Belgravia: When does it start? Who's in the cast? All you need to know about Julian Fellowes’ period drama

The Downton Abbey creator could have a new hit series on his hands in the shape of Belgravia, an adaptation of his own novel set in 1840s London. Discover more about the show.

By Sophia Moir Published: 16 March 2020 - 9.23am
Rex

Downton Abbey devotees have been very lucky recently.

Not only did the film of the ITV period drama hit the big screen late last year, but hot on its heels comes creator Julian Fellowes' next big TV hit - an adaptation of his novel Belgravia. 

Here’s all you need to know about Belgravia on ITV.

When is Belgravia on TV?

Belgravia premieres Sunday, March 15 at 9pm on ITV. It continues Sundays at 9pm.

It will consist of six one-hour episodes, so the final episode will be Sunday, April 19.

Belgravia ITV / Carnival Films

Is there a trailer?

Yes, you can watch the trailer for Belgravia right here:

What is Belgravia about?

Belgravia began life as a best-selling novel by Julian Fellowes, which he has now adapted into a TV series.

The award-winning Downton Abbey producer is back in his specialist genre of posh period drama for the new series, which is set in the affluent London district in the 1840s.

Billed as “a story of secrets and dishonour amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th Century”, Belgravia sounds as though it will be packed with as much intrigue as Downton itself.

It focuses on the Trenchards, a family invited to the now-legendary ball of the Duchess of Richmond, held on the eve of the Battle of Quatre Bras - a precursor to the Battle of Waterloo - in 1815.

What happens that evening will set in motion events that resonate for decades to come, as secrets unravel behind the porticoed doors of the grand houses of Belgravia in the 1840s.

Fellowes will be reuniting with his Downton Abbey team, which includes Carnival Films and producer Gareth Neame, for the series.

ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, said: "We're delighted to be reuniting with Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame and Carnival Films to produce Belgravia for ITV. It's a tale of scandal and intrigue set in 1840s London with some wonderful characters spanning two generations at its heart."

Belgravia ITV / Carnival Films

The full series description for Belgravia reads as follows: "At the now legendary Duchess of Richmond’s ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, young lovers Sophia Trenchard and Edmund Bellasis forge an ill-fated legacy that will create scandal for generations to come.

"Some years later when Sophia’s parents, the upwardly mobile Trenchards, move to the fashionable Belgravia, they find themselves rubbing shoulders with the venerated Brockenhursts. The two families share a history that threatens the inheritance and reputation of many.

"There are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain forgotten, but as long-buried events resurface the truth behind the families’ connection becomes hard to conceal from the great and the good of British society.

"Soon an expectant heir, beleaguered household staff and avaricious adulterers conspire together to reap the benefits of this familial scandal. Prejudice and potential ruin must be overcome, and faced head on, if these family dynasties are to remain secured."

Belgravia cast ITV

From Tamsin Greig to Alice Eve - who's in the Belgravia cast?

Anne Trenchard (Played by Tamsin Greig)

A clever, strong woman, but not a bully. Born the daughter of a country teacher, she loves her husband James and enjoys his success without sharing his social ambitions. Astute and thoughtful, Anne straddles the class divide with elegance and insight, her sound judgements occasionally derailed by her husband’s aspirations and her own emotional response to events.

She's played by Tamsin Greig, remembered for her role in Black Books with Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey, as Dr Caroline Todd in Green Wing and as Jackie in the BAFTA nominated Friday Night Dinner.

 

James Trenchard (Played by Philip Glenister)

A self-made man who started out as a London market trader, James grasped the opportunity that war with Napoleon presented, becoming one of the principal suppliers to the Duke of Wellington. After the war, he has joined the Cubitt brothers in their building of a new London City of the Rich, Belgravia. James is a social climber of mountaineering proportions. The advancement of his family drives him forward, but it drives his wife Anne to distraction.

James is played by Philip Glenister, who has appeared in various TV series but is perhaps best known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in the BAFTA-nominated BBC drama Life on Mars and its sequel Ashes to Ashes.

Belgravia Trenchards ITV / Carnival Films

Susan Trenchard (Played by Alice Eve)

Beautiful, petulant and spoilt, Susan wants everything while giving nothing in return. The daughter of a successful merchant, her marriage to Oliver Trenchard was a disappointment to his father James, who had hoped for someone with better connections, but he is sympathetic to Susan’s social climbing. Extravagant to a fault, her priority is her own social advancement. But, whatever her failings, she is not at all stupid.

Susan is played by Alice Eve, who's perhaps best known for her role in Star Trek: Into Darkness, directed by J.J Abrams, where she played the role of Dr Carol Marcus.

 

Lady Brockenhurst (Played by Dame Harriet Walter)

Once a great beauty, Lady Brockenhurst hides her private sadness behind a carapace of good breeding and a degree of aristocratic hauteur, which feeds her sense of superiority. A clever woman, and a talented artist, she shows strength and fortitude in adversity, forming unusual alliances to protect those she loves.

She's played by Dame Harriet Walker (below), whose notable film credits include the Oscar-winning Atonement, Babel, Mindhorn and Sense and Sensibility. She's also had roles in some of the best-loved television series of recent years, including The Crown and Downton Abbey.

Belgravia Harriet Walker ITV / Carnival Films

Charles Pope (Played by Jack Bardoe)

A child of his own time. Charles is not a Regency rake: he is a Victorian entrepreneur. He is unaware of the truth about his birth, but he is at peace with his modest place in society. That said, Charles is determined to rise and make his mark in this new world. Handsome, charming and thoroughly decent, his intelligence is matched by his youthful charm.

He's played by newcomer Jack Bardoe, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2019. Belgravia is his television debut.

 

Lady Maria Grey (Played by Ella Purnell)

An attractive, forthright young woman brought up under a reasonably strict regime of nurses and governesses. Maria is intelligent and interested in the wider world, not just the latest fashion. Her mother has identified John Bellasis (played by Adam James) as an eligible match for her, but Maria dislikes his selfish, snobbish pride. She immediately recognises Charles Pope as a natural ally.

Maria is played by Ella Purnell, who's appeared in Never Let Me Go and Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Ella was also seen as Young Maleficent in Disney's 2014 film Maleficent.

 

Other cast members

Belgravia also features the character of Oliver Trenchard (played by Richard Goulding), Sophia Trenchard (played by Emily Reid), the Earl of Brockenhurst (played by Tom Wilkinson), and Lord Bellasis (played by Jeremy Neumark Jones).

There's also Reverend Stephen Bellasis (played by James Fleet), Grace Bellasis (played by Diana Hardcastle), John Bellasis (Played by Adam James) and Lady Templemore (Played by Tara Fitzgerald).

The servant characters include Turton (played by Paul Ritter), Ellis (played by Saskia Reeves), and Speer (played by Bronagh Gallagher).

Belgravia servants ITV / Carnival Films

Where was Belgravia filmed?

Filming for Belgravia took place at a range of stunning Victorian locations in England, including London and the home counties, Bath and Northumberland.

Brocket Hall, a Grade I-listed classical country house in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was used as a filming location.

Shooting also took place in Edinburgh, with the largely untouched Georgian architecture of the city's New Town doubling for 19th century London. 

Key scenes are also shot in the nearby stately homes of Hopetoun (which has featured in Outlander) and Manderston in Scotland.

Belgravia Julian Fellowes Rex

What else has Julian Fellowes written?

Julian Fellowes (above) is most famous for writing and producing Downton Abbey, but he’s also been behind a number of other huge film and TV hits.

His film scripts have included Gosford Park (for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), The Young Victoria and an adaptation of Vanity Fair, while his other TV credits include Titanic and two forthcoming series: The Gilded Age, set in bustling 1880s New York, and The English Game on Netflix.

As well as Belgravia, Fellowes' published novels include Snobs and Past Imperfect.

Belgravia continues Sundays at 9pm on ITV.

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