Beecham House - ITV

Beecham House characters Henrietta and Violet

Henrietta sends Violet on a dangerous mission as Beecham House continues

As the lavish ITV drama Beecham House continues, John’s dream of obtaining a trading licence looks tantalisingly within his grasp as he gets hold of the perfect gift to impress the Empress.

But when scheming General Castillon receives a sneaky tip-off about John’s plans, he goes to very dark lengths to try to thwart him and force him to leave India for good. Can Margaret help John come out on top?

Meanwhile as Daniel and Chanchal grow scandalously closer, an increasingly on-edge Henrietta (Lesley Nicol) has run out of opium and begs Violet to go and buy her more of her ‘elixir’ to feed her growing addiction.

Daniel and Chanchal

Dangerous: Daniel and Chanchal

But Violet’s illicit shopping trip lands her in terrible danger, and Henrietta’s secret is in danger of being revealed.

In conversation with TV Times, Lesley revealed how she prepared for the role. "I chatted to ex-addicts because I hadn't got a clue.

"You see Henrietta in various stages of her opium habit – when she's needing it and when she's had it.

"It was extremely common back then and it was cheaper than alcohol, but highly addictive and she has got it well into her system."

And she's enjoying the role enormously: "I like that the viewers are discovering India along with Henrietta and Violet (Henrietta's companion, played by Bessie Carter) as they think, 'What the heck is this?!' and figure it all out.

"I worry I might get stoned in the street, though, because Henrietta says some shocking things."


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.