“Rocket Boys” is a one-of-a-kind series that exemplifies facts with a subtle touch of fiction, creating a magical project that is educational, informative, and entertaining. In season one, we had seen the characters of Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha (Jim Sarbh) and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Ishwak Singh) were masterfully portrayed with brilliant chemistry and a historical event that marks the beginning of a great movement that made Indian access to nuclear power much easier. The parallel between the two leads, their ideologies, and an exceptional vision to create something that would change the magnitude of the nation has been remarkably portrayed throughout the first season. A series based on true events needs drama to be engaging for the audience, and although in the first season some people would agree the drama part overshadowed the factual part, it is undeniable that drama was needed to show the depth of the characters. Season 2 of “Rocket Boys,” was released on March 16, 2023, comes with more factual events and further actions to show how the three “Rocket Boys” changed the dynamics of the whole country. Here’s a detailed recap of season 2 of “Rocket Boys.”
‘Rocket Boys’ Season 2: Recap
Season 2 of “Rocket Boys” starts by capturing the year 1974. The opening scene shows CIA agent Robert Crowley (Mark Bennington) interrogating a man to get information about India’s progress towards new inventions. After getting tortured by the CIA, the man reveals India is set to perform its first nuclear test. Then we watch scenes from Pokhran, Rajasthan. Ramannasar receives a message from PMO that they got the green signal and tells his team, in which Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Arjun Radhakrishnan) was a major part, that they are set to detonate the atom bomb for the first time.
The series then shifts its focus to Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha and showcases how he is recording a video of the nuclear reactor tour. With the help of Canada and America, he managed to create a nuclear reactor named CIRUS. The Phoenix reactor model being presented to Homi by Ramanna (Rahul Dev Shetty) grabs Homi’s attention, and he tells Mathur (K.C. Shankar) that it would be India’s first self-built reactor and excitingly explains the plutonium could be a massive factor for further inventions. But Raza (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) opposes the idea, saying that the U.S.A. would never allow this program to succeed. Homi then clears his doubts by stating that, according to the deal with the U.S.A, they can’t use the plutonium from CIRUS to make atom bombs, but they can always learn from the mechanism and build their own reactor.
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, on the other hand, is busy with his project to take his invention to a developing stage, but a problem occurs when Mr. Sahu tells Sarabhai that the government is focusing on protecting India from potential threats and wants to invest in major projects that could strengthen security rather than sanctioning a heavy investment to fly rockets.
Conspiracy To Kill Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha
There is a history of how every exceptional talent who dared to create something new and challenge the limits or restrictions projected by society or outer forces faced multiple hurdles and sometimes even faced conspiracies that could take their lives. In season 2, we witness a much darker storyline compared to season 1. The villainous intentions of a few individuals can cause a massive disruption that affects the creator and his creation. When Mathur informs Prosenjit (Namit Das) that Homi is building a new reactor and he has been working with Ramanna on that over the past six months, Prosenjit immediately plans to take down Homi Bhabha to make sure his project gets dismissed and their bond with the CIA grows stronger. Mathur sends all the technicians to their house and plans a leak in the reactor to kill Homi Bhabha. Interestingly, Mathur lies to Homi that Raza is waiting for him in the reactor room and, at the same time, tells Raza that Homi is waiting for him in the control room to have a private conversation about something important. When Raza reaches the control room, he finds no one there, and all of a sudden, the sirens starts to buzz as Homi gets trapped in the reactor room. The whole situation gets very dramatic; Homi finds himself helpless in a locked room, and although it seems that Homi will not be able survive all the radiation coming from the leakage, cleverly, Homi fits himself in the fridge to survive the radiation and eventually gets rescued and taken to the hospital.
Raza realizes the wire of the manual override has been cut, which clearly signals Mathur lied to him, but as Raza was present in the control room at the time of the accident, everyone starts to doubt it was Raza who let it all happen.
Fate Is Inevitable
With great expectations often comes disappointment. Sarabhai and Kalam worked extremely hard to build what was merely a dream for many. The failure of the rocket launch due to a problem in the engine resulted in an explosion of the rocket at Pokhran, Rajasthan. Disappointed by the failure, both Sarabhai and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam seeks further opportunities. Unfortunately, Sahu tells Sarabhai that the funding will be stopped due to the failure, which caused a massive waste in terms of investment.
On the one hand, Sarabhai indulges himself in planning a satellite program and looks for options to execute it, while on the other, Homi realizes that America wants him dead and that there must be an insider who is helping them and is an immediate threat to him. The brief conversation between Homi and Mathur showcases how Homi sets his eyes on missile-grade plutonium to build an atom bomb.
Pandit Nehru’s (Rajit Kapoor) tragic cardiac arrest changes the whole scenario for leads as Homi sets to leave for Delhi immediately, and at the other end, tension rises as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam finds out that NASA canceled their meeting, which Kalam and his team planned for six long years.
The situation In Delhi things got very serious as Indira Gandhi (Charu Shankar) took charge of things as Pandit Nehru got hospitalized. When Sarabhai comes to Delhi, he gets into an argument with Homi. We have seen how their different ideologies clashed in season 1, and in this season, the arguments between them intensifies the drama.
The news from the radio marks the declaration of the first prime minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s death with deep grief. The sudden demise of Pandit Nehru changes the whole situation. Homi then inspired Indira Gandhi to take important decisions for the country, and eventually, Indira Gandhi decided to make Lal Bahadur Shastri the next prime minister of India.
Homi meets Lal Bahadur Shastri after his establishment as the prime minister of India and talks about his proposal to build the PURNIMA plutonium reactor. However, Shastri denies approving the project. While Sarabhai takes his new project to new heights, Mathur and Prosenjit dig deep to destroy Homi and his project. Raza tries to convince Vikram that Mathur might be a secret agent for the CIA and that Homi should be careful, but Sarabhai does not believe Raza and asks Raza to take off angrily. The rollercoaster of emotions rises with the growing tension between Homi and Pipsy (Saba Azad) after the unfortunate death of Pipsy’s children, and on the other hand, prime minister Shastri’s death at the hands of a conspiracy leaves Indira Gandhi baffled.
Raza continues his own investigation into the evident conspiracies and sets his eyes on Mathur. Raza then desperately tries to prove to Homi that Mathur is betraying him and that he works for the CIA, and also warns him that Mathur has switched his briefcase and that a bomb could possibly be implanted in it. But Homi does not believe Raza and shows his trust in Mathur instead. Then we see that as Homi waits in the Bombay airport to catch a flight to Vienna, he decides to call Mrinalini (Regina Cassandra), and when he gets into speaking with her, he tells Mrinalini that he will visit Vikram as soon as he comes from Vienna, and they will go to Delhi together to meet Pipsy. Homi then calls Pipsy, but he cannot utter a single word till he hangs up the phone.
The situation takes a dramatic turn when Homi Bhabha’s flight crashes due to the bomb explosion, caused by the same bomb that he carried in his briefcase unknowingly. At this point, the audience of the show must wonder how Homi ignored Raza’s multiple warnings to end up in a situation that could’ve been easily avoided. In the next shot, Vikram receives a call and learns that his dear friend Homi is no more. The pain in Vikram’s eyes reflects how he wanted to express and tell Homi so many things that he will never be able to say again. Even after several disputes and clashes, Homi has always been a dear friend, and his sudden departure affects Vikram heavily.
As we move to episode 6, we see newly appointed prime minister Indira Gandhi facing internal politics in the Congress party. Then we move into a scene where Kalam and Sarabhai have a conversation about building a bomb, as Kalam tells Sarabhai that Homi would have wanted to make the PURNIMA reactor a successful project. Vikram then finds pictures of Mathur, which were clicked and developed by Raza, and understands Mathur’s conspiracy. Sarabhai calls Indira Gandhi and tells her it’s finally time to make the bomb, and he wants to put PURNIMA back on the table.
The opening scenes from episode 7 mark a historical event that happened on January 26, 1967: India’s first television broadcast experiment in Delhi by INCOSPAR (the Indian National Committee for Space Research), under the guidance of renowned physicist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. After that, we see India’s first successful indigenous rocket launch. Unfortunately, when everything seems right, Mrinalini hits rock bottom as she receives a call that brings the news of her husband, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai’s, death. Regina Cassandra pulled off a magnificent performance as she embodied the amount of seriousness and shock it requires to act upon such serious news. Throughout season 2, the beautiful chemistry between Ishwak Singh and Regina Cassandra makes the particular scene extremely touching and heartfelt.
‘Rocket Boys’ Season 2: Ending – ‘Hope Can Only Come When The World Is Without Fear’
After the unfortunate deaths of the “rocket boys,” Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, it is now the “rocket boy,” Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who remains at the center of the nuclear projects. The series ends with a series of beautiful conversations between Homi and Sarabhai, which again show the beautiful chemistry that we have noticed throughout the entire series. The closing moments show true facts about Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and how they managed to change the dynamics of the whole country for its betterment.
Season 2 of “Rocket Boys” is definitely perfect for getting information about several true events through a fictional drama that makes the episodes gripping for the viewers. It would be very interesting to see if season 3 or a spin-off of this series comes in the future, as the viewers of the show always want to see their rocket boys in action.