ITV has ordered DI Ray, a four-part crime thriller that hails from Maya Sondhi and Jed Mercurio’s HTM Television. Parminder Nagra (ER, The Blacklist) is attached to star as Detective Inspector Rachita Ray.
DI Ray is set in Birmingham and follows Leicester-born Rachita Ray, a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage. Rachita achieves the promotion she’s been waiting for when she’s asked to join a homicide investigation.
However, on her first day she’s told the murder to which she’s been assigned is a ‘Culturally Specific Homicide.’ Rachita’s heart sinks – she suspects she’s a ‘token appointment’, chosen for her ethnicity rather than her ability. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Rachita sticks to the case, determined to both find the killer and call out the obvious biases her colleagues are bringing to the investigation. And it’s far from easy. The case isn’t a run-of-the-mill murder; it involves delving deep into the dangerous world of organised crime.
Rachita is more than up for the task, but what she didn’t count on is what this case stirs up inside her; the realisation that she’s been burying a personal identity crisis her whole life. Truth is, she’s had to work twice as hard as everyone else. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be Indian, it’s just that it would have been easier if she were white. Maya Sondhi penned the scripts for the series, which is being produced by HTM Television. Charlotte Surtees is the series producer, while Alex Pillai is attached to direct. The executive producers are Jed Mercurio and Madonna Baptiste.
“Maya’s script is brilliant. It’s funny, relevant and introduces the fabulous DI Ray, played by the equally fabulous Parminder Nagra”, ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the series for the commercial broadcaster, said in a statement. “It’s always hard to find a fresh detective, but it feels we have with Rachita Ray, in a thriller that will keep the audience captivated till the end.”
While Executive Producer and HTM Television co-owner Jed Mercurio added:“Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled to be collaborating with writer Maya Sondhi, director Alex Pillai and star Parminder Nagra on such a thought-provoking series. DI Ray is first and foremost a thriller, while Maya’s writing poses complex and timely questions about the nature of personal ethnic identity.”