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Episode 1

15 Minute Drama, Far Pavilions Episode 1 of 20

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 31 January 2011

M M Kaye's epic of love and war, dramatised by Rukhsana Ahmad. Following the 1857 Mutiny, Ashton, a young English orphan, is disguised by his ayah as her Indian son, Ashok. And so - as he forgets his true identity - his destiny is set.

Sita / Narrator ..... Vineeta Rishi
Biju Ram ..... Inam Mirza
K-Daad ..... Sam Dastor
Ashok (child) ..... Joseph Samrai
Anjuli (child) ..... Nishi Malde
Hira Lal ..... Sagar Arya
Lalji ..... Nazim Khan
Daya Ram ..... Kaleem Janjua
Pelham Martyn ..... Sam Dale

Directed by Marc Beeby and Jessica Dromgoole


M.M. Kaye's masterwork is a vast, rich and vibrant tapestry of love and war that moves from the foothills of the Himalayas, to the burning plains, to the besieged British Mission in Kabul, filling them with immediacy, meticulous historical accuracy, and a rare insight into the human heart.

A story of divided loyalties and fierce friendship; of true love made impossible by class and race; a critique of the imperialist adventure; and an examination of the cultural and spiritual clash between East and West peopled by a wonderful cast of characters, The Far Pavilions is the very stuff of drama.

This is the first of twenty episodes spanning the years between the Indian Mutiny in 1857 and the Siege of the British Mission in Kabul in 1879.

  • Vineeta Rishi as Sita

    Vineeta Rishi as Sita

  • Joseph Samrai (Ashok) and Nazim Khan (Lalji)

    Joseph Samrai (Ashok) and Nazim Khan (Lalji)

  • Free Your Imagination: Books on the BBC

    Free Your Imagination: Books on the BBC

    Find out about the BBC’s major season of programmes focusing on literature on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four and BBC Radio 4.

    Visit the Books on the BBC website


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