New premium drama channel BBC First has announced epic 10-part drama series Indian Summers starring Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Mamma Mia), as its latest acquisition.

The series which has just gone into production, is set in the summer of 1932 against the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and the tea plantations of Northern India. India dreams of Independence, but the British are clinging to power. In the foothills of the Himalayas stands Simla; a little England where every summer the British power-brokers of this nation are posted to govern during the summer months.

The drama tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India, from both sides of the experience. But at the heart of the story lie the implications and ramifications of the tangled web of passions, rivalries and clashes that define the lives of those brought together in this summer which will change everything.

The multi award-winning Walters, who received a BAFTA Fellowship this year, stars as Cynthia, a widow and doyenne of the expats Royal Club. A force to be reckoned with, her influence spreads throughout the community.

Also starring are Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners, Harry Potter), Jemima West (The Borgias), Roshan Seth (A Passage to India, Gandhi) Nikesh Patel (Bedlam) and Lillete Dubey (Monsoon Wedding). The series from New Pictures is created and written by Paul Rutman (Vera).