Fill that Downton-sized hole in your life with Julian Fellowes’ lavish new period drama
Belgravia, Sunday 22 March, 9pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub
Looking for your next fix of bonnets, balls and emotionally repressed characters who look like they need a good hug? The creators of Downton Abbey have answered your call.
Adapted from Julian Fellowes’ 2016 novel of the same name, new six-part series Belgravia examines London’s upper class in the 19th century, and reveals a world of secrets, deceit and moral wrangling. Quick, fetch the smelling salts!
Missed the first episode and been sniffling into your lace handkerchief ever since? Never fear, as you can still watch the first episode in Catch Up.
When businessman James Trenchard (Philip Glenister) is invited to a prestigious ball with wife Anne (Tamsin Greig) and daughter Sophia (Emily Reid) just as the Battle of Waterloo breaks out, their world is turned upside down by the brutality of war. Years later, a shocking truth linked to that fateful night emerges, threatening to rock one of London’s most exclusive postcodes to its recently laid foundations.
With juicy subplots and a stellar supporting cast (including Harriet Walter, Tom Wilkinson, Alice Eve, James Fleet and Tara Fitzgerald), Belgravia is what Sunday nights were made for. That and recovering from the huge roast dinner you ate earlier in the day.
Find out even more about this unmissable new series from some of those involved…
Julian Fellowes (writer, executive producer)
“It started as a novel. It was an opportunity to write about things that interested me. I’ve always been fascinated by the creation of Belgravia. It’s one of the few parts of London that was built as one. Apart from a few losses during the war, it’s still as it was built. It’s remained a fashionable part of London.
The story is based on secrets. The audience needs to be constantly surprised. If there are no surprises, then a drama lacks energy. Period dramas have to tell us about ourselves to catch on. There is something quite interesting when you demonstrate that human nature doesn’t alter.”
Gareth Neame (executive producer)
“This is very different [to Downton Abbey]. It’s a novel, it’s a closed story, a limited series. There’s much more mystery to it. It’s not as soapy. Obviously it has the comedy of manners, but it just doesn’t have the same dramatic structure.”
Tamsin Greig (Anne Trenchard)
“I was really excited to investigate a world that the viewers were invited to inhabit through the aorta of a woman. The series opens out into this really rich and diverse world.
Anne Trenchard isn’t the right class, but she’s there in Belgravia as part of the up-and-coming nouveau riche. At the heart of this is a story about how people live with grief. That may well be one of our greatest problems today, that we just won’t sit with our grief and see what happens.
In the novel, Julian describes Anne as “opaque”. She spends most of her energy covering up what’s really going on. She creates a very effective carapace. Her relationship with James is tested. They both keep secrets from each other. There’s something terrible about that, but there’s something very honest in the hypocrisy.”
Philip Glenister (James Trenchard)
“I tend to do a costume drama every ten years. I read the book over Christmas and it’s not the sort of book I’d normally read. I like biographies. But it was a bit like reading a thriller. It was a page-turner. That attracted me.
James is nouveau riche. It’s what’s intriguing about him. He’s a self-made man and it was a time when people like him could work hard, use the opportunities they got, and work their way up the ladder. He started as a market trader and works his way up to become a property developer. Anne comes from much better stock, so he’s married well above his station. James couldn’t be the man he purports to be without Anne by his side.”
When is Belgravia on TV?
Watch the second episode of new period drama Belgravia at 9pm on Sunday 22 March on ITV/HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub.
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