Indian Summers is Back!

Indian Summers cast

I cannot tell you how excited I was when I first spotted the ‘coming soon’ trailer for the second series of Channel 4’s Indian Summers. I absolutely loved the first series and religiously watched it all over again whilst very impatiently waiting for the second one to come along. On Sunday it finally hit our screens and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It’s three years later, March 1935, and things have moved on somewhat, with rising tensions as the British government prepares a new deal for India effecting all areas of Simla.

Kaira and Aafrin

The first episode opens up with interwoven shots of Hindus celebrating the lively and colourful Holi festival, the sedate British people wandering around their shops and Aafrin Dalal, naked from the waist up, typing away furiously and looking hotter than ever! We’re immediately introduced to one of the many new characters, Aafrin’s girlfriend Kaira, a non-violent freedom-fighter. Their first scene together is oh-so steamy and we quickly realise that Alice is no longer a part of his life. What happened to the perfect couple?

Alice, Indian Summers

And talking of Alice, she’s back with a new hairdo and a new wardrobe to boot. Cue lots of furiously making notes of different features from her outfits! This stunning satin dress was even more beautiful from the back and I really wish I could find a photo of it. I absolutely love all of the sparkly jewellery, especially the large blue encrusted dress clip/brooch at the bust line of the dress.

What we find out in Alice’s first scene is that her supposedly dead husband isn’t exactly all that dead and what’s more he’s joined her in Simla. Hmm, that’s more unanswered questions!

Charlie, Indian Summers

Alice’s rather dashing husband, Charlie Havistock, is played by the fabulous Blake Ritson, a period drama veteran previously seen in Mansfield Park, Emma, Da Vinci’s Demons and my personal favourite Upstairs, Downstairs where he beautifully played the Duke of Kent during Edward VIII’s abdication. In Indian Summers he’s both charming and incredibly creepy, you just know he’s going to be a lot of trouble.

Ralph and Madeleine

Indian Summers

Everyone’s favourite glamorous couple is of course back, although Madeleine barely featured in the first episode. I do hope that isn’t a sign of things to come as she has the best wardrobe of the lot. Ralph is still keeping things close to his chest, which is always a big draw for us to come back episode after episode. We want to know who he is, what his ambitions are and what is the deal about his rather bizarre relationship with the Royal Simla Club owner Cynthia.

Cynthia, Indian Summers

Julie Walters is well and truly back as the ever-so-conniving Cynthia. She’s got to be my favourite character, her endless plotting as if she’s single-handedly running the Empire and the incredibly cutting remarks are just priceless as shown in many of this week’s scenes.

Ralph – “How does one have a ‘small heart attack’?”
Cynthia – “It comes from having a small heart, I suppose.”


She’s still very much stuck in the 1920s with her outfits as you can see with the shapeless gold lamé dress she wore whilst serenading the members of the Simla club. However, a lot of them, particularly the ivory linen sleeveless blouse and bright red beads she wears a little bit earlier, are just gorgeous, it’s just that they feel a little out of place. She wouldn’t be right though in full on mid-1930s get-up, she’s far too old-fashioned for that. Her opinions about the how the two races should be kept very much separate belongs firmly in the Victorian times.

Dalal Family

Of course Aafrin’s rise through the ranks over the past three years has allowed the whole Dalal family to frequent Cynthia’s club, something she’s never been happy with. I love the contrast of the three ladies bright traditional dress against the more subdued hues of the British ladies evening gowns.

I do think the costume designers play with the colours of the saris to match the characters personalities with fiery orange and red saris for Sooni (Aafrin’s sister, left) because she’s passionate and opinionated. Their mother Roshana (middle) is often in gentle greens which represent safety and fertility and the youngest sister Shamshad (right) is mostly in deep blues because these represent wisdom and intelligence and she’s a very committed student .

Art Malik, Indian Summers

Sirene, Indian Summers

We’re yet to meet the Maharaja of Amritpur played by Art Malik, who was also wonderful in Upstairs, Downstairs. He arrives in Simla in a blaze of colourful ceremony to enter negotiations on the upcoming Government of India Bill along with his mistress Sirene. She promises to be a provocative strong character ruffling quite a few feathers amongst the British females and is played by Australian actress Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding, Saving Mr Banks). I for one cannot wait to see that stunning emerald green satin dress!

Series 2 has opened with a much faster pace than series 1, something that many people complained about previously. I personally liked the deliberately measured approach, it suited the tone of the story. However, I did rather like the dramatic start to new series and from what I’ve read it promises to continue.

As before the cinematography is  just stunning and even if you’re not a fan of the story you can easily get lost in the sprawling sets of the British people and the compressed, overly populated ones of their Indian counterparts. The colours are just incredible and the costumes are to die for. But if you’re still not convinced have a watch of the trailer below.

Indian Summers, series 2 is currently showing on Channel 4, Sundays 9pm. Series 1 and the first episode of series 2 can be watched on All 4.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. I just exclaimed out loud at that green dress! I think I watched one of the first episodes of this series but didn’t really get into it, and now I’m kicking myself for all of the costume moments I may have missed. Bah! x

    • You can watch series one and the first episode of series two on All 4 and I’d highly recommend it. The costumes are just incredible and the whole political tension is just brilliant. Series one is slow but it really does suit the style of the story. xx

  2. I was very excited when I saw from the trailers that a second series was happening and I wasn’t disappointed with episode one. I loved the festival scene with all those colours. There are many plot openings which are going to be very interesting and of course the costumes are fabulous. Looking forward to episode two and I want to see more of that emerald dress!

    • The festival scene was amazing, the colours were just stunning and I loved the contrast with the stark, subdued English sector. I’m really looking forward to Sunday to see what happens next. I think we’ll get our first glimpse of the Maharaja and his mistress. xx

      • Alice’s husband is turning out to be rather a rotter isn’t he? Will be interesting to get the full back story there. Interesting developments with Adam this week too.

        • Isn’t he just? I’m glad Ralph is sticking up for her like a good brother. I can’t wait to see what happens there. I always like a good villain! xx

  3. I loved the first series so even though we were away this weekend I rushed Himself back to our hotel so I could catch the first episode of series two!

    • Good job too! There was no way I going to miss the start of this series either and I have it on series record just in case.

    • I know it is on Netflix in the US so I’m crossing my fingers for you too! xx

  4. The photos look super, and I’m intrigued by comments about the un-dead husband. I missed the first series, but hopefully it’s on catchup.

    Does the mixed-race community feature at all, or does it get overlooked? I confess, I always get annoyed by modern programmes that completely blank out the Anglo-Indian community’s existence.

    • You can watch the whole thing, series 1 and series 2, on Channel 4’s catchup site and if you have Sky you can get the whole lot on demand.

      There’s not really a mixed race community but then it really focuses on one Indian family and one British family and their friends. There are a few mixed-race relationships but I won’t say anything more about those than that otherwise it will spoil it! x

  5. Oh my goodness look at the fashion….wow! That picture with all the women in their dresses..drool. This looks like a great show and I will see if I can find season 1 over here in Canada..somewhere 🙂

    • It’s well worth hunting for Liz, it’s such a wonderful show!

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