Masters' India Saga

Masters' India Saga

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation


An 18-part serialisation of John Masters' chronicles of the Savage family, spanning the years 1825-1946 and set against the backdrop of British rule in India

Based on the hugely popular novels of John Masters, this landmark BBC Radio adaptation charts the history of the British in India through the perspective of one family over several generations. Ranging over more than 120 years, these thrilling tales of love, murder and espionage take us from the expansion of the East India Company to the last days of the Raj and the approach of Independence.

The Deceivers - 1825. When Company official William Savage witnesses a brutal double murder and uncovers grisly evidence of mass ritual sacrifice, he is drawn into the dark world of the thuggee and their murderous, Kali-worshipping cult. Can he escape with his honour - and his soul - intact? Starring David Collings, Saeed Jaffrey, and Terence Alexander.

Night Runners of Bengal - 1856, and William's son Rodney is an officer in the Bengal Army. His life is one of security and privilege - but a guru's prophecy, and disturbing events surrounding the Rani of Kishanpur, are harbingers of seismic change to come. Across India, the Great Rebellion is rising... Starring Michael Cochrane, Eva Haddon, Carole Boyd and Renu Setna.

The Lotus and the Wind - 1879. Britain and Russia are deadly rivals in the 'Great Game'. At the centre of the conflict is Afghanistan, where soldier-turned-spy Lt Robin Savage is attempting to thwart Russian intelligence. Meanwhile, the woman he loves, Anne Hildreth, witnesses a murder en route to Peshawar... Starring Bill Nighy, Juliet Stevenson, John Rowe.

Bhowani Junction - 1946, and India is heading for self-rule. But when Independence comes, what will happen to Anglo-Indians Patrick Taylor and Victoria Jones? As they search for their true identity amidst Britain's turbulent withdrawal, Colonel Rodney Savage hunts for saboteurs seeking to blow up Bhowani's railway... Starring Gary Bond, Sean Barrett and Shireen Shah.

Text copyright © The Estate of John Masters 1951 (Nightrunners of Bengal), 1952 (The Deceivers), 1953 (The Lotus and the Wind), 1954 (Bhowani Junction)

Cast and credits
Written by John Masters
Music composed by Malcolm Clarke of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

The Deceivers
Dramatised by David Wade.
Directed by Penny Leicester.
Executive producer: Colin Venning
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 September-28 October 1984

Nightrunners of Bengal
Dramatised by Barry Campbell.
Directed by Christopher Venning
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 4-25 November 1984

The Lotus and the Wind
Dramatised by David Wade.
Directed by Penny Leicester
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2-23 December 1984

Bhowani Junction
Dramatised by Barry Campbell
Directed by Christopher Venning
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 December 1984-27 January 1985

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the author

John Masters

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