El Cid Alternatives
Have you finished streaming El Cid? Wondering what to watch next?
Well, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming El Cid.
Similarities – Violence & Expansive Story
Following the journey of Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings is a fascinating and often violent look into the lives of the first Norsemen in history.
Full of dramatic tension and leaning (mostly) toward historical accuracy, Vikings does a great job blending fact and fiction. In doing so, it produces a methodically paced, interesting journey through the lives of the infamous warriors of the North.
While the later seasons do take some liberties with that realism and the plot does run out of steam before its final season, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
The Last Kingdom
Similarities – Violence & Politics
Set during the time of the Viking Invasions of Britain, The Last Kingdom is a well written, brutally realistic series relying on the charisma of its many characters to drive the story of Uhtred Ragnarson forward.
The time period is perfectly captured in both atmosphere and set design too. If that wasn’t enough, the story draws from the rich history of Britain across 4 epic seasons of entertainment.
With a fifth season already green-lit, this is one of the better choices to check out when you’re done with Barbarians
Similarities – Politics
Set in the heart of Florence during the early 15th Century, Medici: Masters Of Florence is a beautifully shot, engrossing historical drama. Split across three seasons, this dramatic recreation of the Medici family begins with a growing conflict between Rinaldo Albizzi and Cosimo.
This conflict drives much of the narrative forward, eventually coming to a head late on during the show’s climactic finale. From here, the next couple of seasons expand the story and history of the Medici family, delivering a compelling series worth checking out.
Similarities – Drama & Warring Kingdoms
Clocking in at a whopping 95 episodes, Three Kingdoms is nothing short of epic. This ambitious project adapts Luo Guanzhong’s classical Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and includes all the rivalries, intrigues and wars of the late Eastern Han Dynasty.
If you’re in the mood for something that’ll take up a good chunk of your time, this one is definitely worth considering. The show is beautifully written and features a great balance of action, character-driven sub-plots and plenty of twists and turns along the way.
Cathedral Of The Sea
Similarities – Spanish Drama
Adapted from the Spanish novel La Catedral del Mar, Cathedral Of The Sea is a highly ambitious, impressively shot period drama rife with gorgeous cinematography and a slowly unravelling story.
The story begins with Bernat Estanyol, a humble farmer bound to wed Francesca Esteve. When the Lord Of Bella appears unceremoniously at the wedding, using his feudal rights to bed Francesca, their fractured marriage sees a glimmer of happiness 9 months later as their first son, Arnau, is born.
This sets the foundation and mood of the show as Bernat tirelessly works to carve out a future for Arnau after escaping the clutches of the Lord Of Bella.
Split across 8 episodes clocking in around an hour a piece, the characters are given enough time to grow with believable arcs, accompanied nicely by some time jumps and a competently written story.
Similarities – Politics & Characters
Set in the 15th Century, The Borgias places viewers right in the midst of Pope Alexander VI wrestling for control of Italy with his sons.
Intriguing, intelligent and gorgeously dressed (seriously, the costume design is amazing), this historical drama blends murder, war and tense alliances to dramatic effect.
The storyline is engrossing too and without spoiling too much, there’s some delicious twists along the way that make this worth sticking with for the long haul.
Similarities – Drama & Visuals
Marco Polo’s gorgeous cinematography and keen eye for visuals make it a very good looking series indeed. The sweeping vistas of 13th century Mongolia are breathtakingly beautiful and really make you feel like you’ve transported to that time period.
The story follows the exploits of the Mongolian Army, led by the ruthless Kublai Khan, as he wrestles for power against the Chinese army. Caught up in the middle of this is explorer Marco Polo, who becomes entangled in the court of Kublai Khan and, consequently, part of the conflict between the Chinese and Mongolians.
The story dances between both factions but remains an enthralling watch despite some sluggish pacing at times. Sadly, Marco Polo was another Netflix casualty, cancelled after its second season. However, it remains a show well worth checking out.
The Pillars Of The Earth
Similarities – Period Drama
Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles, The Pillars Of The Earth is a politically charged series depicting a turbulent time in English history.
Based on the book of the same name, the story is set in the year 1135 amid a period of time in England known as “The Anarchy.” With the King’s only legitimate heir dead, the country’s monarchy hangs by a thread. Playing centre-stage to tense political debates lies the construction of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge which serves as the catalyst for the ensuing drama to follow.
Armed with well written characters and a surprisingly tense atmosphere, The Pillars Of The Earth should definitely be on your radar.
Similarities – Spanish Drama
If you’re looking for a similar slice of Spanish period history, Isabel should be first on your list. Set deep in the 1400’s, Isabel follows the political highs and lows of Isabella I of Castile’s reign and does so with a good amount of drama along the way.
Split across 3 seasons, this Spanish series perfectly captures the essence of warring Kingdoms while mixing that in with a biographical account of this fascinating woman’s life. There are, of course, a few liberties taken with the real history but in its bid to try and depict one of the most turbulent times of Spanish history, Isabel shoots for the stars and hits pretty close too.
Similarities – Cinematography & Plot
There’s a reason Rome is regarded as one of the best historical TV shows HBO has ever produced. Alongside Band Of Brothers, Rome is an incredible feat on the small screen. The series was actually originally intended to be a mini-series too, but was later expanded and turned into a visual and storytelling treat to behold.
Set during the 1st century B.C., the story follows the lives of two men serving in the Roman army, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pollo. There’s no shying away from the brutal harsh realities of their profession and Rome captures this in all its bloody glory.
And this glory is backed up by stunning visuals and some of the best production work one could ask for from a historical epic like this. Rome is essential viewing and despite its disappointing ending after a second season, remains a quintessential choice for any historical drama fan.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to Amazon Prime’s El Cid.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!