The Indian Doctor

2:15pm Monday 27 February on BBC ONE

Dr Prem Sharma waits anxiously at the train station with his wife Kamini for the imminent arrival of his mother in law, Pushpa, at the start of the first programme in the second series of BBC One’s award winning daytime drama, The Indian Doctor, set in 1964.

Prem’s anxiety could give way to gratitude for any assistance Pushpa can offer, as the deadly smallpox disease hits the South Wales community where his successful practice is based. Pushpa has witnessed the effects of smallpox in India.

Herbert Todd has his own way of dealing with sufferers of the disease. The non-conformist preacher may well have spent a decade as a missionary in Kenya, but his notions of help are distinctly different from Prem’s.

Todd’s relationship with his duplicitous daughter Verity is also strained. His wife having left, the preacher needs every ounce of parental wisdom to handle Verity during her school holidays.

Prem also enlists the help of Emlyn, the local policeman, to shut off the valley and not allow anyone in or out, and to manage the panic in Trefelin, as news of the outbreak reaches the villagers.

Airing over five consecutive days at 2.15pm from Monday 27 February, the second series of The Indian Doctor was inspired by events in 1962 when more than 900,000 people in South Wales were vaccinated after a smallpox outbreak.


Sanjeev Bhaskar plays Dr Prem Sharma; Ayesha Dharker plays his wife Kamini; Indira Joshi plays Kamini’s mother, Pushpa; Mark Heap plays Herbert Todd, the self appointed evangelist; Naomi Battrick plays Herbert Todd’s daughter, Verity; Alun Ap Brinley plays local policeman, Emlyn; Ifan Huw Dafydd returns as Owen; Jacob Oakley plays Dan, Owen’s son; Mali Harries plays Megan; Erica Eirian is Sian; and Naomi Everson is Gina.

The Indian Doctor is made by Rondo Media and Avatar Productions and the exec producers are Tom Ware for Rondo Media, Deep Sehgal for Avatar Productions and Gerard Melling for the BBC.

2.15pm Monday 15 to Friday 19 November on BBC ONE

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ayesha Dharker and Mark Williams star in BBC One Daytime’s five-part period comedy drama which tells the story of a high-flying Delhi graduate and his wife who arrive in the UK in 1963 in search of a better life

Mark Williams (Harry Potter, The Fast Show) and Ayesha Dharker (Coronation Street, Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee) are to star alongside Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars At No.42) in the new Sixties drama The Indian Doctor for BBC One Daytime.

This five-part drama written by Bill Armstrong, tells the story of high flying Delhi graduate Dr Prem Sharma (Sanjeev Bhaskar), and his wife Kamini (Ayesha Dharker), who change the lives of a South Wales mining community forever.

Prem and Kamini come to the UK as part of the “first wave” of doctors and their families from the Indian sub-continent wooed by Enoch Powell. Much to Kamini’s disappointment, instead of the promised high wages and glamorous lifestyle of London, they end up in a South Wales mining community. There, they quickly become embroiled in the lives of the villagers, and find themselves becoming detectives to uncover a scandal affecting the health of the coal miners.

Mark Williams plays Richard Sharpe, the manager of the local colliery. Desperate for promotion and to get away from the village, he’s modernised the way the mine works in an attempt to impress his bosses; but he’s very anxious to find the previous doctor’s diary which he knows contains a secret that could destroy him.

Liam Keelan, Controller BBC Daytime, says: “It’s really important that this distinctive new drama is being made for BBC One Daytime as part of our continuing drive to bring our viewers good quality original drama. It shows life in the Sixties from a completely different perspective, and I’m delighted that Mark and Ayesha are joining Sanjeev to tell this thought-provoking story.”

The remainder of the principal cast are: Beth Robert (Young Dracula), Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin And Stacey), Alexander Vlahos (Doctors), Mali Harries, Naomi Everson, Jacob Oakley and Erica Eirian.

Alongside The Indian Doctor, BBC One Daytime will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Swinging Sixties with Rewind The 60s presented by showbiz legend Lulu, a special week-long series of programmes looking at the huge social change, creative innovation and historic importance that made the decade what it was.

The Indian Doctor is being made by Rondo Media and Avatar Films and the executive producers are Tom Ware for Rondo Media, Deep Sehgal for Avatar Films and Gerard Melling for the BBC.

The drama series is currently in production, filming in South Wales, and will be screened later this year on BBC One.

Rewind The 60s is being made by BBC productions in Bristol, and the executive producers are Pete Lawrence and Gerard Melling.


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