In The Indian Doctor, BBC1's returning daytime drama Sanjeev Bhaskar plays a GP from the Commonwealth who, like many in the early 1960s, answered a call - from Enoch Powell, the then Health Minister, no less - to work for their former colonisers in the NHS. The doc and his wife have so far been welcomed by their neighbours in the small Welsh village and everybody's rubbing along marvellously with no unpleasant imperial grudges being held.
That is, until the doctor's mother-in-law arrives to live with them. As this is the kind of mildly comic throwback series in which mothers-in-law are all battleaxes, Indira Joshi's Pushpa immediately throws her weight around and causes a stir.
It's all terribly predictable and perfectly suited to anyone in a position to half-watch while indulging in an afternoon nap (of course these days, iPlayer means that daytime programmes needn't be confined to their timeslots, but it's my bet that if someone were shown this blind, they'd still guess it was made for afternoons).
Still, there's something quietly radical about its unobtrusive theme of different ethnicities mostly getting along and this time the series features an interesting based-on-true-events story about a real smallpox outbreak in South Wales, which led to mass emergency vaccinations and quarantine.The Scotsman, 27th February 2012
Call the Midwife may have finished for now, but the combination of nostalgia and medicine remains potent. Award-winning drama The Indian Doctor, set in the south Wales valleys in 1964, is on a smaller scale: as the village GP, Dr Sharma (Sanjeev Bhaskar) seems to be responsible for everything from eye tests to pastoral youth care and advice on romance, and is supported almost every step of the way by his wife Kamini (Ayesha Dharker).
The new series opens with his mother-in-law Pushpa (Indira Joshi) arriving from a smallpox-stricken India and, in a piece of casting that should reap comedic rewards, Mark Heap is settling in as the very serious new vicar.Emma Sturgess, Radio Times, 27th February 2012