'Masterpiece: Beecham House'
(Tom Bateman, Lesley Nichol, Lara Dutta, Leo Suter, Dakota Blue Richards, et al / 2-DVD / PG-13 / 2020 / PBS)
Overview: Delhi 1795: John Beecham, a former soldier in the East India Company, is determined to leave the past behind and start a new life.
At the grand house, the staff are shocked that their new master has arrived with his infant son, a baby of mixed parentage.
John is determined to reunite his family in Delhi and keep the identity of his child secret, but at what cost to himself and those he loves?
DVD Verdict: For my money, 'Masterpiece: Beecham House' is just gorgeous and woven throughout with a rather lush, braod and wonderful story line.
Not your standard BBC presentation of the British Raj, showing the Indian people how to behave, the story line is original, set in a province prior to British Invasion, trying to cope with both the French and the East India Company.
The production absolutely invites you to pay attention to the Indian characters, and the excellent actors who portray them all. The dialog and the scene pacing have an Indian feel too and that is refreshing in its own right, trust me.
Gurinder Chadha ('Bend It Like Beckham') and her team have stitched together a fine collection of Western and Indian actors along with the aforementioned interesting story too.
OK, and playing Devil's Advocate here, yes, of course you could easily collapse under the weight of the tropes and stereotypes in this brief series, but all can be forgiven by the beauty of the setting.
You have a handsome, but secretive protagonist in John Beecham (Tom Bateman) and a love interest in Margaret Osbourne (Dakota Blue Richards) and several antagonists determined to undermine John.
Oh, and his most vicious enemy is his mother Henrietta Beecham, played by Lesley Nicol, the warm-hearted Mrs. Patmore of Downton Abbey!
Basically, this is a sit back on the couch series, enjoy munching on some popcorn, while booing the various villains and rooting for John kinda show!
So, don't look for anything new, just revel in the colors of India and oh do I hope that somebody picks up the series for another season (as you will too, once you have finished this incredible series). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Director's Chair: Gurinder Chadha
Who is John Beecham? (with Tom Bateman)
What is Beecham House?
Beecham House Set Tour
Recreating 1795 India
Beecham House's Journey to India