The history of Kolkata, an exploration into the world’s busiest railway station and a Bollywood retrospective are among the offerings headed to the BBC as part of a season of programming dedicated to India.
Kicking off the slate of India-focused programming, set to air later this year, is BBC1′s one-off film Sue Perkins in Kolkata – produced by Indus Films – which finds the British comedian tracing the city’s trajectory from a place known for extensive poverty to a megacity with a booming property sector and reputation for “eccentricity, culture and tolerance.”
Elsewhere, in BBC2′s 4 x 60-minute series World’s Busiest Railway Station, Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Robert Llewellyn go behind the scenes at the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.
According to a release issued by the pubcaster, “With access to control rooms and signal boxes, driver’s cabs and engineering workshops, as well as the policemen, porters and dabba wallas who direct, help and feed travelers, this series will tell the story of the megacity of Mumbai – its station and its transport challenges.”
Also debuting on BBC2 is the 2 x 60-minute film The Wonders of India from the BBC’s natural history unit, which explores the country from the perspective of scientist Liz Bonnin, actor Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta.
Meanwhile, BBC4 is to air a 90-minute doc titled Bollywood And Beyond: A Century Of Indian Cinema. Produced by Spring Films and Avatar Films, the film is presented by actor Sanjeev Bhaskar (pictured), who examines how Bollywood has grown from “humble beginnings” to a global industry through interviews with actors Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan as well as iconic script writer Javed Akhtar, among others.
Also debuting on BBC4 is the Century Films-produced Bombay High, which is set in a school in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum and features various musical and dance numbers; and the Tern TV-produced 3 x 60-minute series Treasures of the Indus, which charts the history of the 4,500-year-old Indus Valley.
Finally, BBC4 will air Edenwood Productions’ The White Mughal: A Story in Art, in which historian William Dalrymple travels to the Deccan Plains of India to explore the art and architecture depicting the love affair between British diplomat James Achilles Kirkpatrick and Muslim princess Khair un-Nissa.