‘Barbarians’ is a German Netflix series that takes viewers all the way back to the year A.D. 9, in the days leading up to the mythical Battle of Teutoburg Forest, a historical event which saw the united Germanic tribes go head-to-head against the invading Roman Empire. The series is partly based on real historical events and partly a work of fiction. If you’ve zipped through the six episodes in no time and want more, we’ve put together a list of historical drama that fans of ‘Barbarians’ would appreciate. You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘Barbarians’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
5. Poldark (2015 – 2019)
Set in the late eighteenth century in England, ‘Poldark’ is based on the eponymous novel series by Winston Graham. The series follows the return of the titular Ross Poldark to his Cornish home after fighting in the American War of Independence, only to find his entire world upended. His father is dead, his inherited estate is in shambles, and the love of his life has been betrothed to another man – his cousin at that. Ross must pick up the broken pieces of his shattered life. Against all odds and many-many setbacks, he attempts to rebuild his life.
4. Vikings (2013 – )
Created and written by Michael Hirst, ‘Vikings’ is a historical drama that first premiered on the History Channel. The show follows Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero, who despite various curveballs that life presented him with, rises to become a valiant warrior and commander of the Viking tribes with the support of his equally ferocious family. ‘Vikings’ deftly blends European history with its fictional storytelling. And while the events are shuffled around, cultural aspects of Viking life are treated with a little more care and attention to detail.
3. Downtown Abbey (2010 – 2015)
‘Downtown Abbey’ is a period piece that requires no introduction. In case you haven’t yet watched it, let this entry be a reminder to do so. Starring Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, and Elizabeth McGivern among others, the series is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downtown Abbey between 1912 and 1926, capturing the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic helpers in the post-Edwardian era. The charm of the show lies in the fact that each individual character stands out on its own, and while the show revolves around fictional characters, their story regularly intersects with real historical and periodical events of their time including the sinking of the Titanic, the Teapot Dome scandal, and World War I.
2. The Last Kingdom (2015 – )
Based on Bernard Cornwell’s series of novels, ‘The Saxon Stories’, ‘The Last Kingdom’ is a historical fiction drama. Set in the late ninth century, the story follows a man named Uhtred who was born as a Saxon but has been raised by the Danes as one of their own after he was kidnapped at an early age. Years later, a now-grown Uhtred finds himself faced with the moral quandary of claiming his ancestral birthright under the weight of his heavily divided loyalties. With high production values, strong writing, and compelling characters, the series deserves your attention.
1. The Crown (2016 – )
‘The Crown’ is undoubtedly one of the renowned historical series at the time. Based on the award-winning play ‘The Audience’ by showrunner Peter Morgan, the series follows the course of Queen Elizabeth II’s life, starting from her early 20s to the 90s. The show is a deliciously dramatized portrayal of life in Buckingham Palace from the time of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation to Prince Charles’ and Princess Diana’s marital fallout. While it widely details the political and personal rivalries, it also gives us a glimpse into the adverse ways being in the public eye took a toll on her private life.
Read More: Will There be a Barbarians Season 2?