Everyone from physicists to science fiction writers often imagine what it would be like to travel through time into the past or beyond the future. While that (currently) remains an impossibility, the next best way to immerse yourself in the lives of those from other eras is through fiction. When it comes to exploring the past, MHz Choice’s extensive catalog has got you covered.

International period dramas from all around the world have become especially popular in recent years. Whether you are a history buff or have a casual interest in what life was like in preceding decades or centuries, there’s something in our library for you.y. Our worldly dramas are also perfect for those interested in learning a new language or seeing stunning landscapes all across the globe from the comfort of your own home.

The phrase “period drama” might connote a specific image in your head. Edwardian era England, well-dressed British aristocrats, perhaps the cast of Downton Abbey? While there are many programs that explore that era, in reality, period shows explore all facets of the past and come in diverse forms from gripping thrillers to slow-burn romances.

From the mysterious world of an 18th century French detective to the bustling landscape of 1950s post-war Europe, let’s explore some of the standouts in the MHz Choice catalog when it comes to period dramas.

Let’s Go Back…Way, Way Back

Venture way back into the past through streaming shows and settle into your couch for an evening or weekend of viewing.


Set in Paris in the 1760s, this period drama is one of France’s most acclaimed series. A total of 12 feature length episodes of this series have been produced and MHz Choice groups all of these episodes in one long season for easy, continuous viewing. An adaptation of the classic “Les Enquetes de Nicholas Le Floch” novels written by Jean-Francois Parot, the series follows the titular police commissioner as he solves crimes and uncovers mysteries in the capital city.

Alongside his subordinate Bourdeau and working under the tutelage of Monsieur de Sartine, the Royal Lieutenant General of Police, Nicolas discovers the royal court and inner workings of Louis XV’s kingdom are more complicated than they seem- all while pursuing a love life of his own.

All installments of this remarkable series are streaming in the U.S. and Canada on MHz Choice.


Hailing from Germany, period film Luther and I is set during the Protestant Reformation spearheaded by the famous historical figure Martin Luther. Luther, previously exiled by the pope for his irreverence for intellectual convention, isn’t the sole focus of the show. This German drama is largely centered on Katharina von Bora, who was Martin Luther’s significant other.

Watch this movie on MHz Choice and learn all about how Katharina, a 16th century nun, left the convent to be a part of Luther’s reformation movement after reading his writings about the freedom of the individual.

The Intrigues of the Early 20th Century

The 1900s is one of the most interesting time periods, largely because the century was characterized by extensive and ubiquitous change. Turn of the century period dramas tell tales about life in the aftermath of the industrial revolution. Featuring unmistakable aesthetics, these period dramas are highlighted by changes in response to an influx of inventions and corresponding social change.


Set across Sicily and Naples, Italy and 1921 New York City, this period drama tells the story of a family of immigrants transitioning from life in Italy to a new beginning in America. More specifically, The Promised Life tells the story of Carmela Carrizzo and her family (starring Luisa Ranieri from Homicide Squad and Luisa Spagnoli). The Sicilian natives transition to a laborious living beneath the domineering mafioso Vincenzo Spano.

Watch as the courageous immigrant family attempts to assimilate to a new way of life and you’ll have a newfound respect for those who pursued the American dream in the city that never sleeps. Perhaps the most intriguing component of the series is the artful interspersal of the family’s experiences between Sicily and NYC. In total, The Promised Life has 7 feature-length episodes.


Set in 1914 Budapest, Demimonde begins with a strangled body washing onto the shores of Danube, and it only gets darker from there. Believe it or not, this film is based on a true story. Demimonde is best described as a captivating psychological mystery that explores the complex relationship between its three female leads.

It primarily takes place during the final four days of victim Elza Mágnás’ life, while also examining the preceding series of events between Elza and her house maid, patron and romantic flame.

The film was released in 2015, went on to win several international awards and has gained momentum with critics and fans in the years since.


Bauhaus, the famous German art school operational in the early 1900s, played a major role in impacting the aesthetics and social movement of the following century. Set in 1919 after the end of World War I, the acclaimed mini-series Bauhaus – A New Era, provides a look at the founding of the art school by its influential director and its radical student body that left their mark on the culture.

It is at this school that a youth culture unlike any other spontaneously developed around feminism, romance and avant-garde art. Upending reverence for tradition is what Bauhaus is all about. Set in Weimar, Germany, Bauhaus – A New Era is invigorating, refreshing and mesmerizing, especially for those with an interest in the formation of subcultures. Take in this majestic art scene in all its grandeur with this series, available to stream on MHz Choice.


Paris, at the turn of the twentieth century. France is in a state of weakness after the death of President Felix Faure, with far-right and anti-Semitic groups causing chaos and rising anarchy. Played out against the background of the real-life Dreyfus Affair and the contrasting opulence and darkness of the Belle Epoque era, Paris Police 1900 is a scrupulously-researched, cinematically-shot and critically acclaimed period thriller. It’s no wonder that the New York Times included the series on their “Best Shows of 2022” list.

The story centers around former Police chief Louis Lepine, who is called out of retirement to restore order in Paris. Meanwhile, a young, ambitious detective named Antoine Jouin is spurred into action when a young woman’s torso is found in a suitcase floating down the Seine. Meanwhile Joseph Fiersi, a corrupt officer known for blackmail, enlists the help of Meg Steinheil, the courtesan accused of killing President Faure during sex, to work as a spy for him in the criminal investigation. As the story unfolds in the lavish yet sinful “City of Lights,”, these characters will cross paths and join forces to save France from conspiracies, coups, and any other number of threats.

Not only can you currently stream the entire limited series Paris Police 1900 on MHz Choice, but the upcoming installment of the story, Paris Police 1905, which includes some of the same characters, is coming to our catalog this fall!

Stories from World War II

The impact of WWII on societal, political and economic systems can still be felt decades later across the globe. Film and television provides for a rich canvas for telling both fictional and true stories around WWII.

MHz Choice is proud to carry some of this period’s best dramas rife with themes of courageous sacrifice, economic strife, value formation and gradual social change.


This fictional French village dubbed “Villeneuve” tells the story of a French town about a century ago during WWII. The series is set in the year 1940 when Germany invades France, killing villagers and forcing the survivors to adapt to a new, brutal way of life. The New York Times declared A French Village as “the first major French television series seriously to address collaboration during the Nazi occupation in World War II.” It’s a profound and unsympathetic examination of humanity at its best and its worst.


Turncoat, a heralded drama set in WWII focuses on a Wehrmacht infantryman facing a moral dilemma. The soldier, torn between a sense of duty or guilt, must decide to continue fighting or defect to the Red Army. This unforgettable German war drama is based on the bestselling book by Siegfried Lenz.


The Heavy Water War tells the lesser known story of Germany’s attempt to construct an atomic weapon in Norway and British intelligence and the Norwegian military’s heroic struggle to thwart the Nazi regime. If you have even the slightest interest in history, warfare or nuclear physics, you’ll be glued to your TV during The Heavy Water War.

This six-part miniseries hailing from Norway is the perfect blend of suspense, drama, intrigue and heroism.


Check out this 2-episode miniseries inspired by Ursula Krechel’s Landgericht novel and you’ll be captivated by the story of a German couple struggling in the aftermath of persecution. Richard is a Jewish judge who is torn apart from his non-Jewish wife in the war. Redemption Road sets itself apart from other WWII dramas by depicting a unique perspective of the life of German Jews living under the utter nightmare of Nazi Germany.

Historians, lovers of cinematic romance and those who simply appreciate high-quality entertainment stand united in their praise of Redemption Road. The limited series is a unique look at post-War life, examining how one family tries to pick up the pieces in the wake of atrocity.


This WWII drama centers on a group of nearly 1,000 children who survived the Holocaust, and find themselves in the care of an engineer and a group of educators. The little ones reside in an abandoned estate with ex-soldiers in a tiny town in northern Italy. Based on a true story in which the persecuted youths eventually transitioned to a school run by the Fascist inner party leaders, The War Is Over is a drama unlike any other.

The War is Over is based on the book “The Story of the Selvino Children: Journey to the Promised Land” by Aaron Megged.

The 50s and 60s: Welcome to a New Era

The period dramas of the 50s and 60s depict eras of prosperity, rebuilding and renewal in the aftermath of the war. These shows center on themes of post-war baby boom, medical advancements and family values.


The New Nurses is an unforgettable Danish drama written by Las Mering and created by SF Studios. The half dozen episode initial season made waves, ultimately ending up as one of the most-viewed shows in the history of Danish entertainment. Featuring vintage garments and a charming setting, this epic Danish series complete with English subtitles, tells the story of a Danish hospital that embarked on a radical experiment: training men as nurses.

The main character, Erik, enrolls in the new nursing program amidst a shortage of medical assistants, despite facing significant social headwinds. Erik lends invaluable assistance during an ensuing polio outbreak, and gradually begins to defy gender stereotypes alongside other program participants.

The first four seasons of The New Nurses are streaming now on MHz Choice. Fans of the show will be delighted to hear that the all-new Season 5 premiere is just around the corner in June 2023!


Wonderland is a romantic fantasy-thriller and might just be one of the most unique titles in our catalog. The French series features Olga Kurylenko, best known for portraying Camille, the Bond girl in 2008’s Quantum of Solace. Here, Kurylenko plays the role of Alice, a heroine living in Biarritz back in the 1960s. Biarritz is a picturesque tourist hotspot by France’s popular Bay of Biscay.

The twist is that Alice has some skeletons in her closet that are gradually revealed to viewers in the most entertaining of manners. The mysterious character of Alice, accompanied by a flame named Jeremy, gradually takes shape in this dramatic and passionate tale, as they learn more about their respective pasts at the mysterious Wonderland club. Wonderland is made all the more immersive thanks to the atmosphere created by Eric Demarsan’s epic score and several familiar popular songs.


Set in 1960s France, Speakerine presents the story of TV host Christine Beauval, who is willing to go to great lengths to make a name for herself in a male-dominated work environment. A plot twist upends the plan when she suffers a harsh attack. This blast from the past is perfect for those interested in the early days of TV. For those who are not native French speakers, “speakerine” translates to r female announcers or news anchors.

Though the series’ speakerines do not directly report the news, they read the program lineups for the day, ultimately making Christine’s desire to produce her own programs more challenging than she thought.

How about a Mystery?

If you are a fan of mystery and intrigue, MHz Choice has plenty to pique your interest. Here’s a quick look at some of our top mystery thrillers set in the past.


Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games, centers on Chief Inspector Laurence and journalist Alice Avril. The investigators solve crimes in the classic Christie entertaining style in 1950s France.


Italian crime drama Detective De Luca, is set amidst the backdrop of the country’s political upheaval between 1938 and 1948. Under the menacing rule of Facism and chaos, De Luca investigates and solves crimes throughout war-torn Bologna in this four-part limited series.


Nero Wolfe is an Italian series inspired by the fiction of Rex Stout. Starring Francesco Pannofino, this adaptation is full of intrigue, providing an inside look at how the best detectives solve complex cases.

Wolfe, an ill-tempered investigator, works in tandem with assistant Goodwin played by Pietro Sermonti. The crime-solving tandem is made all the more intriguing by the cultural clashes between the pair, as Wolf has recently immigrated to Italy from the United States.

Travel Through Time with MHz Choice

Our catalog of period drama streaming shows provides an unparalleled opportunity to get a sense of what it was like to live in the past. With a series or film for any mood and from countries all over the world, the options are endless. 

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