It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Sunday evening must be in want of a period drama

Upcoming period dramas

Upcoming period dramas

Tis the season of period dramas with the darkening evenings offset by dazzling costumes, grand houses, pastoral scenes, the rich, the poor, broken hearts, daughters married and battles aplenty.

1) Vanity Fair, Sunday 2 September at 9pm, ITV1,  ‘Beware old London Town, Miss Sharp is on her way’ – ITV have commissioned a 7-part adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel. This story will transport you back to 1810-1820, covering the Regency Period and the end of the Napoleonic Wars (and, indeed, the decades after the latest series of Poldark was set). From the trailers that ITV have released, this adaptation looks sumptuous, intriguing and star-studded.

Olivia Cooke will star as Thackeray’s epitomic parvenu alongside Suranne Jones, Martin Clunes and Michael Palin as the author-come-narrator Thackeray. The production company, Mammoth, has excellent costume drama credentials of its own with Victoria and Poldark in its portfolio.

2) Victoria, Series Three, Autumn 2018 or early 2019 in UK, ITV1

Following the incredible success of Downton Abbey on both sides of the Atlantic, it isn’t surprising that ITV are commissioning more and more period dramas to satiate the appetite of the Downton audience which peaked at 7.4million on Christmas day 2015.

Based on the excellent writing of Daisy Goodwin, Victoria is beautifully shot against a backdrop of grand houses and vibrant costumes. ITV started filming the third series of the very popular Victoria on 21st May 2018. Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will return to the series to portray a challenging period in the Monarch’s life from 1848 with revolutions in Europe and the Chartist movement at home. Based on an interview from Goodwin, we can expect intrigue around the marriage of Albert and Victoria, with her hatred of being pregnant having an impact on their relationship.

3) Les Miserables, 2019, BBC1 UK

Not to be outdone by ITV, the BBC is filming a six part miniseries of Les Miserables. No more jolly beer-swilling songs, no more haunting melodies, this will be a gritty, tragic, dramatic non-musical offering of love, resolution and revolution.

Based on the original Victor Hugo novel the story will follow convict Jean Valjean as he seeks to evade recapture by Inspector Javert and desperate mother Fantine as she seeks to provide for her daughter no matter what the cost. This series will star Dominic West (The Wire) as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (Selma) as the obsessed policeman Javert, Lily Collins as Fantine, Ellie Bamber as Cosette and the Crown’s Olivia Colman as Madame Thénardier.

4) Finally, we have the upcoming Downton Abbey Film of unknown plot and unknown release date (likely to be 2019).  We could take a wild stab in the dark that it will be about the upstairs and downstairs characters, their lives and interactions. Will Molesley propose to Baxter? Has Thomas Barrow had enough of a damascus road transformation to be a good, fair and honest butler? Is Lady Edith still ‘completely happy’ (surely not?!)?

In late 2018 and early 2019 we will also be treated to the next series of The Crown, an early biopic of Tolkien and the film Mary Queen of Scots, which will be based on historian John Guy’s biography.