viznut's amazing discoveries

[2007-04-05]

Indian space opera: Antariksh

Some months ago, I heard strange rumors about a sci-fi TV series from India. It was supposed to be a heavily bluescreen-based space-opera, somewhat hilarious to the western eye. Of course, because of my obsession of all kinds of "obscure" and "campy" things from different cultures, I immediately started a research.

This series is called Antariksh: Ek Amar Katha (Space: An Eternal Story), and it started airing as recently as October 2006. Some clips can also be watched in YouTube.

(23nov06p2 and 23nov06p3 also seem to belong to the same episode)

Unfortunately, these episodes haven't been subtitled and I don't understand much Hindi, so I needed to resort to random websites to learn what this stuff is all about.

According to a nice article at flowtv.org, the story of the series is loosely based on Rāmāyana, one of the two major Indian epics (the other being Mahābhārata). The basic storyline: a prince who is going to become the next king of a nation/planet is expelled by his jealous relatives to some distant regions of the world/universe, after which he fights some evil demonic forces and regains his kingdom. In Antariksh, the magical Vedic setting with mantras and vimānas has been translated into a "standard" futuristic setting with lasers and spaceships.

Some big boss of Indian television says that Antariksh "is a revolutionary mix of utopian vision of justice and prosperity, which we are launching exclusively in the weekday prime-time band, for our younger viewers. It's a story full of new-age imagination that will see the use of hi-fi gadgets, which is sure to create a cult amongst them."

I'm still looking for subtitled clips, but I dare to bet this is going to be something that could reach some "cult following" even in the West. We already have (too) many Japanophile anime-zealots anyway, so it'd be fun to have some Indophiles as well.