In case you haven't heard, DramaFever is expanding its historical collection with some classics from the BBC! This is great news for fans of costume television dramas who enjoy epic historical romances. To help you get started in your watching, here are 10 must-see period dramas from around the world that are now available on DramaFever!

1. Pride and Prejudice (UK)

Starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle

Witty Elizabeth Bennet charms smoldering, haughty Darcy against a backdrop of a picture postcard countryside, small-town assembly rooms and stately English homes.

Why it's worth watching:

Two words: Colin Firth. For many Austen fans, this is the period drama to end all period dramas. Who can resist Mr. Darcy?

Trailer:


(Okay, okay, so it's not actually a trailer, but it's probably a better sales pitch than any trailer could be!)

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2. The Princess's Man (Korea)

Starring Moon Chae Won and Park Shi Hoo

Princess Se Ryung is the fearless and strong-willed daughter of Grand Prince Su Yang. Seung Yoo is a noble "old soul" who captures her heart. The only problem is that their fathers are powerful rivals, and both will stop at nothing to defeat the other and ascend the throne. Featuring breathtaking cinematography and gorgeous locations, The Princess's Man is a lush historical romance is widely loved and will capture your heart. This epic Romeo and Juliet-style romance features Moon Chae Won and Park Shi Hoo as the star-crossed lovers.

Why it's worth watching:

Stunningly beautiful, tragically heartbreaking, and sweepingly romantic, The Princess's Man is an engrossing love story on an epic scale.

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3. The Time In Between (Spain)

Starring Adriana Ugarte and Rubén Cortada

Based on the New York Times Bestseller The Time In Between by María Dueñas, a young seamstress's life takes an unexpected turn when she finds herself pregnant, alone, and penniless during the Spanish Civil War. As Spain's alliance with Nazi Germany deepens, she takes on a new identity and becomes an in-demand haute couture stylist for the wives of Nazi officials. But soon she becomes swept up in political intrigue when she begins helping the British Secret Service with coded messages in the seams of her dresses.

Why it's worth watching:

This series took Spain by storm, and with good reason. A captivating performance by Adriana Ugarte drives this incredibly addicting series, and the gorgeous sets and costumes don't hurt, either.

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4. Upstairs, Downstairs (UK)

Starring Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard

Fate brings Rose back to Eaton Place as housekeeper to its new owners. She recruits a new "downstairs" family to help run the elegance and finery of the "upstairs" world; it soon becomes apparent there lies a labyrinth of secrets, lies and scandal.

Why it's worth watching:

Before there was Downton, there was Upstairs, Downstairs. This 2010 series follows the legacy of the 1970s classic as it gives us a glimpse into the dramatic lives of everyone living and working at the elegant 165 Eaton Place.

Trailer:

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5. Prince of Lan Ling (China/Taiwan)

Starring Feng Shao Feng and Ariel Lin

Gao Chang Gong, better known as Prince Lan Ling, is a celebrated hero of ancient China—one recorded to have met an untimely fate in his prime. In this vibrant adaptation, Yang Xue Wu (Ariel Lin), the only remaining priestess of her clan, foresees a tragic fate for the chivalrous Lan Ling Wang (Feng Shao Feng), but nonetheless falls for him as the two become embroiled in a war against the Northern Zhou faction, led by Emperor Yuwen Yong (Daniel Chan). As Xue Wu grows closer to Prince Lan Ling, she unwittingly fulfills a foretold prophecy that victory goes to he who possesses the priestess’ blessing. But victory has its price in the spoils of love and war, and it’s Lan Ling’s head. Can Xue Wu protect her one true leader—and her one true love?

Why it's worth watching:

Prince of Lan Ling was one of DramaFever's top 10 most-watched show's for 2014. With a 46-episode running time, this is a true epic.

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6. Chuno (Korea)

Starring Jang Hyuk and Oh Ji Ho

Set during the Joseon dynasty, Chuno focuses on Lee Dae Gil, a nobleman whose transformation from a kind lord to a ruthless slave hunter unfolds with unflinching clarity. Dae Gil is a man of high birth and he's expected to uphold the family line, but when he falls in love with his kind, beautiful slave, Un Nyun, tragedy strikes when his father discovers their secret. Ten years later, Dae Gil has become a fearsome slave hunter, renowned for his skill and ruthlessness, and bent on taking revenge for his parents' death. His desperate search for his lost love is the one bright spot in his life. When their paths finally intersect, Dae Gil must struggle to protect the woman he loves.

Why it's worth watching:

Action, romance, humor, tragedy — you name it, Chuno has it. If you crave something with excitement that goes beyond longing glances and heaving bosoms, Chuno is the perfect choice.

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7. Isabel (Spain)

Starring Michelle Jenner and Rodolfo Sancho

Immerse yourself in the royal court of 15th-century Spain, ruled by greed, lust, lies, and, above all, an insatiable hunger for power. When Seville is left without a direct heir to the throne, Princess Isabel (Michelle Jenner) and Prince Alfonso are cut off from their mother and forced to live in the royal court amongst strangers. With the end of her childhood, Isabel proves to be a formidable young woman as she takes charge in choosing her own husband and fends off conspiracies against her to become Queen of Castile.

Content advisory: Isabel is intended for mature audiences, and it contains nudity and sexual scenes. 

Why it's worth watching:

This is an excellent choice for viewers looking for a series about a powerful woman navigating the intrigue and deception of a world dominated by men.  

Trailer:


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8. The Sound of the Desert (China)

Starring Cecilia Liu and Eddie Peng

Based on the hit romance novel, Sound of the Desert traces the fate of Xin Yue (Cecilia Liu), a young orphan who was adopted by the nomadic Xiongnu tribe. When political turmoil forces Xin Yue to flee, she finds herself in the company of two very different, but alluring men: Mo Xun (Hu Ge), a kind soul, and Wei Wu Ji (Eddie Peng), a cold general. As Xin Yue travels throughout a vast desert of possibilities, she must ask herself who she loves most in this delicate dance of love.

Why it's worth watching:

Viewers are raving about the romance in this series, calling it one of the most well-executed love triangles of all time. The ending will leave you satisfied, even if you don't want the series to end.

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9. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (UK)

Starring Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne

When the beautiful and innocent Tess is driven by poverty to claim kinship with the D'Urbervilles and seek a portion of their fortune, meeting the manipulative Alec proves to be her downfall. Angel Clare seems to offer her salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent.

Why it's worth watching:

Fair warning: Don't go into this one expecting an Austen-esque love story. Anyone familiar with Thomas Hardy's novel knows that this beautiful, heartbreaking adaptation is ideal for those times when you just want to cry your face off. This story will wreck you, but in the best possible way. As an added bonus, it features wonderful Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne as Angel Clare.

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10. Sungkyungkwan Scandal (Korea)

Starring Park Yoo Chun and Park Min Young

Sungkyunkwan Scandal is set in the famous Sungkyunkwan university, a 500-year-old establishment that exists to this day. Kim Yoon Hee is a brilliant young woman at a time that women are not allowed to attend the university. Supporting her family by doing odd jobs at a bookstore, she grows increasingly desperate at the hands of her family's debt. When her younger brother falls ill, she winds up entering Sungkyunkwan University disguised as a boy. Even though she'll certainly be beheaded if her true identity is discovered, Yoon Hee will do anything to help her brother. In school, she falls in love with Lee Sun Joon, the brilliant son of the Prime Minister. She is also befriended by Goo Yong Ha, a wealthy playboy, and street ruffian Moon Jae Shin. With all-male roommates, Yoon Hee will have to keep her wits about her so she is not found out in this fascinating look into Korea's most prestigious university. 

Why it's worth watching:

With a clever blend of romantic comedy and history, this historical fusion series is an excellent entry into period dramas. The cross-dressing plot never gets old, either. If the romance doesn't capture your heart, the bromance definitely will.

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There are so many wonderful period pieces from around the world that it's impossible to capture them all in one list. These were a few to get people started, but what would you add?


The BBC classics are available exclusively to DramaFever Premium users in the United States and US territories. Not a Premium member? Sign up HERE for as little as $0.99/month!