If you haven't seen North & South, based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, you've missed a classic. Written by the author of Cranford, it's a much darker view of Victorian England but compelling and romantic. This was my first glimpse of Richard Armitage, a phenomenal actor and that assessment has nothing to do with the fact that he might be the most handsome man I've ever laid eyes on.
It's extremely well done as only the BBC can do, much attention to detail, beautiful costuming, and an excellent adaptation of the book. WATCH. IT.
You can also read the book (it's wonderful) but watch the series first so you can envision Richard Armitage for all 300+ pages as John Thornton. :-)
Then watch season 7,8, and 9 of MI-5 because RA plays Lukas North....for three seasons. Then you can watch Robin Hood (RA=Guy of Gisborne)..... and don't forget about The Hobbit which comes out in December (RA=Thorin Oakenshield...I may have to re-read that book...)
I've done my research!