Rocket Boys TV Show : A Quick Review
Rocket Boys TV Show : A Quick Review

Rocket Boys TV Show : A Quick Review

Homi Bhabha. The father of the Indian Nuclear Program. I grew up watching his photo in our school. Having studied at an Atomic Energy Central School and being a part of the Department of Atomic Energy family, Bhabha’s presence was everywhere. His photo was displayed at a prominent point in the school where we used to attend the morning pledge. Its one of the core memories of our school days. So when my friend Suyog recommended I watch the TV Show ‘Rocket Boys’ which is about the two giants of Indian science, Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai I was excited and had it on my watch list.

I have mixed reactions now after watching it. By a good coincidence I had recently finished reading a book about the development of Nuclear bombs and Nuclear Plants in the world. This gave me a good context about many of the things mentioned in the show for which only a brief context is provided. But first, the positives. There are many goosebumps inducing moments in the show where one can just admire some of the personalities India had been blessed with. To see Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, APJ Abdul Kalam together was incredible. Not to mention Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Raja Ramanna and others. The cast is also very good but one person towers over everyone else with his performance. Jim Sarbh as Homi Bhabha. Not one second of his presence is uninteresting. He simply stole the show. His nomination for an International Emmy is more than deserved. And the soundtrack. Achint delivers another great work. It works incredibly well with the powerful scenes.

Physicist Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha (1909 – 1966), India, circa 1950. He was largely responsible for the development of India’s atomic energy programme. (Photo by Dinodia Photos/Getty Images)

Now for the big negative. I was heavily disappointed by the fact that they had to introduce fictional characters. There was absolutely no need to do so. I do not understand how one can introduce a fictional character like Raza Mehdi and make him such an important part of the whole story. At the beginning Raza mentions that he invented India’s first cyclotron. Now, why would you take away the credit from the real inventor of the cyclotron and hand it over to a fictional one in the show? There was no need for a character like Raza Mehdi. Neither was for Mathur. There was simply no need for all that drama. The calibre of the men involved in this story, the ambition of a young free country forging its way into the future after years of colonisation, the sheer determination of some of the brightest minds to have ever graced Indian science was enough to make a compelling story. There were enough real actual challenges to tackle. I understand cinematic liberties but not to this extent. This show has only reinforced my preference for books over movies for real life stories. There are no cinematic liberties in books.


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