I love England.
I love it for the history and the bad teeth, the windswept vistas and the London Underground system. However, as someone who has not had the advantage of going on a Scottish holiday recently (*cough* Tessa Dare *cough*), I have to get my England the old fashioned way. Via television.
Streaming services such as Netflix are remarkably useful not only in directly importing Britain into my Southern California home but also in acting as research for the time period I write in. And it’s not all Jane Austen that speaks to me. Here’s a few of the more esoteric BBC period dramas that will help with those Downton Abbey withdrawls:
Based on the George Eliot novel, Daniel Deronda tells the parallel stories of an idealistic young man who does not know his parentage but believes in the basic goodness of people, which aids his search, and a selfish spoiled young woman who makes a desperate marriage to a Lord who simply wishes to break her, as one would a horse.
Downton Bonus: Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham in DA) is eeevvvviiiilll in this.
I’m madly in love with this Anthony Trollope story about a Victorian-era Ponzi scheme before they were named Ponzi schemes.
Zombie Bonus: Cillian Murphy plays an idealistic young man (there are lots of those in Victorian literature, it seems) trying to build a railroad.
Jane Austen Bonus: Matthew MacFayden!
Whenever I talk about BBC miniseries, I have to mention this Elizabeth Gaskell (she of Cranford and North and South authorship) story about a daughter, her stepmother, her stepsister, and the boy across the way that she loves. It is one of my favorites, and I sigh every single time Roger Hamley declares his love in the rain…
Here’s a scene (but not that rain scene. I’ll let you discover that on your own).
Jane Austen Bonus: Both Rosamund Pike (Jane) and Tom Hollander (Mr. Collins) of the 2005 Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice pop up in this… in very different roles than that of P&P.
So what’s your favorite esoteric BBC miniseries? I’d love to seek out some new ones!