– Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, and Adelaide Clemens, this adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s tetraology about an Edwardian gentleman’s destructive marriage with a cruel socialite. This aired on the BBC last autumn but was unfortunately buried away on Friday nights! The first episode is a little slow, but overall it is glorious and moving. The first episode premieres on HBO February 26, 2013 at 9 PM, with the second and third episodes airing on consecutive evenings.
– Currently airing on ITV, this eight-part Edwardian period drama starring Jeremy Piven, following the life of department store magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge, debuts on PBS on March 31, 2013 at 9 PM. I’ve seen the first three episodes and it’s beautifully shot, lavish, and full of drama and great acting. Luckily for us, it has also been recommissioned for a second series!
– Another period drama series about a department store, this time set in the North of England during the 1870s. A very, very loose BBC adaptation of Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola. I must admit that I had difficulty getting into the first episode because I adore the Zola novel and the writers ripped out its heart to create this very sweet and comforting series. However, I will probably come around eventually, especially as it to has been recommissioned for a second series. Air date to be determined, but it will be on PBS.
Dancing on the Edge
– Currently airing on the BBC, this five part drama is written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff and is set in the early 1930s, following a black jazz band in London at a time of extraordinary change. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, John Goodman, Anthony Stewart Head, and Jacqueline Bisset. I highly, highly recommend this! Encore is in talks to pick this up for a future US airdate.
Call the Midwife
– Season two of this acclaimed BBC drama will debut on PBS on March 31, 2013 at 8 PM.
– Technically, this is a Canadian production, but Canada is a Commonwealth realm so it counts in my eyes! Currently on its second season, you can catch this delightful and realistic period drama about female munitions workers during WWII on Global TV and Reelz Channel.
– An adaptation of a Daphne Du Maurier novel that aired on ITV last autumn starring Matthew Rhys. Set in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation year, it is a doppelganger story with a fatal twist. Airing on the Ovation TV network.
The Bletchley Circle
– a three-part thriller starring Anna Maxwell Martin as a former Bletchley Park codebreaker who, in the post war period, finds her skills necessary to catch a serial killer whose seemingly random murders have gone undetected. Coming to PBS on April 21, 2013. I’ve also heard on Twitter that this too has been recommissioned for a second series.