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Series / The Jewel in the Crown

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"The jewel is India."
Barbara Batchelor

Seminal drama from Granada based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott. Initially set in the fictional city of Mayapore, it starts off by telling the story of the relationship between Daphne Manners, a young Englishwoman who’s recently lost both her dad and her brother to the Desert Campaign, and Hari, an Indian raised in England since he was two and forced to return to India after his father’s death. Hari runs afoul of local police Superintendant, Ronald Merrick, who is rejected when he proposes to Daphne.

Provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, Daphne is described as “plump” and “big-boned”, whereas in the series she ranges more towards willowy to gangly.
  • The Alcoholic: Mildred Layton.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Merrick, as confirmed by Bronowsky in the final episode.
  • But Not Too Gay: When Khansamar sees Merrick with Aziz early one morning, he's supposed to be seeing something "incriminating" that causes him to realise that the two of them are sleeping together. However, they don’t kiss - they just sort of paw at each other awkwardly. Having said that though, on the whole the series is much franker than Granada's previous big gay outing, which was loaded with Ho Yay but failed to have any of the characters address the matter directly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Daphne mentions to Hari that she got in trouble with the gardener at the MacGregor House for picking some of his marigolds. After the rape, she notices that Raju, one of the younger servants, brought her flowers with her breakfast. They were marigolds.
  • Child by Rape: There’s at least a 5 in 6 chance that this is the case for Parvati, but Daphne is adamant that Hari is her father.
  • Dance of Romance: Daphne and Hari dance to “In the Mood” one evening while Lili’s out playing bridge.
  • A Father to His Men: Teddy is a firm believer in the idea of a regiment acting as both mother and father to its soldiers, an ideology of which Merrick is highly skeptical.
  • False Rape Accusation: Played with. Daphne really was raped, but not by any of the men that Merrick attempts to frame for the crime. When it becomes apparent that Daphne isn’t going to identify Hari or his friends as the men who attacked her, they’re kept in jail on trumped-up political charges.
  • Fish out of Water: Hari, who can’t find a way to fit in with the Indians or the Brits.
  • Forced to Watch: What happens to Hari when Daphne is attacked.
  • The Holocaust: Dr. Anna Klaus is Jewish and fled to Mayapore to escape persecution in Germany.
  • In-Series Nickname: Sophie nicknames Merrick "Count Dracula" and his servant Suleiman as "Miss Khyber Pass of 1935".
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first three episodes are about Daphne and Hari's relationship, but then Daphne dies and Hari effectively becomes The Ghost as the action moves to Pankot.
  • Internalized Categorism: Hari, who confesses to Daphne that he hates himself for being Black and English.
  • Karma Houdini: The men who actually raped Daphne are never caught.
  • Meaningful Name: Daphne in Greek mythology is relentlessly pursued by Apollo, whose feelings she does not return. She cries out to her father for help and he turns her into a tree.
  • Morality Pet: Edward for Merrick.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Sarah, who tells Guy off for apologising to her when he bumps into her servant, Nazimuddin.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Mayapore is a fictional city, but the other cities where the action takes place such as Bombay are real.
  • Parental Substitute: Parvati and Edward are looked after by ayahs.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Guy: What sahib wants is for you to fuck off.
  • The Promise: Daphne makes Hari promise that he'll say that they were never with each other the night of the attack because she knows that no one would believe that he was innocent. He never says a word about it, even when he’s being tortured.
  • Team Mum: Sophie explicitly positions himself as the mother of his barracks.
  • Sadist: Merrick definitely has a sadistic streak running through him.zce
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Daphne, who dies in childbirth in the third episode.
  • Tragic Keepsake: We discover in the last episode that Hari kept the picture of Daphne that she gave him the first time they were in the Bibighar. (Presumably his auntie looked after it for him while he was in prison.)
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Daphne has a brief moment of this following the rape when she starts going on about how Indian peasants all look alike and smell terrible. Dr. Klaus visibly grimaces at hearing this, but as she and the Deputy Commissioner leave the room, Daphne mentions that Raju brought her flowers that morning and she apologises.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Bronowsky's account of Merrick's state of mind before his death, possibly.
  • Villainous Crush: Merrick has one on Hari, but he doesn't realise it.

Alternative Title(s): Jewel In The Crown