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Masterpiece Theatre; White Teeth

White Teeth Episode 1, Reel 1 of 2 Packaged master

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Masterpiece Theatre
White Teeth
Program Number


Series Description

Program premiered in 1971 with The First Churchills. Hosted by Alastair Cooke. Intended as a showcase for the best of British television drama. Spawned MYSTERY! in 1980. Current executive producer Rebecca Eaton. All promotion of program done by Frank Goodman & Associates (see below). Synopsis, cast information and producers listed by individual title. Series release date: 1971

Program Description

Zadie Smith's anarchic comedy set in multiracial north London comes mind-blowingly to life in a two-part adaptation of her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth. 3222 The Peculiar Second Marriage of Archie Jones and The Temptation of Samad Iqbal: On New Year s Eve, 1974, born loser Archie Jones (Phil Davis) attempts suicide by asphyxiation in his car, which he has carelessly parked in a loading zone. An irate deliveryman saves his life. Meanwhile, several blocks away, a hippy commune is celebrating the impending end of the world, inspired by new convert Clara Bowden (Naomie Harris), a Jamaican refugee from the Jehovah s Witnesses, who have been preaching the arrival of Armageddon. Archie wanders into the commune and immediately falls in love with Clara. When the planet survives, they get married with Archie s World War II buddy Samad Iqbal (Om Puri), a native of Bangladesh, serving as best man. Samad s wedding to Alsana (Archie Panjabi) is seen in a flashback. Their twin boys mature into brainy Magid and unruly Millat (both played by Jacob Scipio). Samad wants to raise them as good Muslims, a goal impeded by his torrid affair with their schoolteacher Poppy Burt-Jones (Maggie O Neill). Determined to protect at least one of his sons from the pitfalls of Western culture, Samad selects Magid to be kidnapped by Archie and put on a plane back to Bangladesh for a proper Muslim upbringing. Alsana is not informed. 3223 The Trouble with Millat and the Return of Magid: It is 1992. Millat (Christopher Simpson) is now a juvenile delinquent attending a progressive school with Archie s beautiful daughter, Irie (Sarah Ozeke). Busted for dope along with nerd Josh Malfen (James McAvoy), the three are sentenced to study classes with Josh s intellectual parents, Marcus (Robert Bathurst), a controversial geneticist, and Joyce (Geraldine James), a famous gardener. When Samad torches Millat s possessions in a bonfire of teenage vanities, Millat moves in with the Malfens. But he is lured away by the Keepers of the Eternal and Victorious Islamic Nation (KEVIN) an Islamic sect with an acronym problem. Josh also turns radical, joining Fighting Animal Torture and Exploitation (FATE) an animal rights group targeting his father for crimes against mice. To Samad s horror, when long-absent Magid (Christopher Simpson) finally returns from Bangladesh, he is more English than the English. Magid immediately goes to work for Marcus on FutureMouse, a transgenic Franken-species. Irie is also working on the project as Marcus s sexually harassed secretary. At the public launch for FutureMouse, fate brings the protagonists together: the Joneses, the Iqbals, the Malfens, the mouse, KEVIN, FATE and a surprise guest from the most traumatic day of Archie and Samad s war service.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “Masterpiece Theatre; White Teeth,” GBH Archives, accessed June 22, 2021,
MLA: “Masterpiece Theatre; White Teeth.” GBH Archives. Web. June 22, 2021. <>.
APA: Masterpiece Theatre; White Teeth. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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