The Indian Doctor. Image shows from L to R: Kamini Sharma (Ayesha Dharker), Dr. Prem Sharma (Sanjeev Bhaskar). Image credit: Rondo.

The Indian Doctor

Period comedy drama starring Sanjeev Bhaskar as an Indian doctor who finds work in a South Wales mining village in the 1960s

Genre:
Comedy Drama
Broadcast:
2010 - 2013  (BBC One / BBC One Wales)
Episodes:
15 (3 series)
Starring:
Sanjeev Bhaskar, Matthew Aubrey, Sion Pritchard, Ceri Murphy, Ayesha Dharker, Mali Harries, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Jacob Oakley, Erica Eirian, Dafydd Hywel, Alun Ap Brinley
Writers:
Bill Armstrong, Tom Ware, Deep Sehgal, Nicholas Martin, Sian Naiomi, Catrin Clarke, Rob Gittins
Production:
Rondo
& Avatar

The life of a South Wales mining village is changed for ever when a doctor and his wife arrive from the Indian sub-continent in the Sixties.

Starring Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars At No. 42) and Ayesha Dharker (Coronation Street) the series tells the story of Dr Prem Sharma, a high-flying Delhi graduate who arrives in the UK in 1963 as part of the "first wave" of Indian doctors wooed by the then health minister, Enoch Powell.

Prem and his wife, Kamini, want to build a new life for themselves following a family tragedy but, rather than finding a glamorous job as a consultant in London, they find themselves in the sleepy Welsh coal mining village of Trefelin.

The local doctor has died and Prem is his replacement. Prem isn't quite the new doctor that the locals expected to get and they're not the only ones who are shocked: Prem's regal wife isn't too happy with the situation either.

Life in the village centres on the pit, which in the first series is run by the Coal Board's local manager, Richard Sharpe (Mark Williams), who is keen to welcome the new arrivals - but he also has a few skeletons in his closet and is very concerned about the whereabouts of the previous doctor's green leather diary...

Meanwhile, as Prem strikes up some new friendships and starts to settle into life in the Valleys, Kamini is determined they are leaving as soon as possible. It won't be plain sailing and Prem quickly starts to realise that things are not quite as they should be.

In the second series, a smallpox epidemic hits Trefelin, and Perm finds himself at the centre of an emergency. Not only that but Perm has to deal with his visiting mother-in-law Pushpa (Indira Joshi), and a returning missionary, Herbert Todd (Mark Heap), who believes that God will protect him from the deadly illness rather than medicine.

In Series 3, it is 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 high-flying 'prodigal sons' Basil and Robert Thomas, return to bring a first real taste of the swinging '60s.

Confusingly, two versions of the third series exist - the three prime-time hour long edits for BBC One Wales, and the five 45-minute episodes for BBC One's Daytime schedule. The Daytime episodes are the more complete story.