Plug in and play
OTTs are having a moment right now. At a time when the entire world has been locked down, getting lost in a movie or a show seems about the only normal thing to do. Which is why over the weeks, we’ve been bringing you some of best shows and movies to watch on Netflix, Amazon Primne and Hostar. Continuing with this, we look at these historical dramas to follow on your favourite streaming platforms. We begin with
Downton Abbey, Amazon Prime
The show that spanned six seasons and a movie was nothing short of a global phenomenon that introduced us to the inner workings of a British aristocratic family and their domestic staff in the post-Edwardian era. Downton Abbey is set in the eponymous fictional estate and explores the changing dynamics of the Crawley family against the backdrop of historic, real-life world-changing events – starting from the sinking of the Titanic to the formation of the Irish Free State.
The Tudors, Netflix
King Henry VIII remains, perhaps, the most significant monarch of England. The mercurial king who ruled the empire in the 16th century is at the heart of this drama that traces, among other things, his rise, his rule, his defiance of the Roman Catholic Church and his marriages to Queen Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. The dishy Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays King Henry VIII and Natalie Dormer plays Anne Boleyn
The Crown, Netflix
Terabytes of data has been spent on writing about this ground-breaking series about what many may argue to be England’s dullest family. Even so, The Crown takes a look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II as she ascends the throne at age 25 after the untimely death of her father. Several shows have been made about the British Royal Family but none have come so close as The Crown in humanising the queen and those around her. The Crown runs into three seasons so far with the fourth being under production.
Based on Diana Gabaldon’s eponymous novel Outlander narrates the story of Claire, a British army nurse, who travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. It is here that she encounters the enigmatic Jamie Fraiser. Heady romance set against the looming threat of a war makes Outlander a fascinating show to watch.
Perhaps one of the most historically accurate shows that has been inspired by the legendary tales of Norse heroes, Viking has come a long way from being dismissed as a cheap version of Outlander. The show follows the life of Ragnar Lothbrok, a simple farmer who evolves. Into a fierce warrior and eventually a feared commander of the Viking tribes.
The Last Czars, Netflix
Moving out of England and into Russia, The Last Czars follows the final years of Russia’s last royal family. The Last Czars begins, as the title suggests, with Nicholas II’s ascend to the throne and follows the Russian Revolution that finally ended his reign and that the eventual assassination of the Romanov family.
Still in Russia, but closer to the present is Chernobyl, the HBO miniseries set against one of the worst human-made disasters in living history. Following the nuclear disaster and the clean-up efforts that eventually followed, Chernobyl highlights the devastation it caused and the impact it continues to have to this day. Chernobyl is loosely based on Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl, which throws light on the events of April 26, 1986 and what followed through accounts of Pripyat’s residents.