Just like American "copaganda" shows need a reckoning, so do the period dramas that have become a staple on British TV. "In popular fiction, the Victorian era is an atmospheric world of Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and steampunk—not a period of exploitation and murder perpetrated by British forces," says Gavia Baker-Whitelaw. "You don’t see British imperial equivalents of Chernobyl or Watchmen, because Britain is in denial about its part in atrocities like Boer concentration camps and the Opium Wars. Our historical dramas often touch upon class divides, because British people are obsessed with class. But these stories invariably focus inward, offering a sympathetic eye to aristocrats who got rich through the slave trade and stolen land. We have countless TV shows about Regency love stories and WWII heroism, and none about the dark backstory behind Britain’s stereotypical cup of tea. Few acknowledge the lives of non-white people who thrived here for centuries; a self-fulfilling loop of historical erasure. Again and again, we’ve seen the same backlash about people of color appearing in historical fiction from Doctor Who to Shakespeare adaptations, because white conservatives view their existence as 'unrealistic.'" Baker-Whitelaw adds: "Marketed as an accurate view of real events, the political message of The Crown is more insidious, humanizing the royal family while ignoring the cruel impact of their hoarded wealth. Downton Abbey is an even worse offender, desperate to rehabilitate the image of English aristocrats. And of course there’s no hint of raceblind casting for these top-tier prestige dramas and biopics, which is far from a neutral choice."