It hasn’t come as a surprise to fans that the BAFTA-nominated actor, Sanjeev Bhaskar, has been praised for playing Cain in Netflix’s The Sandman, considering he is an extremely talented actor and has a versatile filmography.
While he might be best known for playing several comedic roles, such as Sanjeev Kumar in The Kumars at No. 42he hasn’t just limited himself to one genre, with the actor also branching out into several dramatic roles too (including The Indian Doctor, Unforgotten, and Inspector Lewis series). All these projects have certainly made an impression on the users on IMDb, who have taken the time to look at how he performed and reviewed which shows/movies they believed he was most memorable in.
10 Outnumbered (2007-2016) – 8.1
Streaming on Fubo
The BAFTA-nominated comedy Outnumbered is a somewhat improvised sitcom about the Brockman family and their three children. Bhaskar plays Ray an ex-weatherman, who had a nervous breakdown and is now depressed in “Christmas Special 2012.” This episode focuses on the family hosting a Christmas party that goes wrong and Ray is a guest at the party.
Although Bhaskar’s Ray is a very low-key role, he still managed to make a memorable impression on the fans as he managed to capture the sadness of the character. While Ray can be darkly funny, fans can’t help but also sympathize with him as they can see the inner conflict he’s fighting. It was certainly different to anything he had played before.
9 Inspector Lewis (2006-2015) – 8.1
Available To Buy On Apple iTunes
Inspector Lewis focuses on the titular character and Sergeant Hathaway solving mysteries in Oxford. Bhaskar appears as Kanan Dutta, a grieving conservationist whose daughter passed after she became comatose in the two-part “Down Among the Fearful.” This episode focuses on a murdered researcher for a psychological experiment who pretended to be a psychic.
Like Ray in outnumbered, Kanan Dutta is a fairly quiet, sad character for Bhaskar although this role is not comedic. He manages to perfectly capture the intense love his character has for his wife and tries to protect her from being revealed to be guilty of murder, willing to take the blame for her crimes. Given that fans had been used to his comedic roles, this performance once again allowed them to see his emotional range.
8 Jonathan Creek (1997-2016) – 8.2
Streaming on BritBox
The BAFTA winning drama, Jonathan Creek, is about a quirky magician turned detective who uses his puzzle-solving skills to solve murders. Bhaskar plays a Scottish doctor at the end of the episode “Black Canary.” This episode, which features late comedian Rik Mayall, focuses on the mysterious death of a retired woman illusionist.
Bhaskar’s doctor is a jovial role, cracking jokes with his nurse and being smiley and upbeat (and given their similar traits, it’s likely that this experience helped him in his role as Dr. Prem Sharma in the 1960s set The Indian Doctor). While viewers would have loved to have seen more of him in other episodes, his one-time performance did leave a memorable impression on IMDb fans.
7 Love Soup (2005-2008) – 8.2
No Streaming Information Available
Love Soup is a comedy-drama about Alice Chenery (Tamsin Greig, also from Shaun of the Dead) and Gil Raymond (Michael Landes) two people who are each other’s soulmates but have never met. Bhaskar appears in the episode “Dream Twister” as Mitch, Alice’s past boyfriend who is now a university professor and believes his former student is stalking him.
Bhaskar’s Mitch is charming but not always likable as he plays the role with effective creepiness. One of the highlights of Bhaskar’s Mitch is Alice’s very disturbing The Twilight Zone-esqe dream sequence where Mitch is seemingly a successful ventriloquist but in actuality is the dummy itself.
6 The Real McCoy (1991-1996) – 8.3
No Streaming Information Available
The Real McCoy was Bhaskar’s first experience on-screen and was a sketch comedy show that was made up of Black and Asian performers. Bhaskar has two sketches that stand out for playing similar young men dealing with annoying relatives.
Bhaskar is very believable in playing the awkwardness of these characters. In “Buying condoms,” Bhaskar perfectly portrays the character’s nervousness and embarrassment of asking for condoms at a chemist shop since the woman working there is his aunt. In “Asian Couple Leaves Family Home” he plays another nervous young man who has trouble leaving his parent’s home with his pregnant wife because of his overbearing mother. The way Bhaskar delivers the payoff is worth watching the sketch for.
5 Goodness Gracious Me (1998-2015) – 8.3
Streaming on Freevee
Goodness Gracious Me, named after the song Peter Sellers sang in The Millionairess, is a sketch show that focuses on the relationship between British and Indian culture. like The Real McCoy, Bhaskar played many roles, but here had more recurring characters.
These sketches were memorable for Bhaskar played larger-than-life characters – whether it be a condescending father or an obnoxious date. The multi-talented Bhaskar was also a writer on this show, which further illustrated his comedic talents as the quick and witty dialogue that the other characters delivered never failed in producing many laughs.
4 Unforgotten (2015-) – 8.3
Streaming on Amazon Prime
Unforgotten is a mystery crime drama series about two London intelligent detectives, DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (Bhaskar) who investigate crimes from the past. The series was nominated for Best Drama Series at the 2022 BAFTAS.
Bhaskar’s Khan is a detective and family man who regularly tells Cassie about issues he is having with his daughters and asks for advice due to his well-natured but often failed attempts to relate to his daughters. For many fans, this relationship has proven to be a hit as many viewers were deeply invested in their dynamic and whether they would actually pursue the romance or stick to friendship. Thanks to Bhaskar’s chemistry with Nicola Walker, the episodes have fans on the edge of their seats throughout, since no one could guess which way it would go.
3 Doctor Who (2005–) – 8.6
Streaming on HBO Max
Bhaskar appears as Colonel Ahmed in the episode “Death in Heaven” in Series 8. This episode is the finale of series 8 and is about the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) having to defeat Missy (Michelle Gomez) after she turns all the world’s dead into Cybermen.
Although Bhaskar’s Colonel Ahmed had very limited screen time he did stand out due to him comedically butting heads with the Doctor. At one point the Doctor even calls him a “Man Scout,” a backhanded compliment on his uniform. He also had a very memorable death scene which consisted of him being dragged out of UNIT’s plane by Cybermen.
2 Comic Relief: Bodyguard (2019) – 8.7
Watch on Youtube
This is a Comic Relief spoof of the drama series bodyguard about war veteran David Budd (Richard Madden) who has joined the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of the Met, guarding Keeley Hawes (also known for Russell T. Davies’ It’s a Sin). In the sketch, Bhaskar plays the man who evaluates David Budd.
Bhaskar is very effective at the deadpan delivery of his ridiculous dialogue that effectively lampoons the cliches of bodyguard while also containing outrageous double entendre. It takes talent to say what he did with a straight face, which Bhaskar was able to do the entire time. This helps to make the spoof even more authentically like the original show.
1 Horrible Histories (2003-2022) – 8.8
Streaming on Hulu
The BAFTA winning series Horrible Histories is a CBBC family show that teaches history through sketches, songs, and parody. Bhaskar appears in two episodes: “Monsterous Musicians” as Singing Greek God and “Naughty Napoleon” as Sake Dean Mohamed the man who brought shampoo to England.
Bhaskar shows off his talent as a sketch comedy performer that he cultivated in The Real McCoy and Goodness Gracious Me. Bhaskar really gets to showcase his talent for parody as Sake Dean Mohamed where he presented an infomercial about shampoo and how it can make hair smell better. He delivers it very straightforwardly but with a soft voice that makes it feel like an actual infomercial.
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