ITV’s epic India-based series Beecham House premiered in the UK last night.
Set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi before the British ruled in that region, the new six-part period drama is created by Gurinder Chadha, the writer and director of Bend It Like Beckham.
Beecham House depicts the fortunes of the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns.
Watch the trailer:
The all-star cast of familiar faces from British period dramas includes Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair), Dakota Blue Richards (Endeavour), Leo Suter (Victoria), Gregory Fitoussi (Mr Selfridge) and Bessie Carter (Les Miserables).
We’ve rounded up a selection of reviews to help you decide if you’d like to watch it:
“Although a world away from the likes of Downton Abbey in terms of setting, the series shares many themes including family drama and romance with the backdrop of a monumental time in history. While its truly magical and enchanting setting will leave you wanting to book a holiday to India, the element of mystery will leave you hungry for more.” ★★★★ – Metro
“A cartoon version of 18th century India … Murky colonial history reborn as melodramatic fantasy.” ★★ – The Arts Desk
“Anyway, Beecham House is a feast for the eyes, but not always for the ears (I struggled to hear some of the dialogue), and a bit of costumed cheer on these wet, cold summer nights. [Tom] Bateman as Beecham has everything a Sunday-night hero needs…” ★★★ – The Times
“The facial hair and manly chest are distractions in ITV’s new Delhi-set epic, but it’s the white saviour trope that pushes this drama beyond being merely risible.” ★ – The Guardian
“An ambitious drama with a worryingly wooden hero.” ★★★ – The Telegraph
“While there is obviously a gap for more nuanced depictions of the British in India, an era invariably reduced to a series of lame cliches, this isn’t it.” ★★ – The Independent
“…Beecham House has been dubbed the Delhi Downton Abbey. At first sight, the two dramas have a lot in common. Set in palatial homes with gossipy servants, check. A host of strong women vying to rule the roost. Check. Elephants …. Er, we’ll let Beecham House have that one.” ★★★★ – The Herald
“Downton Abbey in Delhi urgently needs extra spice … What should have been a lively romp about the early adventurers was a plodding procession of characters introducing themselves.” ★★★ – iNews
Beecham House will begin in the USA later this year on Masterpiece on PBS.
Lesley Nicol reprises the role of Mrs Patmore in the Downton Abbey movie, in cinemas in September.
Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection DVD box set is available on Amazon.