Beecham House – ITV

In lush new period drama Beecham House, Tom Bateman plays Beecham, a man with ambitions in India

Romance, political turmoil and deliciously dark secrets are the order of the day in Beecham House, a glorious new period drama set in 18th-century India and directed by Bend It Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha.

Vanity Fair’s Tom Bateman is on fine form and giving off an Indiana Jones vibe as brooding ex-soldier John Beecham, who moves into a swanky Delhi mansion and causes a stir with his attempts to become an independent trader.

“He’s fascinating,” Tom told TV Times about his character, John Beecham.

“In India then, there was tension with foreign nations taking over and it was a hotpot of cultures.

“It was like the Wild West – there were no rules. But John takes a stand and leaves the East India Company because they’re looting, pillaging and murdering.

“He respects Indian culture and he wants fair trade, but he needs a trade licence and there’s opposition.”

Beecham House group cast shot

Tom Bateman with fellow cast members

John also has to face gossip, which is rife among the locals, since John has arrived with a mixed-race baby, August. Who is the little boy’s mother?

Look out for Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol as John’s nervy mother, Henrietta, who arrives from England and is utterly thrown by life in India!

Continues tomorrow.

TV Times rating: ****