From time immemorial, those of royal descent have romanced the extravagant world of vintage cars, haute designers, spectacular jewelry and all things opulent. Known for their love of beauty and style, their lifestyles cast a spell across the world.
Set against a fascinating backdrop of the lifestyles, motivations, hopes, aspirations, insecurities and the mysteries that shroud the Indian royalty of the 1940s, Zee TV’s magnum opus period drama ‘EK Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani’ will premiere on 27th July and air at 9:30 PM every Monday to Friday. The show is a classic romance that explores the dynamics of all that transpired behind the four walls of imperial palaces in an era of Indian history that has not been explored so far on Indian television.
The show has a stellar ensemble cast that includes the strikingly attractive Dhrashti Dhami, who makes a comeback on television as the leading lady Gayatri. The handsome Siddhant Karnik will play the male lead, Ranaji Indravadan Singh Deo, the intense and brooding prince of the royal family of Amerkot. Joining the duo is none other than the noted Bollywood actor who entertained the audiences with her films through the 80’s, the charming Anita Raj. Television's favourite Dadi Sa, the powerhouse of talent - veteran actor Surekha Sikri and the remarkably talented, National award-winning actor Darshan Zariwala will also join this ensemble playing pivotal roles. Playing other interesting parts will be the enchanting Moon Bannerjee and popular actor Akshay Anand. While all these actors have made a distinct mark for themselves through interesting characters they have portrayed over the years, they now come together under one roof to create history on Indian television.
Leaving no stone unturned in taking its audiences back in time to the 1940s, Zee TV, in conjunction with the producers of the show – Sphere Origins and Nilanjana Purkayastha, is pushing the envelope with regards to production values, meticulous research and attention to detail. Bringing the pre-Independence era to life is a team of set and costume designers, engineers, architects and more than 500 workers, who have been toiling away relentlessly, day and night to replicate the look and feel of the period. The grand palace constructed on the outskirts of Mumbai is one of the most expensive sets in the history of Indian television. The palace has a façade inspired from the famous Baroda Palace and is also, currently, the only waterproof set for a TV show. Brimming with elegance, classic charm and grandeur, the palaces, jewelry and costumes pay a tribute to royal families who lived lives of unparalleled grandeur and luxury. Carpets weighing over 2.5 tonnes, chandeliers, antiques, vintage cars have specially been sourced and carved wooden furniture is being crafted to replicate the designs prevalent in those times. Jewelry and royal poshaks for the cast have been sourced from traditional kaarigars of UP, Delhi and Rajasthan. Coaches and trainers have been brought on board to train the cast in horse-riding, polo and the finer nuances of diction, body language and mannerisms of the people from that era. The cast and crew has also shot extensively in the palaces of Rajasthan.
Zee TV Business Head Mr. Pradeep Hejmadi said, “Even when it comes to genres such as history and mythology, a most fascinating period that remains unexplored by Indian television is the pre-Independence era. This vibrant period of India’s history that saw a great upheaval also saw intense drama unfold in the lives of the royalty of the princely states. Behind empty walls of grandeur and fake displays of splendor was hidden the truth of erosion of wealth, insecurities, succumbing to British dominion, depression and bankruptcy. Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani is a story of love set against this most interesting canvas. It aims to give viewers an up close and personal view of the lifestyles and some of the most closely guarded secrets of the rich and royal of the 1940s. It is a work of fiction that draws inspiration from the lives of the royalty of that period. This magnum opus period romance comes in at 9:30 PM, while Qubool Hai now moves to 7:30 PM, further fortifying the early primetime band.”
Producers Sunjoy and Comall Wadhwa of Sphere Origins further add, “The idea has been to look back at a glorious period of history for inspiration and churn out a timeless masterpiece that will entertain and enthrall TV audiences. The most daunting task at hand has been the re-creation of the pre-Independence era and the majestic lifestyles of the kings and queens of the princely states. Enormous research has gone to ensure authentic representation of the era and to create magic on screen. We have on board an ensemble of extremely impressive actors who beautifully fit the parts they are playing. The show will definitely turn out to be a clutter-breaker and hopefully, the biggest fiction show of the year.”
Stay tuned to Ek Tha Raja EK Thi Rani, starting 27th July, every Monday to Friday at 9:30 PM, only on ZEE TV!