Review: Channel 4’s Indian Summers

Splitting the nation in two, this utterly gripping drama reveals the secrets of the British rule in India, during the nineteen thirties. Anand Tucker, the show’s director, outstandingly conveys, the lives of both middle class Brits, desperately latching on to their last hopes of rule, and the uprising Indians restlessly awaiting their independence.

The theme of love having a strong presence from its début, the forbidden, the shameful, and the physical forms take the nation by surprise. However, these representations are not to be dismissed, as interracial and mixed faith desires creep into the drama of struggling societies. Will ‘true love’ rule over the traditional mother of Aafrin Dalal? Or will there be, a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ending in which the nation is heartbroken? The affair between Dougie Raworth and Leela Prasad, is one which we can have sympathy for. Sarah Raworth, the wife of Dougie, is desperate to maintain her high flying status (which she blindingly believes she has) and marriage which is effectively over.

Julie Walters, playing the character of Cynthia Coffin, the star of the show, embraces her role and immerses her audience into the reality of the crumbling rule, along with Henry Lloyd-Hughes, playing Ralph Welan, unwilling to accept defeat even if it all ends in a bloody war. Patriotism is at its most extreme on both sides of nationalities: the English national anthem usually sung at a football match, is used as a reminder to the servants and those beneath that India is still a colony and will be for as long as they can help it. Whereas the intellectually sophisticated and rebellious Sooni Dalal is eager to win back her country although it is inevitable that this will be difficult, as her fight for justice is met by harsh cruelty, something which she does not seem ready for.

The nation awaits the next episode with anticipation, though there a few complaints on my behalf:

1) There is no book

2) This might be the only series

3) There are too many adverts – unfortunately this isn’t possible to change.

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