Thursday, July 24, 2014
'The Indian Doctor' S3 DVD: Wonderful BBC Welsh Version of 'Northern Exposure'
Not having (yet) watched the first two series (my people call them seasons) of the truly delightful 2010-2013 BBC dramedy "The Indian Doctor" slightly impairs this review of the recent BFS Entertainment DVD releases of the third season. However, a clever recap in the season premiere and other provided exposition in these episodes allows following them just fine.
The titular physician is India-born Prem Sharma who relocates to the rural Welsh town of Trefelin in the 1960s to practice medicine in response to the British government issuing a call for such action. His (generally) loving wife Kamini Sharma is his partner for this "Northern Exposure" style adventure.
The Sharmas seem well integrated in their adopted home when native sons Basil and Robert Thomas roar onto the scene in their sports car and resume living in the family manor. The scheme of Basil to acquire ownership of all the property (and shut down the local coal mine) for the stated purpose of building a better and more modern Trefelin drives much of the third season action.
This asserted urban renewal project provides wonderful humor that extends beyond the bumbling opposition by the worst anarchists ever and the promise for new homes with hot water and central heating. The shameless tactics of Basil regarding his plans include spinning an absurd tall tale for Ruth-Anne esque middle-aged shopkeeper and offering Kamini something that Prem is unwilling to provide.
Additional conflict develops in the form of Robert being a very Anglo doctor whose presence threatens the viability of the practice that Prem operates. The latter additionally struggles with challenges related to needing a new receptionist.
The most direct hostility between Prem and Robert relates to Robert dangerously overruling the conclusion of Prem that mine foreman Owen Griffiths is medically unable to continue that work. This storyline also serves as a great technique for communicating the nature of the relationship between Robert and Basil.
The other eccentric characters of the community provide additional entertainment. These include the not-so-bright local farmer and kind-hearted but rather incompetent policeman. Throwing in a town drunk would complete the Mayberry vibe of Trefelin.
The season finale nicely wraps up the aforementioned storylines (and others that include interrupted efforts of Prem and Kamini to enjoy quality alone time). This leaves fans of this "community" hoping for "six seasons (or series) and a movie."
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Doctor" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.