Stars to join Indian Summers series two


Rachel Griffiths, Art Malik, James Fleet, Sugandha Garg, Arjun Mathur and Blake Ritson join the cast on the second series of Indian Summers.

Simla, “queen of hills” and the summer capital of the British Raj, once again plays host to political intrigue, terrorism, treachery, adultery and murder in the second series of Channel 4’s hit drama.

Channel 4’s record-breaking and evocative drama series Indian Summers welcomes a host of new characters as filming on the second series gets underway. From Maharajas and their mistresses to freedom fighters and spurned spouses, new faces from all strata of Simla society will be introduced during this pivotal and explosive summer on the journey to Indian independence.

It’s the summer of 1935 – a season where old allegiances will be broken and new ones forged, where unbridled passions and adultery run roughshod over fidelity and where revolution hangs heavy in the air. An assassination attempt on the Viceroy, Lord Willingdon (Patrick Malahide), puts Ralph’s (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) future in the balance. The surprise arrival of Lord Hawthorne, played by James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Hollow Crown, The Vicar of Dibley), heralds impending change at the highest levels of the administration. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s (Julie Walters) Royal Simla Club plays host to an important royal guest, the Maharaja Maritpur, played by Art Malik (The Jewel in the Crown, True Lies, The Wolfman), who could make or break Ralph’s political gambles. The Maharaja is accompanied by Sirene, played by Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters, Six Feet Under, Muriel’s Wedding), his elegant and mysterious Australian mistress who hides a surprising past.

Meanwhile, Aafrin (Nikesh Patel) is embroiled in an intricate, dangerous and violent game of cat and mouse as he finds himself part of the escalating independence campaign alongside the beautiful and passionate Kaira, played by Sugandha Garg (My Name is Khan, Patang), and the unpredictable and volatile Naresh, played by Arjun Mathur (My Name is Khan, My Friend Pinto).

Alice’s (Jemima West) world is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of her estranged and abusive husband, Charlie Havistock, played by Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons, Upstairs Downstairs, The Crimson Petal and the White).

Julie Walters says, “I can’t wait to get back to the old girl! There’s some fantastic stuff to come in this series and Cynthia's naughtiness goes up several notches.”

Rachel Griffiths says, "I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining the cast of Indian Summers. I have been bingeing on UK television for the last ten years and am I'm very excited to be on board such a beautifully made and relevant show. Paul is an incredible creator and has created an intriguing and provocative strong character in Sirene. I am sure she will have the mountain gossips aghast.”

Art Malik adds, “It’s wonderful and exciting to once again delve into this period in our history and of course to join such a fantastic cast is a delight. Paul Rutman has created the most vivid and evocative world and I cannot wait to see the waves my Maharaja shall be making in Simla’s society...”

Original cast members Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mo, The Hollow Crown), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners, Harry Potter, Madame Bovary), Jemima West (The Borgias, The Mortal Instruments : City of Bones), Nikesh Patel (Bedlam, Honour), Roshan Seth (A Passage to India, Gandhi), Lillete Dubey (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Monsoon Wedding), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Misfits, Prey), Fiona Glascott (Episodes), Olivia Grant (Legacy), Alexander Cobb (Mr Selfridge, Call the Midwife), Amber Rose Revah (What Remains) , Aysha Kala (Shameless), Rick Warden (Happy Valley, Band of Brothers) and Patrick Malahide (Game of Thrones, The Paradise, The World is Not Enough) reprise their roles in this new series.

As the fight for Indian independence intensifies, all those who converge in Simla during this pivotal summer will find their loyalties tested, their relationships strained to breaking point and their world, as they know it, facing irrevocable change.

Filming is underway on the 10-part series, which is due to be air on Channel 4 in early 2016.

Indian Summers is produced by New Pictures. It is a co-production with MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US. The series is created and written by Paul Rutman (Vera). The series will be directed by John Alexander (Exile, White Heat), Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man, Broadchurch) and Paul Wilmshurst (Doctor Who, Da Vinci’s Demons, A.D.). The series directors of photography are John de Borman (An Education, Half of a Yellow Sun) and Garry Phillips (The Railway Man). It is produced by Dan Winch (Jamaica Inn, What We Did on Our Holiday). Executive producers are Charlie Pattinson (Shameless, Skins, Elizabeth 1), Elaine Pyke (Mad Dogs, Strike Back) and Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn, Cranford), and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE on PBS (broadcaster of Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge). Indira Varma is co-executive producer. Commissioned by Piers Wenger and Beth Willis for Channel 4. Indian Summers will be distributed internationally by All3M International.

Praise for the first series of Indian Summers

“This winter warmer of a drama seethes with passion…I’m so hooked I’ll be back next week…” – The Guardian

“A work of subtlety, intelligence and some beauty.” – The Times

“Sunday night just got good again.” – The Independent

“An epic vision.” – The Mail on Sunday

“A raj feast as classic as kedgeree eaten under a slow ceiling fan.” – Daily Express

“A vibrant, intense kaleidoscope of conflict that makes Downton Abbey look like a soap opera.” – The Independent

Notes to Editors:

  • The first series of Indian Summers launched on Channel 4 in February 2015 with 5.3 million viewers, making it the highest UK drama launch for the channel in over 20 years.
  • The series averaged almost 3 million viewers across 10 episodes and was the channel’s top performing British 9pm drama since 2002.
  • The series will once again comprise 10 episodes.
  • The first and last episodes of the second series will be 75 minute episodes, with the remaining eight episodes running to 60 minutes each.

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