Indian Summers – Channel 4


Word Press Two episodes in, I still cannot make up my mind what I think of this series. For one thing, there’s too much going on: that’s fine with a long-running soap in which the viewers know all the characters, but not when we’ve never “met” them before. For another thing, it’s … well, it’s trying so hard not to present its characters as stereotypes that they seem to’ve ended up as caricatures anyway. OK, we get that not everyone in the Raj was posh, but calling a character “Cynthia Coffin” and having her singing music hall songs in a Cockney accent in a club in Simla doesn’t really work either. And tell that bloke from Blackpool to stop overdoing his northern accent: it comes out as a bizarre cross between Lancashire and Yorkshire and that really does sound weird! Not to mention the way some of the Indian servants at the top guy’s house are so overly respectful that they sound more like plantation slaves than employees: if that’s supposed to be political correctness, it backfires horribly and is really rather disrespectful. And wasn’t it Kenya rather than India which had a reputation for Posh People (er, although I’m not sure that American heiresses count anyway) going around doing Naughty Things?!

Having said which, I am rather intrigued by it. At least it makes an effort to show both British and Indian points of view, and it doesn’t show everyone in either community being opposed to the other or lacking understanding of the other. And there are clearly some interesting mysteries to be solved. I don’t think this is going to be an all-time classic, but I shall be continuing to watch it.

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