Indian Summers: A Review

I was prepared to throw in the towel with Indian Summers when it first premiered, but I’m glad I stuck around for the explosive series finale.

Things didn’t look promising for the British drama series in my first impressions, where it appeared the only thing that would keep me watching were Ralph Whelan’s (Henry Lloyd-Hughes)secrets. They did, but my interest in the series ended up being greater than that. It was the superb writing by Paul Rutman and his fantastic array of colourful characters.

I had my suspicions as to Ralph Whelan’s character from the start, but the hour-and-a-half long finale Sunday left me in no doubt – he’s a nasty, albeit good-looking, piece of work looking out for number one. Whelan will say and do anything on his way to the top, even letting Ramu Sood (Alyy Khan), an innocent man, hang for Jaya’s murder, whilst enjoying a game of cricket! The gall of the man!

Sure, I’ll admit I felt sorry for him at times thanks to Julie Walters’ Cynthia and her games, but too much of her conniving rubbed off on him, clearly. Such was my satisfaction when she was knocked off her perch by none other her boy Whelan. He really was rakshas, thanks to Rutman’s writing and Henry Lloyd-Hughes acting.

The love story that developed between Aafrin (Nikesh Patel) and Alice (Jemima West), albeit a little tortured, added a depth to the series that belied the racial discrimination put forth by what seemed to be the remainder of British socialites in Simla. It was nice to see Alice finally happy and Aafrin overcoming a few, not all, of his inner demons. However, I feel the future will only entail a bit of history repeating itself, if and when Whelan finds out about the pair.

It was a shame that Leena (Amber Rose Reeva) and Dougie’s (Craig Parkinson) relationship didn’t move more than just past being teacher and missionary at the mission school, despite Dougie’s heroic outcry to protect Leena during Ramu Sood’s trial. Against all odds, it would have been nice to see the pair together, especially after the departure of Dougie’s wife Sarah (Fiona Glascott) in the series finale (thank God!). I’m keeping my fingers-crossed that they’ll become an item in series two 😛

Both Ian McLeod’s bond with Ramu Sood and Aafrin’s relationship with Alice symbolise a ray of hope for Simla and India’s independence, at least to me anyway. It was great to see Britain’s colonialist ways at the forefront of the series, cast in a almost balanced light by Rutman – not entirely persecuting the British history and not pandering to it either by omitting India’s history and characters.

Writer Paul Rutman has said he intends Indian Summers to be a five series arc, so I’m hoping that this becomes a reality.

A superb series with an even more superb cast of characters, I’m looking forward to series two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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