Freesat's review of Beecham House

ITV’s brand-new period drama Beecham House aired last Sunday, and after it was labelled as the ‘Delhi Downton Abbey’ (a bold statement!) we were excited to see what was in store. Here are our thoughts on the first episode…

So, what’s it about?


Brought to you from Bend it like Beckham screenwriter Gurinder Chadha, we follow former soldier John Beecham (Tom Bateman) who has purchased a magnificent mansion in Delhi to begin a new life with his family, set on the cusp of the 18th century.

Haunted by his past at the East India company, brooding Beecham is determined to become a member of the region’s trading community, but it’s clear from the off that he’ll have to prove that he’s trustworthy.

What did we think?

Well, it’s not quite Downton that’s for sure, it’s probably better compared to Poldark if anything else, Tom Bateman, our titular hero could give Aiden Turner a run for his money. Especially when it comes to the very random shirtless scenes (not that we’re complaining).

The most intriguing thing is that when John moves into his new home, he arrives with a baby, which comes as surprise to the mansion staff. It begs the question Who is the mother? Where is she now? A secret that we are eager to find out…

It’s made clear that our protagonist is shrouded in mystery. “I’m a private man” that we understand, but we’re not quite sure if his character is far too wooden for us to be on his side just yet.

When Beecham mentions his mother is visiting, he appears nervous and the latter part of the episode explains why. Played by the brilliant Lesley Nicol, John’s mother Henrietta is quite a character and by character we mean robust and interfering, yet she provides a comic relief which is much needed to cut through the tension.

We get a sense that the drama is just about to begin, especially when she meets her grandson for the first time.

Is it worth tuning in for?

We’ll be honest, it’s slightly slow to start and it feels like one of those dramas that you’ll have to be patient with. It’s breath-taking scenery however makes sure that you won’t turn away, and it’s one that we’ll definitely give a chance. It feels like the story is just getting started, and there were enough cliff hangers to keep us intrigued to find out more.

If you’re ready to see what all the fuss is about, head to ITV Hub now to catch up on the first episode.