The Story of the Costume Drama

The Story of the Costume Drama

  • 2008
  • 1 Season
  • 8.2  (33)

Aficionados of British historical drama will find much to enjoy in this look at the evolution of the genre, which is also known as costume drama. British actress Keeley Hawes narrates this five-part series that features interviews with stars, compilations of scenes and behind-the-scenes peeks at the creation of some of the world

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Seasons
A Call to Arms
5. A Call to Arms
December 5, 2008
Costume dramas spawned an army of dashing heroes in uniform, but not all fought with the aplomb of Sean Bean's Sharpe or Ioan Gruffudd's Horatio Hornblower. The Monocled Mutineer opened a controversial chapter of World War I and A Piece of Cake's flying stunts rewrote the Battle of Britain.
Picture Perfect
4. Picture Perfect
December 4, 2008
The pursuit of high production values drove costume dramas out of the studio and into real castles and countryside. Castle Howard attracted tourists after appearing in Brideshead Revisited, rugged Cornwall lent local color to action-packed Poldark, and a Lithuanian river became a Renaissance-era Thames for Helen Mirren's Elizabeth I.
Affairs of the Heart
3. Affairs of the Heart
December 3, 2008
The "bodice rippers" of the 1990s helped costume dramas shed their staid reputation as quickly as characters doffed their period garb. Colin Firth's wet-shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice and the romps of Moll Flanders epitomized a slew of saucy literary adaptations. Earlier dramas like Edward the King exposed royal infidelities.
The Stars
2. The Stars
December 2, 2008
Costume dramas ignited young performers' careers and benefited from the glow of established stars. Alex Kingston's Moll Flanders led her to ER, and Keira Knightley's Lara in Doctor Zhivago got Hollywood calling. Conversely, Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall and Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe defied typecasting in My Boy Jack.
The Greatest Stories Ever Told
1. The Greatest Stories Ever Told
November 1, 2008
Costume dramas have shaped television tastes of today through explosive stories of yesteryear. In 1978, Edward and Mrs. Simpson rankled royals, and 1971's Upstairs, Downstairs served up issues that resulted in a partial ban in the States. Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown brought cinema-quality production to 1980s TV.
Description

Aficionados of British historical drama will find much to enjoy in this look at the evolution of the genre, which is also known as costume drama.

British actress Keeley Hawes narrates this five-part series that features interviews with stars, compilations of scenes and behind-the-scenes peeks at the creation of some of the world

  • Premiere Date
    November 1, 2008
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (33)