‘Belgravia’ lavish drama for Downton Abbey lovers from Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame

 BELGRAVIA is an exquisite lush drama from Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) that can transport viewers with a story about the secrets and scandals amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th Century.

 Belgravia, premiering on EPIX April 12, is a limited series from Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, and Carnival Films, based on Fellowes’ novel of the same name.

 An epic story begins on the fateful eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when the Trenchards accept an invitation to the now legendary ball hosted by the Duchess of Richmond. That sets in motion a series of events that will have consequences for decades to come as secrets unravel in the homes found in London’s grandiose neighborhood—Belgravia.

 The award-winning creative team behind Downton Abbey is reunited for Belgravia, with Julian Fellowes adapting his bestselling novel for the screen, and Carnival’s Gareth Neame executive producing alongside Nigel Marchant, Liz Trubridge and Fellowes.

 A stellar ensemble cast is featured with Tamsin Greig (from Episodes), Philip Glenister (Mad Dogs), Harriet Walter (The Crown) and Alice Eve (She’s Out Of My League). Plus Tara Fitzgerald (Game of Thrones), Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children), Richard Goulding (The Windsors), James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Adam James (Band of Brothers), Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner) and Saskia Reeves (Luther). All are magnificent as they offer romance and heartbreaks, along with their secrets and scandals.

 Fellowes was at the EPIX panel during the Television Critics Association Winter 2020 press tour in January, and he emphasized the historical significance of the Duchess of Richmond’s legendary ball for the start of the story. Fellowes said, “It became famous because many of the young men left it to go straight to the Battle of Quatre Bras, and two days later to fight Waterloo. Many of them still in their dress uniforms that they wore for the ball, and of course many of them were killed in them. It was kind of a glamorous tragic image, really.”

 Producer Gareth Neame explained, “The ball itself, it’s one of those iconic events, a bit like when we started Downton Abbey with the sinking of the Titanic. And they’re both very romanticized, both incredibly tragic, romantic events in our imagination. So, we begin with a very recognizable moment in history. There are some real characters from history in the show, which is otherwise completely fictional, but that helps to place it in its place in time.” 

 Neame noted that there were joys and the challenges in creating a show with the breadth and scale of Belgravia, with the lavish production values, and the caliber of the cast that they assembled. “I think it’s nothing like Downton Abbey because— it’s from Julian’s novel, it’s a limited series, it’s a beginning and end. But we’re hearing that people who love Downton are really enjoying binging the episodes. I think there’s a lot of the same comedy of manners and social observation.  There’s a mystery at the heart of it. It’s a story about this couple and how they deal with the big tragedy in their lives and the repercussions of all of that. So, there’s lots that the fans of our other work would love, but it’s a very original piece as well.”

 Fellowes added, “I think it is very pleasing when you make a show that pleases. We’ve made a show that we’re very happy with. I think it’s worked out well, and looks marvelous, and we were very lucky in getting a terrific cast. But of course, the great goal is to please the audience and they’re the ones that can tell you if you’ve done it, and no one else.”

 Looking for a break from the troubling news of the day? Tune in Belgravia and escape with the 19th Century British upper-crust with the four-part series starting Saturday, April 12, on EPIX.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.