History is easier to learn through films and TV series. Such projects are fictional, but it is interesting to watch them. We've put together the best historical series for you to see for yourself.
Here are the most interesting foreign historical series:
North & South (1985, 1986, 1994)
Introducing the best historical series of the 1980s and 1990s. This is an adaptation of the John Jakes' bestselling book, which was released as a mini-series. In 1985, the first book was screened. ABC has released a six-episode show. It received three prizes and two Golden Globe nominations. The series had an 8.1 rating on IMDb.
A year later, the six-episode second series aired, which was also warmly received by viewers and received three Emmy nominations. Its IMDb rating is also 8.1.
In 1994, the third book was screened. This time, the mini-series consisted of just three episodes. Their IMDb rating has fallen to 6.3.
The story told about the friendship of a northerner and a southerner who met at a military academy. The first belonged to a family of entrepreneurs. The second came from a slave family. During the civil war, they were at the head of opposing armies.
Covington Cross (1992)
In the early 1990s, few television companies could afford to make historical series abroad. ABC shot a show about medieval England in the United Kingdom, but premiered in the US six days earlier than Britain. To reduce production costs slightly, the company hired British actors. The series consisted of 13 episodes.
In October 1992, ABC viewers were surprised when the show was replaced with an hour-long spot by independent presidential candidate Ross Perot, who was hoping to draw attention to his candidacy.
The series, about the adventures of the English Grey family during the Crusades, was given a 7.8 rating by IMDb users. He was nominated for an Emmy.
Band of Brothers (2001)
A 10-episode mini-series created by Tom Hanks and co-produced by Steven Spielberg. The show won 34 awards, including a Golden Globe and six Emmys.
Best historical series according to IMDb, which placed it in third place in the top 250. The site's users gave it a 9.5 rating. On Metacritic, Brothers in Arms has 86 points and a must-watch recommendation.
The series tells the story of the battle track of the US company E ("Easy"), tracing the characters "history from training at a training camp to the end of World War II.
The Tudors (2007-2010)
Foreign historical series may be evaluated differently by different specialized websites. The Tudors, for example, has an 8.1 rating on IMDb, and the show has just 66 points on Metacritic. The series has 49 prizes. It's been nominated for a Golden Globe three times. Over four seasons, viewers saw 38 episodes.
The series explores Henry's private life and political life from the beginning to the very end of his reign. Like many historical series, this one has gone a little against the truth for the sake of ratings. Thus, the king himself has gone from being a fat red man to an attractive young man, the role of which went to Jonathan Reece-Myers ("Dracula"), and some historical events have been embellished.
But if the Tudors are lame in terms of credibility, as actors and production, they are as good as any other historical miniseries.
Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
The historical series, which is among the top 250 shows according to IMDb, takes 112th place on the list. Users of the site gave it an 8.7 score. On Metacritic, "Downton Abbey" also had a high score of 91. The series ran for six seasons and won 57 awards, including three Golden Globes.
What makes "Downton Abbey" special is not just its skillfully depicted realities of the British elite, but its remarkable English humour, whose wit and restraint are well known all over the world.
Events are based around the Grantham family and their ancestral estate of Downton. Along with the lives of the masters, the audience is shown the fate of the rich's servants, and the two stories often intersect.
What makes the series special is that it used as a backdrop real historical events like the tragedy of the Titanic, World War I, the emancipation of women, the invention of electric power, and so on.
The project starred Hugh Bonneville (Paddington), Maggie Smith (the Harry Potter series), Michelle Dockery (Anna Karenina) and others.
A feature film of the same name, a follow-up to the story shown in the series, has been released in 2019 on a wave of popularity. The project has proven that historical films are no worse than miniseries.
The Hollow Crown (2012-2016)
Another high-ratings series. Users of the IMDb website gave it an 8.3 rating, and on Metacritic the show had an 89.
It is recommended that literary historians watch the series, because every episode of it is a replay of Shakespeare's historical plays. As the poet's very existence is in doubt, his historical facts do not inspire confidence among respected sources.
And though historians don't love such series very much, foreign critics appreciate their acting and artistic embodiment. The plays are: "Richard II," "Henry IV," "Henry V," "Henry VI," and "Richard III."
The mini-series starred some of Britain's leading stars, including Tom Hiddleston ("Thor"), Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") and Judi Dench ("007: Spectre").
The series is an international affair. So, the Canadians and Irish decided to film the Scandinavians' wanderings, but it is worth acknowledging that they managed to do it in a good time.
The series aired for five seasons before being renewed for a sixth, which kicked off in December 2019. During its existence, it was in the top 250 IMDb at 210th place. Users of the site rated it at 8.6 points. On Metacritic, the show has 74 points. The series received 32 awards and was nominated for an Emmy 13 times.
The creators went beyond history to take as the basis for their project the Scandinavian viking sagas, which celebrated ancient heroes and interspersed real events with ancient myths.
The series revolves around the legendary Ragnar Lodbrock, a Viking chief who, according to legend, descended from the Nordic god Odin himself.
Ragnar's role went to Travis Fimmel, who is simply unrecognizable without his Scandinavian make-up, while his wife Lagert was played by Kathryn Winnick.
Da Vinci's Demons (2013-2015)
History series often bring fiction to the narrative. When the historical truth seems boring, the makers come up with their own version, calling it "untold history."
The same thing happened with the Da Vinci biography, which in the series was loosely but spectacularly told to its own liking. The series won three awards, including two Emmys. And it has high ratings on aggregator sites. IMDb users gave it an 8.0 score, and the series had a 63 on Metacritic.
If you know almost nothing about this genius artist and inventor, you will definitely like the project.
And those who know a lot and are ready to challenge what is shown on the screen to a hoarse degree, are advised to watch the best foreign historical series because they are not created for nerves, but for entertainment.
Starring Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, and Blake Ritson as the Da Vinci Demons.
Marco Polo (2014-2016)
The story of the legendary Marco Polo, who was brought to China by the winds of fate, has won three prizes and an Emmy nomination for good reason.
The series was shot in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Italy in an effort to show as many historical locations as possible. You can rarely see the history of the Mongolian Empire on-screen, so this historical series is a must-see.
Despite the fact that the project was produced in the United States, the main focus of the project is on the development of the land. The role, as it should, went to an Italian. Lorenzo Riquelmi played Marco Polo.
The Last Kingdom (2015-present)
The BBC and Netflix co-produced series did not win professional awards, but it did win viewers' attention. The ratings attest to that. The show has an 8.3 rating on IMDb and 78 on Metacritic.
The third season was aired in November 2018, with a fourth season set for release in 2020. It finished shooting in the autumn of 2019.
As with the iconic Game of Thrones, the series is based on a literary saga. True, Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles are based on real historical events that took place in 9th-century England.
The plot centers on a divided England, which, moreover, is at war with the Scandinavians. The main character Utred of Bebbanburg, the orphaned son of the Anglo-Saxon Tan, was kidnapped by the Scandinavians and raised as the adopted son of Jarl Ragnar, becoming a foreigner in a foreign land and in his homeland.
Utred's onscreen role was played not by a Briton or even a Scandinavian, but by German Alexander Draymon.
The Crown (2016)
Looking for the best foreign historical series whose ratings are in doubt? Then take a look at one of Netflix's most rated and expensive series of recent years. IMDb made it the 97th of the top 250. Users of the site gave the show an 8.7 rating. On Metacritic, it has 84 points and a Must-watch icon. The series won 54 awards, including three Golden Globes. So far, three seasons of 10 episodes each have been released. The creators have announced plans for two more seasons.
Unlike the previous series, this project focuses on the recent past and the mid-twentieth century.
The main character of the historical series was the now reigning Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. Viewers will be able to follow young Elizabeth's ascension to the throne, her wedding and family life, and the rise of a powerful modern monarch who has shown himself repeatedly in difficult situations.
The series features not only an original script and quality acting by the cast, but also impressive work by a casting director who has chosen actors of very similar types to members of the royal family for the main roles.
Especially the cast of the series' key couple Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Claire Foy and Matt Smith (Doctor Who).
Many fans eagerly awaited the reaction of the real Elizabeth on the show about her life, but the creators never received comments from the Queen. But, with no doubt, they can be proud of their courage and skill.
Incidentally, there are said to be real Crown fans among the Royal Family who enjoy watching the project. The next season is scheduled for release in December 2020.
Historical series, the top of which change year on year, tell us more than the distant past. In 2019, the series from HBO topped various ratings. In fact, it came fifth on IMDb's list of the top 250. Visitors to the site gave him 9.4 points. On Metacritic, the series has a Must-watch icon and 82 points. The show has received 50 awards, including two Golden Globes.
Five episodes of the show are devoted to the first days of the Chernobyl tragedy. The main character, Academician Legasov, is directed to eliminate the accident. He will have to make not only the rescue, but also the difficult decision of whether to tell the world the truth about what happened.
If you want to watch the best TV series at leisure, the list we have put together will help you enormously. Even if you've never been a fan of the historical genre, these projects will make you change your mind.
And which historical series do you have among your favorites?