The second season of the SonyLiv hit show Rocket Boys fails to match the greatness of its predecessor. The underwhelming performances from the supporting cast and weak writing make this season a rather disappointing watch. While the atmosphere building, the story, and Jim Sarbh’s pitch-perfect portrayal of Dr. Homi J Bhabha remain impeccable, the show’s second run fails to live up to the high expectations set by season one.
Rocket Boys season 1 was a gem of a series, with well-written characters, attention to detail, a stunning production design, and a great score. Unfortunately, most of these elements do not carry forward to the second season. The story picks up from 1964, with Homi Bhabha still trying to make an atom bomb for India and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai dreaming of sending rockets to space. However, both of them are facing challenges from pacifists and auditors threatening budget cuts, as well as interference from the CIA. The second season mainly focuses on the political turmoil at Teen Murti Bhawan, the tussle with the CIA, and Vikram’s troubled marriage. There are few rocket-building montages, science tuitions, or scenes between Homi and Vikram that made the first season so compelling.
The drama in season two is excessive at times and not dramatic enough at other times. The death of pivotal characters lacks emotional impact, despite almost every character getting the same treatment. The creative liberties taken with the characters leave little to no impact. Instead, the show takes liberties with villains from the previous season and applies a ’90s Bollywood treatment to them. The murder plots are thinly veiled, and the victim of mistrust, Mehendi Raza, is written poorly and overacts throughout the plot.
The underwhelming performance by Charu Shankar as Indira Gandhi is also a drawback. Her portrayal lacks the charisma, powerful stature, and manner of speaking that would have made the character more convincing. However, Jim Sarbh’s performance as Dr. Homi J Bhabha ensures that there is never a dull moment on screen. Ishwak also does his best with the almost boring writing that Vikram Sarabhai gets, but it is not enough to make up for the weak supporting cast and poor writing.
Despite its flaws, Rocket Boys season 2 is still one of the best-made series on Indian OTT platforms, with stellar production design, commitment to beauty, and great music. It is a beacon of how to maintain quality in the world of Hindi series and films. Overall, while the second season may not match up to the high expectations set by the first, it is still worth watching, if only to hear that amazing title track a few more times.