The Good Karma Hospital is essentially Doc Hollywood meets Casualty, as fish-out-of-water-cum-aspiring-hopeful junior doctor Ruby Walker (Game Of Thrones‘ Amrita Acharia) goes on a passage to India to work in a big fancy hospital that trumps the NHS, not realising you’ve got to slum it for the first year in a run-down hole like this.
Her boss, Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman) is described in the press blurb as “gloriously eccentric”, but it’s clear she’s just a bossy boots – and, basically – Connie Beauchamp from Casualty. Early on, we see her treating a man for a shoulder injury, but there’s nothing more painful than Neil Morrissey‘s attempt at a South African accent before he quickly drops it. That said, I’m not sure why he even picked it up!
What’s most annoying about Ruby is what a wet lettuce she is, even in these times of the #vegcrisis. She’s split from her boyfriend and looking for a new goal, but she’s more bloody miserable than Victor Meldrew(!)
And on her arrival, she’s asked by the taxi driver, “It’s your first time in India?” She says yes, but it’s actually filmed in Sri Lanka.
Plus, before long, James Floyd as Dr Gabriel Varma, announces definitively, “I am the Doctor”. Have we found Peter Capaldi’s successor already?
It’s moderately amusing, but predictable, far from revolutionary and nothing we haven’t really seen before, but then it’s typical low-attention-required Sunday evening material and, at 9pm, it follows straight after BBC1’s medical-themed Call The Midwife.
As a whole series, however, I expect The Good Karma Hospital will end up as another mainstream medical drama that needs the NHS to save it.
Episode 1 Score: 3/10
Directors: Bill Eagles and Jon Wright
Producer: Stephen Smallwood
Creator: Dan Sefton
Writers: Dan Sefton, Nancy Harris and Vinay Patel
Music: Ben Foster
Dr. Lydia Fonseca: Amanda Redman
Dr. Ruby Walker: Amrita Acharia
Dr. Gabriel Varma: James Floyd
Greg Mcconnell: Neil Morrissey
Dr. Ram Nair: Darshan Jariwala
AJ Nair: Sagar Radia
Mari Rodriguez: Nimmi Harasgama
Maggie Smart: Phyllis Logan
Paul Smart: Philip Jackson
Debbie Smart: Leanne Best
Raja Mehta: Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke
Nita Mehta: Palomi Ghosh
Danny McKay: Mitch Smart
Atul Nadar: Ritwik Sahore
Marcus Read: Tom Canton
Ward Sister: Katharine Rogers
Hotel manager: Andre Perera
Sanjay Nadar: Induwara Hanchapola
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.