Sunday nights have come back to life with the second season of Indian Summers on Channel 4. Indian Summers is a British drama following the fiery events of summers spent at Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, by a group of British socialites at the time of the British Raj.
If the plot lines weren’t fierce enough, the costumes are enough to wet any vintage lovers whistle. For any of you that loved Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Mr Selfridge or the Paradise, this one is for you! Indian Summers is up there with the greatest new wave of period dramas.Starring no other than Julie Walters, Julie Walters plays Machiavellian club owner Cynthia who is never far from the scandal.
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Henry Lloyd-Hughes plays wannabe Viceroy, Ralph Whelan. Ralph grew up in India and is at the heart of every story line due to his esteemed political standing and relationship with the locals. Ralph’s style is typical of the rich British gentlemen in 1930’s India, his pale linen suit is worn during leisure time.
Jemima West plays Alice Whelan, sister to Ralph Whelan who is the private secretary to the Viceroy of India. In her first scene back in season one Jemima wears a fabulously 1930’s bright orange shirtdress with trumpet shaped hem teamed with a jaunty boater hat, from there on in Jemima’s costumes consist of a beautiful array of easy tea dresses and elegant floaty evening dresses.
The backdrop to the drama is every bit as breath-taking as the costumes, the foothills of the Himalayas with their luscious greenery and colonial architecture make the perfect dramatic setting for such an incredible piece of jaw dropping television.
The complexity of the relationships between the characters is multi-dimensional and enthrallingly complex as the plot reveals a web of intertwined back-stories through the ever-unfolding scandal.
Aafrin is one of the main characters working alongside Ralph Whelan after saving his life in season one, Aafrin is the shows heart throb conducting an illicit affair with Alice Whelan. The second seasons sees Aafrin’s character take on a much more turbulent role wrestling with his own views of the British in India, getting caught up with double crossing, murder and fiery romantic liaisons.
Fiona Glascott plays Sarah Raworth, a mousy slightly bitter woman determined to return to England, her character is somewhat ‘stuck up’ a classic social climber distracted by class, desperate to be liked. Her husband runs the school for local children and loves India. Her costumes are overtly feminine and on occasion a little flouncy combining ruffles, lace and bows.
Aysha Kala plays Sooni Dalal, Aafrin’s sister, who is a gutsy and smart young woman fighting for India’s independence. Aysha has ambitions of becoming a lawyer and is often found mixed up in political happenings, she’s headstrong and fights for what she believes in. Aysha’s saris are always rich, bright and bold just like her character.
I couldn’t recommend watching Indian Summers enough! It’s the perfect distraction for a Sunday evening.