The Indian Doctor is a BBC series that began in 2010 and lasted for 3 seasons. All three seasons are now on Hulu. The series is a warm-hearted look into the life of a doctor and his wife in a small mining town in South Wales. It’s the kind of British TV that makes so many people say they love British TV.
Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ayesha Dharker are both superb in their roles as Dr. Prem Sharma and Kamina Sharma. The Indian Doctor is set in the 1960s and the two actors were required to be very upper crust and educated in speech and behavior, while the isolated and uneducated townspeople of the village were the exact opposite. There was plenty of culture clash at first, but the doctor and the villagers began to bond as time went by.
I enjoyed Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ayesha Dharker so much. He was so unflappably brilliant in his perfectly tailored suits. She was so powerful in her gorgeous saris, with those big expressive eyes of hers. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a show about a married man and woman quite this much and these two made it so. They were perfect together.
Megan (Mali Harries) was one of the townspeople who spoke Welsh, so she was a big help with the overarching storyline for season 1. That season looked at the lung disease among the coal miners. Part of the evidence about lung disease against the greedy mine boss was hidden in a diary written in Welsh. Megan and Prem became very close decoding the diary.
Kudos to Mali Harries for her acting. She can do anything as an actress, and she can speak Welsh while doing it, which is apparently no small thing.
In season 1, Kamina forms a relationship with a boy named Dan (Jacob Oakley). He needed mothering and Kamina and Prem had lost a child before they moved to Wales. This storyline continues through all three seasons, with Dan’s father, a frequently drunk miner named Owen (Ifan Huw Dafydd), in and out of Dan’s life. By the time the 3rd season ended, Jacob Oakley was taller than Ayesha Dharker.
The receptionist in the doctor’s surgery is played by Naomi Everson. There’s a lot to be said for an effective receptionist.
In season 2, a new minister, Rev. Todd (Mark Heap), and his daughter Verity (Naomi Battrick) move to the village. The overarching story in season 2 involves an outbreak of smallpox.
When smallpox hits, the doctor and the local policeman, Sgt. Emlyn Dawkins (Alun ap Brinley) must attempt to get everyone vaccinated and quarantine the town. Rev. Todd was more hindrance than help in that effort.
Kamini’s mother (Indira Joshi) is around for most of season 2 and the smallpox scare.
The third season involves two brothers, Robert Thomas (Rhydian Jones) and Basil Thomas (William Houston), who grew up in the village. They return in a scheme of Basil’s to rob everyone. By deceiving the local shop owner, Sian (Erica Eirian), into believing him, Basil almost makes good on his evil schemes.
Beyond each season having a story line lasting all 5 episodes, there were many minor stories involving the townspeople. They expected the doctor to solve all their problems, no matter what they were, medical or not. Some of the problems were funny.
The Indian Doctor was always bright and cheerful. Even when things were their most serious, there was never any darkness or gloom. Many of the townspeople were tropey caricatures but the whole thing was so lovely that it didn’t matter.
No cursing, no on screen sex (some kissing), no violence. Just good people doing their best. Fun for the whole family!
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Watch a trailer for The Indian Doctor
This series has been around for a while. Have you seen it? Did you enjoy it?