Gizmodo Movie Night: Take A Trip Into The Past With These 15 Historical TV Shows

It’s almost the weekend, and that means another Gizmodo movie night. This week it’s all about the past — from Viking conquests through Victorian London and the 1970s Colombian drug wars, here are the best shows to transport you to another place and time.

We’ve re-jigged our existing Netflix Movie Night series, and brought in Australia’s other popular subscription video on demand services — Presto and Stan — to give you a broader selection of movies and TV shows to enjoy. On all three services, you can watch from your tablet or smartphone, on your PC or laptop, through your Smart TV, or through a media streaming dongle like the Google Chromecast, although specifics can vary.

Presto costs $10 to $15 a month depending which package you choose. Stan is a flat $10 per month, and Netflix can cost from $9 to $15 per month.

Not what you’re after? Check out some other Gizmodo Movie Night suggestions:

15 Films With Amazing Soundtracks

The Best Popcorn Munching Blockbusters

The Best Hangover Movies


The Borgias

Presto: Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of The Borgia family who builds an empire through the corruption of the holy Catholic Church and orchestrates a relentless reign of power and flamboyant cruelty.

Watch it now on Presto.


Presto: In an age of plunder and greed, the richest gold strike in American History draws a throng of restless misfits to an outlaw settlement where everything – and everyone – has a price. Welcome to Deadwood…a hell of a place to make your fortune.

Watch it now on Presto.

Penny Dreadful

Presto: In Penny Dreadful, some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters – including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula – become embroiled in Victorian London.

Watch it now on Presto.

A Place To Call Home

Presto: It’s 1953 and the horrors of World War II are still raw and alive in many memories. Graceful yet enigmatic nurse Sarah Adams returns to Australia from London to care for her estranged mother.

Watch it now on Presto.


Presto: LAPD Detective Sam Hodiak begins the search for a missing girl who has fallen under the spell of infamous cult leader Charles Manson.

Watch it now on Presto.


Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War

Stan: HOWZAT is the story of how Kerry Packer caused a cricket war by signing up fifty of the world’s best cricketers and establishing World Series Cricket, a highly-successful group which challenged the Establishment and thrust the game into a new era

Watch it now on Stan.

The Bletchley Circle

Stan: With an extraordinary flair for code breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills, four seemingly ordinary women become the unlikely investigators of a string of grisly murders in this original thriller, set against the backdrop of post-war London.

Watch it now on Stan.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Stan: Miss Fisher sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of late 1920’s Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl handled pistol and her dagger sharp wit.

Watch it now on Stan.

Ripper Street

Stan: A compelling crime drama set in the seething backstreets of Victorian London.

Watch it now on Stan.

Deutschland 83

Stan: This is the story of East and West Germany from both sides of the wall, told through the exploits of one man. The series has received wall-to-wall critical acclaim and was the first German-language series to be broadcast on an American TV.

Watch it now on Stan.


Peaky Blinders

Netflix: A notorious gang in 1919 Birmingham, England, is led by the fierce Tommy Shelby, a crime boss set on moving up in the world no matter the cost.

Watch it now on Netflix.

Mad Men

Netflix: Set in 1960s New York, this award-winning series takes a peek inside an ad agency during an era when the cutthroat business had a glamorous lure.

Watch it now on Netflix.


Netflix: Narcos follows the rise and fall of Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Drug Enforcement Agency agents hunting him.

Watch it now on Netflix.

Downton Abbey

Netflix: Exposing the snobbery and machinations of a disappearing class system, this series chronicle the elite Crawley family and their assorted servants.

Watch it now on Netflix.


Netflix: This gritty drama charts the exploits of Viking hero Ragnar Lothbrok as he extends the Norse reach by challenging an unfit leader who lacks vision.

Watch it now on Netflix.

Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.

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