AUSTIN BUTLER as Elvis

10 Docudramas Worth Binging Right Now

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While many of us love spending an evening catching up on the odd period drama, blockbuster film or true crime documentary, there’s one genre that seems to be topping the leaderboard in cinema and home entertainment: the docudrama. Blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction, docudramas are dramatic retellings of actual and historical events. You’ve more than likely watched a docudrama without realising, with the genre spanning biopics, historical films and recent events. Want to open up the docudrama library? Start with these binge-worthy films and series.

10 Docudramas Worth Binging Right Now

TV Shows

Cilla

This three-part series from ITV looks back on the life of English singer and TV presenter Cilla Black, with a focus on her early career in 1960s Liverpool. From run-ins with The Beatles and topping the UK music charts to the sudden death of her then-manager Brian Epstein, the show is packed with ups and downs from start to finish. With Sheridan Smith playing the lead role, Cilla is an ideal pick for those wanting to brush up on their music history. Watch it here.

White House Farm

Fancy your docudrama with a side of true crime? Starring Freddie Fox, Mark Addy and Stephen Graham, White House Farm is based on the real-life murders that took place in Essex in 1985. In August of that year, five members of the Bamber-Caffell family were found shot to death in their home in, you guessed it, White House Farm. The only one to come out of the situation alive was the Bambers’ son, Jeremy, who claimed his sister was the one to kill herself and the family. But is that the truth? Watch it here.

A Very British Scandal

Fans of a historical drama can sink their teeth into the BBC’s A Very British Scandal, which stars The Crown’s Claire Foy and the MCU’s Paul Bettany. A retelling of the high-profile divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, the series highlights one of the 1960s’ most prominent scandals. A hugely controversial case, with accusations of forgery, theft and violence as well as the forced unveiling of intimate photographs of the Duchess, it redefined the boundaries of public and private life in post-war Britain. Watch it here.

Chernobyl

HBO’s 2019 historical drama Chernobyl documents the 1986 nuclear accident and the following clean-up efforts. Told over five parts, it tells the story of those who were directly involved in and responded to the incident, with a spotlight cast on lesser-known accounts from firefighters, miners and volunteers. Watch it here.

Des

Do you remember the shocking murders that shook North London in the 1970s and 1980s? Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen was caught red-handed after the discovery of human remains caused a drain bloackage near his home, and the following investigation unveiled a gruesome string of killings targeting young men and boys. David Tennant takes on the role of Nilsen, and delivers quite the chilling performance. Watch it here.

Films

Apollo 13

A modern classic with a star-studded cast (where else are you going to see Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton and Gary Sinese on the same screen?), Apollo 13 is a retelling of the aborted lunar mission of the same name. The film depicts the events leading up to and during the mission, which saw an on-board explosion cut their oxygen and electricity early on in the mission. Watch it here.

ELVIS

One of the biggest films of 2022, Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS takes a deep dive into the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Told from the perspective of the singer’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, the film tracks the rapid rise of Elvis’ fame in the United States – as well as the acts of manipulation that ultimately led to his untimely death. With elements of euphoria and tragedy, this Presley family-approved biopic is a must-watch for all. Watch it here.

Pride

BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Pride is a witty drama following a group of lesbian an gay activists in the run-up to London’s first ever Pride march. Raising money to aid families impacted by the British miners’ strike of 1984, the group creates the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign – and in doing so bring together multiple communities looking to persevere in the face of adversity. Watch it here.

Rocketman

Another biopic on our list, this musical drama looks into the life of British pop icon Elton John, played by Golden Globe winner Taron Egerton. Rocketman documents the early days of the singer’s career, his romantic life and the addictions that plagued him throughout the 1970s. It was project that spent years in development, but the result was well worth the wait. Watch it here.

Hidden Figures

Award-winning film Hidden Figures is a biographical drama loosely based Margot Lee Shetterly’s novel of the same name, which tells the story of the African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race. With a star-studded lineup including Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures artfully sets the scene of 1960s America while celebrating the successes of the people depicted. Watch it here.

Featured image: AUSTIN BUTLER as Elvis in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama ‘ELVIS’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.