“Indian Summers”, PBS version, showed another Viceroy scene that didn’t appear in the C4 UK version. S02E09 “Winner Takes All” (recapped by RFodchuk) is a very poignant episode for the Viceroy because it is when he finally learns the truth about Whelan. The revelation scene is downright crushing but is also brilliant because of Patrick Malahide’s amazing expressions of heartbreak. It is a total “wow” moment.
The scene I’ll briefly recap takes place right before that revelation. Ralph Whelan, who has just found out that he most certainly will not be the new Viceroy, has a little chat with the tea lady who recalls serving under Lord Curzon. According to Wikipedia, there were five additionalViceroys between Curzon and Willingdon, so she’s been there a while, but it also shows they tend to last about five years.
After Willingdon expresses his sadness at Ralph not getting the appointment they go back inside for Ralph’s toast to the exiting Lord Willingdon. Ralph details how they met fifteen years ago in Madras when Willingdon was the Governor of Bombay. Ralph: “I was younger than I am now.” Lord W. laughs, “So was I.”
RFodchuk was pleased that Ralph mentioned Willingdon’s time in Ontario, Canada. 🙂 Just for the heck of it, here is a link to a Britsh Pathé video of Lord Willingdon opening the new wing of St. Andrew’s College in Ontario. Sadly it is silent, so there is none of that exquisite Pathé narration I love so much.
Anyway, back to the recap. Ralph is going over Willingdon’s exemplary record when a very tall, young and posh looking chap comes waltzing in. All eyes immediately fall on him, leaving Ralph stuttering uncomfortably. It is a very awkward moment for both Ralph and Lord Willingdon as no one appears interested in them anymore.
The new arrival is revealed as Sir Cecil Thompson. Fortunately, Thompson seems a pretty astute guy, so he makes a bit of a save by intoning “hear, hear” so that Ralph can wrap things up and toast His Excellency.
Then the action goes into what was already shown on C4 with Willingdon finding out that Sir Cecil is there to advise the incoming Viceroy. Willingdon seems bitter about it all, “Oh, very prudent, yes, good to make a head start,” he says ruefully.
It is a very brief scene but very interesting. It shows how quickly new brooms can switch things up and adds to Willingdon’s soul crushing day. I am very glad that PBS has aired so many previously deleted scenes because they truly add to the context of the overall story.