Sony TV's longest running crime series CID has given the audience some of the most bizarre episodes to binge on over the years. Despite the lack of effective science where things are checked into a microwave, cases around everything you can name under the sun, and elongated scenes to make every character have a dialogue, the show has a dedicated fan base.
However, actor Shivaji Satam, who played ACP Pradyuman on the show, recently compared one of the episodes in 2013, to the current coronavirus pandemic. He told the Mumbai Mirror one of the most memorable CID episodes for him was 'The Case of the Deadly Virus'.
He added that the narrative was similar to the current COVID-19 outbreak, in which the lead characters had to face the unknown virus which suggested the need of masks and bodysuits. The episode shows the CID team investigating the spread of a deadly virus, after an employee from a pharmaceutical company is fired and is hell bent to take revenge, stealing the vial that contains it.
It highlights that the virus spreads easily on a large scale and leads to mass deaths. A doctor in the episode can be seen telling his colleagues that the virus can be transmitted by sneezing, coughing or touch. Eventually the CID manages to save the day.
CID began on Sony TV in 1997. It is about a team of detectives working for the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in Mumbai. Their main aim is to unravel murder mysteries. Five characters – ACP Pradyuman, Senior Inspector Abhijeet, Senior Inspector Daya, inspector Fredericks and Dr. Salunkhe – have become iconic over the years.
This isn’t the first time a show predicted a plot similar to the present crisis.
South Korean drama 'My Secret Terrius', which released in 2018, has its 10th episode based on the coronavirus. “MERS, SARS, the common flu. They all fall in the same gene family with the same gene information. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. During the 2015 MERS epidemic, the mortality rate was over 20 percent,” says the doctor in the show.
“But that’s not serious enough to be used as a weapon. Am I wrong?” asks the other person, to which the doctor states, “Like I said, this is a mutant virus. Someone tweaked it to increase the mortality rate to 90 per cent,” she adds.
Steven Soderbergh's 2011 directorial 'Contagion' became the most-watched films amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. It revolves around the spread of a virus transmitted by fomites, which is brought to a halt with the help of a vaccine. However it touches upon the attempts made by medical researchers and public health officials to identify and contain the disease, amid the loss of social order due to the pandemic.
Besides the film, a 2008 book named Heart of Darkness by Dean Koontz also made headlines for predicting an outbreak 'around 2020'. While the coronavirus outbreak isn’t exactly as per the book, but the narrative has its set of similarities.