The world’s a crazy place right now. If you need a respite from the news of the day — and a distraction from your overly-familiar surroundings — you may find some solace and stimulation by escaping into the past.
No, we haven’t invented time travel here at WGBH, but we’ve got something almost as good: meaty historical dramas that offer you a window into the lives of fascinating characters who inhabit other times and places.
Let’s start with a series that hasn’t even aired yet: Beecham House, available through WGBH Passport. It’s set in Delhi on the cusp of the 19th century, before the British ruled the region. Tom Bateman stars as the enigmatic John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased the magnificent Beecham House to begin a new life with his family. Gurinder Chadha directs this lavish series, which you can watch in its entirety well before its broadcast premiere this summer. Downton Abbey fans should look for Lesley Nicol (aka Mrs. Patmore) in a major role, as well as Marc Warren, who will pop up again this summer as the star of a new Masterpiece Mystery! detective series, Van Der Valk, itself a period piece set in the 1970s.
And there’s plenty more where that came from. Scroll below to view an itinerary for your journeys to the past, ranging from the 16th- to the mid-20th century.