Tom Bateman (Jekyll & Hyde, Murder on the Orient Express), Lesley Nicol (Downtown Abbey) and Gregory Fitoussi (Mr Selfridge) have joined the cast of Gurinder Chadha’s upcoming India-set television series Beecham House, Deadline reported. The ITV series, which will comprise six episodes, will begin shooting in India and the United Kingdom later this month.
The series is set in Delhi in the 19th century before the advent of colonial rule, and follows the fortunes of the residents of the titular mansion. The cast includes Adil Ray, Pallavi Sharda, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Trupti Khamkar, Kanika Kapur, Marc Warren, Dakota Blue Richards, Bessie Carter and Manoj Pahwa.
Bateman plays the lead role of John Beecham, a soldier who has bought the mansion. “Wealthy and distinguished, John has witnessed profiteering and exploitation during his time with the controlling East India Company and has resolved to conduct his business as a trader in a more equitable manner,” Deadline said. Doubt is cast over the parentage of the boy he brings along with him, while his mother lands up with a family friend whom she wants Beecham to marry.
Chadha, whose last movie was Viceroy’s House in 2017, said in a statement, “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.”
Chadha has created the series along with Shahrukh Husain. The Bend it Like Beckham director will direct the first three episodes, and Peter Lydon (Poirot, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) will handle the remaining three.