Indian Summers is a refreshing, vibrant period drama, not another bleak, dreary Downton Abbey wannabe. It is colourful and jumps from the screen; let’s hope the drama is the same. The show has been extensively promoted on Channel 4 and has been presented as a competitor to the normal period dramas hosted by the BBC and ITV. It was highly anticipated, and debuted on Sunday.
This drama is a ten-episode journey and the first instalment plants seeds of intrigue from which the whole drama will grow. It is 1932, and Britons have travelled to India for the summer, in the Himalayas where the British Raj is falling: this part of the historic British Empire has thus far not been presented on television screens. It’s immediately new, interesting and dramatic. The episode starts off slow, which can be expected for the start of such a substantial drama, presenting and introducing the characters with currently tenuous and ambiguous links between them, teasing our curiosity.
The acting is of good quality and the set is very convincing. The cast includes Julie Walters who has not been on our screens for a while and the less critically-acclaimed cast seem to support her, with their acting ability matching up. The plot thickens as the episode progresses, where tears seem to appear in the Indian paradise. What is behind the lavish parties and false smiles? Countless secrets seem ready to be uncovered, and I can’t suppress my curious frown.
Already the gentle tug of the storyline is drawing my attention and interest, as it weaves around different characters who are interlinked, but for reasons not yet known. With this slow yet confused start, there is a sudden shooting which only draws out more intrigue and forces the characters together – this sets the drama up, ready to unfold in the following episodes. With each episode lasting an hour the plot has every opportunity to become ever more intricately interwoven and next week’s episode teasers show the tapestry behind this period drama get even more interesting. The first episode fills me with hope for the series; although it is slow to start it is setting up a good foundation for the consecutive episodes. I have not predicted the outcome and I’m itching to find out more, which is the proof that this first episode has succeeded.
Indian Summers is broadcasted on Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4.