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Story Synopsis [imagemap with 7 links]

Story Synopsis

Based on the award-winning novel by Zadie Smith, and set against London's racial and cultural tapestry, White Teeth revels in the diversity of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.



Episode 1 - Plot Revealed Below!
The Peculiar Second Marriage of Archie Jones and The Temptation of Samad Iqbal

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 with the New Year.

Saved from his personal 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) serving as best man.

In a flashback, we see Samad's wedding. A native of Bangladesh, Samad was betrothed to Alsana (Archie Panjabi) since before she was born. When they finally meet on their nuptial day in London, she is pleasingly submissive and demure -- until a drunken onlooker spouts racist invective at the wedding party and Alsana responds in kind, showing that she is not the meek helpmeet Samad had been hoping for. Still, she gives birth to twin boys, who 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.



Episode 2 - Plot Revealed Below!
The Trouble with Millat and The Return of Magid

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 sessions 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 (also 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.


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