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Monday, May 14, 2012

The future of historical drama on TV

Although I’ve now come to the end of this blog series charting the highlights of the current crop of TV historical drama, there’s still more to come. Fans of well-written shows like those listed over the past week have an exciting future ahead.

One show conspicuous here by its absence is The Borgias, the story of the notorious Spanish crime family who rose to the highest ranks of the Catholic church. Jeremy Irons headlines this show, which has just been greenlit for a third season, and by all accounts it’s very much like a European spin on The Tudors. We’re definitely looking forward to catching up with it in due course.

Meanwhile, forthcoming shows are constantly being announced. A TV miniseries adaptation of the excellent Robert Harris novel Pompeii has been on the cards for many years, and will hopefully achieve fruition soon.

Later this year, Channel 4 will be broadcasting the new miniseries based on the Ken Follett novel World Without End, which is a kind of sequel to his Pillars of the Earth. With the story set a couple of hundred years after the original, there’s a whole new cast and storyline to enjoy. Channel 4 will also be showing a miniseries version of the Kate Mosse book Labyrinth at some point.

Finally, American studios recently announced plans for a big-budget TV series based on the Vikings. I for one am over the moon about this; films over the years on the subject have invariably been lacking, and I look forward to seeing a show that gets into the real nitty-gritty of the subject. The future’s bright!