TO the time machine! Set the dial for the Victorian era. First up: The Irregulars, a supernatural crime drama based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that begins streaming on Netflix today.

The series follows a band of misfits – the Baker Street Irregulars – as they are recruited by Dr Watson and his elusive partner, Sherlock Holmes, to investigate a string of grisly, paranormal attacks.

It marks the first in a clutch of new TV shows set within this period that are soon to hit our screens.

The makers of telly are obsessed with the Victorians?

Hot on the heels of The Irregulars will be The Nevers, an HBO series coming to Sky Atlantic and Now TV in May.

The brainchild of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon, it is billed as a Victorian-era sci-fi adventure. Its cast includes Outlander's Laura Donnelly and Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson.

The elevator pitch: Victorian women with superpowers.

HeraldScotland: Laura Donnelly stars in The Nevers. Picture: Warner BrothersLaura Donnelly stars in The Nevers. Picture: Warner Brothers

Meanwhile, filming is under way on Apple TV's adaptation of The Essex Serpent, a bestselling novel by Sarah Perry.

What's that one about?

Set in 1893, it tells the story of a widowed woman relishing her new-found freedom from an abusive husband as she moves from London to a small village in Essex and becomes intrigued by the legend of a mythological sea monster.

Keira Knightley left the project last year and has been replaced by Claire Danes in the lead role. It also stars Tom Hiddleston of The Avengers and The Night Manager fame.

Three's a trend?

It is looking that way.

Haven't there been loads of Victorian dramas?

Yes – gazillions. In recent years alone we have seen everything from Belgravia and The English Game (both by the hand of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes) to dark comedy offerings such as Dickinson and Dead Still.

READ MORE: Supernatural crime drama based on works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle comes to Netflix

The new slant, though, is that Victorian era sci-fi/supernatural/fantasy plots seems to be gaining traction in a way seldom seen outside the realms of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who likes a Victorian jaunt?

Loves one. It is fair to say that for a time-traveller with all of history to choose from, the Doctor seems to have a soft spot for the 19th century, crossing paths with everything from werewolves to strange, sentient snowmen and Charles Dickens.

Why the fascination?

The opportunity for lavish costumes. The olde worlde charm. The melodic clip-clop of a horse's hooves on cobbled streets. All of the above?

That said, the supernatural was an important aspect of Victorian society. Think ghost stories, seances and spooky phenomena. So, perhaps this burgeoning TV trend makes perfect sense after all? We will need to tune in and find out.