Julie Walters: 'Indian Summers 2 reveals why Cynthia's obsessed with Ralph!'

(Image credit: Photography by Joe Alblas)

Indian Summers stars Julie Walters and Henry Lloyd-Hughes divulge what’s in store for scheming Cynthia Coffin and ambitious Ralph Whelan, as Channel 4’s sleeper hit of 2015 returns for a second sizzling series.

What’s on TV can reveal series two opens in March 1935, three years on from the last series, and it’s all change…

How do we find Private Secretary Ralph Whelan and social club owner Cynthia Coffin at the start of this series?

Henry: It’s three years later and Ralph Whelan’s now operating at high velocity. He’s not as green in his civil servant job as he was, and he’s making strategic moves to climb the political ladder!

Julie: Cynthia is cook-a-hoop! Although devastated at the thought of Indians in her members only club, she’s turned it her advantage and becoming quite wealthy!

What’s the political atmosphere like in 1935 India?

Julie: There’s violence and riots, so it’s not as carefree as in the first series. The political temperature has undoubtedly gone up. Cynthia sees it as an opportunity for Ralph to get rid of an unwell Lord Willingdon (Patrick Malahide) and become Viceroy himself!

Does Ralph listen to Cynthia’s grand plans?

Henry: There’s no denying his ambition but interestingly, Ralph’s now married to Madeleine (Olivia Grant) and it’s really working. In this first episode he listens to Madeleine’s key insights. She’s now helping in his political arena as well as in their domestic life…

Will cracks appear in Cynthia and Ralph’s almost mother/son-like relationship?

Julie: Cynthia’s still a huge influence over Ralph in a motherly, manipulative way. Without giving anything away, we see the reason for her obsession with him. New things come to light from her past!

Henry: Ralph divides people! He also manipulates people, but his motives aren’t always evil.

Stars James Fleet, Art Malik and Rachel Griffiths join later in the series. What else is new?

Julie: James Fleet plays London aristocrat Lord Hawthorne and Cynthia doesn’t like him at all!

Henry: The affair Ralph’s sister Alice had with Aafrin Dalal (Nikesh Patel) is over and she’s now back with her abusive husband Charlie (Blake Ritson). Ralph wants his sister Alice to be happy but Charlie’s super cunning and has Ralph over a barrel, because he’s bankrolling him!

We understand a major character will die in the new 10-part series. What more can you reveal?

Julie: We’re not giving anything away. This year you learn a lot more about Cynthia as a person. We’ll see her fragility as well as her manipulative ways. The new series is edgy, political and suspenseful!

Ralph: Ralph’s stronger than ever and his resolve is sharpened. Even I’m surprised by the moves he makes! I think viewers will be torn over what they want Ralph’s fate to be…

The new 10-part series of Indian Summers begins on C4 at 9.00pm on Sunday 13 March.

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.