Beecham house TV series

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There’s a Gorgeous New Masterpiece Miniseries Coming to PBS

Courtesy of PBS

There’s a new period drama coming to Masterpiece on PBS, and we can’t wait to tune in. The series is called Beecham House, and it’s a story about family ties and an unraveling mystery that’s set in 1795 in Delhi, India.

It’s set to be a visually stunning production with a compelling story to match. Of the plot and the production design, PBS says, “The drama depicts the fortunes of the residents of an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns. Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair, Jekyll and Hyde, Murder on the Orient Express) takes the role of enigmatic, soulful John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased the magnificent mansion, Beecham House, to begin a new life with his family.” You can see a glimpse in the series’ teaser trailer below.

Watch the teaser trailer:

According to PBS, “Beecham House is set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi before the British ruled in that region. Beecham House is created by Gurinder Chadha, the writer, director and producer responsible for numerous internationally successful films including Bend It Like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice and Viceroy’s House.”

Originally commissioned by ITV in the UK, Beecham House will soon make its way to the US to air on Masterpiece on PBS. No premiere date has been announced, but keep an eye out, because it could be soon. Learn more about Beecham House at pbs.org.

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Will you be tuning into Beecham House when it airs on PBS? What miniseries have you enjoyed watching lately?

We know that ITV can do stately home-set period dramas pretty well (anyone remember that little-known show called Downton Abbey?) and now the channel is bringing another to our screens.

ITV announced back in March 2018 that it had commissioned an ‘epic’ and ‘ambitious’ drama series called Beecham House from Gurinder Chadha, the writer, director and producer responsible for Bend It Like Beckham. Now, the six-part series is underway and providing us with some top-rate Sunday night escapism.

The secrets of #BeechamHouse will soon be revealed. pic.twitter.com/I1YDqY9ysH

— Beecham House (@beechamhouse) May 24, 2019

Beecham House – What’s it about?

The series, set in a mansion in early 19th century Delhi, explores the life of the man who’s acquired the grand home, John Beecham, and the lives of the people around him.

ITV

Speaking about focusing on the start of British Empire in India, a time which hasn’t been widely explored in drama, Gurinder told press including Goodhousekeeping.com/uk:

“People want something fresh about the story between Indians and Britons. This is a story about international commerce and what happens when cultures come together.”

ITV

Charming but guarded former soldier, John Beecham, has acquired the house to start a new life for his family and a business as a trader.

John moves into the house determined to make it his safe haven, yet in spite of filling his home with relatives and friends, there’s still disharmony, conspiracy and sinister intent.

ITV

Wealthy and distinguished, John has witnessed profiteering and exploitation during his time with the controlling East India Company and appears haunted by his past. Determined to escape that life, John sets his sights on becoming an honourable member of the region’s trading community.

But despite his best intentions, John’s life remains shrouded in mystery and is the cause of speculation.

When his wayward brother, Daniel, and haughty mother arrive to live with him, their presence and influence is felt in Delhi at a turbulent time, given the 1000-year-old Mughal rule is over and the British vie with the Maharajas and the French to claim India as their own.

ITV

Sounds good, right? Even though series one hasn’t aired, Gurinder is already fielding questions about season two.

“I think it really depends on the audience, the audience is going to tell me . I could sit here and say ‘I’d like 25 seasons please!’” she said.
“Hopefully this can become one of those epic moments where you remember scenes rather than it all blending into the same thing,” she added.

Of course, comparisons are going be drawn between Beecham House and fellow big budget ITV drama, Downton Abbey. While this show certainly has the potential to fill the Downton-shaped hole in our lives, Lesley Nicol (who plays the snobbish Henrietta Beecham and was Mrs. Patmore in Downton) hopes people don’t get too hung up on that.

ITV

“I struggle with that because in my mind Beecham House has its own identity, it’s own thing. I don’t believe there’s ever been anything like it before. The only parallel I can see is that it’s a house with servants, because it’s a different country, it’s a different era, totally different style. I’d like it to be there in its own right. I hope it’s as successful as course,” she told press including Goodhousekeeping.com/uk.

Beecham House – Who’s in it?

There’s a seriously impressive cast – Tom Bateman stars as John Beecham, Marc Warren (Hustle) is his friend Samuel Parker, Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) plays John and Daniel’s haughty mum Henrietta and Leo Suter (Victoria) is the wayward Daniel.

The cast also stars Dakota Blue Richards as Margaret Osborne, Pallavi Sharda as Chandrika, Bessie Carter as Violet Woodhouse and Viveik Kalra as Baadal.

Also expect to see Gregory Fitoussi (Mr Selfridge) as General Castillon, Adil Ray as Murad Beg and Shriya Pilgaonkar as Chanchal.

ITV

Beecham House – When will it be on TV?

Beecham House airs Sundays at 9pm on ITV.

When is Beecham House on TV? Who’s in the cast of the ITV period drama?

Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Marc Warren and Leo Suter lead a huge ensemble cast for ITV’s new period drama Beecham House, set in India at the cusp of the 19th century.

  • Meet the cast of ITV’s Indian period drama Beecham House
  • Is Beecham House based on a true story?
  • Where is ITV’s Beecham House filmed?
  • Beecham House star Tom Bateman on Poldark-style topless ‘scything’ scene

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Here’s everything you need to know…

When is Beecham House on TV?

Six-part drama Beecham House began on Sunday 23rd June at 9pm on ITV. Episode two aired the following night, on Monday 24th June at 9pm and continued on Sundays at 9pm.

  • Beecham House season 2: Will there be another series of the ITV drama?

Who stars in Beecham House?

  • Meet the cast of ITV’s Indian period drama Beecham House

Vanity Fair and Da Vinci’s Demons star Tom Bateman leads the cast. He is joined by Safe’s Marc Warren, Lesley Nicol (who played cook Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey), Leo Suter (Drummond in Victoria), and Dakota Blue Richards from Endeavour and The Golden Compass.

The cast also includes Pallavi Sharda, Bessie Carter and Viveik Kalra, as well as Gregory Fitoussi, Adil Ray, Laura Dutta and Shriya Pilgaonkar.

What is Beecham House about?

The drama follows the fortunes of the residents of an imposing and beautiful mansion called Beecham House at the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi, India.

An “enigmatic, soulful” former soldier called John Beecham (Bateman) owns the mansion. He is determined to begin a new life with his family, but is haunted by his past. According to ITV, he is also troubled by “dangerous enemies in high places, rival suitors competing for his heart and discord with family members,” and his plan for a new life will not run smoothly.

His family include “interfering” mum Henrietta (Nicol), alongside her friend Violet (Carter). They’re joined by John’s old pal Samuel Parker (Warren), who leaves the East India Company with John’s long-lost brother Daniel (Suter) to join him at Beecham House.

There’s also mercenary General Castillon (Fitoussi) in the mix, as well as John’s neighbour Murad Beg (Ray) and English governess, Margaret Osborne (Richards). On top of that, John is caring for a baby called August – but nobody’s sure who’s the father or mother.

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The drama is directed and written by Gurinder Chadha OBE, who previously wrote Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice, and Viceroy’s House.

Beecham House is set to end its first series – but will it be returning? (Picture: ITV)

ITV drama Beecham House is set to come to an end on Sunday night, leaving the inevitable question of whether a second series could be on the cards.

The show, set in colonial India at the turn of the 19th Century, has kept viewers hooked with the story of John Beecham (Tom Bateman) and his unexplained arrival in pre-colonial India.

There’s certainly scope for the show to return – but will we be seeing it again?

Here’s what you need to know…

Will there be a Beecham House series 2?

ITV has yet to confirm whether Beecham House will return for a second series – and with the first series just coming to an end we may still have to wait a while to find out if it’s returning.

Metro.co.uk has contacted ITV for further comment.

Tom Bateman plays John Beecham, who’s attempted to leave his past behind as he moves to India (Picture: ITV)

The show has received mixed reviews since it debuted back in June, while the opening episode scored an audience of 2.5m viewers.

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Its 9pm Sunday slot has put it in direct competition with the BBC’s own period drama hit Gentleman Jack, as well as the current series of Poldark which kicked off last weekend.

The series, set in 1795 before British rule in India, follows John Beecham, his family and staff, as they move into the titular house in Delhi.

Beecham brings a child named August and two Indian nursemaids with him, sparking speculation among the servants that the girl is in fact his child – but his past follows him to India as his mother and brother, Henrietta (Lesley Nicol) and Daniel (Leo Suter) follow him to India.

Although the main characters are fictional, the series has its roots in truth, as many of the characters featured in the series did exist.

What happens in the final episode of Beecham House?

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The series finale sees John in his cell, finally working out who betrayed him while recalling the events of the past few months – while Daniel, Margaret (Dakota Blue Richards) and Chandrika (Pallavi Sharda) desperately try to help him secure his freedom.

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However there’s trouble back at home when the house is attacked, leaving one character in a pool of blood – and another missing.

What time is Beecham House on?

The series finale kicks off on ITV on Sunday night at 9pm.

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MORE: ITV’s Beecham House under fire from animal cruelty campaigners for using captive elephants

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ITV will not be commissioning a second series of Bend It Like Beckham filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s lavish period drama Beecham House.

The six-part series, produced by Chadha’s Bend IT TV, only managed to pull in an audience of 3.3M in a prestige Sunday night slot. It could not compete with other dramas in the same ITV slot, such as Victoria.

Beecham House will air on PBS in March next year. ITV said Chadha is still hoping to keep the drama going beyond series one through a deal with another international broadcaster.

The drama takes place on the cusp of 19th century in Delhi, following the fortunes of the residents of the titular mansion. It was written by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Shahrukh Husain and Victor Levin (Mad Men).

An ITV spokeswoman said: “We have no plans for Beecham House to return, but the series is still to air in the U.S. from March 2020 and creator Gurinder Chadha is actively having conversations with international broadcasters with a view to the drama returning beyond series one.”

Chadha added: “We’re extremely proud of our landmark TV series Beecham House and our incredibly diverse team, both in front and behind the camera. The series has been loved by our audience and we were delighted that the overnight audience doubled on catch up and continues to grow. We are really excited for the upcoming US launch on PBS and can’t wait to see the series continue to air around the world.”

BEECHAM House is the passion project of Bend It Like Beckham creator Gurinder Chadha and concludes TONIGHT (Sunday, July 21, 2019) on ITV.

Here’s what you need to know about the finale episode, which stars Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol.

4 Gurinder Chadha lead the creative team on her new show, Beecham HouseCredit: BBC

What time is Beecham House on tonight?

Beecham House commenced with a double whammy with the first episode airing on June 23, 2019 on ITV at 9pm.

The six-part show has continued as a weekly show on Sundays at 9pm and THIS SUNDAY (July 21, 2019) will be the final show.

Caroline Levy, who also produced EastEnders, Holby City and The Bill, is the series producer.

While Beecham House is true to the history of Delhi, India, and the East India Company, the show is not actually based on a true story.

4 Tom Bateman takes on the lead role of John BeechamCredit: KUDOS/Itv

What in store in the Beecham House finale?

Episode six, the last in series one of Beecham House, will see John thrown a lifeline by his surprise visitor, however, he is told he must be patient.

Knowing he has been betrayed, he spend hours in his cell recalling events of the past few months to identify the betrayer.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Margaret, who know the truth about the diamond, attempt to send a message to the Emperor.

Shockingly John’s home is attacked in his absence and Ram Lal is discovered in a pool of blood – what happened while he was away?

Who’s in the cast of Beecham House?

Tom Bateman has taken on the lead role of John Beecham – a former soldier who buys a house in the hope of starting a new life with his family.

His family consists of his mum Henrietta, played by Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol, and John’s long-lost brother Daniel, played by Leo Suter from Victoria.

Howards End actress Bessie Carter takes on the role of John Beecham’s friend Violet, as Marc Warren plays John’s old pal Samuel Parker.

4 Tom Bateman will get hearts racing with some of his shirtless scenesCredit: KUDOS/Itv

The cast includes Mr Selfridge’s Gregory Fitoussi who portrays mercenary General Castillon, threatening to stop John’s business dealings.

While John’s neighbour Murad Beg is played by Adil Ray and Beg’s daughter’s English governess is acted by Dakota Blue Richards.

Lion star Pallavi Sharda plays character Chandrika.

4 Beecham House has largely been panned by critics

Beecham House follows the story of John Beecham, and what unfolds within his family and staff as they move into a new home in Delhi, India, on the cusp of the 18th century.

However, the title character is clearly haunted by his past, and despite moving somewhere new, it won’t take long for disharmony and conspiracy to win out in the stunning surroundings.

John’s life remains shrouded in mystery as he arrives with an “olive-skinned” child named August and two Indian nursemaids.

This adds to speculation and gossip among the servants that he may be the boy’s father, and that the protective nursemaid happens to be his mother.

To add further complication, John’s past doesn’t take long to catch up with him, as his mother and brother arrive to live with them.

The period show is created by Gurinder Chadha, the creative mind behind Bend it Like Beckham and Viceroy’s House.

What are the reviews like for Beecham House?

Critics have largely slated the show for failing to correct ‘the usual stereotypes of Brits in India.’

The Sun reporter Ally Ross described it as ‘the result of liberal self-loathing’ and an example of an “apologetic empire.'”

While The Spectator panned the show as “shameless and corny,” calling it a “an intermittently enjoyable but ultimately pretty shameless soap opera.”

Likewise the Guardian was pretty scathing in its analysis of the programme, even giving it just one star.

It described it as a “straightforward white saviour narrative” and “as it stands, it’s a jewel in no one’s crown.”

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Is there going to be a second series of Beecham House?

As yet there has been no word from bosses of a second series of the show.

But that isn’t too strange considering the current season is yet to conclude until Sunday.

ITV producers will no doubt be taking into account fan reaction alongside critical response before deciding to go ahead with commissioning a second series.

So watch this space…

Beecham House, starring Tom Bateman, has been axed after one series (Picture: ITV)

Beecham House has been axed after one series.

ITV has ‘no plans’ to bring back the period drama, created by Gurinder Chadha.

Starring Tom Bateman and Lesley Nicol, it told the story of soldier John Beecham and the residents of Beecham House in 19th century Delhi, just before the British came into power.

While its time at ITV has come to an end, Chadha is in talks with ‘international broadcasters’ in a bid to bring it back for more episodes.

An ITV spokesperson said: ‘We have no plans for Beecham House to return, but the series is still to air in the U.S. from March 2020 and creator Gurinder Chadha is actively having conversations with international broadcasters with a view to the drama returning beyond series one.’

It will still air on PBS in America in March next year.

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The six episodes, according to Deadline, couldn’t not compete with other ITV Sunday night big hitters, such as Victoria starring Jenna Coleman as the titular queen.

Beecham House featured fictional characters and real life figures (Picture: ITV)

In an interview with Metro.co.uk, Chadha revealed that she wrote the series with the Malone family from Gogglebox in mind.

She said: ‘The Malones for me were just who I kept coming back to. I wanted to know what the Malones would be thinking.

The Bend It Like Beckham director added: ‘We’re all at a time where people want something fresh about that story between Britain and India.’

While John and all others close to him are fictional, some of the characters did actually exist – including Emperor Shah Alam, who was the 16th Mughal Emperor and who reigned in India from 1760 until 1806.

Begum Samru, another character featured in the show, was also real – being a woman at the time who ran a mercenary army.

The story also features the rise to power of the British East India Company in the 18th Century and the British government’s increasing role in the region – although the country did not fall under British rule until 1858.

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

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Will there be another series of ITV drama Beecham House?

It’s all going suspiciously well in the final episode of Beecham House. John Beecham (Tom Bateman) has cleared his good name; Mrs Beecham (Lesley Nicol) is off the opium; Daniel (Leo Suter) has joined the family business; Samuel Parker (Marc Warren) has been exposed as a rat and Violet (Bessie Carter) is getting over her disappointment.

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But by the time John declares his love and gets engaged to Margaret Osborne (Dakota Blue Richards) with the Taj Mahal in the background, it is clear that things are going FAR too well. Something bad is about to happen.

  • Meet the cast of ITV’s Indian period drama Beecham House
  • Is Beecham House based on a true story?
  • Where is ITV’s Beecham House filmed?

That hunch is correct. In the final minutes of the series, John and Margaret return to Beecham House to find the guards dead, the servants stabbed – and John’s son missing! Baby August, the maharaja-to-be, has been taken from his crib.

That’s clearly a set-up for a second series. But will the ITV drama be back for more?

Will there be a second series of Beecham House?

Ahead of the finale, ITV was unable to confirm whether there will be a second series of the drama.

But if the broadcaster does decide to re-commission Beecham House, Gurinder Chadha – the show’s creator, writer and director – is keen to go ahead.

Speaking at the series premiere, Chadha said Beecham House’s future “really depends on the audience, the audience is going to tell me really. Obviously I can sit here and say, I’d like 25 seasons please…”

She added: “But we need the audience obviously to turn up. If the audience turns up, then we can go on.”

Unfortunately, viewing figures have been disappointing for ITV’s Sunday 9pm slot. The drama launched to an overnight audience of 2.3 million, dropping to 1.52 million for the penultimate episode.

So despite the cliffhanger ending to series one, the show’s future seems uncertain…

What would happen in a second series of Beecham House?

Tom Bateman, who stars as John Beecham, told press ahead of the series premiere: “In season two, it would be nice to see him open up a bit more… because the series ends still with a lot of questions. Some are answered, but as soon as you answer one you open up a can of worms for another.”

The big question at the end of series one is: who has kidnapped baby August – and is he safe?

The drama also leaves us wondering about Captain Samuel Parker (Marc Warren). What was his role in the raid on Beecham House, which left many guards and servants dead? Who was he working with? And what is the kidnappers’ motive?

Dakota Blue Richards, who plays Margaret Osborne, said she would also be keen to return: “I think the first season of anything, of course you want to wait and see how it’s received, and it’ll be interesting I think as well to see which parts of the story audiences most connect with.

“There’s a lot going on, so I think that will very much determine what happens with our characters going forwards, if it does go forwards. So yeah, I mean, I had a wonderful time. I would go back again and do it again. But it’s not my decision, ultimately.”

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Beecham House is available on ITV Hub now

Beecham House review: ITV’s clunky period drama is all tell and no show

ITV’s new six-part primetime period drama Beecham House is set in 18th-century Delhi. It has been pitched as a kind of Murghal Downton Abbey, but it feels more like Jane Austen’s Marigold Hotel, a spoof of itself so cheesy that it practically wafts off the screen.

In the cold open our hero (Tom Bateman) shoots someone holding up a coach. “Who are you, stranger?” asks a rescued man.

“John Beecham,” says John Beecham. Then he gets shot himself. The titles roll. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

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The premise is fine. Three years after the shooting, it’s 1795 and Beecham, a former East India Company man, is trying to set up as a trader, under the wary eyes of the French commander (Gregory Fitoussi) and the local emperor Shah Alam (Roshan Seth). He arrives at a palatial new abode with a train of staff and mysterious babes. Everyone is suspicious of this British arrival, but Beecham swears he is legit.

We are clearly meant to take our hero, who seems to have raided Indiana Jones’s lost wardrobe, for a colonial beefcake. With his solid face and thick beard he looks rugged but smooth, like a hipster whose carpentry business is undermined by a massive trust fund. Sure, Beecham is taking the local natural resources and selling them to make himself rich, but he’s doing it with the right intentions.

He takes his top off, plays firm with the French general, impresses the servants with a bit of the local lingo. He thinks India should be ruled by Indians. He has a half-Indian baby of uncertain maternity. His own mother (Lesley Nicol) turns up with a scheming Englishwoman, Violet (Bessie Carter), with designs on becoming Mrs Beecham. To do so she’ll need to get rid of Margaret Osbourne (Dakota Blue Richards), who has a bit of a vibe with our man too.

The director is Gurinder Chadha, of Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice and sundry other British-Indian projects. In promotional interviews, she has described Beecham House as “flipping radical”. She is right in the sense that you don’t often see writing and acting this clunky, even on ITV. It’s all tell and no show. White-clad staff mutter to each other in the shadows. No hair is out of place, no speck of dust where it shouldn’t be, which lends the sets a kind of pornish lifelessness.

I accept that Beecham House is not aimed at me and not everything has to be Chernobyl. There is no shortage of extras and costumes or glamorous Indian location shoots. If you want to to watch elephants trundle around in fancy outfits while people unironically ask each other things like, “John Beecham: is he friend or foe?”, perhaps you’ll have a good time.

But while there is obviously a gap for more nuanced depictions of the British in India, an era invariably reduced to a series of lame cliches, this isn’t it. I’m afraid this Beecham’s will leave you… cold.