Friday, 7 September 2018

New India-set historical drama for ITV

The old Cathedral in Kolkata
Yes, it's Kolkata. I haven't been to Delhi! (Yet…)
It's a little out of the usual scope of this blog, time-wise, but I know it's going to interest a fair few people who drop by the Robot from time to time. ITV's announced a new historical drama, Beecham House, set in Delhi at the turn of the 19th century before the British rule, but when there were a fair few Brits kicking around the subcontinent. It's written and directed by Gurinder Chadha, who's stated: "I grew up with Raj dramas like Jewel In The Crown, The Far Pavilions and A Passage To India. Beecham House is my chance to tell those stories from a British Asian perspective." William Dalrymple and Shahrukh Husain are acting as historical consultants, and filming started in August.

The drama's centred around a British character, ex-soldier John Beecham, who arrives in Delhi with an 'olive skinned' child, so it looks like a lot of the drama will be around who the child's mother might be (interestingly, nowhere in ITV's press release does it state the child is Beecham's, though I think we're expected to assume that, presumably for a 'shock' revelation further down the line). Other characters, besides Beecham's staff, include a French mercenary, a smattering of other Brits, and a wealthy Indian family. There seem to be quite a few eligible young beauties in the character list, presumably to give Beecham a wealth of romance options.

Given my own family history I'll be interested to see this. Part of me would say, "Well, being ITV they're going to ramp up the sauce," but given the tale of my own scandalous half-Indian, half-British ancestress Eliza (story here) I don't think they'll go as far as I know people did go. WE SHALL SEE.

Will you be watching too?

8 comments :

  1. Ohhh thanks for the headsup. I will definitely be watching. Thoroughly enjoyed Indian Summers so very much looking forward to this new one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never saw that one. This should be interesting as it's pre-British rule.

      Delete
  2. Gurinder Chadha directed one of my favourite modern Bollywood films, Bride and Prejudice! I'm not normally a fan of ITV drama (I'm such a TV snob) but after watching the entire three series of Unforgotten I'm willing to give this a bash.
    Have you seen any of the Beeb's Big British Asian Summer series? A Passage To Britain is well worth a watch. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watched the food programmes! Sadly they didn't do one on Bengali food, but the one on Sri Lankan food really made me want to try some.

      Yeah, I tend to skip ITV dramas - they're usually disappointingly lightweight and melodramatic. Still, the popularity of Downton Abbey shows we're in the minority.

      Delete
  3. I'd watch this if this ever makes it to Belgium, which I somehow doubt ... xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You never know your luck... I've been watching a Spanish drama on BBC4 lately; I think the world's getting better at sharing these things.

      Delete
  4. Oooo as turn of the century romasnce in Indias- that does sound intriguing & possibly over sauced!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Turn of the 19th at that - pre-Victorian stuff is rare as hen's teeth.

      Delete