Indian Summers, the drama whose second series is currently showing on Sunday nights on Channel 4 in the UK and will premiere in America on Sunday, September 11 as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series, has been cancelled after two series. Set in the summer capital of Simla during the twilight years of the British Raj, Indian Summers starred Julie Walters, as Royal Simla Club owner, Cynthia Coffin, Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph, Nikesh Patel as Aafrin and Jemima West as Alice.
Originally touted as ‘the next Downton Abbey‘ to drama audiences who were desperately searching to fill their telly viewing hole created by the recently departed British period drama mega-hit, the Channel 4 series had all the promise of being the heir apparent given its telling of the real story of the empire in Simla, the summer home of a group of British socialites at the time of the British Raj which is every bit as extraordinary…and romantic. It also had all the impending drama as, by 1932, the British raj was entering its endgame with the British desperately clinging to power while India had begun to dream of their independence.
“We’re incredibly proud of Indian Summers and have loved having it in the schedule,” a spokesperson for Channel 4 said in a statement. “But with a number of new drama launches already confirmed for 2017, we have decided not to commission a third series.”
Filmed in Penang, Malaysia, series 1 was set in the summer of 1932 with the British desperately clinging to power while India begins to dream of independence, During the summer months, the Indian Civil Service prepared for its annual move to Simla which doubled as the summer home of a group of British socialites at the time of the British Raj.
For Indian Summers series 2, the Royal Simla Club is, once again, headed by the doyenne of the social scene, Cynthia Coffin and is in full swing during the summer of 1935. Julie Walters returns as Cynthia along with a few new characters played by Rachel Griffiths, Art Malik, James Fleet, Sugandha Garg, Arjun Mathur and Blake Ritson. Returning with Walters will be Jemima West (Alice Whelan), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Ralph Whelan) and Nikesh Patel (Aafrin Dalal).
As it was with the beginning of the end of the British Raj, Indian Summers will come to an end following the conclusion of series 2. Guess it’s time to come to the realization that being saddled with the crown of having to be the one to be the ‘new’ Downton Abbey is like replacing Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. It’s just not happening. Fortunately for all of us, there’s always Poldark, Home Fires, Call the Midwife, Grantchester and, the forthcoming, Victoria which are all brilliant.