British History

HomeCFPsJournalsWhat's Going on?News & ReviewsAbout Me



A musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Writer: Lee Hall (screenplay)
Stars: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard

Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.
Director: Dome Karukoski
Writers: David Gleeson, Stephen Beresford
Stars: Lily Collins, Patrick Gibson, Nicholas Hoult

Red Joan
The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB's longest-serving British spy.
Director: Trevor Nunn
Writer: Lindsay Shapero
Stars: Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Stephen Campbell Moore 

The Aftermath
Certificate R Drama | Romance | War
Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.
Director: James Kent
Stars: Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Clarke, Kate Phillips

All Is True  
A look at the final days in the life of renowned playwright William Shakespeare.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Ben Elton
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Lolita Chakrabarti, Jack Colgrave Hirst 

                                                         Back to top

Coming Soon

Blinded by the Light (14 August 2019 - USA)
In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher's Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writers: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha 
Stars: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra

Downton Abbey (Sept. 2020)
Plot unknown. Movie based on the popular British television show, Downton Abbey (2010).
Director: Michael Engler
Writer: Julian Fellowes (characters)
Stars: Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern

                                                    Back to top

In development

The Dig
Cate Blanchett is in talks to play the grieving widow who oversaw one of Britain's greatest archaeological finds in the Susanne Bier period drama The Dig, reports Screen.

Blanchett looks set to play amateur archaeologist Edith Pretty, a driving force behind the 1938-9 excavation of Sutton Hoo burial grounds near Woodbridge, Suffolk. The grounds were unearthed on the Sutton Hoo House estate which Pretty owned along with her husband Frank, who had died four years earlier, after she hired archaeologist Basil Brown to begin an excavation.

Brown made some promising early finds in 1938. But it was when he returned in the summer of 1939 for a further dig that the real treasure was discovered. A 27-metre seventh-century Saxon ship, most likely the last resting-place of King Rædwald of East Anglia, was among the new finds. Pretty donated the entire discovery to the British Museum, and the House and burial site are now in the care of the National Trust.

                                                                    Back to top

Coming Soon

The Troubles: A Secret History - BBC 4 (17 Sept. 9:00pm)
Darragh MacIntyre investigates why the IRA believed that 1972 would be the year to bring them victory - only to instead face a massive British military response, as the conflict entered its most violent period. The programme also examines recently discovered evidence of secret talks between the paramilitary movement and the British government - and a possible missed opportunity for a lasting peace. [Series 1 - Episode 2 of 7]

England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey - BBC 4 (17 Sept. 8:00pm)
Historian Helen Castor presents a three-part docu-drama piecing together the story of the woman who was the de facto Queen of England and Ireland for nine days in 1553. In the first episode, Helen investigates an incendiary document, written on his deathbed by King Edward VI, which cuts his sister Mary Tudor out of the line of succession and leaves the throne to his cousin Jane. Continues tomorrow and Thursday. [Series 1 - Episode 1 of 3]

Inside the Tower of London - C5 (17 Sept. 9:15pm)
The stories behind some of the most dramatic escape attempts from the tower, including Henry Howard, who tried to avoid execution by making his way through the sewage system. In the present day, curator Sally Dixon-Smith deciphers some graffiti by a Tudor mystic who mysteriously disappeared, while Yeoman warder Chris Clawson reveals why the tower is still a spooky place to work in after dark.[Series 2 - Episode 4 of 8 "Prisoners at the Tower"]

Sanditon - ITV (22 Sept. 9:00pm)
Tensions between Tom and his labourers erupt during the Sanditon cricket match. Charlotte and Sidney continue to clash, resulting in Miss Lambe being placed in terrible danger, while Lord Babington offers Esther a glimpse of a better future. Period drama, starring Rose Williams, Theo James, Kris Marshall, Crystal Clarke and Charlotte Spencer. [Series 1 - Episode 5 of 8]

Peaky Blinders - BBC 1 (22 Sept. 9:00pm)
News of Tommy's activities has reached Winston Churchill. At a family meeting, Tommy lays out his plans for Mosley, which will take place at a rally Sir Oswald is leading. Has he underestimated his opponent? Tommy is surprised by another strategy coming from an unexpected corner, and he also has his own secrets to reveal. Drama, starring Cillian Murphy, Sam Claflin, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory and Cosmo Jarvis. Last in the series.[Series 5 - Episode 6 of 6 "Mr Jones"]


                                       Back to top 

Just Finished
(may still be available to UK residents on "Catch Up"; links available below for a month after broadcast. Programmes soon to become unavailable denoted in red).

Top of the Pops
A compilation of Pet Shop Boys' performances on the pop chart programme.

Lost Films of WW2
The story of Britain at war from a uniquely vivid and personal perspective 

Britain's Greatest Pilot: The Extraordinary Story of Captain Winkle Brown 
Former Royal Navy officer and test pilot Captain Eric `Winkle' Brown has flown more types of aircraft than anyone in history and is regarded as one of the best pilots Britain has produced. In this programme, the 95-year-old chats to James Holland about his flying experiences and encounters with Nazis, as well as other adventures in the run-up to and during the Second World War, illustrated by archive and personal photographs.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Celebrities trace their ancestry

Beyond the Walls: In Search of the Celts
Historian Dr Eleanor Barraclough travels through some of Britain's most beautiful landscapes - Hadrian's Wall, the Lake District and Offa's Dyke - in search of new evidence to reveal the true story of the mysterious ancient British tribes often called the Celts.

Squaddies on the Frontline
The story of the British Army's experience of the Northern Ireland conflict between 1969 and 2007, told through the eyes of the men and women that were stationed there, who were at the heart of the key events throughout the conflict.

Skeletons of the Mary Rose: The New Evidence
Scientists and historians use isotope and DNA analysis to identify the crew of Henry VIII's flagship, which sank off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. With the help of Mary Rose Trust curator Alex Hildred, the programme uncovers evidence that many of the sailors were of African origin, and traces surviving descendants of the only two members of the crew who can be identified by name. Plus, the little-known story of a 16th-century Guinean free-diver who retrieved several treasures from the wreck.

Smashing Hits! The 80s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland 
Musicians Midge Ure and Kim Appleby revisit the music of the 1980s

Timewatch: The Most Courageous Raid of WWII 
Paddy Ashdown tells the story of the `Cockleshell Heroes', and their part in defending Britain as it struggled against Nazi Germany. In 1942, the 12-strong unit of Royal Marine commandos used canoes designed by their leader, Major Herbert George `Blondie' Hasler, to navigate the most heavily defended estuary in Europe, dodging searchlights and machine gun posts to destroy enemy shipping in Bordeaux harbour, 70 miles downriver. The documentary re-creates parts of the raid, and reveals how Major Hasler came to be hailed as one of the greatest heroes of the Second World War.

A History of Scotland 
Neil Oliver delves deep into the country's past

The Search for Alfred the Great
Neil Oliver follows the work of the team of historians and scientists trying to discover the final resting place of the remains of 9th-century English king Alfred the Great, with the monarch's bones having been moved so many times over the years that many people concluded that they were lost for ever. Travelling from Winchester to Rome, Neil also tells the story of Alfred's life, revealing a man who forged a united language and identity and laid the foundations of the English nation.

The Town the Gypsies Took Over
Documentary exploring Britain's oldest and most exclusive Gypsy gathering, the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, which is attended by more than 10,000 travellers. The programme explores how new police restrictions are impacting on the festival's traditions, as well as the disruption caused by torrential rain, including a nearby river rising to a dangerous level. Plus, local business owners share their thoughts on the event. While some stand to make a profit from the visitors, others find the size of the fair overwhelming

WWII: Operation Crossbow 
The little-known story of Spitfire pilots and Allied technicians whose work helped to thwart the Nazis during the Second World War. The programme reveals how stereoscopic 3D photographs were used to help interpreters map every contour of the enemy's territory, and uses personal testimony, computer-generated imagery and original wartime pictures to detail how the initiative was able to uncover some of Hitler's most dangerous secrets. Narrated by Samantha Bond.

Fake or Fortune? 
Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigating works of art with mysterious origins.

World War Speed: The Drugs that Won WWII  
Historian James Holland embarks on a quest to dig deeper and unearth the truth behind the role drugs such as methamphetamine played in the Second World War.

Peter Taylor: My Journey Through the Troubles 
Journalist Peter Taylor presents a documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the deployment of British troops in August 1969. Peter reflects on his experiences of covering the Northern Ireland conflict for almost a half century. Peter has written a number of books on political violence, exploring the Troubles from British, Loyalist and Republican points of view. This film is a highly personal account of the key events of the Troubles and the enduring legacies of the conflict, drawing on Peter's experiences of reporting from the region.

Brooding drama set in 18th-century Cornwall. Ross Poldark is passionate about turning round the fortunes of his late father's estate. Adapted from Winston Graham's novels.

The Queen's Lost Family
Using never-before-seen personal letters, diaries and photos, the story of the royal family over three turbulent decades from the 1920s to the end of World War Two is revealed to get a glimpse inside the life of royal family.

Viceroy's House 
The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, oversees the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as opposing sides clash in the face of huge change. Drama, starring Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and Manish Dayal.

Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain 
Ten years on from her death, this series explores the rollercoaster life of Jade Goody, one of the most loved - and hated - reality TV stars, to tell a bigger story of class, politics and cultural change in Britain, at a time when reality TV became the biggest and most polarising form of entertainment in the country.

The Day Mountbatten Died
On 27 August, 1979, Lord Louis Mountbatten, great uncle to Prince Charles, was blown up at sea by the IRA off the west coast of Ireland. Three others were killed on the boat that day, including two teenage boys, and later that afternoon the IRA killed 18 British soldiers across the border in Northern Ireland. Forty years on, this is the story of that remarkable Bank Holiday Monday told by those directly affected by it.

Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal
​Intimate series profiling Princess Margaret, whose life and loves reflected the social and sexual revolution that transformed Britain during the 20th century.

​                                                       Back to top

Announced, but no air date set

Anne - ITV 
Factual drama focusing on Anne Williams; who dedicated her life to discovering the truth about the Hillsborough disaster which claimed the life of her son Kevin who was only fifteen years old at the time. 

The Barking Murders *Working Title* 2019- BBC1 
Factual drama which goes beneath the headlines to shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port’s victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers. Written by Jeff Pope and Neil McKay. Sheridan Smith, Stephen Merchant and Jaime Winstone are set to star in the lead roles. Further cast includes Rufus Jones, Leanne Best, Stephanie Hyam and Samuel Barnett.

Belgravia 2020 - ITV 
Period drama based on the novel from Downton Abbey writer Jullian Fellows.

The Boys 2019 - Channel 4 
New five-part series from Russell T Davies which focuses on three eighteen-year-olds Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin as they leave home to embark on a new life in London in 1981. The story will look at the AIDS epidemic and will follow the three characters throughout the 1980's to explore their ups and downs. 

Black Narcissus 2019 - BBC1 
Three-part adaptation of Rumer Godden’s iconic tale of sexual repression and forbidden love from Amanda Coe. Returning this haunting love story to its original setting in the 1930s, as the western colonial order is about to explode into the crisis of World War Two, Black Narcissus follows Sister Clodagh and the nuns of St Faiths, who travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu.

Britannia 2019 -  Sky Atlantic 
Second series of the medieval drama starring David Morrissey and Kelly Reilly.

Call the Midwife - 2020 BBC1 
One more series of the incredibly popular nostalgic drama
                                                        Back to top 

The Elephant Man - 2019 BBC1 
Two-part dramatisation of John Merrick's extraordinary story, from birth to death written by Neil McKay and starring Stranger Things' Charlie Heaton in the lead role.

Englistan 2019 - BBC2  
Nine-part drama series created by Riz Ahmed exploring three generations of the same Pakistani-family over four decades as they attempt to settle in England.

​Happy Valley 2019 - BBC1  
Third series of Sally Wainwright's gripping crime drama.

Jerusalem 2019 - Channel 4 
Six-part thriller set in the aftermath of the Second World War that centres around a seismic moment in history, when Britain was struggling to define itself in a new world order. Written and created by Bash Doran (Boardwalk EmpireSmashMasters of Sex).

The North Water - 2020 BBC2 
Four-part thriller from Andrew Haigh focusing on a disgraced ex-army surgeon who, in the 1850s, who signs up as a ship's doctor on a whaling mission in the arctic. Colin Farrell stars as harpooner Henry Drax.
                                                                    Back to top

Peaky Blinders - BBC1 2019 
Fifth series of the drama starring Cillian Murphy as the head of a Birmingham gangster family. This is the first series of the show to be airing on BBC1. Sam Claflin, Anya Taylor-Joy and Brian Gleason join the cast alongside other newcomers Kate Dickie and Emmett J Scanlan.

Sanditon - ITV 
Andrew Davies's adaptation of Jane Austen's uncompleted novel which focuses on the relationship between the unconventional Charlotte Heywood and the slightly wild Sidney Parker in the eponymous seaside town of the title

A Suitable Boy 2019 - BBC1 
Eight part drama from Andrew Davies adapting Vikram Seth’s international bestseller A Suitable Boy. A modern classic about a young woman’s search for love and identity in a newly independent, post-Partition India defining its own future, this beloved novel has never been adapted for the screen before. Now, Andrew Davies’ scripts will bring the story to a whole new audience with his signature blend of warmth, wit and humanity

Taboo 2019  - BBC1 
 A second series of Tom Hardy's atmospheric period drama.

                                                                Back to top

To Sir With Love - BBC1 
 A one-off adaptation of ER Braithwaite's autobiographical story about a Guyanese RAF engineer who becomes a teacher in a challenging school in the East End of London.

The Trial of Christine Keeler 2019 - BBC1 
Six-part drama series about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times. At the centre of the storm was 19-year-old Christine Keeler - a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules.

Unforgotten 2019 -  ITV 
Fourth series of Chris Lang's crime drama starring Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

White Gold - BBC2 
Six-part comedy from Inbetweeners writer Damon Beesley set in double-glazing showroom in Essex in 1983, led by charismatic salesman Vincent (Ed Westwick). Smart, handsome and cocksure, Vincent will happily break the rules if it guarantees a sale. It’s a story of dodgy shenanigans, scams and petty rivalries - alongside free-flowing drugs, cash and sex. Inbetweeners stars Joe Thomas and James Buckley star.

World on Fire 2018 - BBC1 
Multi-stranded drama telling the story of World War Two through the lives of ordinary people from all sides of this global conflict. The first series of seven episodes tells the story of the first year of the war, starting with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ending with the Battle of Britain.

Year of the Rabbit 2019 - Channel 4 
Six-part sitcom written by and starring Matt Berry as DI Rabbit; a drunken Victorian-era sleuth who solves crimes alongside his by-the-books partner played by Freddie Fox.

                                                        Back to top

Please note that few American museums are listed below.  This is only because it is too difficult to keep track of all the exhibits at all of the US museums that might be relevant to this site. Also,  the following list is not  a guide  for those traveling in Britain. It is not  a comprehensive guide to what is on at museums in the UK. Only exhibits which focus on British history are listed below.

Please  note that, unless otherwise indicated, all venues are in London. Exhibits about to end are noted in red. Those not yet opened are designated in orange.

Online British History exhibits
The National Archives

Permanent and temporary exhibits on Jewish History in Britain

William Blake
Tate Britain
11 September 2019 – 2 February 2020

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition
Design Museum
26 April – 15 September 2019

Queer Looks
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery|Brighton
30 June 2018 - December 2019

Titanic Stories
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
8 March 2018 – 5 January 2020

War and conflict exhibits

                                                                Back to top
ExhibitsMoviesTV in the U.K.
Updated weekly
not daily
Updated weekly
not daily