Dramas set in India – 6 of the best from The Raj

Last updated on the 29 March 2024 by Maeve

British dramas set in India

dramas set in India


The British Raj, a period of direct British rule over the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947, marked a significant transformation in the region’s history. Following the East India Company’s rule, the British Crown assumed administration, introducing modern infrastructure, education, and legal reforms. However, this period also saw economic exploitation, social upheaval, and growing nationalist sentiments, culminating in India’s independence and partition into India and Pakistan.

Below are six of the best British dramas set in India.


The Jewel In The Crown (1984)

The Jewel In The Crown
Dramas set in India

Against the backdrop of the waning years of British rule in India, a young Englishwoman named Daphne Manners finds herself entangled in a forbidden interracial love affair with Hari Kumar, an Indian man raised in England. When Daphne is brutally assaulted in the Bibighar Gardens, the repercussions of this transgression reverberate through the lives of those involved, exposing the deep-seated prejudices that define the Raj.

Top cast: Geraldine James, Art Malik, Charles Dance, Tim Pigott-Smith, Wendy Morgan, Judy Parfitt, Rosemary Leach, Peggy Ashcroft, Geoffrey Beevers, Eric Porter, Saeed Jaffrey, Warren Clarke, Om Puri, Derrick Branches and Nicholas Le Prevost.



Indian Summers (2015)

Fiona Glascott, Indian Summers
Dramas set in India

In the picturesque hill station of Simla, British civil servants and their families indulge in the fleeting delights of the summer season, oblivious to the growing unrest and nationalist sentiments brewing among the Indian populace. As the Raj’s grip on India weakens, a complex web of relationships, betrayals, and passionate encounters unfolds, exposing the contradictions and complexities of colonial rule in the twilight of empire.

Top cast: Julie Walters, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West, Alexander Cobb, Fiona Glascott, Shachin Sailesh Kumars, Aysha Kala, Patrick Malahide, Rick Warden, James Fleet, Tanmay Dhanania, Art Malik and Amber Rose Revah.



Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986)

Lord Mountbatten The Last Viceroy
Dramas set in India

In the tumultuous years leading to India’s independence, Lord Louis Mountbatten, a charismatic and controversial figure, is tasked with overseeing the transfer of power from British rule to Indian self-governance. Amidst growing nationalist fervor and escalating communal tensions, Mountbatten navigates the complexities of the political landscape, pushing for a rapid handover that leads to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, a decision that would have far-reaching consequences for the subcontinent.

Top cast: Nicol Williamson, Janet Suzman, Ian Richardson, Nigel Davenport, A.K. Hangal, Wendy Hiller, Michael Byrne, Nicholas Day, Julian Wadham and Nadim Sawalha.



A Passage To India (1984)

A Passage To India
Dramas set in India

Amidst the British Raj in colonial India, British schoolteacher Adela Quested travels to the fictional town of Chandrapore, seeking a deeper understanding of the country and its people. Through her interactions with the Indian doctor Aziz and the sympathetic Englishman Fielding, Adela begins to question the prevailing prejudices that divide the two cultures. However, a false accusation of assault threatens to shatter their fragile understanding, exposing the deep-rooted racial tensions and the complexities of cross-cultural encounters.

Top cast: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Alec Guinness, Nigel Havers, Richard Wilson, Antonia Pemberton and Michael Culver.



Beecham House (2019)

Beecham House
Dramas set in India

In 1795, John Beecham, a former East India Company soldier, arrives in Delhi with a mixed-race baby and a grand vision for his new life. Amidst the political turmoil and shifting tides of power, he seeks to establish himself as a respected businessman and create a haven for his unusual family. However, his past haunts him, threatening to unravel his carefully constructed façade and jeopardise his ambitions.

Top cast: Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Pallavi Sharda, Leo Suter, Dakota Blue Richards, Grégory Fitoussi, Bessie Carter, Viveik Kalra, Goldy Notay, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Amar Chadha-Patel, Roshan Seth, Trupti Khamkar, Marc Warren, Adil Ray, Kulvinder Ghir, Tisca Chopra and Arunoday Singh.



Viceroy’s House (2017)

Hugh Bonneville, Viceroy's House
Dramas set in India

In 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, arrives in Delhi to oversee the country’s transition to independence. As the political leaders of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, grapple with the question of partition, Mountbatten faces the immense task of navigating the escalating tensions between Hindus and Muslims, while also managing the complex relationships within his own household and the palace staff.

Top cast: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, David Hayman, Simon Callow, Om Puri, Lily Travers, Simon Williams, Sarah-Jane Dias, Arunoday Singh and Denzil Smith.




The British Raj @ Wikipedia



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