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Rocket Boys review: Jim Sarbh is the diamond that helps the already well-made series shine out

Rocket Boys, also starring Ishwak Singh in the lead role, is a series you would not want to miss out on because such a work comes across rarely anyway.

Rocket Boys review: Jim Sarbh is the diamond that helps the already well-made series shine out
Rocket Boys - Jim Sarbh.
  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 08.06 AM, Mar 16, 2023

Available On:

Watch Rocket Boys Season 2 on OTTplay 


Dr. Homi Bhabha (Jim Sarbh) and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Ishwak Singh) meet each other while on a mission to leave a mark in space. Rocket Boys marks their journey from struggling to do basic research in a small room to finally launching a rocket in space, the first-of-its-kind in Asia. While learning about their professional growth, the series also touches upon the personal lives of both the characters, among others like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.


Belonging to a Parsi family, I would often hear my dad tell me stories about Dr. Homi Bhabha and how he was this larger-than-life personality who deserved a story of his own. Years passed by and Sony LIV decided to finally tell his tale through Rocket Boys, which instantly gathered people's attention. That is when I realized that all the tales I had heard was actually true - that Dr. Bhabha really was larger-than-life and nothing was an exaggeration. Now what I was waiting to see, was whether this series could do justice to such a personality and I'll be honest, Jim Sarbh holds the character pretty well. He might as well be running the series on his own shoulders. Ishwak Singh also does justice to Dr. Vikram Sarabhai but it is quite the dark horse in front of the knight in the shining armor -Dr. Bhabha (played by Jim).

The series begins with shots of 1962, where Mumbai was still Bombay and vintage cars were a common sight. We then meet the dapper Jim Sarbh who has nailed his look as the renowned scientist, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha. Ishwak Singh as Dr. Vikram Sarabhai stays in the shadows but grabs your attention nonetheless.

The series begins with the two powerhouses fighting fire-with-fire. It shows the marvel of science, especially through Dr. Bhabha's eyes.

Jim plays the flamboyant Dr. Bhabha to perfection. He is all about thinking out-of-the-box and does not entertain anyone who does not agree with his ideas, which is clearly explained through his classroom scenario. He also does not shy away from speaking the blatant truth and cannot stand people who sugarcoat their words just to match up to his standards. For those who know Dr. Bhabha, this quality speaks a lot about the scientist.

Being his own self, Dr. Bhabha couldn't tolerate people boxing him in a bracket. This is seen in the scene where he is first introduced to Dr. Sarabhai.

Saba Azad, who plays the role of Bipsi/Parvana Irani, is impressive from the first frame. She is practically the female counterpart of Dr. Bhabha.

Dr. Bhabha and Dr. Sarabhai have a strong base for their friendship - the two's undying love for their country. They take steps that would make anybody proud to have the two scientists in their life.

Regina Cassandra, who plays Mrinalini, enters the series in a stereotypical role - as Sita. The makers have taken creative liberty when it came to her scene and love story and made it filmy for no specific reason.

Since major part of the series is set in Bengaluru, the makers also add Kannad to the show. Mrinalini, a Tamilian character, also talks in Tamil. Of course, given Dr. Bhabha's background, various phrases from the Parsi language are also used across the series.


Dr. JRD Tata's name also crops up in the series. For the uninitiated, he founded Air India, Tata Motors and Indian Airlines among many other ventures.

While it might seem like we can't stop praising Jim, he really fits into the role like hand-in-a-glove. There are certain scenes where his expressions alone speak volumes. There is not a single moment when he (who does behave like Dr. Bhabha from real life) doesn't make you giggle with his living-in-the-moment and dissing everyone who doesn't attitude.

One thing I missed watching in the series is the Chicken dance. For those who aren't aware, it is a dance form you will see Parsis perform to at almost every wedding they attend, every time they are with another Parsi.

Another thing I missed seeing is a glimpse into the life of Dr. Bhabha's brother, Jamshed Bhabha. For the uninitiated, he founded the National Centre For Performing Arts in Mumbai to celebrate art. Even today, it is the only place celebrating theatre in Mumbai, after Prithvi theatre (founded by Shashi Kapoor).

While borderline melodramatic, the music in this series does help build a scene. However, Rocket Boys has time-and-again proven that actions speak louder than words or in this case, music.

Namit Das makes a cameo appearance in the role of a Bengali journalist. The scene that follows, featuring Raza (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), is a pretty impactful one in comparison. "Ladhai chahe jiski bhi ho, marta kaun hai? Gareeb," is a statement that unfortunately holds true even in today's times, when the country was supposed to progress in scientific advancement over worrying about something as basic as life security.

Saba gets the dressing of Parsi women right. Tying a scarf around her neck, she makes a fashion statement most Parsis themselves fail to achieve.

Rajit Kapur is seen as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He does not make a memorable first impression or any impression in particular since the actor was not perfect for the role. Showing him as (at least slightly) gay does not work well since he is a much-loved figure in the Indian history. The makers could rather have added a story showing his love for children, especially when a child was introduced right before Nehru's introductory scene.

APJ Abdul Kalam's introduction to the series is just as expected - as a man who believes in spreading love over hate. While people have a divided opinion of Kalam over the years, he sure tried to win people's hearts. Afterall, no person could simply become the President overnight, right?

Vikram and Homi's friendship is the best thing to happen to the series. While there are many stories of bromance, the best comes out of a mentor-mentee turning buddies and that's what happens with Rocket Boys.

While showing Dr. Bhabha in all his glory, this series also explores his downfall - self-inflicted and others taking revenge. You do not get to see both the sides often but thankfully, Rocket Boys is unlike any other series.

Sputnik-I's launch is briefly covered in the series. Ever since, Rocket Boys launches into the sky, which is not, as Dr. Sarabhai says, 'the limit but just the beginning'.

The story gets a dark twist, which was the only element missing in the entertaining tale. With that addition, Rocket Boys seems like a complete package.


There is no reason why you should skip Rocket Boys. From Jim Sarbh's amazing role to the passion behind the story that explores the marvel of science, this series is a definite entertainer.