Review of "Indian Summers" Masterpiece on PBS From The TV MegaSite

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Indian Summers cast

"Indian Summers" review by Suzanne 9/8/15
Airs Sundays 9/8c on Masterpiece on PBS

This is a 9-part miniseries that's very well-written and acted. It has a huge cast. The story has all of the elements you'd want in an epic story: Love, romance, tragedy, politics, class struggle, racial prejudice, sexism, colorful costumes, beautiful landscape, and interesting characters.

The story takes place in the summer of 1932, in a little town at the foot of the Himalayas called Simla. The British who were ruling India went there to escape the heat.

The heroine of the story is young Alice Whelan (Jemima West), who grew up in India with her family but was sent away to boarding school. After an unhappy marriage, she's moving back to stay with her brother, bringing her little boy with her. She's run away, which would have been scandalous.  Her brother Ralph (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) is both the focal point of the show and the show's villain, in many ways. He's in charge of the civil service in India and wants to be Viceroy. Everyone in this series has some big secrets.

It's a little bit of a soap opera, but there's so much class struggle, racism, and politics, that it keeps it from being too soapy. The hero of the show is handsome young, ambitious Aafrin (Nikesh Patel) who works for Ralph. A shocking thing happens in the first episode that ties them all together.

You really should watch it on and catch up, or buy the DVD! It's well worth watching, even though it's a little slow at times. It's worth it to watch all 9 hours.


Set in a subtropical paradise during the twilight era of the British Empire, Indian Summers explores the collision of the ruling class English with their Indian subjects, and the intricate game of power, politics, and passion that ensues. Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Oscar® nominee for Billy Elliot and Educating Rita) stars as Cynthia Coffin, the glamorous doyenne of an English social club, and is joined by Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West, Nikesh Patel, Roshan Seth, and Lillete Dubey.

Told from both the English and Indian perspectives, the drama of Indian Summers unfolds as illicit agreements, romance, and revolution abound. Though the English socialites are having the time of their lives in Simla, the local Indians have started to call for national independence, a path which is quickly rendering the world’s greatest empire helpless. As pressure builds, the two sides alternately clash and merge in a passionate and dangerous game.

Indian Summers airs in nine sweeping episodes, and premieres on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.

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