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Series / The Indian Detective

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The Indian Detective is a 2017 comedy/drama miniseries that aired on November 30, 2017 on CTV and it had an overseas release via Netflix on December 19, 2017. It stars comedian Russell Peters, who also had a hand in helping with the show's script, some of it based on his experiences as an Indian-Canadian. The creators consist of Frank Spotnitz and Smita Bhide. Four episodes are directed by Sandra Johnson.

Doug D'Mello is an experienced Indian-Canadian police officer with the Toronto Police Service who worked on a case of drug trafficking from New York to Toronto when he botches an investigation after initially getting into a Jurisdiction Friction situation with the Canada Border Services Agency. Due to this and partially over his Cowboy Cop attitude, Doug is suspended for a month.

Doug visits his father Stanley after being told that he's supposedly dead in a Mumbai hospital, except that he overreacted. He gets involved in investigating criminal activities in Mumbai after his father told a local that Doug's a detective at the TPS, when he's just a constable. He later investigates other crimes that are tied with a corrupt Canadian businessman and Mumbai-based organized crime.

Peters has said a second season is in the works since 2017, but so far none has been released.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: With its constant cutting between Toronto and Mumbai, the series features lots of Indian and Western names. The D'Mellos stand out for being Indian in ethnicity yet sporting Western given names—as Doug is revealed to be raised Catholic, his family's religion may be a probable cause.note 
  • Always Identical Twins: Mumbai's "Terror Twins", Gopal and Amal Chandekar. They look identical, though their respective accents reflect where they stay most often (the former is based in Mumbai, the latter in Toronto).
  • The Big Damn Kiss: At the end of Episode 4, Priya finally kisses Doug (and several times too!) after she tells him she broke off her arranged engagement.
  • Blue/Orange Contrast: Scenes in Toronto are often lit in wintry, "developed-country" greys, whites and blues. Scenes in Mumbai on the other hand are usually shot in hot, tropical, "developing-country" warm colours from browns to oranges to yellows, with hints of green.
  • Cliffhanger: Marlowe rings up Obaku, the Chandekars' rival druglord, blaming Doug D'Mello for the seizure and stoppage of Obaku's heroin (which the Chandekars originally stole to pay for Marlowe's tower).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: David Marlowe, especially when his business dealings with the Chandekar brothers are brought to light.
  • Dirty Cop: The Mumbai Police's Deputy Commissioner is corrupt and in league with Chandekar's gang. It turns out Todd is too.
  • Fair Cop: Christina Cole and Gia Sandhu, two very beautiful actresses, play Toronto Police Service and Canadian Border Services Agency officers. Scott Cavalheiro, playing a TPS detective, is a male example too.
  • Fish out of Water: Part of the show's drama. Doug D'Mello, despite being of Indian ancestry, was born and raised in Toronto. As such, he finds some things strange in India like arranged marriage and a Mumbai Police constable letting a street kid go for stealing his wallet. It doesn't help that some Indians are reminding him that he's not raised in India, so he doesn't comprehend the situation.
  • Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: Doug gets tangled up with a local organized crime gang in Mumbai led by Gopal Chandekar. Of course, they don't stand out as an ethnic gang, per se, because they're also Indian. However, they did when he first encountered their members in Canada.
  • Good Is Not Nice: We first see Devo strong-arming a suspect into telling him about a bank robbery. He comes off as prickly at best to begin with, and resents Doug interfering in his jurisdiction. However, he turns out to be an honest cop, unlike his superior, helping Doug and Priya go after Gopal.
  • Gratuitous English: In India, where a lot of locals are fluent and speak straight English around Doug, and often even without him. It's justified given how India was a British colony, and English, as an official language, is one of the few that the country's 1.5 billion people can mutually understand.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gopal can get really wildly angry when things don't go his way, although he mostly takes out his anger on inanimate objects—like throwing his phone when his brother is arrested, or smashing the scale model of Marlowe's tower in his house when he learns the latest heroin shipment was intercepted at the Canadian border.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Priya, what with her huge doe eyes, raised cheekbones, and smooth, slightly heart-shaped face.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: This appears to be the only method of interrogation Inspector Devo uses, though in the second case we see, it doesn't work.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • The Toronto Police Service has it with the Canadian Border Services Agency in the first episode. Justified as they're supposed to take the lead in any criminal situation on the Canadian side of the American-Canadian border.
    • Later on, between Doug and the officers from the Mumbai Police. Justified in that he's only visiting Mumbai to see his dad and he's not working in an official capacity. He's even accused of working such cases to discredit the force.
  • Karma Houdini: David Marlowe gets away with everything by claiming at the end of the first season that he didn't realize Gopal was such a criminal. Not only that, but he alerts the Nigerian gangster who sent the heroin that Doug is the one who stopped it getting to Canada.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Inverted. Gopal compliments Singh about his broad-mindedness as a Sikh in letting his daughter marry a Hindu.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Gopal orders his own nephew Aarav murdered and has it made to look like a suicide.
  • Never Suicide: Aarav's mother is told that he offed himself with a gun to his temple (although she asks if there was a note, which of course there wasn't). The show makes it very clear that his uncle / her brother Gopal was actually responsible, with one of his henchmen pulling the trigger.
  • Non-Indicative Name: At the start, as he notes, Doug is ethnically Indian, though not really Indian to people from India. He's also not a detective, but only a constable. By the end he has become one in fact, even if unofficially, and embraced his roots more deeply by being in India.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Amal Chandekar, who operates mostly in Canada instead of India like his brother.
  • The Syndicate: Gopal Chandakar's gang is indicated to run Mumbai's organized crime. They're international as well, getting drugs from Kenya and shipping them to Canada.
  • Turn in Your Badge:
    • Doug is suspended from the Toronto Police Service for a month. His partner Robyn also gets a week-long one.
    • Meanwhile, it's implied this is at least one thing Deputy Commissioner Ruby Singh could do to Inspector Devo if he attempts to help Priya build a case against Gopal Chandekar, Singh's patron.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The 2nd episode reveals that a matchbox found by Doug in Mumbai with the trident insignia was found in the interior of a van, indicating that Doug's right about a smuggling operation that was aborted at the last minute.
    • The 3rd episode shows Aarav was assassinated for talking to Doug and his death is made to look like a suicide.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Gopal had a young girl murdered because her father was going to testify against him.