Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy' is BBC's first period drama with a non-white cast

 06 May 2017 - 10:03

Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy' is BBC's first period drama with a non-white cast
Vikram Seth

IANS

New Delhi: Even as the publication dates of noted Indian writer Vikram Seths "A Suitable Girl," -- a sequel to his much acclaimed 1993 novel "A Suitable Boy" -- continues to hang in oblivion, there may be some relief for the fans of this much acclaimed family saga as the BBC is all set to adapt the novel into an eight-part television series.

In what is going to be the BBC's first period drama featuring an entirely non-white cast, the series based on one of the longest novels ever published will be filmed in India.

Piers Wenger, the BBC's head of drama, told The Telegraph (UK) that it was "a deliberate gamble" to adapt a drama with no white characters.

"Historically, the story of British colonial rule has been the approach that British writers and producers have taken to telling a story set outside the UK. We are here to take creative risks and to do the sort of work that commercial broadcasters might be more reluctant to do. But we also have a real responsibility and a requirement to reflect a range of British communities," Wenger said.

Back home, the publisher Aleph said that it was delighted to announce the adaptation.

"The series will be filmed on location in India and will be the BBC's first period drama with a non-white cast," Aleph said in a statement here on Friday.

The television series will be broadcast in 2019 or early 2020, after the author has delivered "A Suitable Girl" to Aleph and his other publishers worldwide, the statement added.

Aleph further informed that multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (whose credits include the acclaimed "War and Peace" (2016)and the 1995 adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice") will adapt the acclaimed novel for BBC One.

"It is a great pleasure to collaborate with the BBC and Andrew Davies on an adaptation of ‘A Suitable Boy'. I have carried with me for many years, the stories of Lata, her family and the many people they encounter. I look forward to seeing them brought to life for television, and I am particularly happy that the series is to be filmed in India with a completely Indian cast," Seth said ina statement.

Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly-independent and struggling through a time of crisis, "A Suitable Boy" takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves.

A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multi-ethnic society in flux, "A Suitable Boy" remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.