Queer Period Dramas

What are some good ones? I’ve been asked to write an article on the topic but I’m struggling to think of good ones that I’ve actually seen. Bonus if your top tips are available to stream online!

in before menstruation jokes, btw

1 Like

Tipping the Velvet was a BBC lesbian period thingy about 15 years ago?

No idea about streaming I’m rubbish at that stuff

1 Like



Yep, sadly haven’t seen it though.

@laelfy That adaptation was pretty horrendous, or at least I seem to recall that it was from when I watched some of it about ten years ago – after having read the novel for a uni course. But yeah, pretty important nonetheless.

OOOOOOH, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a good one.

I’m not sure I watched it to be honest, it was just the most prominent one that immediately came to mind.

1 Like

And Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters too (also adapted as The Handmaiden, last year)

1 Like

I really dislike the term queer but Summertime (2015, Catherine Corsini) is lovely. Does 1970s count as period?

Sure it does!

Why do you dislike the term queer, if you don’t mind me asking?

Brideshead Revisited?


Naked Civil Servant?

(although that was fairly contemporary when it was made)

Maurice (1987) springs to mind.
There’s a fair body of opinion that casts the likes of Brief Encounter as coded gay dramas, but that might be down to Noel Coward writing it and the passions being socially transgressive (Laura and the doctor are both married).

1 Like

Another Country

1 Like

A Single Man maybe counts as a contemporary period drama

I heard it being used as quite a pejorative slur growing up and now it’s being used to mean basically anything, including straight people who do kink and it makes me very uncomfortable.

1 Like


1 Like

It’s a strong tradition, really, and depends how loose you want to play with ‘period drama’ and ‘queer’. Merchant/Ivory is the most obvious place to start - especially Maurice but most of them have had queer readings (like A Room with a View, particularly the nude homosocial scenes). You might even wanna include Call Me By Your Name. Also quite traditional is Another Country, or Brideshead Revisited.

You could also go with lots of 80s/90s British art cinema: Terence Davis stuff (Distant Voices, Still Lives), Sally Potter (Orlando), Derek Jarman (Caravaggio).

If you wanna go more contemporary you could think of Brokeback Mountain or Carol as period films?



Oh another 80s one (if CMBYN) counts is BBC’s 3-parter The Line of Beauty which is great (reading the book atm).

1 Like

Not sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for but

Also +1 on Maurice

1 Like