Outlander is the bread and butter of TV show. Droughtlanders are long and tough, though, and we’ll face another one in a few months. If you love the show so much, these 25 shows on Netflix are a good alternative.
We’re always looking for things to do during Droughtlanders. Sure, this current one may almost be at the end, but you know there’s another just around the corner. That means you may be getting ready for a list of shows to watch. If you love Outlander, there are a bunch of shows on Netflix that you’ll want to give a chance.
Some of these shows are entertaining, modern-day retellings of classic novels, while others are period dramas with plenty of twists and turns. There are some focused on fictional characters and others that will offer the tale of real people in history.
Whether you want strong female leads or you prefer to see your men tall, lean, and handsome, there is something for you on this list. I have book adaptations and straight-to-the-page shows. There are those set in Britain and those in other parts of the world.
Now is the time to expand your mind and the universes you’re drawn into. Here are 25 shows to watch on Netflix if you love Outlander.
Number of seasons: 3
Who it stars: : Richard Harrington, Mali Harries, Alex Harries, and Hannah Daniel star in this Broadchurch type series.
What it’s about: : Hinterland is a Wales-set noir crime drama. When DCI Tom Mathias is pulled into a case n Aberystwyth, he finds it may be the case for his redemption. He tries to isolate himself in the Welsh town from his dark London past.
Throughout the series, we learn more about who he is and what he did, while working with him to solve the cases he’s pulled in on. We also learn more about his partner, the complex but intelligent DI Mared Rhys.
Why watch it: : I really should say that if you like Broadchurch, then you’re going to want to watch Hinterland. There isn’t much that’s similar to Outlander in terms of setting and storytelling, but there is a bold reason you’ll love it as a Claire and Jamie fan.
This show is all about bonds and relationships. There’s a story of redemption and of forgiveness. You’ll see people who believe what they did was for the right reason, while searching for justice for others. There’s a murder mystery to solve, as well as a focus on how personal and work lives can become amalgamated into one.
While it may not be the typical choice for an Outlander fan, it’s a Netflix show you need to put on your list for the next Droughtlander.
24. Doctor Foster
Number of seasons: 2
Who it stars: : Suranne Jones, Bertie Carvel, and Tom Taylor star in this modern-day series.
What it’s about: : For a long time, Doctor Gemma Foster thought she had the perfect life. Then she started suspecting her husband of having an affair. Soon, those suspicions come true and she starts to unravel dark secrets in her own and her husband’s lives.
Unfortunately, it’s not just her life thrown into despair and danger. Her patients’ lives are affected and her family is thrown into a life of chaos. Gemma starts to act in ways she never thought possible. Is there a way back from that?
Why watch it: : When you want a show with a lead female character you can root for, Doctor Foster is the show to turn to. This isn’t your typical lead female. She’s flawed and troubled. There are times she makes terrible decisions but other times you can see just why she makes them. In short, she’s human.
With the excellent storytelling and on-point casting, this is a series that takes you through plenty of highs and lows. You’re left wondering when you’ll be out of the rabbit hole as it just continues to get deeper and deeper. It may not be a typical choice for Outlander fans, but it’s certainly going to draw you in.
23. Once Upon a Time
Number of seasons: 7
Who it stars: : Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, and Colin O’Donoghue star in this fairy tale series.
What it’s about: : What if fairy tales were real? This series has you believing in them, as it focuses on a town of fairy tale characters hidden from view of everyday people.
When Emma Swan is visited by the son she gave up for adoption, she’s pulled into a world of magic and mystery. Only she can help break a curse that has left her parents and subjects of her kingdom in a world of normal everyday lives, forgetting who they really are.
Why watch it: : Once Upon a Time is full of make-believe and drama. If the reason you watch Outlander is for the realism, then sadly this isn’t a show for you. However, if you love fairy tale characters and like to see different iterations of them, you’ll want to give this show a try.
One of the strongest elements of the show is that story of redemption. The Evil Queen/Regina is, by far, the best character of the whole series for her development. You initially want to hate her, until you learn the reason for her evil ways and black heart.
The casting is also strong. Not only is House’s Jennifer Morrison part of it, but you’ll see Rebecca Madder, 50 Shades’ Jamie Dornan, LOST’s Emilie de Ravin and so many more. I can’t forget Colin O’Donoghue, who is friends with Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and other members of the Outlander cast.
Need another reason? Sam Heughan is a Oncer and shared his condolences when the series was canceled after seven beautiful years.
22. Still Game
Number of seasons: 9 (so far)
Who it stars: : Greg Hemphill, Ford Kiernan, and Paul Riley star in this Glasgow-set series.
What it’s about: : Based in Glasgow and filmed with a Scottish cast, Still Game is about two OAPs as they navigate the waters of retirement. The comedy series focuses on the ups and downs of their lives, as they just try to do the best while looking out for each other.
Of course, friendships are tested. There’s always something going on in the area. Oh, and there are plenty of Neds to wind them up. You’ll find yourself laughing for days at their antics because they’re all “still game.”
Why watch it: : There aren’t many comedies that make it to my list. Whether that’s because I’m more of a fan of dramas or not, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I just think when it comes to Outlander alternatives, you want to get a similar feel to the series.
However, I couldn’t leave Still Game off the list. The Scottish comedy brings everything about modern-day Scotland to your screens. You’ll see life from the view of an OAP in an area that’s all but forgotten about them. Plus, it’s Scotland based. Isn’t that one of the highlights of Outlander?
21. The Society
Number of seasons: 1 (so far)
Who it stars: : The Society is mostly made up of young, breakout actors. Kathryn Newton leads the cast, with Gideon Aldon, Sean Beardy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jacques Colimon, Olivia DeJonge, José Julián, and Jack Mulhern among the list of the cast.
What it’s about: : Loosely based on “Lord of the Flies,” The Society starts off with a group of teens heading off on a school field trip. They return “home” that night to a place where all the adults have left and there’s no phone service or internet connection.
However, it soon turns out that it’s not their home. The teenagers are in an alternate dimension, one where their parents don’t exist. Now they need to figure out how to get back but they also need to survive for however long they’re going to be trapped in this world.
Why watch it: : The series has an excellent mixture of thriller, mystery, and sci-fi. Like Outlander, it simply can’t be placed in one genre, and that’s what makes this such a great option during Dorughtlander. You’ll get the chance to see how a group of teens can come together to create a society. But will they all think the same way?
Along the way, you’re thrown into the mystery of how they’re in an alternate universe. At times, it will feel similar to Claire’s wonder of how she ended up traveling through time. It’s a series for those who like mysteries and want to figure things out along with the lead characters, while also seeing a number of social and political topics brought up in intriguing and well-written ways.
20. Father Brown
Number of seasons: 6 (so far)
Who it stars: : Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, John Burton, and Nancy Carroll star in the post-War set series.
What it’s about: : Based on the stories by GK Chesterton, the series is all about a Catholic priest who likes to solve crimes in his local village. It’s a problem for the local police, as this priest, Father Brown, tends to be better than them.
Why watch it: : Father Brown is one of those slightly more lighthearted shows on Netflix, making a good show when you’re waiting for Outlander to return. There’s excellent casting and character development throughout. If you love Harry Potter, you’ll also adore the fact that it’s Mr. Weasley in the role of Father Brown.
This is a show that focuses on normal everyday people in a period setting. While Father Brown is a Catholic priest, he’s also a man who wants to solve crimes. But he doesn’t solve them for the reason you’d think. He’s not out to judge, believing that God will do that. What he wants is the chance to save the immortal souls of others, which could be interesting to those who love some of the minor religious aspects of Outlander.
19. Russian Doll
Number of seasons: 1
Who it stars: Natasha Lyonne stars in the series that she created with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland. Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee, Elizabeth Ashley, Rebecca Henderson, Jeremy Bobb, Ritesh Rajan, and Yul Vazquez also star in the series.
What it’s about: Nadia thinks it’s just a normal 37th birthday party. However, after going home with a guy, getting on with some work, and going in search for her cat, she is hit by a car and dies. That starts a loop, as she wakes back up in the bathroom at the party on her 37th birthday party.
Nadia needs to figure out how to stay alive. But if only it was as simple as that. It’s soon clear that she’s not alone in this time loop, and if she wants any hope of getting out of the time loop and to stop dying, she needs to figure out the mistakes she’s made in the past.
Why watch it: While there are some comedic moments for the relief during the heavier topics, this is more of a drama. It’s one of the most beautifully written shows, bringing us real and flawed characters that you’re not going to initially like. However, you want to see them grow as people, as they learn what their actions are doing to others.
It’s a show with great character development, strong and independent women, and messages of morals for the audience. Russian Doll may only be eight episodes, but it’s a show you’ll want to rewatch because there will be elements you miss the first time.
18. The Umbrella Academy
Number of seasons: 1
Who it stars: Aidan Gallagher, Tom Hopper, Ellen Page, Emmy Raver-Lampman, David Castañeda, Robert Sheehan, and Adam Godley star in the series.
What it’s about: When a group of women all give birth on the same day, things shouldn't be all that weird. However, none of the women woke up pregnant and all gave birth at the exact same time. Seven of the 43 infants are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and it's those seven that we follow, as we uncover the mystery behind Sir Reginald's death and the lives of the children.
Why watch it: When it comes to shows that focus on family, The Umbrella Academy will have you believing that the drama of the Frasers is absolutely nothing. When a father of seven adopted siblings dies, five of those siblings come back together. Soon enough, mysteries of the family start to unravel.
This is one of those tales that focuses on family but with a twist. Six out of the seven have superpowers but this isn't your typical superhero show.
There's plenty of heart throughout. Despite there only being one season, this will be a show you'll want to watch a few times for all the minor details you miss the first time around.
17. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Number of seasons: 1
Who it stars: : Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel voice the main characters in The Dark Crystal prequel series. Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Mark Hamill, and more are part of the supporting cast.
What it’s about: : Set thousands of years before the 1982 movie, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a prequel series. Told over the course of 10 episodes, we learn that the Skeksis have corrupted the power at the heart of Thra. If the Gelfling want to save their world, they’re going to have to head out on a dangerous expedition to take down the Skeksis and save the crystal at the heart.
Why watch it: : Having an Outlander star attached to the series is definitely going to be a reason to watch this Netflix original. However, there’s more to it. There are many reasons to tune in.
This is a series that’s full of adventure. If you loved the high seas of Outlander Season 3 or enjoy the battle elements in the first two seasons, you’re going to want to check out this prequel series. The Gelfling aren’t afraid to put their lives on the line for the sake of their people and their world.
Those who are fans of the original 1982 movie will also want to check it out. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance uses all the same filming techniques and remains true to the original. It’s a prequel series that simple grows the world instead of trying to adapt.
16. The Witcher
Number of seasons: 1 so far
Who it stars: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Mimi Ndiweni, Eamon Farren, MyAnna Buring, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte
What it’s about: The Witcher tells three individual stories based on a fantasy book series. The main story is about Henry Cavill's Geralt, a mutant known as a Witcher, who is paid in coin to destroy monsters around the area. The other two storylines focus on Freya Allan's Ciri and Anya Chalotra's Yennifer.
It's a tale of war, freedom, power, and love. You'll need to pay close attention to follow the intricate, beautiful storytelling, as we travel through decades and lands.
Why watch it: There are many reasons to check out the series, and Henry Cavill is naturally going to be one of them. This isn't the only time he appears on this list of shows to watch if you love Outlander either, and it's all linked to his great acting and willingness to do all his own fight scenes and as many of his own stunts as possible.
But there's more than him as a reason to watch it. The Witcher is a story of powerful women, of characters finding their way or their place, and of a need for power and beauty. There's plenty of betrayal, love, and destiny thrown into this fantasy series.
Number of seasons: 4
Who it stars: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Kevin Alejandro, Rachael Harris, D.B. Woodside, Amiee Garcia, Tricia Helfer, Tom Welling
What it’s about: As the title of the series would suggest, Lucifer is about the Devil. Bored of ruling Hell, he decides to head to Earth for a vacation. While checking out Los Angeles, definitely not the City of Angels it claims to be, he becomes a club owner and later a private eye.
Along the way, we meet a series of other characters. Of course, there’s the detective that Lucifer is immediately drawn to because he learns he can’t use his powers on her. Then there’s Amenadiel, his angelic brother who is tasked with getting Lucifer to sit back on the throne of Hell. We can’t forget the demon, Maze, who followed Lucifer to Earth to protect him and the psychologist Linda, who helps Lucifer figure out what he wants and needs.
The crew makes an unlikely family, and that’s the fun of the series. But there’s one big question: does anyone believe that Lucifer Morningstar really is the devil?
Why watch it: There are so many shows on Netflix. This one doesn’t seem like something for Outlander fans but it certainly is. The fourth season has Graham McTavish guest starring.
That’s not the only reason this is for Sassenachs. This is a series that may initially seem like just some fantasy show, but there are messages of love, acceptance, and family mixed within. The characters go on journeys of their own and together, as their lives slowly intertwine. If you love the intricate details of Outlander, then you’ll love the intricacies of Lucifer.
14. When Calls the Heart
Number of seasons: 5 (so far)
Who it stars: Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin, Martin Cummins, and Daniel Lissing star in this beautiful series.
What it’s about: When Elizabeth Thatch moves to Coal Valley, a small town, to be a school teacher, she finds herself out of her depth. Coming from a wealthy family, she’s thrown into the western frontier and needs to make friends quickly.
Along comes Jack Thornton, one of the local Mounted Police Officers. You just know what’s coming next, right?
Why watch it: When Call the Heart brings many of the beautiful tales and reasons you watch Outlander. There’s the woman from out of town trying to fit into a new world and a love story brewing from the very first episode. Of course, Elizabeth at least comes from the same time period, but that doesn’t mean she finds it easy.
Daniel Lissing is excellent in the leading role of Jack. There are times that the dialogue is stilted or similar to a soap opera in the earlier seasons, but Jack’s character will certainly pull you through it. When you get to the third season, you’ll forget all about the negatives.
13. The Frankenstein Chronicles
Number of seasons: 2 (possibly so far)
Who it stars: Sean Bean, Richie Campbell, Ed Stoppard, and Vanessa Kirby are among names attached to this series.
What it’s about: The Frankenstein Chronicles isn’t quite what you would expect. While there is a mention of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” it’s not the book that comes into play in this series. When a dead child is found made up of the parts of numerous dead children, Sean Bean’s John Marlott is called in on the case.
John soon realizes that there is something bigger at play. Someone is looking to bring people back to life and he could be on the wrong side of this case.
Why watch it: If you love Sean Bean, then that’s the one reason you’ll need to watch The Frankenstein Chronicles. It was the one reason that initially pulled me into the series.
Another period drama on this list of shows to watch if you love Outlander, the story brings out the tale of medical innovation and the theories of life and death. John is pulled into a world that he doesn’t understand and is skeptical of until he’s thrown in the deep end.
Does Sean Bean manage to survive this series? That’s something you’ll need to watch to find out. You may be surprised at the outcome.
12. Alias Grace
Number of seasons: 1 (possibly so far)
Who it stars: Sarah Gadon, Edward Holdcroft, Rebecca Liddiard star in this Canadian drama that is on Netflix.
What it’s about: Alias Grace is based both on a novel by Margaret Atwood (and mind behind The Handmaid’s Tale) and a real-life figure. Convicted of murder, Grace Marks is an Irish immigrant hoping to prove that she is innocent of all charges.
The six-episode season tells the story of Grace, using the murder as a jumping off point and focusing on the many political issues of the time. Another period drama, the show is set in 19th-century Canada.Related Story:8 book-based shows to get you through Droughtlander
Why watch it: For one, this is another novel-based series and by a wonderful female author. Another major reason to watch it is that it focuses on a lead female.
While the story could have initially be a “who dun it” series, the murder is that starting point to give a reason for her being in prison and then on parole. Over the course of the six episodes, you’re drawn into a tale of a woman who may be innocent, one who came to Canada for a better life than Ireland was offering her.
This series is billed as a limited series, suggesting that there will only be one season. However, it’s a seriously underrated show (snubbed of all awards like Outlander) and there’s so much more to the tale that could make up more seasons.
11. Death Comes to Pemberley
Number of seasons: 1
Who it stars: Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, and Matthew Goode star n Death Comes to Pemberley.
What it’s about: If you love Pride and Prejudice, get ready for the unofficial sequel. PD James wrote a homage to the original novel and that’s what has been adapted for this series. Six years after the original novel, Elizabeth and Darcy are now married. While preparing their annual ball, they’re stopped in their tracks when there’s a death.
Only one person is a suspect in the grisly murder. The question is whether Darcy is guilty or not.
Why watch it: I’ll be honest and say that Elizabeth and Darcy aren’t my all-time favorite couple. They have nothing on Claire and Jamie. However, Death Comes to Pemberley offers an enjoyable few hours of TV while you wait for Outlander to return. It’s actually an excellent choice while you wait for Season 4 to premiere next month.
Telling the tale after Pride and Prejudice, the series looks at the lives of the couple-to-be six years later. With period expectations and social requirements, you’ll find yourself intrigued every step of the way. Plus, there’s always something special about book adaptations as Outlander fans.
There are also some recognizable faces in this series, including Jenna Coleman and, of course, The Crown’s and A Discovery of Witches’ Matthew Goode.
Number of seasons: 2
Who it stars: : Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell, Puca Padovan
What it’s about: Based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, the series tells the story of Joe and Beck. What seems like a love story for Beck's side is a dark tale on Joe's. He's a stalker and there's no secret about that made from the beginning of the show. A twisted and obsessed mind, we get to see the lengths he'll go to keep his obsession close to him.
Why watch it: If you're looking for a good old fashioned romance, this isn't going to be the show for you. However, if you want a series that is complex and dark, then you'll want to check You on Netflix out.
Originally a Lifetime series, the show has two of the best minds on TV behind it. Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble run the show and have adapted the book in a way that is perfect for 10 episodes. It's beautifully written and masterfully created to leave you guessing and wondering all the way to the end. Just how far does Joe's obsession go?
There are a few stories within the main tale. There's time given to develop the different characters. While it's Joe's story, there's also elements that are Beck's story. A second season is coming up and will likely be out before Outlander Season 5.
9. The Tudors
Number of seasons: 4
Who it stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, and James Frain are among the stars in this show.
What it’s about: As the title gives it away, The Tudors is set during the Tudor period. It tells the tale of Henry VIII of England, set initially about 20 years into his reign and marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Throughout the four seasons, you’re taken through the ups and downs of his reign. Each season focuses on two of his queens at a time. The first on that period of moving from wife one to two, the second moving from wife two to three, and then the third and fourth seasons on wives three to six. Every wife has their story told, with a dramatization of events that happened.
One of the downsides to the story is the lack of historical accuracy. However, that can be overlooked for the costuming, the acting, and the character development. It’s due to the inaccuracies that this show doesn’t quite make it to the top 10 of shows on Netflix to watch if you love Outlander.
Why watch it: Let me start by saying that this is another show set in the past. Rather than the 18th century like Outlander, you’re taken to the world of the 16th century; and the court, nonetheless. The Tudors pulls you into the world of Henry VIII, including his wives, his friends, and the enemies he made along the way.
It’s not just a tale about Henry, but about what Henry did to Britain. Season 3, for example, focuses on the dissolution of the monasteries. There’s a look at how his actions affected relations with France and Spain, and there’s a look at his fears as he struggled so long for a son he needed.
There are a couple of actors you’ll want to watch this series for too. The first is Henry Cavill in one of his earlier roles long before he even considered being Superman. The second is Outlander connected. Maria Doyle Kennedy is in the first two seasons of this series as Catherine of Aragon.
8. Island at War
Number of seasons: 1
Who it stars: Saskia Reeves, Owen Teale, Julia Ford, and Clare Holman star in this World War II-set series. Sam Heughan is also in five episodes of the series.
What it’s about: Set in the Channel Islands during World War II, the series is all about the fight against the Nazi occupancy. This is a tale of how the island changed overnight, with clocks moving to continental time and towns given German names.
The series keeps its focus on three families, with how they lived and worked during these difficult times. As their lives become restrictive and dangerous, they try their best to keep them normal.
Why watch it: While there are many World War II stories out there, very few focus on the occupancy of the Channel Islands. That’s exactly what Island at War offers, showing what life was like on one of the islands as soon as the Germans took over.
Something that Outlander has focused on is what occupancy can be like. We’ve watched what it was like for the Scots with glimpses after Culloden. Now we’re moving into like in the Colonies. Island at War brings us the political and social difficulties, civil unrest, and the critical decisions people had to make just to survive. It’s intelligent and relevant even in today’s world, showing you just how far humans are willing to go.
The downside to the one-season show is the ending. There isn’t one. That’s not because of cancellation but because the writer, Stephen Mallatratt, died before being able to create the ending. To make up for it and make you want to watch, Sam Heughan is in five episodes of the series, so you get to see his earlier acting.
If you do enjoy this (and even if you don’t), I highly recommend following on with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society for more of a look at life during German occupation.
7. Land Girls
Number of seasons: 3
Who it stars: Becci Gemmell, Susan Cookson, and Mark Benton star in the World War II-set series.
What it’s about: Set during the Second World War, the series tells the story of the women who worked the land. We’re taken through the lives of four members of the Women’s Land Army sent to Hoxley Estate while the men were off fighting.
This isn’t just a tale of what they did. We see the relationships and bonds they form, the people they meet, and just what it was like knowing there were others off fighting a war. Plus, this brings in the tale of the women left behind and the jobs they needed to do to help support the country.
Why watch it: One of the most obvious reasons to watch this series as an Outlander fan is the fact that it’s set in World War II. This was the time period Claire came from, as a nurse during the war. Unlike Claire, the women stayed behind and did the jobs that the men had left behind.
Also like Outlander, is a sense of lead women in an area they’re not originally from. They have to create new bonds, get to know the locals, and manage jobs that weren’t originally meant for them. All that brings judgment and expectations.
There are plenty of twists and turns in the soap opera-like setting. This isn’t one to make light of the period or the jobs women did, but it does need to be entertaining at the same time!
6. The Last Kingdom
Number of seasons: 2 (so far)
Who it stars: Alexander Dreymon, Eliza Butterworth, Ian Hart, David Dawson, and Emily Cox are among the stars of this Viking-period series.
What it’s about: Set in a time when Alfred the Great was on the throne, the series tells the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a noble-born Saxon who’s kingdom is overthrown by his uncle. Uhtred is sold to a Danish family as a slave, but soon finds a home there. The Saxon-Dane is then torn between his two loyalties as he searches for a way to take his home back from his uncle.
Along the way, Uhtred is pulled into various battles for Alfred the Great. He’s sold back into slavery, imprisoned and beaten, and goes through love and loss (including of children).Related Story:7 shows to watch to get through Droughtlander
Why watch it: The Last Kingdom is based on the excellent Saxon Series by Bernard Cornwall. Each season so far has covered two books and the third season is currently in development and will cover books five and six. If you love the fact that Outlander is based on an excellent-written series then you’ll enjoy this show for that, too.
Another reason to watch is for the stark reality of the time period. This is one of only a handful of shows that focus on a period this far back in history. If you thought the 18th-century highlands and the Colonial lands were dangerous places, wait until you see pre-1066 Britain. The series doesn’t hold back on the bloodshed, the danger, and the horrors of what happened.
With 10 episodes per season, you’ve got time before The Last Kingdom returns to air. If you’re in the UK, it’s on BBC rather than Netflix, but in the States, it’s classed as a Netflix Original. Also, Season 3 is apparently going to be just on Netflix worldwide.
5. Ripper Street
Number of seasons: 5
Who it stars: Matthew Macfayden, Adam Rothenberg, Jerome Flynn, and MyAnna Buring are the leads in this period drama series.
What it’s about: Ripper Street gets the name from the time period of the series. Set post-Jack the Ripper’s last kill, it focuses on the police department of the time. With the city still on edge, especially with Jack the Ripper possibly still out there, the police need to keep the calm and prevent any copy cat killers.
Over the space of the five seasons, we watch as characters move up the ranks, are pulled apart and drawn back together, and how they cope with love and loss. This is one of those shows that leaves you thankful for the time period you’re in now.
Why watch it: Ripper Street is one of those British dramas that will certainly stand the test of time. It kicks off our top five because of the excellent casting, beautiful costuming, and outstanding storytelling. You’re drawn into each of the characters’ lives, whether you love them or hate them.
One of the benefits of the series is the focus on MyAnna Buring’s character Long Susan. As a brothel madam with an agenda, you instantly want to dislike her. However, you see the struggle for women in a position of authority set in a time when women weren’t even their own property.
On top of all that, you have cases that you solve along with the police, seeing various clues along the way. Many of the seasons have a few overarching storylines that draw you in and make you need to bingewatch.
4. Call the Midwife
Number of seasons: 7 (so far)
Who it stars: Jennifer Agutta, Laura Main, Vanessa Redgrave, and Stephen McGann are among the lead cast.
What it’s about: As the title suggests, Call the Midwife takes you through the tales of a group of midwives. The twist is the show is set in the 1950s, showing you the life and times of midwives post-World War II Britain.
Call the Midwife doesn’t shy away from the topical stories of the time, bringing to life problematic pregnancies, the stigma against certain mothers, and back alley abortions. This is a stark reality told in an entertaining way, focusing on the cases of the week and the character development of the midwives and doctors.
Why watch it: When you want something that is meaningful and important Call the Midwife is the series to watch. The seven-season show (so far) has excellent character development and shocking storylines. It’s not afraid to show the real truths of the time period, truths that many people don’t want to admit happened.
If the period setting is one of the things you love about Outlander, it’s going to be what you love about Call the Midwife. You’ll also get females taking charge and caring for the sick, very much like Claire Fraser.
The series is also based on truth, adapted from Jennifer Worth’s memoirs. It adds an element of book adaptation, which is something you know sold you on Claire and Jamie’s tale.
Number of seasons: 4
Who it stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott are among the list of stars.
What it’s about: The name should give it away. Sherlock is a modern-day telling of the infamous crime detective. Based on the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, viewers are sent through the ups and downs of Sherlock Holmes’ life, seeing him figure out cases that nobody else can.
Meanwhile, you’re taken on John Watson’s journey, as he tries to keep up and becomes the only friend Sherlock seems to have. It all starts with a case involving a pink suitcase and takes you on a whirlwind ride from there.
Why watch it: With a strong lead cast, there’s no reason not to watch Sherlock. Let’s just consider the fact that this is Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. He and Martin Freeman work excellently opposite each other.
Of course, the overall storytelling will draw you in. You get to see Sherlock’s mind working, seeing how he comes to his conclusions. Don’t expect to like him at all times, though. He’s not the best protagonist and that makes him human and intriguing.
One of the strongest parts of the series is Jim Moriarty played by Andrew Scott. You’re drawn into the mind of this antagonist, shocked from twist after twist.
2. Peaky Blinders
Number of seasons: 4 (so far)
Who it stars: Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Joe Cole are among the list of stars. It also guest stars big names such as Tom Hardy, Aiden Gillian, and Sam Neill.
What it’s about: Set in Britain just after the First World War, the show takes us back on the streets. Thomas Shelby is back from the Great War and ready to lead his gang, The Peaky Blinders, again.
The show takes us through the ups and downs of this gang, showing us the growth to the top. Peaky Blinders Season 5 is currently filming and we’re not on the downfall of the gang.
Why watch it: When you need a show set in the past, Peaky Blinders offers it all. You’ve got a man struggling with the repression of the class system. All Thomas wants is to have a life after the war, but he soon realizes that life isn’t any easier.
Throughout the series, there’s love and loss. There’s betrayal and distrust. There are touches on all types of events that happened after the Great War, including the rise of the IRA, the rise of communism, and the threat of another war just decades later.
Even though you know the gang are in the wrong, they’re the best of a bad bunch. You find yourself rooting for those who aren’t necessarily following the law because they have a cause that you can understand.
1. The Crown
Number of seasons: 2 (so far)
Who it stars: Seasons 1-2 stars Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirkby, among others. The third season will star Olivia Coleman, Tobias Menzies, and Helena Bonham Carter.
What it’s about: The series takes viewers through the life of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her family. As the world events play around them, fans are taken through the views of the queen, Prince Philip, her sister, and many others connected to her.
With the Queen unable to react or share her direct opinion, we’re often left with an individual that looks cold and uninterested in the nation. However, we soon learn that she cares deeply and has to straddle the line between duty and family in a job she was never born to do.
Why watch it: Quite honestly, there was no other show that could take the number one spot on this list. If you love Outlander, you’re going to enjoy The Crown. Another British drama, the show is focused on the life of the highest-ranking person (who happens to be a woman) in the United Kingdom.
This isn’t your typical tale of love and betrayal. We’re taken through her life from just before she ascended to the throne, seeing how it affected everyone around her. The first season gave us the troubles in her marriage, while the second season focused more on the government, Princess Margaret, and her children.
This third season is going to be of particular interest to Outlander fans, as Tobias Menzies takes over the role of Prince Philip. I’m intrigued at how the show will handle the change of the main cast.
What do you watch while waiting for Outlander to return? What shows on Netflix are your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Outlander Season 4 premieres on Nov. 4 at 8/7c on STARZ.