CW’s Reign fans and those who enjoy historical dramas about royalty should see what else is out there that is similar or related.
From 2013 to 2017, The CW aired the semi-biographical period drama Reign. Mary Queen of Scots-inspired drama takes place mostly in France, but as Mary gets older and Elizabeth I becomes a threat, the action switches to Scotland and England. Despite its historical roots, the story deviates from reality and even incorporates elements of fantasy and the supernatural.
Some viewers favored the show’s randomness, while others despised it as unrealistic. Despite this, the plot of the show resembles events in Mary’s real life. Season 3 of the show was set to begin filming when it was abruptly cancelled. It was a hasty conclusion, but it did provide some closure. However, if you’re a fan of female-led period dramas and were disappointed by the show, there are plenty more to choose from.
Svetlana Sterlin just updated this page on Match 25h, 2021.
Even among its devoted followers, Reign is still a hit, and it’s clear that period dramas, particularly those with female leads, are only growing in popularity. Shows like Reign, which promote gender equality and female leadership, have never been more important for female empowerment. The later seasons of Mary and Elizabeth’s relationship comment(possibly unintentionally) on how women are often pitted against each other in a world ruled by men. Reign’s themes, messages, and dramatic elements will ring true in these five additional historical dramas.
1. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Elizabeth Bennett and her family are the focus of Pride & Prejudice, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. Elizabeth’s mother wants her and her sisters to find happy marriages, but she wants to make her own path in life.
When Elizabeth first meets Mr. Darcy, she discovers how intertwined their fates are. Among his friends, Mr. Bingley has expressed an interest in marrying Jane, the eldest and most sensible sister of his rival, Elizabeth. Elizabeth quickly learns that she dislikes Mr. Darcy, despite the fact that she has no prior knowledge of him.
2. Farewell, My Queen (2012)
An intimate portrait of Marie Antoinette’s relationships with the people around her in the early days of the French Revolution is presented in this film, which is set in 1789. With her position as one of the queen’s most devoted readers, Agatha-Sidonie Laborde gets an inside look at the historical figure’s private life.
This film is a great pick for fans of Mary and her friendship with her ladies in Reign who enjoyed the story. When it comes to the Duchess of Polignac, Marie Antoinette and her reader have a special bond that is evident in the novel.
3. Jane Eyre (2006/2011)
Jane Eyre, a period drama also set in the moors, is adapted from Charlotte Bront’s classic novel of the same name. Governess Jane moves to Thornfield Hall to work for mysterious Mr. Rochester after being fired from her previous job at a country estate.
Thornfield is a mysterious and eerie setting, similar to the castles that Mary lives in during Reign. In Thornfield, Janesoon is haunted by the strange characters she meets, but Rochester is the most terrifying one. Jane seems to know less and less about him as they become more attracted to one another.
3. Testament Of Youth (2014)
Mary appears to have lost everything by the end of Reign.
Also, in Testament of You, a woman who has lost everything recounts her story.
To her conservative father’s dismay, Vera Brittain has high aspirations for herself. When the war starts and her fiancé and brother are separated, she enrolls in college and begins her career. She waits in agonizing fear and abandons her career to become a nurse, hoping against hope that she will run into one of them while working in the hospital.
5. Atonement (2007)
Atonement is renowned for its innovative cinematography, excellent sound design, and stylistic aesthetic. There’s a lot of mystery and secrecy surrounding Reign, which causes a young girl to make an awful decision.
Her younger sister Briony falsely accuses Robbie Turner of a heinous crime, and Cecelia Tallis must decide whether or not to pursue a relationship with him before she can make up her mind. Cecelia cuts all ties with Briony as she grows up and comes to terms with what she has done.
6. Mary Queen Of Scots (2018)
As a result, the story of Mary Queen of Scots takes place much later in her life than it did in Reigndoes. While in the series, Mary has just left for France, here she returns to Scotland to claim her throne.
Viewers who want to learn more about Mary’s time in Scotland but don’t have the time to do so in the series will enjoy this film. Even so, as with the series, the film takes some liberties to give it its own personality.
7. Marie Antoinette (2006)
One more film that looks at a female monarch in an era when society did not expect women to hold positions of power or authority is Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette The Archduchess of Australia, played by Kirsten Dunst, is forced into a marriage with a French aristocrat.
However, the young lady isn’t yet ready to take on the responsibilities of royalty. She is under increasing pressure to give birth to an heir, but she has been unable to do so due to public disapproval. When it comes to taking on the role of the rebel leader, she is described as naive and carefree.
8. The Duchess (2008)
Despite the fact that it was panned by critics, Keira Knightley’s period piece was still nominated for an Oscar. Ralph Fiennes plays the Duke of Devonshire (Georgina) in the film.
She quickly learns that he doesn’t care about her or respect her, and that his only goal in life is to have a son out of wedlock with her. Georgiana manages to gain and lose the respect of the aristocracy while she and her husband have openly romantic relationships.
9. Anna Karenina (2012)
Anna Karenina, another film starring Keira Knightley, is based on the epic Russian novel by Leo Tolstoy. Despite being a work of fiction, the story captures the attitudes of the 19th century toward women of high status.
Anna, an aristocrat who is married to Count Vronsky (Jude Law) and has a son with him (Alexei Karenin, played by Jude Law), is banished because of her liaison with the Count (Aaron Taylor-Joy). Oblonsky’s (Matthew Macfadyen) affair, on the other hand, garners sympathy because of how much more well-known it was than hers was.
10. Cursed (2020 – )
Cursed, a Netflix original series based on the Arthurian legend, will premiere in July 2020. The series features a young woman named Nimue (Katherine Langford), with elements of fantasy, adventure, and historical fiction.
The Fey have the ability to access ancient magic, which she uses to her advantage. She has far more power than she realizes or wants when combined with the Sword of Power.
11. Medici (2016 – 2019)
Reign’s Toby Regbo starred in a popular series called Medici, which starred Richard Madden, Daniel Sharman, and other Reign actors. An Italian noble family rose to power in the 15th century by running a successful bank. The show is based on the real-life Medici family.
The series, which aired from 2016 to 2019, followed the rise to power of the Medici family amidst the turmoil of medieval Italy’s social upheavals. The action takes place in France and Scotland just before Mary I takes over as queen.
12. The Tudors (2007 – 2010)
The Tudors is a period drama for fans of Elizabeth I, who saw her rise to power inReign. Due to Elizabeth being Mary’s cousin, the Tudor family name was adopted by the two of them.
The series, which won an Emmy for best historical drama, focuses on Henry VIII’s early years of rule in England. The series also explores the king’s numerous wives, which were legendary.
13. The Virgin Queen (2005)
In this four-part BBC miniseries, Elizabeth I’s reign as Queen of England is examined in great detail. Anne-Marie Duff plays the young princess who grows up to become the queen.
Later in the series, Tom Hardy’s Robert Dudley character has an affair with her.
Since Mary is the main character, Reign doesn’t have the time to go into great detail about Elizabeth’s life, but for those who are curious about it, The Virgin Queenis an excellent read.
14. Outlander (2014-)
The movie Outlander is based on the same-named book series by Diana Gabaldon. This is one of the most popular period dramas on television right now, with a sixth season on the way.
An ex-war nurse named Claire has just been reunited with her husband in 1945 when, all of a sudden, she finds herself in 1743. Her heart is torn in two when she meets James Fraser, just like Mary was when she couldn’t decide between Francis and Bash.
15. The Crown (2016-)
Finally, Netflix’s The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. It starts in the 1940s, with her accession to the throne, and goes up to the present day.
Popular Netflix original The Crown explores how the queen’s early years helped shape her future and that of England as a whole.
Her Russian parents moved from Moscow to Brisbane, Australia, where they raised Svetlana Sterlin (she/her) and completed a BFA there. She also writes for ScreenRant and Our Culture Magazine. Svetlana is a film and book aficionado who also expresses her creativity in a variety of mediums. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in a number of print and online journals.