A television drama based on M. M. Kaye’s 1978 novel The Far Pavilions, set during the British Raj, is to become the biggest-ever UK/India TV production.
The book tells the story of an English man brought up as a Hindu during the British Raj, and his passionate love for an Indian princess. It was first adapted for television in 1984 as part of a three-episode mini-series starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif and Christopher Lee.
Next year’s remake, which is estimated to be worth £113m, will cover the tale in far more depth across 30 one-hour episodes. Filming will take place in India, followed by post-production work in the UK.
Indian-based producer Michael Ward and UK-based producer Colin Burrows will both be involved in the project, alongside a creative crew made up of Indian and British technicians.
The announcement was made by London mayor Sadiq Khan during his visit to Mumbai.
He said: “I’m delighted to announce this landmark collaboration on The Far Pavilions. It represents the best of British and Indian talent and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that London is open to partnerships, to collaboration, to creativity and for business.”
Producer Michael Ward added: “Having based myself in Mumbai for most of the last decade, I’m excited to spearhead the Indian end of this international collaboration.
“It’s the perfect time to take my stage adaptation of Mollie Kaye’s masterpiece much further and deeper into its Indian cultural landscape, and to invite the best of Indian and British talents to contribute towards turning it into a high-end television series authentically written and cast for a global audience.”