Why do we British love period dramas? Do we love to indulge in the nostalgia of a different time period? Do we like the unresolved issues of class in society? Or is this medium of film and television just so brilliant to watch because we love history?
I can safely (and proudly) admit that I am a Downton Abbey Fan, I think that Sir Julian Fellowes is brilliant at his ability to capture a time period yet make the stories exciting and new. The writing is just brilliant, the audience follows sixteen main characters, so everyone has someone to relate to and understand. Whether your a fan of the downstairs happenings or the upstairs madness. Everyone has someone to relate to.
The British public has always loved a period drama, in Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in 1995 audiences were captivated by the growing relationship between the strong Mr Darcy and the proud Miss Elizabeth Bennett. This TV series gained a huge following and is one of the reasons why Colin Firth is still irresistible.
Perhaps we as a society need to escape the present, the bills, the responsibilities, and the general stresses of everyday life. That’s what the film and television media is best at, at re-creating a world in which the viewer can escape, if only for a few hours.