Let me guess, you just finished watching season three of The Last Kingdom on Netflix and now you have no idea what to do with yourself. After hours of binge-watching epic fight scenes and enjoying complicated, sweeping storylines, where do you go from here? Don’t worry, The Last Kingdom isn’t the only historically accurate drama out there worth watching! If you appreciate authentic costumes, political drama and a healthy dose of intrigue, then I’ve got the perfect list for you. Ready to see history come to life? Here are 10 shows to watch if you’re having trouble letting The Last Kingdom go.
10. Game Of Thrones
When it comes to gratuitous violence, sexy times, and good-looking men in fur, Game of Thrones can definitely scratch that dark, gritty itch while you’re waiting on the next season of The Last Kingdom to arrive. Even if you’ve already seen it, you’ve probably forgotten almost everything that happened in season one because GoT’s storyline is so legendarily vast. If you haven’t seen it, then you are in for a real treat, provided you don’t mind a little fantasy mixed in with your historical drama (trust me, it’s the perfect cocktail).
9. Marco Polo
Marco Polo, currently streaming on Netflix, was recently listed as one of the top 10 most expensive TV shows to make, resulting in a $200 million loss for Netflix. Ouch. Despite all that, fans of sweeping historical dramas are going to dig it. The series was (obviously) inspired by Marco Polo’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan, the Khagan of the Mongol Empire and the founder of the Yuan dynasty. No expense was spared, and the series was praised for its accuracy. Orgil Narangerel, the Mongolian actor who played Genghis Khan in a BBC documentary, raved about its portrayal of Mongolian culture and claimed to have watched all 10 episodes in one day.
Outlander, originally a book series by Diana Gabaldon, is a historical romance about a World War II nurse who accidentally time travels back in time to Scotland in 1743. It’s there that she encounters a lot of period-driven danger and a historic hottie in a kilt. Set amidst the Jacobite rebellion, this show has its fair share of war scenes and historical intrigue (not to mention handsome men in kilts), so it’s definitely going to tide you over after you finish binge-watching The Last Kingdom. Although this series is not available on Netflix, Hulu subscribers can add Starz to their subscription plans and stream the entire series.
7. The Borgias
The Borgias, available to stream on Netflix, follows the lives of the notorious Borgia family and their rise to power in the 15th century. The real House of Borgia was suspected of many crimes, including murder, incest, bribery, and adultery; so all of the ruthlessness and intrigue you see in this series is based on true events. Like The Last Kingdom, this show follows ambitious historical figures as they battle for control, power, and succession while surrounded by enemies. It’s truly amazing what people did do (and continue to do) for the sake of personal glory.
I remember watching HBO’s Rome several years ago, and it was so good that I felt like crying when it was over. This show is a sweeping account of life in ancient Rome, both for the rich and powerful and for two common Roman soldiers named Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Although the stories of the men are fictionalized, the two soldiers were both mentioned in Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Everything about this show is epic; the costumes, the set locations, the fight scenes, and the cinematography. Viewers feel like they’re traveling back in time.
5. Medici: Masters Of Florence
Season one of Medici: Masters of Florence is available to stream on Netflix right now, with season two dropping on January 25th. Sounds like a pretty good time to start watching! The show, which stars Dustin Hoffman, is an Italian-British TV drama series about the powerful Medici family set in 15th-century Florence (long-time enemies of the Borgias, in fact). Like the Borgias, the Medici dynasty is full of protagonists, dark intrigue, and ruthless ambition. Lovers of historical drama (and The Last Kingdom) will get sucked right in.
No, that’s not an image from The Last Kingdom, that’s actually a picture of actor Travis Fimmel portraying Ragnar in the historical drama TV series, Vikings. I know, all these Viking characters look the same: blue-eyed, dirty, and unbelievably gorgeous (where’s the Outlander time machine when you need it)?!
I’m guessing that The Last Kingdom stole a lot of their costume ideas from Vikings, a series that first premiered in 2013. The show was inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, a notorious Norse hero who eventually became a Scandinavian King. The History Channel recently announced that season six will be its last, but a spin-off series is already in the works.
3. The Tudors
If you haven’t seen it yet, The Tudors is a dramatic Showtime series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII (but don’t worry, King Henry is played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, so you’ve got plenty of eye candy to enjoy). Provided you don’t mind murder, scandal, intrigue, and British accents, then this TV series is definitely for you. Not every event in the show is historically accurate, but the series is a good look at the Tudor dynasty and 16th century England as a whole.
It might seem as though I’m picking these shows out solely for their good-looking leads, but it’s not intentional, I promise you. Actor Jason Momoa portrays Declan Harp in the Canadian historical period drama series Frontier. The show chronicles the North American fur trade of the late 1700s and Declan Harp’s campaign to single-handedly destroy the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly on the fur trade in Canada. It’s violent, raw, and emotional (and the set locations are gorgeous), so fans of The Last Kingdom are sure to love it.
If you’re a historical drama aficionado who hasn’t yet seen Versailles on Netflix, then break out the popcorn and get ready to binge, because this series is right up your alley. Everyone knows about the Palace of Versailles, but how much do you know about the all-powerful king who built it? Set during Versailles’s construction in the mid-1600s, the series follows the reign of Louis XIV and all the ambition, arrogance, affairs, and political intrigue surrounding him. I’m warning you now, don’t watch this show with little ones in the room — this one can get pretty steamy.