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    The Whelan Family 

Ralph Whelan

Played by: Henry Lloyd-Hughes
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_1.jpg

The charming, highly ambitious and cunning private secretary to the Viceroy of India, Ralph nonetheless has plenty of skeletons in his past and will resort to more shady means without hesitation in order to keep them hidden.

  • Ambition Is Evil: His longing to become the next Viceroy of India has him resorting to some pretty unkind schemes to assume the position.
  • Anything That Moves: He's definitely has been around a lot, and the consequences of his actions eventually turn up and cause problems for him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Ralph slyly observes Alice being hit on and felt up by Captain Farquhar, an acquaintance of her husband Charlie - a few moments later, Ralph casually shoves him down a flight of stairs in retaliation: not once but twice, leaving Farquhar with a head injury at the bottom.
  • Brainy Brunet: His sleek raven hair hides a very sharp, calculating mind.
  • Break the Haughty: When Jaya is found dead, that stiff upper lip of Ralph crumbles.
  • Coitus Ensues: Several times with Madeline, as called out by her disgusted brother Eugene.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: A very good reason as Ralph didn't even know Jaya was carrying his child.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ralph has created this for himself with his actions, and doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon either.
  • Dark Secret: Ralph and his former love, Jaya, which resulted in her fathering his child - he didn't even know about this until he saw Adam's bracelet!
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Jaya is murdered and Ralph gets engaged to Madeline, clearing up an odd love triangle. He would have done this regardless of whether Jaya lived or not, though his feelings towards both women are not made clear.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: As pointed out by Cynthia after his tryst with Madeline, Ralph needs to wash his sticky hands.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: To Cynthia, after he tells her how much he was once in love with Jaya and most willing to drop everything to be with her.
  • Get a Room!: Or rather as Eugene points out, Ralph and Madeline should stop using so many rooms to do the deed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Towards the end of the second season, after being passed over for the position of Viceroy, he decides to admit everything to the outgoing Viceroy, seeing that with his home about to be sold off anyway he has nothing to lose from confessing about Ramu Sood and other dark secrets.
  • Incest Subtext: Has some unsettling shades of this with his younger sister, Alice every now and then.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: More like insatiable fiances.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Under his conniving, manipulative exterior he's a rather vulnerable man who is constantly pulled between his loyalties to the Raj and his genuine love of India.
  • The Lost Lenore: Jaya is this to Ralph, though how much is unclear. He did love her madly once though, and was quite upset at her death. At least for a while.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Ralph is Adam's father.
  • Manchild: In one sense - sure, Ralph makes treaties and navigates through tricky business deals without batting an eye; he's highly intelligent, cunning and business savvy...yet in his own personal life, he remains confused, indecisive and easily led.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He uses everyone, even his own sister!
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Implied by Eugene, so Ralph asks Madeline to marry him, and she even moves to separate premises to save her reputation.
  • Official Couple: Later on, Ralph and Madeline much to her brother's horror and disgust.
  • One True Love: Sort of - he did love Jaya very much at one time, to the point of almost dropping everything to be with her. Cynthia put a stop to this, much to Ralph's fury when he finds out. When she is murdered, Ralph's composure breaks leaving it questionable if he still cared for her and is so, how much.
  • Pragmatic Hero: He has no problem with using unscrupulous methods to further his means.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Outwardly at least, Ralph is this.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Of course.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: With a fondness for well cut, pristine white suits and handsome tuxedos.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: For a time with Jaya. It ended horribly.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Well, he is British.
  • Tall Darkand Handsome: Tall and slim with dark, brooding good looks Ralph is quite the catch.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Right before he breaks down, this is what happens when he sees Jaya's dead body and blames himself for her demise.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Caught in a difficult moment in history, Ralph usually has good intentions...his methods of acquiring them however, are questionable.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To Aafrin in "A Gift for the King" over his revolutionary ties.


Alice Whelan

Played by: Jemima West
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_2.jpg

Returning to India for the first time since she was a child, Alice is running away from a shady past and tries to make a place for herself and her baby boy while avoiding any inkling of her past to be revealed.

  • Broken Pedestal: Ralph slowly becomes this for Alice over the course of the series as she grows more and more aware of his manipulative and cunning side.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Constructed and deconstructed with Alice: she plays up her story of her husband dying and her being a widow to the general public; to her brother Ralph, she implies that her husband was not a good man, perhaps even abusive and prone to affairs. Finally she comes clean to Ralph and says that it isn't anything like that - she's the one who left her husband simply because she did not love him anymore and could not pretend to do so. Then again, when her husband shows up in season 2, he is genuinely abusive.
  • Incest Subtext: She seems a little too close to Ralph sometimes, for some reason.
  • Longing Look: To Aafrin, and increasingly as the series progresses.
  • Moment Killer: Alice walks in on Dougie and Leena having a moment, but they break apart just before she sees anything.
  • Nice Girl: Despite her shady past, Alice is genuinely kind person to the people around her, including the Indians. Her compassion for the orphans and her friendship with Leena further cements her unprejudiced kindness and acceptance.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Aafrin, whom she apparently comes to have feelings for.

    The Dalal Family 

Darius Dalal

Played by: Roshan Seth
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_10.jpg

The affectionate, progressive, yet pro-British head of the Dalal family who wants what is best for his children.

  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Loves England and the British Raj - he even prayed for the swift recovery of the Prince of Wales much to both his daughters' disgust.
  • Brainy Brunette: Very well read and very well spoken - his daughters get it from him!
  • Dad the Veteran: He fought for the British in World War I, a fact of which he is very proud though it left him permanently injured and unable to support his family.
  • Happily Married: He's very affectionate to his wife even after all their years of marriage.
  • I Have No Son!: He disowns his daughter after she converts to Islam to marry Khan.


Roshana Dalal

Played by: Lillete Dubey
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_11.jpg

Darius's loving and at times, stifling wife who only wants the best for her children - what she believes is best anyway.

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: To all her children, but especially her oldest child Aafrin.
  • Happily Married: To Darius, whom she is clearly in love with after all their years together.
  • I Have No Son!: After Sooni converts to Islam, she refuses to accept that Sooni is her name, and when Sooni reveals her Muslim name to her under duress, she flat-out disowns her.
  • My Beloved Smother: Has shades of this with all her children, especially Aafrin. She even coddles her husband!


Aafrin Dalal

Played by: Nikesh Patel
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_3.jpg

Young, impressionable and ambitious, Aafrin is at first eager for advancement within the Indian Civil Service. But as he becomes more and more aware of the changing politics of India, Aafrin grows more conflicted and begins to see his place in British ruled India in a different light.

  • Broken Pedestal: Both the Raj and Ralph become this for Aafrin eventually.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Though he was warned by his own sister Sooni, Aafrin was this for a time being for Ralph, and by extension, the British Raj though he didn't really know the extent of his "contributions". When he finally comes to his senses, he switches sides.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He joins the covert Indian Resistance movement in the end, after realizing fully how the British have been using him.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: When Aafrin realizes Ralph's true nature and really understands the struggle of the Indian people against the British, he dons this.
  • The Mole: While not the "bad guy", Aafrin is still this when he finally joins the undercover Indian Resistance movement against the British that has infiltrated Ralph's business, right under Ralph's unsuspecting nose.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: He almost ended up on the receiving end when Charlie tried to hang a treason charge on him near the end of the second season.
  • Not So Different: Over the course of the series, Aafrin slowly goes from being an upstanding, innocent young clerk to using methods of deceit and manipulation - both of which Ralph uses as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the series finale, he delivers one to the Viceroy's secretary over his handling of the failed India bill, which he believes is doomed to tear the country apart despite its good intentions.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Sita due to their differing castes. Later on, with Alice who is British.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: With his chiseled, well-cut features, thick dark hair and full mouth.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: So much so that he changes his loyalties majorly.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sure, Sita lied to Aafrin about destroying the certificate, but even before he finally dumps her, he grows increasingly cold and rude towards her when before he was kind and fairly sweet.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: To Ralph in "A Gift for the King" over his murder of Ramu Sood.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Aafrin starts off like this, with his belief and support of both the Raj and Ralph Whelan - but over time he grows more and more disillusioned with both and eventually has his eyes opened wide at the happenings surrounding him.


Sooni Dalal

Played by: Aysha Kala
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_9.jpg

Bold, courageous and not afraid to speak her mind, Sooni is supportive of the movement to free India from British rule, regardless of the trouble it gets her into, and what it may cost to achieve the ultimate goal.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Is this very much to Aafrin. He in turn is the annoying older sibling to her.
  • Brainy Brunette: Sooni very much, with her sharp, witty comebacks and her dream of becoming a lawyer.
  • Break the Cutie: Though she was already aware of the racism and unfair treatment Indians were subject to, it still breaks her when Ramu Sood is murdered unjustly.
  • The Cutie: She's sassy, smart and adorable.
  • Hot-Blooded: Increasingly passionate about releasing India from British rule - it even lands her in jail. Not that the stint there dims her passions in the slightest.
  • Plucky Girl: Getting in serious trouble and being sent to jail does not dim her longing for India to be self-governed one bit.
  • La Résistance: Is a strong supporter of the Free India Movement against the British - so much so that it lands her in jail.
  • Ship Tease: Hinted at in Season 1 with young Scottish man, Ian, whom she befriends much to the viewer's delight.


Shamshad Dalal

Played by: Ashna Rabheru
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_15.jpg

The youngest child of the Dalal family, a sharp, smart girl who loves to annoy her older brother.

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    The Raworth Family 

Douglas (Dougie) Raworth

Played by: Craig Parkinson
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_14.jpg

A somber, compassionate, kind but troubled and deeply unhappy Christian Missionary who runs Camarthen Mission School - an orphanage for half-caste abandoned children while struggling with his own personal morals.

  • Almost Kiss: In the first episode of season 1 no less, it was played straight with Leena - she slaps Dougie away.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Thanks to him and his wife Sarah being totally incompatible with each other. It prompts the question - why did they get married in the first place?
  • Beard of Sorrow: Dougie comes ready made with a scruffy brown one.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Dougie plants a very passionate one on Leena after he corners her against the desk in the orphanage in season 1, episode 3.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: He does this to himself at the end of season 1 when his conscience gets the best of him.
  • But I Would Really Enjoy It: Leena and Dougie's relationship is under a lot of strain from this, especially from Dougie's end.
  • Coitus Ensues: Very awkwardly with his wife Sarah, though she has to imply she wants to and neither ends up enjoying it in the slightest.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the very first episode in his first appearance, he leaves behind his wife and child on the train to take half-caste, bullied child Adam back to the orphanage...with Leena in tow.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Dougie and Leena are both kind, compassionate, good people who are not above stealing longing looks and (on screen) kisses with each other...though Dougie forces himself to stop this after his guilt over his wife consumes him. Whether or not this stays remains to be seen as of season two.
  • Good Is Not Nice: For all his kindness, compassion and gentleness, Dougie is still cheating on his wife.
  • Good Shepherd: Of course.
  • Happily Married: Subverted as Mr and Mrs Raworth are most unhappily married.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gets blown up protecting a child who Banerjee manipulated into trying to blow up the Viceroy under the pretense that the dynamite he's unwittingly carrying is a gift for the King.
  • Hypocrite: Is a deeply Christian missionary man of God who is in love with a woman who is not his wife.
  • Longing Look: Dougie can't resist giving them to Leena. He continues in this vein even after telling her he won't betray his wife anymore.
  • The Missionary: Dougie's chosen career and what brought the Raworth family to India.
  • Not So Stoic: Becomes a bit more vocal as the season progresses, but especially when he confronts Ralph in the season 1 finale. The harsh contempt in his voice is undeniable.
  • One Head Taller: Standing at the impressive 6'4, Dougie is at least two heads taller than every single female and at least one head taller than the majority of males as well.
  • Preacher Man: He even reads from the Bible when Jaya's body is fished from the river!
  • The Quiet One: Not the most talkative chap and comes across as uncomfortable in more social occasions.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Dougie is a painfully conflicted Christian missionary.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Knowing that Adam is Ralph's son, Dougie refuses to take the money Ralph gives him for the betterment of the orphanage.
  • Sexless Marriage: Sarah and Dougie's sole sex scene is cringe-inducing uncomfortable and utterly mechanical and it comes as no surprise that their marriage becomes this after their awkward and forced last time in bed.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Leena who he is very much in love with.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: Eventually forces himself to have only this with Leena - it remains to be seen if he'll keep his word or not.
  • The Woobie: An unhappy man, who is married to the neurotic, gossipy, racist and rude Sarah - yet he chooses to stay married to her and stop cheating despite his love of Leena; a move which perhaps crosses him over to the Iron Woobie side.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He's very much in love with Leena and crosses the physical boundaries at times.


Sarah Raworth

Played by: Fiona Glascott
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_13.jpg

The very unhappy, racist, rude and social-climbing wife of Douglas, Sarah is desperate to rise above her lowly status as a missionary's wife and goes about all the wrong ways to attain that.'

  • 0% Approval Rating: She's not popular. At all.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Considering her severe lack of people skills and the way she tries to go about befriending people, it's fair to say she has some sort of mental illness.
  • Awful Wedded Life: She has a difficult relationship with her husband to put it lightly.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sarah Raworth, Dougie Raworth's wife looks innocent, with her modest, demure looks and clothing but is quickly proven otherwise as early as her very first appearance on the train through her nosy manner and racist ways.
  • Blackmail: How Sarah buys Alice's "friendship". It doesn't last and Sarah is left the sore loser.
  • Establishing Character Moment: We first see Sarah on the train to Simla and within seconds she's poking her nose into Alice's business, muttering contemptuously to Leena after being corrected over the mispronunciation of Persephone - following this all up with snipping at her husband when he tries to ease the tension between them.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: To Leena who she absolutely loathes, because she knows Dougie is in love with her.
  • Hidden Depths: Sarah longs to have friends, for people to like her and for her husband to love her though she goes about the wrong way doing so. She finally breaks down most pitiably near the end of the series when she realizes she has nothing and what little progress she thought she made is stripped from her .
  • Jerkass Woobie: Unlikable as she is, it is hard not to sympathize with her plight: she was uprooted from her home and life in England to join her husband as a missionary's wife in a foreign country, an occupation she does not care for. She's not liked by a single person other than her son, and has no friends or companions. Lonely and unhappy as she is, she tries to fit in and have healthy relationships with people only to go about getting these things in the entirely wrong way, which just makes her more unpopular. To top it all off, her husband does not love her and is instead in love with a beautiful local woman who is not even British - which is yet another blow to Sarah's already low self-esteem.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: What happens to Sarah when she dispassionately has sex with her equally uninterested husband.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: She's definitely not a villain, but Sarah hates Indians, looks down on them, and most certainly does not want her son mixing with them.
  • The Scrappy: In-universe: Sarah is not liked by Alice, her fellow ladies at the club, Simla society in general or even her husband. Ouch!
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: When she starts snooping on Alice to discover her past and then uses the gained information to blackmail Alice into being her companion.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: She throws up just a moment after her husband jumps to Leena's aid during the trial in a packed courtroom out of disgust, betrayal, overwhelming emotion or perhaps all three at once.


Matthew Raworth

Played by: Julian Fenby (season 1), Connor McCrory (season 2)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/matthew.jpg

The lonely son of Douglas and Sarah, Matthew longs for children of his own age to play with and spends most of his days alone.

  • Children Are Innocent: A sweet, unprejudiced child who while unhappy, remains oblivious to the problems in his parents marriage or why the orphanage "isn't for him".
  • Like Father, Like Son: He takes after his father very much in terms of personality, what with his quiet mannerisms and his unprejudiced ways.
  • Nice Guy: Matthew is a gentle but lonely child who longs for the company of other children and enjoys going to his father's orphanage to interact with the children there - much to his mother's displeasure.
  • Parents as People: On the receiving end of this - Sarah loves him, but her choices make him lonely and unhappy; Dougie cares for him as well, but his duties at the orphanage make him somewhat of an absent and rather aloof parent to Matthew.

    Characters First Appearing in Season 1 

Cynthia Coffin

Played by: Julie Walters
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_6.jpg

The deeply cruel and racist head of the Simla Club and its society, Cynthia acts like a parental figure to Ralph and is determined to keep things running smoothly, regardless of changing politics and the ever nearing end of the British Raj of India.

  • Chewing the Scenery: Is very fond of this, especially with, SLAAAVES OF EMPIREEEE!
  • Determined Widow: She's very determined to keep the Club up and running in memory of her late husband.
  • Dirty Old Woman: She sets Ralph up for a steamy tryst with Madeline and later on affectionately reminds him to wash his sticky hands and that (Madeline) was a "lucky girl".
  • The Dragon: To Ralph - both with and without his knowledge.
  • Made of Iron: She is dead set in her ways regardless of the changing times and the shifting of power.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Where Ralph learned and mastered the art from.
  • The Matchmaker: She sets Ralph and Madeline up with each other - but is left very annoyed when Madeline overstays her welcome and more so when it is revealed via Eugene that the Mathers fortune is not quite intact anymore.
  • Parental Substitute: To Ralph, blurring the lines between grandmother, mother and friend.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: An extremely racist, vicious and highly cruel woman who looks down on all Indians and even some of the British as well.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: She tells things the way she sees them and usually in the bluntest way possible.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the second season, she starts to show a more sympathetic side, even going out of her way to try to help Alice and Aafrin move to Australia before Charlie interferes and showing herself to be a Reasonable Authority Figure when Aafrin finds himself facing possible treason charges and tries to referee Ralph's open-air interrogation of him with a level head and an "innocent until proven guilty" approach.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Alongside a good dose of parental figure with Ralph.


Ian McLeod

Played by: Alexander Cobb
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_4.jpg

Naive and innocent, Ian comes to India to help his uncle run the family tea plantation. But he soon comes to realize that India is not the exotic, fantasy land he envisioned, but a country torn about by those who rule and those who long to be free - a discovery that changes both his perspective and his opinions.

  • Adorkable: A little shy and unsure of himself, but friendly, unprejudiced and sweet.
  • The Alcoholic: He is a heavy drinker and it costs him his entire reputation.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't you dare take Ramu Sood's ashes away from him!
  • Big Damn Heroes: HARSHLY subverted, when he does everything in his power to save Ramu Sood but to no avail.
  • Break the Cutie: Ian gets a painfully harsh dose of this that utterly strips away his innocence and naivety.
  • The Cutie: He's young, kind-hearted and blissfully naive.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Everything that happens to Ramu Sood becomes this for poor Ian.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He drinks even more heavily than usual when Ramu is sentenced to death.
  • Family Business: The Armitage Tea Estate of his uncle, Stafford Armitage, then passed on to Ramu Sood, much to Ian's uncle's rage.
  • Fatal Flaw: His love of liquor causes him much pain and suffering in the end.
  • Going Native: Ian is rudely accused of this by some of the residents of the Club due to his increasing sympathy and understanding for the Indian people, especially Ramu Sood.
  • Irony: He's the first season's poster boy for this and boy, does it hurt him!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ian thinks he's made things better by being honest about Jaya's death. His honesty ends up getting Ramu Sood murdered.
  • Non-Action Guy: Isn't too keen on getting in on the action and hesitates - but once he knows what is at stake and has a boot of confidence, he takes charge fearlessly regardless of what it costs him.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Feeling pity for her, Ian is the one who gives Jaya a job on the tea plantation. This is what leads to Jaya's murder, Ramu Sood's framing for said murder and then eventual hanging.
  • One Head Taller: Most obviously in the court scene, Ian is at least a head taller than Sooni.
  • Ship Tease: Very subtly with Sooni, though at this point they come across more as good friends.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Baby-faced, hard drinking young man with a heart of gold.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He spills the beans about the truth behind Ramu Sood to the Viceroy after discovering Jaya's death was a manslaughter and that Bhupinder was the most directly involved.
  • The Woobie: His uncle dies, he is cast out of Cynthia's club, has his reputation slandered, earns a reputation as a drunkard, has no standing among the British and then loses someone who he had come to regard as a good friend all in the course of one summer.


Leena Prasad

Played by: Amber Rose Revah
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_5.jpg

The motherly teacher at the orphanage, Leena is a kind-hearted, compassionate woman who finds that her Christian morals are increasingly compromised by her personal feelings for Mr Raworth.

  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: She knows what to expect when Dougie corners her against the desk in the orphanage.
  • Bare Your Midriff: All of her saris come with this benefit.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She only wants the best for the children of the orphanage and especially Adam...
  • Child of Two Worlds: She is of British and Indian ancestry, known as Anglo-Indian, and has suffered because of this fact, especially being raised as an orphan.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Soon after her first appearance, she assists Dougie into taking Adam back to the orphanage so he can get proper treatment.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Shares an on screen one in the first season with Dougie and is most receptive to his advance on her.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: The lawyer brings this up to her face in the court scene, and she is promptly torn apart on the stand. Dougie comes to her aid immediately.
  • Longing Look: Leena is receptive of these, courtesy of Dougie. She gives a few of them to him in turn.
  • Motherly Side Plait: Her everyday hairstyle consists of pulling her long black hair into a messy side braid.
  • Nice Girl: She is kind, maternal, gentle and compassionate to the children of the orphanage and especially with Adam with whom she shares a special bond.
  • Parental Abandonment: The victim of this, due to being half-caste.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Already beautiful, she looks very pretty in her Western-style dress and pulled-up hair at Ralph and Madeline's engagement party - a fact of which Dougie is quick to notice.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: Wants to have this with Dougie, but is conflicted over her feelings for him. When Dougie tells her he's not going to betray his wife and he's going to keep their relationship strictly business, she tells him this is what she's always wanted - to his subtle surprise and distress. How much truth there is to her claim is unknown.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Even with her simple braid and day-to-day sari, Leena is very beautiful.


Madeleine Mathers

Played by: Olivia Grant
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_5.jpg

After arriving in India, gold-digging American heiress Madeline finds herself setting her sights on Ralph Whelan, but their game of flirtation becomes serious when Madeline falls in love with him.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Doesn't care that Ralph may be using her in the slightest.
  • The Great Depression: Her father got out just before the Crash of 1929 and she and her brother live fairly well...at least on the surface.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Has luscious, curling red hair and later on becomes Ralph's fiance.
  • Lust: Is both the initiator and receiver of this with Ralph, who seems to like her best as an outlet for his constant needs.
  • Riches to Rags: Eugene never does get around to telling her they have lost a lot of their fortune...
  • Satellite Love Interest: Has very little personality outside of being Ralph's personal sex toy.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Tall, slender, sexy and beautiful.


Eugene Mathers

Played by: Edward Hogg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_8.jpg

Madeline's sickly, sarcastic brother who keeps a secret about the Mathers fortune that his sister knows nothing about.


Kaiser

Played by: Indi Nadarajah
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_16.jpg

Cynthia's right hand man, who has apparently been in her employment for years.

  • Old Retainer: Seemingly has been with Cynthia for many years, and they share a friendly, close relationship despite Cynthia hating Indians.


Bhupinder

Played by: Ash Nair

The loyal servant of the Whelan family who has known Ralph and Alice since they were children.

  • Childhood Friends: To both Ralph and Alice, but especially the former.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Definitely had something to do with Jaya's death. Confirmed to have the most direct involvement in season 2.
  • Undying Loyalty: As of Season 1, he is shown to do anything for Ralph - perhaps even commit murder.


Ronnie Kean

Played by: Rick Warden
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_4.jpg

  • Innocent Bigot: He seems blissfully unaware that some of the things that come out of his mouth are not so kind.
  • Keet: Cheerful, upbeat and bubbly.
  • Noble Bigot: Ronnie tends to drop uncomfortable, ignorant or casually racist remarks throughout the series - however, he's genuinely a nice man and his bigotry seems to come off as more as "attitude of the era" than true dislike or hatred. It is interesting to note that in the final episode of Season 1, he is the only one to treat Aafrin and his father with friendliness at the Club when they're snubbed by everyone else and seems to be embarrassed with how Aafrin and his father are treated.


Lord Willingdon, Viceroy of India

Played by: Patrick Malahide

  • Historical-Domain Character: He really WAS the (22nd) Viceroy of India from 1931 to 1936 and before that, was the 13th Governor General of Canada from 1926 until 1931.
  • Noble Bigot: He's not a horrible man by any means, but he's condescending to the Indians despite liking several of them.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: He was this in real life, volunteering for fifteen years for the Sussex Artillery and then having the title of Major bestowed upon him.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: He's British.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: What he thinks of Aafrin in season 1 and implied to be what he thinks of the Indians in his service who work for/support the British Raj.


Stafford Armitage

Played by: Richard McCabe
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_6.jpg

The former owner of Armitage Tea Plantation and Ian's uncle.

  • The Alcoholic: A heavy drinker and where his nephew gets it from.
  • Fat Bastard: An overweight, drunken boor of a man.
  • Dirty Old Man: Openly flirts and gropes his female plantation workers and is seen standing with a heavily pregnant Indian woman in an old photograph though it is unknown if he is responsible for that.
    • It seems likely, as Cynthia remarks in a later episode that, if she had to hire all of Stafford's bastard children, her club would have more staff than the Grand Hotel.


Ramu Sood

Played by: Alyy Khan
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_3.jpg

A savvy, smart businessman, Ramu Sood struggles with being an Indian landowner in British ruled India. Though he picks his battles, serious trouble eventually finds him regardless.

  • Arranged Marriage: Had one with his deceased wife whom he was very much in love with and remained so even after her death.
  • Distressed Dude: Becomes this after he is unjustly blamed for Jaya's murder. It does not end well for him.
  • Downer Ending: He unjustly loses his case and is sentenced to death by hanging.
  • Face Death with Dignity: His final moments before he is hung find him calm and peaceful even as the noose is placed around his neck.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: The short time he was with his wife before she died in childbirth is strongly implied to be this.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: An older man and rather good looking; with dark, piercing eyes and five o' clock shadow.


Sita

Played By: Ellora Torchia
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_12.jpg

A girl of a different caste from Aafrin, who nonetheless shares a secret, romantic relationship with him...at least for a time.

  • All Love Is Unrequited: She is the victim of this when Aafrin dumps her for Alice.
  • I Lied: Sita did not destroy the certificate Aafrin asked her to do, and is partially why the above trope happens.
  • Put on a Bus: What happened to her in the three years that passed since Season 1 ended?
  • The Woobie: While always an outcast, she becomes this when she's harshly dumped by Aafrin and she is left with nowhere to go, as her relationship with a man from another caste already singled her out and blackened her name.


Adam (Whelan)

Played by: Shachin Sailesh Kumar
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/is_2.jpg

A strange, problematic child who is found by Dougie and Leena and later is revealed to be the son of Jaya and Ralph.

  • Creepy Child: Has shades of this, being a strange, troubled little boy with a hidden past and numerous suicide attempts.
  • Disappeared Dad: Daddy eventually turns up from right under the viewer's noses.
  • Mommy Issues: His mother frightens him, but he would do anything for her regardless.


Jaya Mohan

Played by: Hasina Haque
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/id_7.jpg

A troubled, mentally unstable and dirt poor young woman, Jaya is not only Adam's mother but also the former love of Ralph Whelan's life - who, in turn, is the British man who is Adam's father.

  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Implied to have been treated with cruelty by the locals of her village and physically abused - which caused her to become mentally unstable.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Despite being the daughter of a simple farmer and from the lowest caste - the Untouchables - Ralph still fell madly in love with her, and was willing to give up everything to be with her. However, Cynthia got wind of their affair and pulled the strings to get Ralph relocated to Burma and away from Jaya -who by this time was carrying his child. Jaya was left alone, abandoned and pregnant with a British man's child in a small Indian village. To say she was treated poorly by the locals after her secret got out via Cynthia is the understatement of a century.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Was strongly implied to be the victim of this, as Cynthia later states every man from the bottom to the top of India had his way with her after she was left abandoned.
  • Sanity Slippage: She's not mentally stable due to the horrible torture and implied rape she's been put through in the past, but the longer she remains on screen the worse she gets.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Ralph got her pregnant, and Adam is all she has left of her time with Ralph.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Far more than a crush on Ralph.

    Characters First Appearing in Season 2 

Charlie Havistock

Played by: Blake Ritson

  • Jerkass: One of the purest examples in the series, a bigot and wife-beater with a generally unpleasant personality even towards other white men, particularly Ralph.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He's beaten to death in a violent part of town towards the end of the series finale, with Alice refusing to lift a finger to help him as the mob sends him to hell.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Attempts to do this to Aafrin in "Winner Takes All".


Kaira Das

Played by: Sughanda Garg

Arjun Mathur

Played by: Naresh Banerjee

Lord Hawthorne

Played by: James Fleet

The Maharajah of Amritpur

Played by: Art Malik

Sirene

Played by: Rachel Griffiths

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