‘Beecham House’: Viewers Are Already Outraged Over Ending of New PBS Series

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers for season 1 of Beecham House

PBS is kicking off the summer season with a lavish new period drama set in India in the period before the British Raj. Beecham House, whose stars include Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Pallavi Sharda, Viveik Kalra, and Dakota Blue Richards, premieres Sunday, June 14. But the show from director Gurinder Chadha is already stirring up controversy among viewers who are disappointed by the ending. 

What is ‘Beecham House’ about? 

Beecham House cast
Beecham House | Courtesy of ITV/FREMANTLE

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Beecham House focuses on John Beecham (Bateman), a disillusioned former British soldier. Since quitting the military, he’s become a successful merchant and has recently purchased a lavish estate in Delhi. It’s 1795, and the Mogul Empire is gradually losing its power over the Indian subcontinent. France and Great Britain are fighting for control of the lucrative trade in the region. 

Beecham’s trading has made him wealthy, and now he’s come to Delhi with the goal of further expanding his business. But the staff at his new home are surprised when he arrives with a mixed-race baby boy and the child’s nurse Chanchal (Shriya Pilgaonkar). Eventually, we learn that the child is Beecham’s, though the story of how the two came to be living at Beecham House, as well as the mystery of what happened to the baby’s mother, is more complicated than it seems. 

‘Beecham House’ ends on a major cliffhanger 

Beecham House
Shriya Pilgaonkar as Chanchal and Leo Suter as Daniel Beecham in Beecham House | Courtesy of MASTERPIECE

In addition to Beecham, viewers also meet his domineering mother Henrietta (Nicol), who is recently arrived from England; his attractive neighbor Margaret Osborne (Richards); and his shady army buddy Samuel Parker (Marc Warren). There’s also the imposing Chandrika (Sharda), whose sudden arrival at Beecham House throws the entire household off-balance; powerful Emperor Shah Alam (Roshan Seth); and Beecham’s louche brother Daniel (Leo Suter). The show’s six episodes feature a mix of love triangles, meddlesome relatives, tricky political maneuvers, a very valuable stolen diamond, and treachery. 

Eventually, Beecham manages to thwart a plot against him orchestrated by Parker and also finds love with Margaret. All the loose ends appear to be resolved in Beecham House’s final episode. That is, until a last-minute twist that sees Beecham’s home invaded by attackers, his loyal servant Ram Lal (Amer Chadha-Patel) gravely wounded, and his son kidnapped. 

‘Beecham House’ isn’t getting a season 2 

Cliffhanger endings might annoy some viewers. However, you can usually count on things being resolved when the show returns next season. But Beecham House viewers won’t get that closure. After the show aired in the U.K. in fall 2019, ITV announced it wasn’t renewing the program. 

Now, some people are warning PBS viewers to prepare themselves for an unsatisfying ending. Not only was the show already broadcast across the pond, but it’s been available to stream on PBS Passport since March. Many have already watched Beecham House — and been disappointed. 

“Be forewarned- this ends with a cliffhanger and ITV canceled it after season 1,” one person commented on a recent Instagram post promoting the series. 

“This was a fantastic series,” another wrote. “Sadly without a season 2, unfulfilling is the most tactful way I can put it.”

PBS viewers are already upset about another cliffhanger ending 

Charlotte and Sidney in Sanditon
Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood and Theo James as Sidney Parker in Sanditon | Courtesy of © Red Planet Pictures / ITV 2019

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The dramatic yet unresolved ending to Beecham House echoes the situation with another Masterpiece drama that aired earlier this year. Sanditon ended with the heroine getting dumped by the man she loves so he can marry a wealthy heiress. It was hardly the finale viewers wanted. While a happy ending might have been in the cards in season 2, original broadcaster ITV decided to cancel the show. 

Several have compared the unsatisfying ending of Beecham House to the Sanditon finale. Some angry fans have even said they’ll boycott the new show rather than be disappointed again.

Beecham House premieres Sunday, June 14 at 10/9c on PBS.

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