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Filming gets underway on lavish C4 drama


Channel 4 has revealed the new cast additions for Indian Summers Series 2.

Joining the ten-part drama is, Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters, Muriel’s Wedding), Art Malik (True Lies, The Wolfman), James Fleet (The Hollow Crown, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Sugandha Garg (My Name is Khan), Arjun Mathur (My Name is Khan) and Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons, Upstairs Downstairs).

Channel 4’s record-breaking drama, created and written by Paul Rutman (Vera), returns to Simla, “queen of hills” and the summer capital of the British Raj in the summer of 1935 – a season where old allegiances will be broken and new ones forged. 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.

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 (James Fleet), 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 (Art Malik), who could make or break Ralph’s political gambles. The Maharaja is accompanied by Sirene (Rachel Griffiths), 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 (Sugandha Garg), and the unpredictable and volatile Naresh (Arjun Mathur).

Alice’s (Jemima West) world is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of her estranged and abusive husband, Charlie Havistock (Blake Ritson).

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…”

Indian Summers is produced by New Pictures. It is a co-production with MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US. The second series’ first and last episodes will be 75 minutes long, with the remaining eight episodes 60 minutes.

Indian Summers returns to Channel 4 in early 2016.