Beecham House - ITV

Tom Bateman in Beecham House

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: ****

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.