I’m just back from Sri Lanka where I directed episodes 5 and 6 of The Good Karma Hospital, a drama for ITV 1 and Tiger Aspect. Stephen Smallwood (Ripper Street) producing and Will Gould (Peaky Blinders) executive producing, starring Amanda Redman and Neil Morrissey and (relative) newcomer Amrita Acharia – she’s fantastic, by the way – and a host of excellent English and Indian actors.
The idea, in a nutshell: a young second-generation Indian doctor from Nottingham (played by Amrita), fed up with long hours and on the wrong side of a failed relationship, impulsively decides to up sticks and move to tropical South India, where she takes a job in a small country hospital run by Amanda Redman’s character, Lydia Fonseca.
I thought the show was an interesting hybrid, definitely “Sunday night” television – the locations are gorgeous, exotic and escapist – but with a contemporary edge. I liked that the lead character looked Indian but was essentially English, she’s the fish out of water and our way into this strange new world. It was also a chance to work with Michael Snyman who shot The Night Manager, an incredibly talented DP.
The shoot was quite an adventure, working long days in the sweltering heat. We had crew members having heart attacks, weird tropical rashes, heat exhaustion, food poisoning, you name it. Happily I escaped all that… Quite often we’d have animals wander onto set; huge monitor lizards, six-foot snakes, monkeys and giant fruit bats in the trees overhead.
Anyway; I loved the experience, and I’m also now a fully qualified scuba diver, which is one lifetime ambition achieved. ;)