Peplum Paradise Part 7: Historical and Fantasy TV Dramas.

by PeplumParadise | created - 29 Dec 2013 | updated - 24 Apr 2016 | Public

This is a list of historical (set pre-1800) or historical-fantasy Dramas made for television - including series and TV movies - produced Internationally from 1949 until the present day.

The list does NOT include TV Documentaries.

The list is alphabetical using the most common English titles (where applicable), so the IMDb titles may appear to be all over the place alphabetically.

This list is certainly incomplete and a work in progress, so I would welcome any suggestions of titles I may have omitted.

I have included a few additional titles at the end of the main list which bear some relevance to the subject.

I will be updating the list regularly with new and expanded reviews and any new titles that I may discover.

Latest Updates: Review: Hercules (2005) Review: Samson And Delilah (1984) Review: Cyclops (2008)

This list is a companion piece to my other lists: Peplum Paradise Part 1: Italian Historical and Fantasy films 1949-1969 [link][/link], Peplum Paradise Part 2: Italian Historical and Fantasy films from 1970 onwards [link][/link] Peplum Paradise Part 3: International Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards ( Peplum Paradise Part 4: Asian Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards [link][/link] Peplum Paradise Part 5: Animated Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards [link][/link] Peplum Paradise Part 6: International Historical and Fantasy films Pre-1949 (

This list includes some titles and reviews which were formerly included in my other lists.

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1. A.D. (1985– )

600 min | Drama, History

Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this mini-series chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus's disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.

Stars: Anthony Andrews, Colleen Dewhurst, Ava Gardner, David Hedison

Votes: 347

2. Abraham (1993– )

175 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will ... See full summary »

Stars: Andrea Prodan, Gottfried John, Kevin McNally, Simona Ferraro

Votes: 1,126

3. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955–1960)

Approved | 30 min | Action, Adventure, Family

Robin of Loxley, otherwise known as Robin Hood, and his band of Merry Men protect England from the evil machinations of Prince John while King Richard the Lionheart is away fighting in the Crusades.

Stars: Richard Greene, Victor Woolf, Archie Duncan, Alexander Gauge

Votes: 559

4. An Age of Kings (1960)

60 min | Drama

A linking together of Shakespeare's history plays chronicling the rise and fall of monarchs over the 86 years between Richard II and Richard III.

Stars: Frank Windsor, Julian Glover, Patrick Garland, John Ringham

Votes: 104

5. Age of Treason (1993 TV Movie)

PG | 93 min | History, Mystery

Marcus Didius Falco must solve a murder set in Ancient Rome.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Bryan Brown, Matthias Hues, Art Malik, Anthony Valentine

Votes: 188

6. Aladdin and the Death Lamp (2012 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror

Aladdin and his friend Ali accidentally uncover a lamp that contains a genie instead of grant wishes genie wants to control the world.

Director: Mario Azzopardi | Stars: Darren Shahlavi, Noam Jenkins, Kandyse McClure, Eugene Clark

Votes: 439

7. Antony and Cleopatra (1984 TV Movie)

179 min | Drama, History, Romance

After the murder of her lover Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor: Octavius.

Director: Lawrence Carra | Stars: James Avery, Sharon Barr, Michael Billington, Earl Boen

Votes: 83

8. The Apocalypse (2000 TV Movie)

96 min | Drama

It is 90 A.D., and the Roman Empire is being run by the Emperor Domitian, who has declared himself to be God, and ruler over heaven and Earth. The Christians, who do not recognize his ... See full summary »

Director: Raffaele Mertes | Stars: Richard Harris, Vittoria Belvedere, Benjamin Sadler, Christian Kohlund

Votes: 718


Richard Harris, in his penultimate performance, plays John the Baptist in this Italian TV movie version of the biblical book of Revelations, and it must be said he does a very good job of playing an old man. The bulk of the action takes place in a remote Roman prison where John, in disguise being a do-gooder while writing his memoirs, is kept a prisoner, and where Roman Emperor Dometian (Bruce Payne) has sent Valerius (Benjamin Sadler) to spy on him. Unsurprisingly Valerius becomes a convert to the cause. The scenes in the mine and Rome are interspersed with John’s visions of heaven, all billowy white clouds and bloody lambs, and it’s here where the film really falls, using what, even for the time, are very dodgy unconvincing CGI effects. Overall it’s rather a slow watch, but bearable enough for this sort of religious nonsense – it should be noted that the Christian-orientated reviews I read seemed to find it quite satisfactory, and I’d guess they have to be the target audience. Watch out for 60’s peplum’s favourite child star Loris Loddi in a scene-stealing role as a vicious prison guard.

9. Arabian Nights (2000– )

Not Rated | 175 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

To cure a prince's murderous madness, Scheherezade tells him a series of wonderous stories.

Stars: Mili Avital, Alan Bates, James Frain, Tchéky Karyo

Votes: 4,412

10. The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire (1981 TV Movie)

96 min | Fantasy, Action, Adventure

The hero is given his mentor's bow (the Heartbow) which chooses its new owner when passed on. It fires arrows that blow up like grenades, but can only be wielded by the one chosen to wield ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Corea | Stars: Lane Caudell, Belinda Bauer, Victor Campos, Kabir Bedi

Votes: 336

11. Atlantis (2013–2017)

45 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Far from home, Jason washes up on the shores of the ancient and mysterious city of Atlantis.

Stars: Mark Addy, Jack Donnelly, Robert Emms, Aiysha Hart

Votes: 9,625

12. Attack of the Gryphon (2007)

PG-13 | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

In a mystical land torn apart by civil war, a warrior princess must team up with a rival warrior prince to hunt down an evil sorcerer who has summoned a giant flying demon which is terrorizing their land.

Director: Andrew Prowse | Stars: Jonathan LaPaglia, Larry Drake, Amber Benson, Andrew Pleavin

Votes: 1,073


Rival warrior prince and princess Jonathan LaPaglia and Amber Benson are forced to team up to defeat a dodgy giant CGI dog-eagle (or gryphon if you must, though it looks more like a four legged chicken) which has been summoned by evil sorcerer Armand (Larry Drake), which makes it sound like a far more exciting plot than it actually is. Armand and his “witches” could have livened up proceedings had they been given more screen time, but as it is it’s way too slow, serious and cheap. The gryphon, around which the film revolves, is really so bad it makes Ray Harryhausen’s creations look realistic, but then again the performances and script are no better. The Romanian locations are attractive, but that’s really the only recommendation I could come up with.

13. Attila (2001)

Unrated | 177 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

A romanced story of Attila the Hun, from when he lost his parents in childhood until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist and lover and the movie shows his respect ... See full summary »

Stars: Pauline Lynch, Steven Berkoff, Andrew Pleavin, Tommy Flanagan

Votes: 9,176


This has the look and feel of an expensive TV mini-series, which of course it originally was, but don’t let that and the epic length put you off. It’s intelligently scripted, well acted and steadily paced. In the title role you have a youthful and surprisingly effective Gerard Butler a good few years before he saved Sparta in 300. The supporting cast all prove to be uniformly good value for money too, quite unusual for one of these type of productions. Obviously overlong, but it never feels like there’s much in the way of filler, so if you’ve got the time give it a go, it’s certainly as effective as either of the 50’s versions (see Attila and Sign Of The Pagan).

15. Le banquet (1989 TV Movie)

78 min | Drama

At house of Agathon get together many intellectuals and philosophers, including Socrates, to discuss the theme of love and sex: each of them intervenes to support its argument dialogical rules, within the context symposial.

Director: Marco Ferreri | Stars: Lucas Belvaux, Jean Benguigui, Marc Berman, Christian Berthelot

Votes: 46

16. Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996 TV Movie)

PG | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Before he died, Dar's father gave a mysterious amulet to Tal, Dar's younger brother who is now king. Dar, while wandering with his animal companions, chances to meet and rescue a family who... See full summary »

Director: Gabrielle Beaumont | Stars: Marc Singer, Tony Todd, Keith Coulouris, Sandra Hess

Votes: 1,026


17. Beauty and the Beast (1976 TV Movie)

74 min | Family, Fantasy, Romance

A beautiful girl agrees to marry a hideous, deformed beast and live in his castle in order to save her father's life.

Director: Fielder Cook | Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Virginia McKenna, Bernard Lee

Votes: 337

18. Ben Hur (2010– )

180 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A young Jewish prince seeks revenge after an old friend wrongly imprisons him and his family.

Stars: Joseph Morgan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily VanCamp, Kristin Kreuk

Votes: 1,688

Surprisingly effective made-for-TV adaptation of the familiar story (originally broadcast as a two part mini series), which concentrates on the human and historical aspects of the story and less on the preachy religious angle favoured by the cinematic versions, and is more accessible as a result. It has something of the feeling of the series ‘Rome’, though with less sex and violence. Joseph Morgan is an effective choice in the title role, turning in a likeable and believable performance. It’s still overlong, though there’s very little difference between this and the 1959 version, but the naturalistic acting and settings make it bearable. Only the ending is a bit of a rushed affair, like they’d finished the story but felt obliged to include the final miracle so tacked it on.

19. Beyond Sherwood Forest (2009 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

England 1174: King Richard is away fighting the Crusade, his brother Prince John has been left in charge. In order to further international diplomatic relations with Austria, the beautiful ... See full summary »

Director: Peter DeLuise | Stars: Robin Dunne, Erica Durance, Julian Sands, Katharine Isabelle

Votes: 1,202

20. The Bible (2013– )

TV-14 | 440 min | Documentary, Action, Drama

A religious historical dramatic miniseries about God's creation and physical landmark events leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Stars: Keith David, Robert Powell, Jake Canuso, Diogo Morgado

Votes: 9,404

21. The Black Adder (1982–1983)

TV-PG | 195 min | Comedy

In the Middle Ages, Prince Edmund the Black Adder constantly schemes and endeavors to seize the crown from his father and brother.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray, Tim McInnerny

Votes: 30,217

22. Black-Adder II (1986)

TV-PG | 176 min | Comedy

In the Tudor court of Elizabeth I, Lord Edmund Blackadder strives to win Her Majesty's favour while attempting to avoid a grisly fate should he offend her.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 35,455

23. Black Arrow (1985 TV Movie)

90 min | Adventure, History

In 15th century England, a civil war called Wars of the Roses is being fought between two rival houses who want the throne. Fresh from battle, a knight finds his family dead. He joins the outlaws led by the Black Arrow to seek justice.

Director: John Hough | Stars: Benedict Taylor, Georgia Slowe, Oliver Reed, Fernando Rey

Votes: 483

24. Black Sails (2014–2017)

TV-MA | 56 min | Adventure, Drama

Follows Captain Flint and his pirates twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel "Treasure Island."

Stars: Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Zach McGowan

Votes: 74,895

25. Blackbeard (2006– )

170 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In 1717, Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard is sent to the West Indies on a secret mission to destroy notorious pirate ship The Queen Anne's Revenge and its crew.

Stars: Angus Macfadyen, Mark Umbers, Richard Chamberlain, Jessica Chastain

Votes: 1,115


Enjoyable TV movie with a basis in reality but woven into an effective back story in the best pirate tradition which should keep fans of Pirates Of The Caribbean entertained until the next installment comes along. Angus Macfadyen is perfectly cast in the title role, displaying just the right mix of lunacy, authority and intimidation. Also surprisingly good is Richard Chamberlain as the corrupt governor of New Providence who is secretly in league with the pirates. The rest of the cast, including unknown factor Mark Umbers as the do-gooder British officer sent to bring the pirates to justice, are all effective, and Thailand makes a surprisingly good double for the Bahamas.

26. Borgia (2011– )

52 min | Biography, Drama, History

It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machievelli, of rampant lawlessness, incessant ... See full summary »

Stars: Mark Ryder, Isolda Dychauk, Diarmuid Noyes, John Doman

Votes: 4,927

27. The Borgias (2011–2013)

TV-MA | 50 min | Crime, Drama, History

In 15th century, pope Alexander VI tries to control all power in Italy with the help of his several sons, through murder, intrigue, war and marriage alliances.

Stars: Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Peter Sullivan

Votes: 42,914

28. By the Sword Divided (1983– )

50 min | Drama, History, War

Story of the English Civil War as seen through the eyes of two families; the Laceys, loyal to King Charles I, and the Fletchers, loyal to Oliver Cromwell.

Stars: Sharon Maughan, Andrew MacLachlan, Lucy Aston, Tim Bentinck

Votes: 175

29. Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996)

75 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The medieval era cases of a Crusader-turned-Monk who investigates mysteries in the Norman English town of Shrewsbury.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, Michael Culver, Julian Firth, Terrence Hardiman

Votes: 1,854

30. The Caesars (1968– )

60 min | Drama

After years of civil war following the assassination of Julius Caesar, his adopted son Octavian manages to unite the various factions and assume control of the Roman Empire. Taking the name... See full summary »

Stars: Freddie Jones, André Morell, Caroline Blakiston, Barrie Ingham

Votes: 82

32. Catherine the Great (1996 TV Movie)

100 min | Biography, Drama, History

Trapped in a loveless arranged marriage to the immature future Czar, a young German Princess proves a skillful political infighter and rises to become Catherine the Great.

Directors: Marvin J. Chomsky, John Goldsmith | Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul McGann, Ian Richardson, Brian Blessed

Votes: 1,062

33. Charlemagne (1993– )

90 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Young Charlemagns is placed on the Frankish throne in the middle of the 8th Century A.D. Despite having many powerful enemies he slowly unites the nations of Western Europe and rebuilds civilization on the ruins of the Roman Empire.

Stars: Christian Brendel, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Paolo Bonacelli, Vanni Corbellini

Votes: 182

35. City of Vice (2008– )

Crime, Drama, History

In the eighteenth century, London is a city filled with prostitutes, pimps, gamblers and villains. In a time before the invention of modern policing procedures, the novelist Henry Fielding ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian McDiarmid, Francis Magee, Steve Speirs, Alice O'Connell

Votes: 390

36. Cleopatra (1999– )

Not Rated | 177 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Princess Cleopatra becomes Egypt's Queen and has an out-of-wedlock son with the son-less Roman ruler Julius Ceasar. Through two romances, she strives to protect Egypt from the Romans, and make her son the heir to Ceaser's Roman Empire.

Stars: Leonor Varela, Nadim Sawalha, Owen Teale, Philip Quast

Votes: 3,444

37. The Cleopatras (1983– )

50 min | Drama

An eight-part series depicting the lives of a series of queens of ancient Egypt.

Stars: Michelle Newell, Graham Crowden, Helen Sparks, Richard Griffiths

Votes: 62

38. The Count of Monte-Cristo (1975 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 103 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A young officer, falsely imprisoned by his jealous "friends," escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge.

Director: David Greene | Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Trevor Howard, Louis Jourdan, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 3,331

Perfectly serviceable TV movie version of Dumas’ tale which received a cinematic release in a number of European territories. Richard Chamberlain turns in a likeable performance as Edmond Dantes, the man wrongly imprisoned who escapes after 15 years and comes back to take revenge on the men who put him there. His victims include Tony Curtis and Louis Jourdan, both of whom in their day would have been playing the lead in this sort of thing, but by the mid-seventies were talent for hire. Likeable, but unexceptional.

39. Ring of the Nibelungs (2004 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 184 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The legend of Siegfried and Brunhild, loosely based on characters from the Norse sagas and the pre-Christian Germanic heroic motifs outlined in the Nibelungensaga.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Benno Fürmann, Kristanna Loken, Alicia Witt, Julian Sands

Votes: 8,685

40. Cyclops (2008 TV Movie)

94 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The corrupt Emperor Tiberius forces his bravest general, Marcus, to subdue the monstrous Cyclops that has been decimating the countryside. Once the Cyclops is brought to the dungeons, ... See full summary »

Director: Declan O'Brien | Stars: Eric Roberts, Kevin Stapleton, Frida Farrell, Craig Archibald

Votes: 1,251

Well this was a pleasant surprise, a made-for-TV B-movie bearing the name of producer Roger Corman, shot in Bulgaria and starring Eric Roberts as corrupt Roman Emperor Tiberius, which is against the odds actually rather fun. There is a CGI Cyclops on the rampage terrorising ancient Rome, which culminates in the captured beast having a stand-off with gladiators in the arena. The script is fast paced, the performances adequate and the sets better than you would expect. Unknowns Kevin Stapleton as Marcus and Mike Straub as Gordian are likeable heroes to cheer for, while Valizar Binev as slave dealer Cletus is a great villain who gets killed off way too early. I initially didn’t think I was going to like the Cyclops, who looks more like Grendel’s muscular cousin in a nappy than any one-eyed giant we’re familiar with, but as the film went on he grew on me and is really quite an effective creation with his own personality. There is plenty of comic-book gore if you like that sort of thing, though anyone hoping for the nudity of the Spartacus series will be disappointed. This is a fun little entertainment in the classic peplum style, by no means a classic, but a lot more enjoyable than you would expect.

41. Da Vinci's Demons (2013–2015)

59 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

Follows Leonardo Da Vinci during his early days in Florence, as a young artist, inventor and dreamer, trying to change the future.

Stars: Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos, Laura Haddock

Votes: 67,316

42. Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula (2000 TV Movie)

R | 92 min | Biography, Horror, Thriller

A warlord must fight a bloody battle in order to regain his kingdom.

Director: Joe Chappelle | Stars: Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand, Peter Weller

Votes: 2,124

43. Dark Relic (2010 TV Movie)

88 min | Fantasy, Horror

The Holy Land, 1099AD. The end of the first Crusade. When the conflict began, Christian knight Sir Gregory lead over a hundred men, but now less than ten remain. They include his squire ... See full summary »

Director: Lorenzo Sena | Stars: James Frain, Clemency Burton-Hill, Tom Basden, Alyy Khan

Votes: 801

44. The Devil's Crown (1978– )

55 min | Drama, History

Henry Plantagenet (later King Henry II), sees his opportunity to seize the crown of England and create a kingdom of law and order.

Stars: Jane Lapotaire, Christopher Gable, John Duttine, Brian Cox

Votes: 58

45. The Devil's Whore (2008)

55 min | Drama, History, Romance

Set between the years 1642 and 1660, "The Devil's Whore" charts the progress of the English Civil War through the eyes of a 17 year old girl, the fictional Angelica Fanshawe.

Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Dominic West, Tom Goodman-Hill, John Simm

Votes: 2,052

46. Don Quixote (2000 TV Movie)

120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

Adapted from the work of Miguel de Cervantes, this is the story of a hidalgo, fanatic for chivalry novels, who loses his sanity and believing to be a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: John Lithgow, Bob Hoskins, Isabella Rossellini, Vanessa Williams

Votes: 1,434

47. Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012 TV Movie)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Two thousand years ago, Nhagruul the Foul, a sorcerer who reveled in corrupting the innocent and the spread of despair, neared the end of his mortal days and was dismayed. Consumed by ... See full summary »

Director: Gerry Lively | Stars: Anthony Howell, Dominic Mafham, Jack Derges, Charlotte Hunter

Votes: 1,918

48. The Eagle of the Ninth (1977– )

30 min | Drama, History, War

In Britannia in 130, a young Roman officer named Marcus Flavius Aquila and his freed slave Esca search for the Ninth Legion's gold eagle standard, which vanished with the legion 13 years earlier.

Stars: Anthony Higgins, Christian Rodska, Peter Whitbread, Patrick Holt

Votes: 38

49. Earthsea (2004– )

90 min | Fantasy, Drama, Adventure

A reckless youth is destined to become the greatest sorcerer that the mystical land of Earthsea has ever known. When the young wizard Ged discovers that he possesses infinite magical powers... See full summary »

Stars: Sebastian Roché, Chris Gauthier, Jennifer Calvert, Emily Hampshire

Votes: 5,489

50. Elizabeth R (1971– )

85 min | Biography, Drama

When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.

Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy, Stephen Murray

Votes: 1,320

51. Elizabeth the Queen (1968 TV Movie)

90 min | Biography, Drama