Hindi television is heavy on mythological and supernatural themes at the moment, so the latest show about gods, goddesses and demons is banking on its sets appeal to distract viewers from the competition.
The production design of Karmaphal Data Shani, which has gone on air from November 7, is proudly grandiloquent. The daily show (Mon-Fri, 9pm) traces the journey of Shani, the celestial representative of the planet Saturn and the volatile son of the sun god Surya.
Co-produced by Colors and Swastik Productions, the sets are located across a 65,000 sq ft area in Umbergaon near the Maharashtra-Gujarat border. Several TV show involving mammoth sets and outdoor locations have been shot at Umbergaon, including Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and the 2013 version of the Mahabharata, which was also produced by Swastik Productions.
Directed by Siddharth Kumar Tewary, Karmaphal Data Shani stars Salil Ankola as Surya, Diwakar Pundir as Vishnu, Tarun Khanna as Shiva, Kartikeya Malaviya as the young Shani, and Juhi Parmar as his mother. The sets have been designed by Amit Singh, and involve the efforts of over 600 workers, according to a press release.
The sets are divided into four zones, one of which is the jungle in which Shani grows up. This set is spread across 25,000 sq ft.
Another zone is the abode of the sun god Surya and his family. Carpet area: 30,000 square feet.
There is the netherworld of the asuras, characterised by a blood-red colour scheme. Note that even the asuras have a wardrobe allowance. The opulent costumes are by Shweta Korde.
According to a press release, the costumes are “...set in monochrome with less than 3 colours forming the crux of each character’s attire. Every character has a signature gemstone which has been used to design their accessories. For Shani, there is a blazing blue sapphire, Surya Dev has a fiery ruby, Shukracharya has a sparkling diamond and Indra Dev also has a sapphire”.