The British obsession with Period Drama

Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Our obsession with Period Drama as a British public is profound, we take our adaptations very seriously  each year we look forward to the delights of a new period drama from the BBC or ITV who have both become iconic in their endeavours to appease this need for escapism via Bronté, Shakespeare or most notably Austin, amongst many more. In the years past we haven't been left unsatisfied in this tug of War between ITV and the BBC.  ITV had The Forsyth Saga & Downton Abby and  well the BBC had everything else, however with the unsuspected out pour of support Downton Abby recieved the BBC are now retaliating with a new original drama called 'The Hour' but even this is not without its contenders, the Americans are getting in on the action too. 

Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai in 'The Hour' 

"The BBC’s glossy new drama about the beginnings of a crusading news programme in the Fifties"



Each year there is a stand out show and it's no doubt that The Hour will be 2011's contribution to the genre with the best of a British cast including Dominic West and up and coming actor Ben Whishaw. With the critically acclaimed drama Mad Men running the show in America with a mind bending six seasons notched on its belt of success, It's no suprise that more shows are following suite, there is no sign of anything slowing down in this genre. Show’s such as ABC's Pan Am & NBC's the Playboy Club (which has already got critics and audiences talking) The Hour has a lot to contend with this year.

In its debut The Hour did not disappoint, it transports you to 1950’s Britain, and the devil is in the detail, from the cigarettes they smoke to the fish and chips wrapped in newspaper it's clear that our need for the period drama is great and this year it's going to be fed. No doubt all shows will become transatlantic with the Hour already set to be available on BBC America it seems that the proof is in the pudding and the world of TV is certainly appeasing to our tastes. 

The trend doesn't stop there our very own DegreeArt artists have incorporated this obsession into their work see what they have to offer from the selection below 

Rule Britannia 

Catherine Dwyer Harvey 


The Tears from the Trappings series 

Joanne Fox 



Clara Turchi 



Moses Powers 


Zero 11 

Emma Coyle