March 8 2015
Channel 4 colonial blockbuster has found its mojo after two beautifully shot but languidly paced early episodes…
By CHAYYA SYAL (@c_syal)
CHANNEL FOUR’S new Sunday night drama “Indian Summers” has been hit-and-miss affair up until episode three aired last week (March 1).
On that very Sunday www.asianculturevulture.com live tweeted as episode three unfurled – with gusto – and will continue to do so for the duration of series one. We’ll be around for this evening’s (March 8) episode – so do please join us (@asiancutlurevul)
To our and many viewers’ delight, Channel Four have recently announced that there will be a second series of “Indian Summers”. The story will reportedly be set a few years (in 1935) from its current point of 1932. Sign us up for that!
Viewers finally saw the build-up from episodes one and two come to a rising crescendo. Storylines leapt forward, tensions heightened and spectacularly overflowed as clashes between freedom fighters occurred.
Aafrin (Nikesh Patel) made one of the most suspicious deals with Ralph (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) as he was promoted to Head Clerk. Aafrin later asked Ralph to help release his sister, Sooni (Aysha Kala) from jail which had disaster written all over it.
It made for excellent viewing and reminded us all of why we originally tuned in to watch “Indian Summers”.
The suspense continued as Ralph, Alice (Jemima West) and Aafrin finally spoke about the attempted assassination on Ralph’s life.
It was beautifully shot with excellent acting from the ringmaster of the Royal Shimla Club, Cynthia Coffin (Julie Walters) as she menacingly warned Alice: “If I were in your position, I wouldn’t remember a thing.”
We later saw Alice and Nikesh, in separate rooms, looking visibly shaken as they repeated what the assassin had shouted at Ralph: “You British demon”.
It was unclear as to whether or not they had admitted the truth, but during his interrogation Aafrin was left alone in the office. He opened the assassin’s file on the desk and found a document which appeared to have unhinged him. Does this mean that Sooni was right all along?
At points in the programme, you could have cut the atmosphere with a scythe as social media fell silent during Ralph and Madeleine’s (Olivia Grant) romp fest. Their steamy love-making session was met with disgust by her brother Eugene (Edward Hogg) who cried: “I need a peg or two!” before storming out of the house. We feel for you Eugene but two pegs might not be enough!
Dougie (Craig Parkinson) and Leena (Amber Rose Revah) finally gave into their feelings and kissed. This left Dougie riddled with guilt as he came clean to his wife Sarah (Fiona Glascott), who was less than impressed, as she confronted Leena about her husband’s indiscretions.
Dougie and Leena brought the mixed-children to the fair and it was surreal to see Ralph play with them. When he clapped eyes on Adam (Shachin Sailesh Kumar) he looked at him with visible shock as he uneasily asked Leena: “Who is that boy?” Hmm, how many secrets does Ralph have behind his cool and calm exterior?
Tea plantation heir Ian McLeod’s (Alexander Cobb) uncle Armitage (Richard McCabe) dramatically died of a heart attack at the fair as he tried (but massively failed) to punch his Indian neighbour – who speaks with a glass cut English accent. The scene ended with the self-proclaimed Queen of Shimla, Cynthia (Julie Walters), fuming but later taking the young and innocent Ian under her wing at Armitage’s funeral.
Look out: there’s trouble ahead and we cannot wait to find out what happens next!
Main picture: Adam (Shachin Sailesh Kumar), Leena (Amber Rose Revah) and Sarah Raworth (Fiona Gascott)
Asian Culture Vulture’s Chayya Syal (twitter link at top) will be live tweeting here (@asianculturevul) about ‘Indian Summers’ every Sunday between 9pm – 10pm. To follow the discussion, please follow us on use the hash tags #IndianSummers and #AsianCultureVulture #ACV