South Korean production sends the initially power-hungry and arrogant Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ji-hun Ju) on a search for the herb of immortality. But instead of eternal life he only finds death, lots of zombies and the young doctor Seo-bi (Doona Bae).
Scenes of cooked people, hosts of murderous undead and the machinations of the ruling dynasty are great entertainment – if you like martial arts and the macabre genre! The heroes are pretty, emotions are also there and so the series hit from Korea promptly blossomed into a Netflix viewer favorite.
We already knew the legend of King Arthur, his magical kingdom Camelot and the court magician Merlin from numerous film adaptations and series. “Merlin” tells the plot as the only film adaptation from the point of view of the magician. As a young fighter, the psychologically gifted Merlin (Colin Morgan) comes to Camelot as the personal physician of the current King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head). He has long banned his sorcerers and magicians from the realm out of disappointment. Merlin initially keeps his skills to himself and befriends Crown Prince Arthur (Bradley James). Together the two get into wars, adventures and amorous entanglements.
Immediately after its first broadcast in 2009, “Merlin” became a surprising series hit and was sold in almost 200 countries around the world. On Netflix, viewers can enjoy all 65 episodes in 5 seasons!
Finally the film industry served us the material a little easier to digest in 33 entertaining series episodes. Newly presented, with sympathetic main actors and a lot of pathos, “Spartacus” offers entertainment at its best. The story adapts the original story about the Greek slaves and rebels. As a result of the Thracian wars, the military leader Spartacus is captured and separated from his beloved wife Sura (Erin Cummings) on the way to Rome. Spartacus first becomes a slave, then a successful and celebrated gladiator. In order to defend himself against the barbaric living conditions, Spartacus instigates an initially successful revolt of the slaves.
The sandal adventure was shot in Australia with popular international series actors. Lead actor Andy Whitfield died unexpectedly of cancer during the filming, so that Liam McIntyre took over his part in the 2nd season. The series is touching, but also very brutal in places and not for the faint of heart. Several scenes had to be cut for the television broadcast before 11 p.m. The original bloody version can be seen on Netflix!
15. The Alienist – The Encirclement:
Daniel Bruh, Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans go in search of a perverted serial killer in this very beautiful and unusual series production. The location is New York City in 1896. Several male prostitutes were cruelly murdered. The search for the perpetrator brings the psychologist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl), the newspaper illustrator John Moore (Evans) and Sara, the first female employee of the New York Police Department, (Fanning) together.
A bizarre journey through the world of the mentally disturbed begins. They can be found in the rich upper class, among the “normal” people as well as in relevant sanatoriums. In the 19th century, psychology was still a young discipline.
At that time it was assumed that behind every mental illness there is an alienation of man from his own soul. “Alienists” (English “alien” for “strangers” or “outsiders”) were not hunters of bizarre extraterrestrials, but simply psychiatrists.
The story takes place during the Roman occupation of Magna Germania in AD 9, when the Germanic tribes are oppressed by the high taxes and tribute demands of the empire. Attempts to form a unified German resistance are hampered by petty disputes between the tribal chiefs and the selfish aspirations of some tribesmen who want peace with Rome. The famous battle in the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic warriors stopped the advance of the Roman Empire to the north in AD 9, is the focus of “The Barbarians”.
The Medieval series delivers a good mix of action, drama, and romance that makes it a compelling and intriguing work.
At the end of the 18th century, unscrupulous European trading companies enriched themselves by exploiting the nature of North America. One of the most lucrative businesses is trading in fur skins. Outlaw Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) defends himself against the brutal actions of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The half-Indian Declan finds help in the young Irishman Michael (Landon Liboiron).
In “Frontier” the fight is tough. Dirty and coarse, even the serial hero does not hesitate long and deliberately strikes with his ax. So the series with 18 episodes is also more for tough action fans than for the faint-hearted nature conservationists.
18. Alias Grace:
The year is 1843. The wealthy Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery were found murdered. Suspected are the 15-year-old Irish maid Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) and the groom James McDermott (Kerr Logan). While James is immediately sentenced to death by the rope, Grace receives a life sentence. But not everyone is convinced of Grace’s guilt. The psychologist Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) is commissioned to reopen the case and provide evidence of the girl’s innocence.
The short series (6 episodes) offers exciting thrills, gloomy, insidious local flavor and a tender love between the psychologist and the alleged perpetrator. Look at!
In 1306, the European nobility and proud heroes were entangled in the Crusades. It is important to protect the promised land and to find the Holy Grail. This ensures the balance of the world and the preservation of all life. When the crusader Landry du Lauzon (Tom Cullen) traveled to France, he had no inkling of the bitter dimensions of his mission.
The series spins around the greatest myths and secrets of Western culture as well as the fall of the mysterious Knights Templar. In the second season, “Luke Skywalker” actor Mark Hamill can be seen as Talus! Turn on!
20. Cathedral of the Sea:
In 14th century Barcelona, Santa María del Mar, the largest church in the country, was built. The young serf Arnau Estanyol hires out as a stone hauler on the construction site. Surrounded by suffering and exploitation, he developed into a rebel and eventually a free citizen of the city.
The adult Arnaus (Aitor Luna) continues to strive for righteousness, but gets caught up in the machinations of the nobility and the church. As if the people weren’t tormented enough by the whims of the authorities, the plague breaks out in the city.
Netflix is currently showing the first season with 8 episodes.