Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sanjeev Bhaskar to return as The Indian Doctor on BBC One

Sanjeev Bhaskar’s bemused Dr Prem Sharma is back, as the second series of the award-winning BBC One drama ‘The Indian Doctor’ returns this month.
 
Coronation Street star Ayesha Dharker will continue as Dr Sharma’s wife Kamini whilst new cast members include Indira Joshi who plays Pushpa, Kamini’s mother.
Set in rural south Wales in the early Sixties, the show tells the remarkable story of the first wave of doctors from the sub-continent – more than 18,000 by some estimates – who were brought in by the government to address a critical staff shortage on the National Health Service.
 
Ironically enough the program was the brainchild of Enoch Powell who recruited medical professionals from throughout the Commonwealth.  The often highly qualified doctors found themselves not with prestigious posts in London but pushed by the medical establishment into socially deprived areas or remote communities.

The first series of The Indian Doctor explored what became a revelatory experience not only for the new immigrants but for the communities to which they were posted.  Some members of the fictional village of Trefelin find the doctor to be a curious oddity whilst others display outright antipathy.
The stoical Dr Sharma however tries to make the most of his circumstances whilst appeasing his glamorous and rather dissatisfied wife who feels terribly short changed and longs for even a “passing acquaintance with civilization”.
 
In the new five part series, smallpox hits the community and Dr Sharma and Kamini find themselves at the centre of the emergency.  Prem and Kamini have to work together to discover the source of the outbreak and vaccinate the villagers against infection.
 
As he tries to deal with the medical challenge at hand, Prem must also contend with the arrival of Kamini’s mother Pushpa, an overbearing mother-in-law who is bewildered by the couple’s new life in rural Wales.
 
-    Vijitha Alles
The new series of The Indian Doctor stars 2.15 pm 27th February 2012 on BBC One and BBC One HD.

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