Indian Summers

 

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Are you watching?? And if not, how come?!

It’s on Masterpiece on PBS and it’s the perfect Autumn dalliance until “Downton Abbey” and ‘ “Poldark” & Handsome’ return.

 

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Personally, I’m LOVING.

Particularly the brother/lover/hero/villian/viceroy’s minion/young Ralph Fiennes-like lead character Ralph Whelan (played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes)

Alas, I can’t help myself  🙁  Those naughty, damaged, sexually ambiguous, tortured, clean on the outside, dirty on the inside types get me every time (not in real life though, thank you very much)

But of a Sunday, when I’m happily curled up in me cozy bed with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and my husband’s unsolicited but appreciated ( usually hilarious) sub-texts proffered throughout??  Yeah! Bring it!!

I might add he hasn’t taken to “Indian Summers” with quite the same zeal as yours truly.  I keep reassuring him that “Batesy” , Lady Mary et al. have no knowledge of the fact we’re seeing other Masterpiece  shows on the side.

Besides, “Downton Abbey” shouldn’t take such long breaks between seasons, if you catch my drift. Don Draper only got away with it because…he was Don.

Still, I guess we have to thank Earl and Debbie Schreibner or whoever that couple is Laura Linney keeps saying make it possible for us to enjoy all these shows.

Thanks you guys.  Oh, and Ralph Lauren too.

 

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Venom in Voile.

There’s some wicked White Mischief shenanigans going on with this lot.   Doesn’t a picture speak a thousand thorny words?!

Steady on, whot??!

 

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Still haven’t quite sussed out what this creepy character’s up to yet, but it’s no good, I can tell you that.

 

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and this poor sod…

 

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Yes, long time Slim Paley readers are well aware I’m utterly and  hopelessly taken with the Anglo-Indian, Raj-Colonial era.  Palms fronds, ceiling fans, sticky wicker, snakes, malaria, the whole nine yards.

 

This is just a part of my collection of vintage tea dresses, so you get the idea…

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This one being one of my favourites, completely hand painted.

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But all that aside, each and every shot in “Indian Summers” is gorgeous.

G O R G E O U S.  Merchant Ivory would be raising an eyebrow and giving a nod.

 

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And who doesn’t feel the need to escape to somewhere achingly exotic at the end of the week ?

Especially now that The World Series is over (sigh) and football… UGH…don’t even get me started. Isn’t Monday night enough??

So… my advice is to get yourself over to Masterpiece and catch up on your “Indian Summers” before it’s too late.

If you need my help with any cliff notes, I’ll be holding forth at the British Social Club.  Sitting in the corner wearing a slightly damp tea dress, hair curling at my nape, red lipstick faintly wicking into the lines around my upper lip while I nurse my gin & tonic… strictly medicinal, for the quinine don’t you know…

 

take a peek; Indian Summers  The Trailer

 

MASTERPIECE Indian Summers Sundays, September 27 - November 22, 2015 at 9pm ET Julie Walters stars as the glamorous doyenne of an English social club in the twilight era ofBritish rule in India. Set in a subtropical paradise, Indian Summers explores the collision ofthe high-living English ruling class with the local people agitating for Indianindependence. As the drama unfolds, the two sides alternately clash and merge in anintricate game of power, politics, and passion. Also starring in this lavish production areHenry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West, Nikesh Patel, Roshan Seth, and Lillete Dubey. Shown from left to right: Jemima West as Alice Whelan and Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan (C) New Pictures and Channel 4 for MASTERPIECE in association with All3Media International This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

MASTERPIECE
Indian Summers
Sundays, September 27 – November 22, 2015 at 9pm ET
Julie Walters stars as the glamorous doyenne of an English social club in the twilight era ofBritish rule in India. Set in a subtropical paradise, Indian Summers explores the collision ofthe high-living English ruling class with the local people agitating for Indianindependence. As the drama unfolds, the two sides alternately clash and merge in anintricate game of power, politics, and passion. Also starring in this lavish production areHenry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West, Nikesh Patel, Roshan Seth, and Lillete Dubey.
Shown from left to right: Jemima West as Alice Whelan and Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan
(C) New Pictures and Channel 4 for MASTERPIECE in association with All3Media International
This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only.

 

 

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Indian Summers

 

 

 

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Happy Weekend Everyone!

xx SP

 

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54 Comments

  1. iiiiiinnnnnndddddiiiiiaaaaannnnnn sssssuuuummmmmmmmmeeeerrrrrrrrrssssssss……..in my dreams, my red lipstick, and my tanqueray no. 10

  2. Oh Slim, I have been trying so hard to keep up with “IS” while going through my prolonged “Downton Abbey” withdrawals!! Unfortunately I am finding their storylines rather murky. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t watched yet, but I find myself reading the Masterpiece Classic summaries on Monday just to figure out what I watched on Sunday! I am holding out hope that, like a beautiful cup of fragrant Oolong, it will become clear to me.

    • I think my husband felt the same way at first Cathy, but stick with it- everything starts to gel together. Plus, it’s just so damn pretty!

  3. We just finished it in a marathon this afternoon and it was fabulous. I can only imagine what Alice and Afrin will do next season! And Ralph!!

  4. I LOVE it and find myself thinking about it during the week too! I was even wanting to discuss it with someone today but don’t know anyone in my immediate circle who watches it! I was so stunned at what happened at end of last weeks episode! Don’t want to spoil it for anyone! I’m going to be unhappy when it comes to an end! And then after it’s over on my PBS channel, another show, The Guilty, comes on and it’s quite good also. Completely different, but very good also. A British murder mystery – contemporary. I don’t usually go for those, but was unloading the dishwasher in the kitchen after Indian Summer and tv was still on and the next show came on and now I’m hooked on it also so for 2 hours my teenage son cannot ask me any questions on Sunday eve unless during commercials!

    • ha! Yes, contemporary murder mystery definitely not my thing, but I will give it a look! I also see that ‘The Returned’ is FINALLY returning!

  5. Isn’t it the best ? Hope there will be another season. I’ve bought the dvd as I know I’ll be watching it over and over. Also looking forard to watching Downton Abbey in January. I live on Vancouver Island and always enjoy when you mention Canada in some of your posts.

  6. Loving Indian Summers–but plenty of shock value in the treatment of those who serve them. My kind of story with attendant costume, scenery, etc–I need an ongoing British show on Sunday night to finsih my week.

  7. You are such a talented writer/commentator . Your talents are somewhat “undernourished” here, but we all adore you. Have you considered a larger venue as well? Sooo good.

    • Thank you Barbara! You’re so kind. I often consider larger venues, it’s just that they never consider me!!
      Maybe they just don’t know I’m here 😉

  8. I was lukewarm after 2 episodes, but then the Mister asked if I wanted to delete it from the recording list, I couldn’t pull the trigger and ended up watching episodes 3 and 4 while ironing. 🙂 Now, I’m in the swing of it all. Love the time frame and the decor in the British homes, oh, and of course the characters.
    xo,
    Karen
    P.S. What about Home Fires? I’ve enjoyed that as well.

  9. That house! ……and the manipulative woman who runs the club, and the gorgeous man who took over the tea plantation………I’ve told my kids I will no longer respond to mom, it’s mesahib from now on.

  10. I’m in love with this show too! PBS continues to be one of my very favorite channels. I have no problem continuing to send them my support. Speaking of PBS, do you watch “A Chef’s Life”. I have fallen in love with Vivian and all the cast of characters that surround her. If you can, go find Season 1 to watch first so you can really get to know them all and see her journey.

    • No! I’ve not seen “A Chef’s Life” I will check that out too! You did see the series “Chef’s Table” on Netflix, right?

  11. Hi Slim, I am a long-time SP reader, introduced by our mutual friend Benedicte. If you haven’t already read it, I would like to recommend the wonderful book ‘A God in Every Stone’, by Kamila Shamsie. In it Shamsie creates a wonderful weave of the life of an interesting woman and the mythological undercurrents / organizing principles that guide her. The piece starts in 1914 and runs up to the Indian struggle for independence in the 1930’s.

    • Hi Lisa! j’aime Benedicte!!
      and thank you for being a ‘long time SP reader’-I know I’ve had more than a few dry spells the last couple of years. I will look for the book today. It’s sounds very good and set in my favourite time period.
      Thanks again!

  12. Thanking PBS.org for the oppty to re-watch each of the Indian summers episodes, the first few episodes MANY times over just to get a grasp on the rampant, incomplete clues. Flawless acting all the way around, a DREAM to watch. But listen: shhhhhhhh, you can watch the new season of Downton without waiting for it to come to the US, I’ve been watching it right here at my desk [full screen] on Couchtuner, here are the episodes released so far: http://www.couchtuner.la/watch-downton-abbey-online-serie/

  13. Oh Slim, this reminds me of the ITV series “The jewel in the Crown” which aired in Holland in the eighties.
    With Geraldine James, Art Malik and the very handsome Charles Dance!

  14. My husband told me the reviews were not good, so I have not yet indulged. This post has me sold on it. Another downtonesque series I recommend is “A Place to Come Home” on Amazon. Austrailian family post WWII. Absolutely addictive. It’s not free, but worth every penny. Watch it. You won’t be sorry!

    • ooooh- another one! Is it sort of Thornbird-esque? It might be free on Amazon for Prime members? (which, btw, is SO totally worth it, considering I get everything from coconut water, to PG tips, to paper towel and vats of agave syrup delivered. Yesterday, an electric leaf blower. Books??? what books??!)

  15. Too bad you do not know my mom, Slim. She watches “Indian Summers” on PBS on Monday nights herself. She is quite fond of the series, but as for me I prefer watching stand-up comics perform (like your husband) over dramatic miniseries right now. Perhaps I will get in to it as time goes on. Perhaps.

  16. I just wasn’t fascinated. India, for some reason, just doesn’t pique my imagination. I find I have to have close caption turned on to understand what is said. Even Downton Abby has sound quality issues. Maybe, I will wait for Kindle to stream “IS” and I will try during TV’s arid desert season.

  17. It is so much like Jewel In the Crown, ,in fact same story line, kinda . It was first shown in the states 30 years ago then just recently on PBS again. I am enjoying Indian Summer too. Of course its British. I am not sure at all what is going on the main British guy.

  18. Fabulous post – can’t wait to indulge in “Indian Summer”! I noticed that Maureen Richmond mentioned the Australian drama “A Place To Call Home” – here’s a link everyone – it’s well worth a watch http://www.sohotv.com.au/shows/a-place-to-call-home/ And forgive me all but I want to plug another Aussie production “The Dressmaker” – I know Kate Winslet is not Australian but her accent is spot on. Great Aussie cast feature in this gothic classic (that features the best frocks you will have seen in years) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPCyjqGH914

  19. I also adore this time period. I recommend to you the book “East of the Sun” by Julia Gregson. I read it while touring India. It was a perfectly romantic read!

  20. Haven’t caught this series, but this post (and the exquisite tea dresses) have whetted my appetite. I’ll be tuning in.

  21. What a beautiful post-those dresses are divine and are so perfect with the photos from the show.

    In the beginning I thought this was a poor cousin to Jewel In The Crown, which I watched last year on PBS after a 30 year hiatus, but have lately begun to appreciate the series of twists and turns in the plot. If you haven’t seen it, you must-it is one of the finest of Masterpiece’s productions and unlike “Summers” was actually filmed in India. It often transported me back to the teeming streets and the wide boulevards of that amazing country and beautifully illustrates the the class differences within the British Public School crowd and the less well heeled bureaucrats (the term red tape originated there), as well as the vast divides within Indian society. I still have the last episode on my DVR, as it is a real tear jerker and the final scenes of one of the great love stories EVER!

    As always, your great charm and talent shine through your posts, spreading smiles and happiness to all.

    • Thank you so much Pat.
      I did watch Jewel in The Crown when it first came out and loved it. You are right- it is well worth revisiting. The whole era fascinates me, and I do remember it being so beautiful to look at. I wish that PBS hadn’t told us the Indian Summers wasn’t actually filmed in India as I don’t think anyone would have known otherwise.
      Like you, I’m appreciating all the twists and turns and can’t wait for tomorrow’s 2 hour finale!

      Thanks once again for your kind words and a Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  22. Have just read your post on Indian Summers. Can’t imagine how I missed this?

    We have just binge-watched the entire series in 2 days here in our household and ADORED it!

    What’s even more fascinating that the show, though, is the history of how the producers came to shoot in Penang. And how they restored those hill stations (houses) especially for the show. Did you realize the house that the main character lives in was the house that was used in Indochina, with Catherine Deneuve? (Or it might be the club? It was one of the two settings.) After Indochina, the house was bordered up and left to the jungle for 25 years. It was completely overgrown and lost to the world. Then the producers of Indians Summers stumbled over it on the very last day of their scouting expedition. They’d been to Sri Lanka, India, elsewhere, and they had a few possibilities, but then they found this place, high on Penang Hill. It took them ages to machete their way through the jungle, and then they wondered how they were going to restore it all? AND they had to cart all the equipment up the tiny railway from Penang to the top of Penang Hill. But to their credit they did, with the help of a local government minister, who found some funds for them, and they’re not hoping the first series will extend to four more series.

    The various insights into the costumes (found online) are interesting too. Most of the 500 costumes were made locally, but they had to be made using man-made fabrics, as the linen would have creased in the heat and been unsuitable for filming after an hour. They had to be synthetic, but look like linen.

    It’s all so fascinating. Julie Waters was on Graham Norton recently, and SO funny!

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