Beecham House centres around Beecham, John Beecham (Tom Bateman), in Delhi, 1795, who helped out the locals three years earlier after they came under some strife from some pesky pistol-packers. He used to be a soldier in the East India Company, who wants to start a new chapter in his life, so splashes out on a mansion, as you do.
He’s also brought a young baby with him, and since he’s the only white man in the town, he’s the talk of said metropolis, and not because he walks around with a hat as if he’s a bearded Indiana Jones.
The British and the French don’t trust each other, much like how John’s mother, who’s the biggest racist on the planet.
As this is a period drama, everyone dresses like they’re just about to go out for dinner, and there’s a soap opera-style moment where two men are gossiping about another woman in the household, who just happens to be in the room at the same time.
There’s minor attempts at humour, but even for easy Sunday evening viewing, the script is perfunctory (“What news of England?”), the performances are leaden – on a par with the ’90s soap Eldorado, and it’s all extremely dull… at least Eldorado was amusing, if unintentionally so.
I can’t see myself revisiting this house.
Episode 1 Score: 0/10
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writers: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha, Shahrukh Husain, Victor Levin
Music: Natalie Holt, Craig Pruess
John Beecham: Tom Bateman
Margaret Osborne: Dakota Blue Richards
Samuel Parker: Marc Warren
Princess Maliya: Kumiko Kaur Chadha Berges
Prince Kareem: Ronak Singh Chadha Berges
Maharaja of Kalyan: Denzil Smith
Gopal: Vicky Arora
Vijay Singh: Arunoday Singh
Roshanara: Medha Shankar
Prince Akbar: Rudraksa Singh
Violet: Bessie Carter
Ram Lal: Amer Chadha-Patel
Empress: Tisca Chopra
General Castillion: Grégory Fitoussi
Cool Chand: Kulvinder Ghir
Baadal: Viveik Kalra
Maya: Trupti Khamkar
Prince Sohrab: Advait Kottary
Henrietta Beecham: Lesley Nicol
Bindu: Goldy Notay
Chanchal: Shriya Pilgaonkar
Murad Beg: Adil Ray
Emperor Shah Alam: Roshan Seth
Chandrika: Pallavi Sharda
Daniel Beecham: Leo Suter
Kamlavati: Saiyami Kher
August Beecham: Shona Oberoi, Sienna Oberoi
House Servant: Umesh Wadhvani
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.