Channel 4 to air epic period saga ‘Indian Summers’

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor

Channel 4
Channel 4

Channel 4 has announced details of an epic original drama series that it will be broadcasting in 2015 about the final years of British colonial rule in India.

Set against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, ‘Indian Summers’ tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India – seen through both British and Indian eyes. The ten-part epic is commissioned by Head of Drama Piers Wenger for Channel 4.

Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mo, The Hollow Crown), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners, Harry Potter, Madame Bovary), Jemima West (The Borgias, The Mortal Instruments : City of Bones), Nikesh Patel (Bedlam, Honour), Roshan Seth (A Passage to India, Gandhi) and Lillete Dubey (Monsoon Wedding) have been confirmed as the leading cast in the show.

Also joining the cast are Alexander Cobb (Mr Selfridge, Call the Midwife), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Misfits), Fiona Glascott (Episodes), Amber Rose Revah (What Remains), Aysha Kala (Shameless), Olivia Grant (Legacy) and Edward Hogg (The Borgias).

It�۪s the summer of 1932. India dreams of Independence, but the British are clinging to power. In the foothills of the Himalayas stands Simla; a little England where every summer the British power-brokers of this nation are posted to govern during the summer months.

Ralph Whelan (Lloyd-Hughes), 30, coolly ambitious, a coming man and tipped for promotion, is Private Secretary to the Viceroy of India. His sister, Alice (West), returns to Simla alone with her child and finds herself drawn to Aafrin (Patel), early 20s, Junior Clerk in the Viceroy�۪s office and son to Roshana (Dubey) and Darius (Seth), a gentle man and veteran of The Great War. Aafrin is brother to Sooni (Kala), early 20s, severe and beautiful, and his spoilt younger sister Shamshad.

At the heart of Simla�۪s society is Cynthia (Walters), 60s, widowed, doyenne of the Royal Club who is as at home in the tack room as she is the ballroom. A force to be reckoned with, her influence spreads throughout the community.

The cast of characters also includes Douglas (Parkinson), who runs a missionary school, his wife Sarah (Glascott) who yearns for the comforts of home, Ian McLeod (Cobb), the young and na�ve Scottish tea plantation heir, and the mysterious Anglo Indian woman Leena (Revah).

As Indian Summers begins, the stories of promises, secrets, politics, power, sex and love play out as the British Raj begins to falter and a nation opens its eyes to the possibilities of freedom.