Old DD Serials That Made Our 90s More Beautiful
We always talk about good content - how content triumphs everything else. The same is true for televisions as well. You know why people are flocking towards online web series in huge numbers? Because television serial producers are now suffering from creative bankruptcy. This was not the case in the 90s. Back then, the television was not the idiot box. It was a mirror of the aspirational India. Those yesteryear old Doordarshan serials never copied from the western trends. Yet the serials of DD National and DD Metro were modern in every sense. Even the saas-bahu serials of Doordarshan were not cringe worthy. Back then, Doordarshan was innovative. From superhero serials to suspense thrillers, from mythological serials to horror shows - Doordarshan had everything in its hat.
Choosing just 10 DD serials from the list of so many creative, thought-provoking and highly entertaining serials is itself a challenge. I tried to handpick the best of the best serials. However what I consider best might look best to you. Feel free to comment and share which DD serials entertained you the most.
Get Ready To Be Drenched With The Tears of Nostalgia…
9 Best Doordarshan Serials
Nukkad was a mixture of sitcom and social drama. It was one of the very first serials where the people of lower income group were represented. The intro of this Doordarshan TV series says it all - “Bade Shaher Ki Ek Gali Mein Basa Hua Hai Nukkad.” The trials and tribulations of these people, the pieces of happy incidents in their lives and above all their resilience against poverty and ‘being average’ is poignantly portrayed in this DD National serial.
Most of the episodes of Nukkad are now available on Youtube, thanks to Shemaroo. Here’s the first episode.
School Days is another beautiful DD serial. As the name suggests, the series portrayed the school lives of the students of a convent school. It was perhaps the first representation of the teenager on the Indian television. And we, teenagers loved it. The serial became close to our hearts. The friendships, the budding romance, the infatuation with the teacher, the enmity - the serial portrayed everything so realistically. Till today when I hear the intro - Schoooooool Daaaaaaays! - it pierces my heart and those happy days of the 90s flash before my eyes.
Some of the episodes of this heart warming serial of DD National are available on Youtube. Here’s the first episode.
Suraag : The Clue
Doordarshan had broadcast many thrilling suspense thrillers back to back. And much of the credit goes to Sree Adhikari Brothers (SAB TV was named based upon their initials). One of the Tv series that they brought out through Doordarshan was Suraag. Sudesh Berry marvellously played the character of the detective. It was way ahead of its time. You would need to use your brain while watching this detective serial - unlike the juvenile detective series of today. The USP of the series was, the story ended in one episode. We used to wait impatiently for this DD National serial to come. Oh and the intro music at the beginning was badass! It was inspired by Smoke On The Water By Deep Purple.
Here’s the intro of this awesome Doordarshan National Tv series.
Om Namah Shivay
I was awed by the intro of the serial. The intro features the dance of Shiva. We only see the silhouette of Lord Shiva. And inside the borders of the silhouette we see raging fire. Basically we see the fiery version of Shiva. That was an awesome animation considering the time it was made. Here’s the awesome intro of Doordarshan’s Om Namah Shivay.
The late 1990s and the early 2000s were the period of aspirational Indians. After the economic liberalisation and the entry of the foreign players, the job market of India received a much needed overhaul. New and fresh IT companies, call centres, malls cropped up. The aspirational Indians tore their shell of shyness, timidity and chased success until they grabbed it.
The small screen came out with a number of serials that represented this new India. Two such Doordarshan serials were Miss India and Air Hostess. Unlike the yesteryear TV shows like Nukkad, Miss India uninhibitedly showed the face of modern India who just wanted to get wealthy to make their lives easier - nothing wrong in that. Look at the intro. Feel the vibe.
When we talk about superhero serials of Doordarshan we invariably talk about Shaktimaan. But there were many other superhero Tv serials that Doordarshan came up with. Captain Vyom was one of them. The serial used special effects that were way ahead of the time. And Milind Soman, the handsome hunk, awesomely played the role of the super soldier. But the serial should be appreciated for something that I did not realize in my childhood - It had the guts and self respect to show that the Earth was governed by a world government whose main leader is New Delhi or India.
Jo Kahunga Sach Kahunga
This was perhaps the one and only courtroom drama that Doordarshan came up with. Like the courtroom dramas that you see in the movies, in this DD serial, the lawyer and the protagonist Ujjwala Rawat played the part of an investigative lawyer. So in a way, it’s a detective serial cum courtroom drama. The actress who played the part of Ujjwala Rawat is Geetika Tyagi. Her sharp, bright face did justice to the role.
This is not a serial. It was an awareness programme that talked about the environmental issues. But the USP of this DD show was that the info was not presented in a boring way. The presenter, Mike Pandey did an awesome job.
Today’s generation thinks that Sony’s CID is the best Hindi detective series. They don’t know, it had a baap (godfather) - Apradhi Kaun. Unlike CID, Apradhi Kaun is not loud and dumbed down. The target audience of Apradhi Kaun consisted of those people who were expected to USE their brains while watching the show. And Ashutosh Rana’s witty, intelligent and sharp dialogue delivery made this Doordarshan serial a treat to watch.
Without these DD serials, my 90s would have been bland. My family was not that affluent at that time. It was these serials that helped me escape the reality. Which one was your favourite?