Director sticks with British drama

06 July, 2015 by Don Groves

After directing two episodes of the second series of Broadchurch, Jonathan Teplitzky is in Malaysia calling the shots on three episodes of Indian Summers.

Set in colonial India in 1935, the second season of Indian Summers chronicles the further decline of the British Empire and clashes with the locals who are desperate for independence.


Julie Walters stars alongside  James Fleet, Rachel Griffiths and Art Malik. Walters portrays Cynthia, a widow and doyenne of the expats Royal Club in Shimla, a town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley) is Lord Hawthorne, Malik is the Maharaja Maritpur and Griffiths is his enigmatic Australian mistress Sirene.

The drama, which airs on the UK's Channel 4 and here on BBC First, is the second collaboration between Teplitzky and Griffiths: she co-starred in his 2011 film Burning Man with Matthew Goode, Bojana Novakovic and Essie Davis.

The series is being filmed in Penang, whose colonial era houses and other buildings substitute for Indian locations.  He’s an ardent admirer of Walters, describing her as “gorgeous, really fun.”

Explaining his passion for British drama, Teplitzky tells IF, “The UK is so vibrant, particularly in TV at the moment.”

He had hoped to return to Australia in time to direct episodes of the fourth season of Rake and the Jack Irish series, both produced by Essential Media and Entertainment, but he won’t finish shooting in Penang until the end of this month.”

“I am slightly gutted about not being able to work on Rake and Jack Irish because I like both shows and the creative teams,” he says.

The director of The Railway Man is developing three features including Mr Crankypants, a black comedy about a professional boxer and his estranged six -year-old daughter, scripted by Chris Nyst for producer Chris Brown.

Don Don is the story of an encounter between a New York millionaire and a Thai Buddhist monk, both named Don, from US-born, UK-based writer Brock Norman Brock.

He’s attached to direct Choir of Hard Knocks, a drama about a group of desperate people who dignity and purpose under the baton of their choirmaster, which Pip Karmel is scripting for producer Marian Macgowan.

“That’s an elusive little project,” he says. “Because it deals with real people, we need to get the script right.”