The Indian Doctor

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The Indian Doctor
Title card for "The Indian Doctor"
The title card as shown in Series 2: Episode 2.
Genre Period drama
Created by Deep Sehgal
Tom Ware
Written by Bill Armstrong
Tom Ware
Deep Sehgal
Nicholas Martin
Catrin Clarke
Sian Naiomi
Rob Gittins
Directed by Deep Sehgal
Tim Whitby
Starring Sanjeev Bhaskar
Ayesha Dharker
Theme music composer Barnaby Taylor
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 15 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Tom Ware, Deep Sehgal
Producer(s) Cliff Jones
Eryl Huw Phillips
Editor(s) John Gillanders
Location(s) Wales, UK
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Rondo Media
Avatar Productions
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
Picture format 1080i
Audio format 5.1 Surround Sound
Original run 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15) – present
External links
Website

The Indian Doctor is a British television drama, set in the 1960s. Produced by Rondo Media and Avatar Productions, it was first broadcast on BBC One in 2010. The most recent series began on 4 November 2013 on BBC One daytime.[1] and concluded on 8 November. It is a period comedy drama starring Sanjeev Bhaskar as an Indian doctor who finds work in a South Wales mining village.[2]

Setting[edit]

The first five-part series was broadcast from Monday 15 November to Friday 19 November 2010. Sanjeev Bhaskar stars as Dr. Prem Sharma, the Indian doctor of the title who moves with his wife Kamini Sharma (Ayesha Dharker) to the small Welsh mining village of Trefelin.

The series is based on a true story of culture clash. On a BBC blog site, Sanjeev Bhaskar describes preparing for the role by talking with relatives who lived during the 1960s, but also by having discussions with a man (Dr Prem Subberwal) who did actually emigrate from India with his wife (Kamini Subberwal) to work as an NHS doctor in a small Welsh village. Subberwal explained that one of the major difficulties he had was in understanding and being understood, not because of the English language, but due to the Welsh accent and various colloquialisms that the people used which the Indian, having learned a more formally structured version of English, could not follow.

Plot summary[edit]

Series 1[edit]

The principal storyline revolves around the outwardly jolly colliery manager Richard Sharpe, and the dark secret that he has deliberately ignored safety warnings to develop productivity in his attempts to further his own career. Evidence to this effect exists in the previous doctor's diaries, and the new Indian doctor becomes determined to reveal the truth. Subsidiary storylines revolve around the doctor's relationship with Megan Evans, the blossoming love affair between Tom Evans and Gina Nicolli, the theft of charitable funds by Owen Griffiths, and the truancy (and associated troubles) of Dan Griffiths.

Series 2[edit]

Now, a year after his arrival, Prem faces a new adversary, evangelist preacher Herbert Todd. When an outbreak of smallpox threatens to bring catastrophe to the village, Prem finds himself fighting prejudice and incompetence and locked in a confrontation with the intransigent Todd for the hearts and minds of the villagers. Also, Prem and his wife Kamini nervously await the arrival of his dreaded mother-in-law, Pushpa. With India gripped by the chaos of a smallpox epidemic, Pushpa is taking the opportunity for a long-overdue inspection of her daughter's new life - and the son-in-law of whom she doesn't approve.[3]

Series 3[edit]

It is now 1966, three years after Prem and Kamini's arrival, and they have become very much a part of the Trefelin community. But their lives and those of everyone in the village are about to change when its high-flying 'prodigal sons' return to bring a first real taste of the swinging '60s.

A shiny American sports car zooms into the sleepy Valleys village of Trefelin, carrying with it Basil and Robert Thomas, sons of the old local mine owner. The high-achieving brothers are greeted with joy by everyone from Sian the shopkeeper to the miners in the pub. But for others, like the Indian doctor Prem Sharma, his wife Kamini and newlyweds Emlyn and Megan, the brothers' return spells confusion and frustration as their dreams are dashed and they face the prospect of becoming outcasts once again.[4]

Characters[edit]

Other main characters in the series included:

  • Gina Nicolli (Naomi Everson), the receptionist.
  • Richard Sharpe (Mark Williams), the colliery manager who runs the mine. (Series 1)
  • Sylvia Sharpe (Beth Robert), Richard Sharpe's fiery redhead wife. (Series 1)
  • Megan Evans (Mali Harries), whose miner husband is dying of emphysema.
  • Tom Evans (Alexander Vlahos), Megan's step-son, who wants to be a professional singer. (Series 1)
  • Dan Griffiths (Jacob Oakley), a local boy.
  • Owen Griffiths (Ifan Huw Dafydd), Dan's father - a miner and heavy drinker.
  • Sian Davies (Erica Eirian), local shop owner.
  • Sgt Emlyn Dawkins (Alun ap Brinley), local policeman. (Series 2)
  • Pushpa Bakshi (Indira Joshi), Kamini Sharma's mother. (Series 2)
  • Rev Herbert Todd (Mark Heap), former missionary, appointed as minister of the chapel. (Series 2)

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (2010)[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original airdate
1 "The Arrival" Tim Whitby Bill Armstrong 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15)
The sleepy Welsh mining village of Trefelin is in for a shock. When the local doctor dies, his replacement isn't quite what people expect - Prem Sharma is the Indian doctor who arrives in the Valleys, in this period comedy drama set in 1963. And it's not just the locals who are shocked: Prem's regal wife Kamini isn't too happy with the situation either. Life in the village is centred around the pit, and the Coal Board's local manager Richard Sharpe is keen to welcome the new arrivals - but he also has a few skeletons in his closet. Meanwhile, the doctor strikes up some new friendships and starts to settle into life in the Valleys, but it won't be plain sailing...[5]
2 "The Diary" Tim Whitby Bill Armstrong 16 November 2010 (2010-11-16)
Colliery manager Richard Sharpe is still desperate to find a mysterious green leather diary left behind by Prem's predecessor, Dr Elwyn. But his plan to pay local street urchin Dan Griffiths to steal the diary from the surgery backfires when Kamini catches Dan red-handed. While Kamini confronts Sharpe, Prem has an emergency of his own to deal with when he's asked to make a very unusual house call...[6]
3 "Young Hearts" Tim Whitby Bill Armstrong 17 November 2010 (2010-11-17)
The Indian Doctor's wife, Kamini Sharma, is still desperate to leave the village of Trefelin. But as she tries to escape, she finds herself becoming the only person who can help local tearaway Dan when he gets into trouble. With the previous doctor's green leather diary found, Prem's friendship with Megan deepens as she translates it from Welsh into English and they realise that Dr Elwyn's diary holds vital clues to the deteriorating health of the local miners. When Prem questions the mine manager Sharpe about the miners' health, Sharpe tries to persuade the doctor that health hazards are just an unfortunate part of a miner's job. Meanwhile Gina, Prem's receptionist, is falling recklessly in love with Tom...[7]
4 "The Van" Deep Sehgal Bill Armstrong 18 November 2010 (2010-11-18)
When a rather unusual van arrives in the village, the driver, a well-known rugby player, creates a real stir and it looks like the doctor's luck is changing for the better. However, Richard Sharpe, the mine manager, is furious and does his best to turn the locals against the doctor and his X-ray van - although his wife, Sylvia Sharpe, is rather taken with the new driver. Meanwhile, Gina gets some shocking news and the crucial green leather diary belonging to Dr Elwyn goes missing...[8]
5 "The Fete" Deep Sehgal Bill Armstrong 19 November 2010 (2010-11-19)
A lot is going on behind the scenes as the fete preparations continue. Prem Sharma is preparing to leave the village and Kamini, his wife, goes in search of Dan, who is missing, but finds more than she bargained for. Megan pleads with Prem to stay and help the miners fight for justice and for their health. Meanwhile, Sharpe finally gets the promotion he's been chasing. Matters come to a head as Prem takes on Sharpe once and for all in front of the whole village at the annual summer fete...[9]

Series 2 (2012)[edit]

Liam Keelan, Controller of BBC Daytime, announced on 25 March 2011 (via the BBC TV blog) that The Indian Doctor had been re-commissioned for a second series. Keelan gave no specifics, but stated that many of the viewers' favourite characters would be returning, and that series two was likely to be broadcast early in 2012.[10] Series 2 began at 2:15pm on 27 February 2012.

.

# Title Director Writer Original airdate
1 "Foreign Bodies" Gwennan Sage Nicholas Martin 27 February 2012 (2012-02-27)
Dr Prem Sharma and his wife Kamini nervously await the arrival of his dreaded mother-in-law, Pushpa. With India gripped by the chaos of a smallpox epidemic, Pushpa is taking the opportunity for a long-overdue inspection of her daughter's new life - and the son-in-law of whom she doesn't approve. Meanwhile, evangelist preacher Reverend Todd is struggling to control his pretty teenage daughter Verity, who is home from boarding school for the summer. He is preparing a slide presentation of his missionary work in Africa, and hopes to win a few new souls for his congregation. Prem's young receptionist Gina is desperate that the new reverend baptise her baby but, because the child was born out of wedlock, Todd refuses. Local copper Emlyn visits the doctor suffering from depression - or is it just boredom? Prem suggests Emlyn find some diversions from his routine, with awkward consequences.[11]
2 "Immunity" Gwennan Sage Nicholas Martin 28 February 2012 (2012-02-28)
Dr Prem Sharma finds himself under pressure to track down and save Dan before it is too late. Facing the threat of an epidemic, Prem has to battle both the ineptitude of the health authorities and the ignorance of locals. When Trefelin's evangelist minister, Herbert Todd, refuses to be vaccinated and openly defies Prem's attempts to contain the virus, the conflict between them threatens to divide the village. While Prem and Todd battle for the hearts and minds of the villagers, Sergeant Emlyn Dawkins has been up all night composing a love letter to the unsuspecting Megan. How will she react when the previously tongue-tied copper puts his innermost thoughts down on paper?[12]
3 "The Miracle" Lee Haven-Jones Sian Naiomi 29 February 2012 (2012-02-29)
Trefelin is deserted as Prem waits for a vaccination unit to arrive from Cardiff. But Reverend Todd is still determined that only he can save the village, and wastes no time in telling the villagers that God has stepped in where Prem's medicine has failed. The community seems oblivious to the deadly outbreak that it faces, and Prem seems to be losing the fight. While Prem tries in vain to round up the villagers for immediate vaccination, Todd discovers his daughter Verity's affair with a married man and decides on a severe punishment. An exasperated Prem decides to call in the law to help him. And his battle with Todd for control over the village reaches a head when suddenly another man falls seriously ill.[13]
4 "Quarantine" Lee Haven-Jones Catrin Clarke 1 March 2012 (2012-03-01)
With Trefelin under quarantine, supplies are getting low. Despite Prem's attempts to piece together the evidence, the real source of the outbreak is still unknown. As one by one the miners who played cards in Ceri's barn fall victim to the virus, it seems that Dan knows more than he is letting on about how he fell ill. Meanwhile, Megan is helping Emlyn keep law and order, and between them they come up with a plan to get more food from the next village. It seems that things are finally getting back to normal, until Mary arrives with some terrible news.[14]
5 "The Source" Gwennan Sage Rob Gittins 2 March 2012 (2012-03-02)
Reporters gather at the surgery to hear that the outbreak of smallpox in Trefelin is finally under control. But Prem is not convinced that they have managed to locate the real source of the disease, and so the village is still not safe. Reverend Todd struggles to maintain his authority, not least over his wayward daughter Verity, who he has locked away from prying eyes. When her guilt-stricken lover confides in Prem, he begins a frantic search for Verity. Local copper Emlyn makes the most important declaration of his life, and Megan has to make a difficult decision.[15]

Series 3 (2013)[edit]

BBC One commissioned a third season, which was transmitted in the autumn of 2013. This series featured 5x45 min episodes that aired during BBC Daytime and 3x60 min episodes for BBC Wales.[16]

Series 3 (BBC One Wales)[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original airdate
1 "The Prodigals' Return" Lee Haven Jones Catrin Clarke and Sian Naiomi 19 September 2013 (2013-09-19)
2 "The Gold Rush" Lee Haven Jones Sian Naiomi and Rob Gittins 26 September 2013 (2013-09-26)
3 "Out of the Darkness" Lee Haven Jones Rob Gittins and Catrin Clarke 3 October 2013 (2013-10-03)

Series 3 (BBC One Daytime)[edit]

# Title Director Writer Original airdate
1 "The Prodigals' Return" Lee Haven Jones Catrin Clarke 4 November 2013 (2013-11-04)
Trefelin, the sleepy Welsh Valleys town in which Prem set up practice three years ago, is rudely awoken by the throaty roar of an American sports car carrying returning prodigals Basil and Robert Thomas, sons of the erstwhile local mine owner. The brothers are greeted enthusiastically by the villagers, buying drinks for all-comers and inviting everyone to their homecoming party. Basil and Robert’s return to their former home also dashes Kamini’s hopes of moving into the house of her dreams. Bumbling revolutionaries Aled and Daf seek a cause to protest. But it’s the Thomas brothers’ announcement of their grand plans for Trefelin that seem more likely to really rock village life, and cast a shadow over Prem’s future.[17]
2 "The Gold Rush" Lee Haven Jones Sian Naiomi 5 November 2013 (2013-11-05)
As the suave doctor Robert renews his acquaintance with childhood sweetheart Megan, older brother Basil ingratiates himself with villagers eager to exchange their house deeds as a deposit on a swanky house in his new development. Aled and Daf clumsily conjure an ambitious plan to end Basil’s ambitions; Robert, meanwhile, surprises Prem by offering him a central role as part of his new medical centre team. But Prem has a more immediate problem when, late in the day, a forlorn Megan calls at the surgery with some unexpected news.[18]
3 "Desperate Measures" Lee Haven Jones Rob Gittins 6 November 2013 (2013-11-06)
Sian decides that farmer Ceri might be worth ensnaring with her feminine charms – at least if he really has come into some unexpected money – and Robert is doing his best to woo his old girlfriend Megan, much to Emlyn’s alarm. The Dawkins are not the only couple to fall out, as Prem confronts Kamini over a job offer from Basil. Prem’s anger is cut short, however, when he discovers that, against his advice, Owen has gone back to work at the mine - with disastrous results.[19]
4 "Trapped" Lee Haven Jones Rob Gittins 7 November 2013 (2013-11-07)
Basil’s continuing drive for villagers to exchange their deeds for new houses is reaping great results, and a visit to Sian’s shop suggests he may be in for an unexpected investment from an unlikely source. Robert takes advantage of Emlyn’s absence by taking Megan for a drive... a drive, he hopes, might rekindle their teenage romance. Below ground, the trapped men each battle with their demons, and when their situation takes an even more serious turn, their lives are left in the balance.[18]
5 "Into the Light" Lee Haven Jones Catrin Clarke 8 November 2013 (2013-11-08)
Robert pleads with Megan to leave Trefelin with him, but it’s down to Prem to discover the real truth about his past. Dan helps Kamini find out the real story behind Basil’s plans for the new Trefelin, leading Prem to confront him about the brothers’ real reason for returning home.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC - Media Centre - The Indian Doctor". BBC Media Centre. 19 Oct 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Ian Wolf. "The Indian Doctor". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Indian Doctor - Series 2 - Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. Feb 27, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Indian Doctor - Series 3 - Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 1.1 - The Arrival". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.2 - The Diary". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.3 - Young Hearts". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.4 - The Van". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.5 - The Fete". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ Keelan, Liam (25 March 2011). "The Indian Doctor is returning to BBC One". BBC Online. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.1 - Foreign Bodies". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  12. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.2 - Immunity". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.3 - The Miracle". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  14. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.4 - Quarantine". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 2.5 - The Source". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  16. ^ http://rondomedia.co.uk/en/latest-news/third-series-indian-doctor.htm
  17. ^ BBC. "Episode 3.1 - The Prodigals Return". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b BBC. "Episode 3.2 - The Gold Rush". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ BBC. "Episode 3.3 - Desperate Measures". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  20. ^ BBC. "Episode 3.5 - Into The Light". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]