ITV has announced the cast for new period drama Beecham House – and it’s a long list of names.
The show is set to star *deep breath* Jekyll and Hyde’s Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol (Mrs Patmore from Downton Abbey), Grégory Fitoussi (Henri Leclair in Mr Selfridge), Adil Ray (Mr Khan from Citizen Khan), Pallavi Sharda (Lion), Dakota Blue Richards (Shirley Trewlove from Endeavour), Leo Suter (Drummond from Victoria), Bessie Carter (Evie Wilcox from Howard’s End) and Marc Warren (Danny from Hustle).
So, what’s the show actually about? Set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi – just before the British ruled the region – Beecham House, a series penned by Bend It Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha, explores the complicated lives of those living in the titular mansion. Just think of it as Downton Abbey set in India, if that’s helpful.
Bateman is set to play John Beecham, an enigmatic former soldier who buys the house to begin a new life with his family. ITV say he’s “determined to escape his previous life” and is “haunted by his past”. Very mysterious indeed.
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, threatening to stop John’s business dealings.
But that’s not all. John’s neighbour Murad Beg (Ray) has a daughter whose English governess, Margaret Osborne (Richards), catches John’s eye.
Oh, and on top of that John is also caring for August, a child he’s turned up to Beecham House with. And nobody’s sure who’s the father or mother.
So, suffice to say, there’s a lot going on. But fortunately, we’ve got time to untangle this web of characters before the six-part drama hits our screens: Beecham House only starts filming this month.