The Buddha of Suburbia (TV serial)
|The Buddha of Suburbia|
|Based on||The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi|
|Screenplay by||Hanif Kureishi|
|Directed by||Roger Michell|
|Theme music composer||David Bowie|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Running time||55-60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||BBC Films|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||3 November –|
24 November 1993
The Buddha of Suburbia is a British four-part television serial, directed by Roger Michell, originally broadcast on BBC Two in November 1993. Based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Hanif Kureishi, the series starred Naveen Andrews as the main character, Karim Amir. Its theme song, as well as other original music for the series, was written and performed by David Bowie (this work also inspired Bowie's related 'soundtrack' album of the same name).
Karim Amir is a mixed-race 17-year-old who lives in a South London suburb during the 1970s. With an English mother and a Pakistani father, Karim is uncertain of his cultural identity. As his father becomes a kind of spiritual guru to the surrounding middle-class neighbours, Karim begins to explore his cultural roots with hopes that he will achieve sexual and racial self-realisation.
- Naveen Andrews as Karim Amir
- Roshan Seth as Haroon Amir
- Susan Fleetwood as Eva Kay
- Steven Mackintosh as Charlie Kay
- Brenda Blethyn as Margaret Amir
- Harish Patel as Changez
- Nisha K. Nayar as Jamila
- David Bamber as Shadwell
- John McEnery as Uncle Ted
- Vicky Murdoch as Helen
- David Bradley as Helen's Father
- Jemma Redgrave as Eleanor
- Jason Watkins as Terry
- Richard Leaf as Photographer
- Amanda Root as First TV Producer
- Mark Strong as Second TV Producer
Segments for the series were filmed at Naveen Andrews' old school Emanuel School. The extras used in the series were real punks, skinheads, suedeheads, hippies, and musicians cast by actress Barbie Wilde.
The series features many songs from the seventies, as well as music written and performed specifically for the series by David Bowie. While a soundtrack album by Bowie was released under the same name on 8 November 1993, the music on the album is completely reworked, with the exception of the programme's theme song "The Buddha of Suburbia". A promotional music video was made for the song, featuring Bowie performing the song while strolling around an English suburb as scenes from the series are intercut throughout. The rest of the original television soundtrack remained unreleased.
- O'Connor, John J. (29 December 1994). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Is the BBC Too Adult For American Viewers?". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Keehnen, Owen. "Wilde Thing or Cenobite Barbie: Barbie Wilde Tells All". Racks and Razors. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Bowie, David. The Buddha of Suburbia liner notes (BMG International, 1994) (available at Bassman's David Bowie page Archived 22 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine)
- David Bowie (1993). Buddha of Suburbia (Music Video). EMI. Retrieved 14 March 2013.