Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ to be adapted into drama series by BBC One; set to have all non-white cast

British-Indian author Vikram Seth's magnum opus A Suitable Boy is being adapted as the first period drama based in India for BBC One. The series will have a complete non-white cast.

Vikram Seth in India.
Vikram Seth in India. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

Published in 1993, the period coming-of-age story of A Suitable Boy, which still holds the record of being the longest Indian novel ever written, is set in 1951 India. The novel follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months, and centres on Mrs Rupa Mehra's efforts to arrange the marriage of her younger daughter, Lata, to a "suitable boy". A sequel, titled A Suitable Girl, is set to be released later this year.

The eight-part series will be shot on location in India and feature the BBC's first entirely non-white cast, reports

Andrew Davies, the screenwriter whose previous work includes the famous 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and last year's adaptation of War and Peace, will be writing the series.

"Lata's trials of the heart speak as loudly to me now as when I first read Vikram's epic novel two decades ago. She is a great literary heroine in the tradition of those created by Jane Austen and George Eliot,” Davies said. 

"But behind her stands a massive supporting cast of striking, funny, irrepressible characters and a vision of India in the 1950s that no reader can ever forget. It will make a wonderful series and I can't wait to bring the magic of the book to life on screen," he added.

Filming is set to begin later this year and it is expected to occupy the Sunday night slot reserved for popular costume dramas such as Poldark.

A Suitable Boy is a Lookout Point production for BBC One.