D.I. Ray: Is the Crime Series Based on a Real Investigation?

Starring Parminder Nagra as Detective Inspector Rachita Ray, ‘D.I. Ray’ is a British police procedural crime series created by Maya Sondhi that follows the titular character as she gets assigned to investigate the suspected murder of a Muslim man. However, it doesn’t take long for her to doubt that she might have been promoted due to her ethnicity and race. Still, nothing stops D.I. Ray from getting to the bottom of the truth and finding out the real killer’s identity by diving deep into the world of organized crime.

The mystery thriller series touches upon several themes, such as murder mystery and a detective leading the case to bring the culprit to justice, both of which are not something unheard of in real life. Thus, it is understandable why some of the viewers might have a question about the show’s authenticity. If you have been scratching your head over the same, let’s explore it in detail, shall we?

D.I. Ray is a Fictional Story With True-To-Life Themes

‘D.I. Ray’ is not based on a true story. However, the crime drama show deals with some genuine and prevalent racial issues in society, something which the screenwriter Maya Sondhi probably took inspiration from. In a statement, she explained, “This is a project which is deeply personal for me as a British Asian Brummie woman. It’s only in the past 10 years or so I’ve really been able to truly embrace my heritage. So much of this show is my story, and in telling it honestly, I hope others from all different backgrounds will relate.”

Early in her writing career, Sondhi had written some episodes of shows like ‘EastEnders’ and ‘Ackley Bridge,’ without any formal training whatsoever. When the renowned British television writer Gerald Gary “Jed” Mercurio offered to support her and develop a project together, she began pitching her treatment of girl gangs in Birmingham to various places with him, only to get rejected. She explained what happened next in April 2022 during a conversation with Memorable TV.

The screenwriter revealed, “Then I told Jed I’d always wanted to write about identity because it’s such a big thing for me and for so many people, but I didn’t know how to reach an audience with that subject matter because it’s quite niche. Jed said I just had to make it accessible to people and suggested wrapping it up in a police procedural because there aren’t enough of them! That’s where the idea came from, then we pitched it to ITV, and it all happened so fast.”

Since Sondhi was new to the police world, she was naturally panicking and nervous when she and Jed started discussing and working on it. But thanks to a couple of official police advisors and her brother’s friend, a professional detective, she learned all about the procedural elements in a detailed manner. To keep the show a bit light and warm, she kept her sense of humor in the show and found a few comic moments amidst all the dark places the narrative goes to.

In the same interview, Sondhi got asked about the character Rachita facing racism every once in a while and if she wanted to explore that aspect in detail. She stated, “Yes, I wanted to include those micro-aggressions. One of my inspirations is Issa Rae’s show ‘Insecure,’ which deals with race in such a subtle way, and it’s about the things that we all experience every day. Sometimes it’s to do with gender, not just race – a lot of people experience everyday sexism, but we’re so used to it and just get on with it.” In conclusion, it would be safe to say that even though ‘D.I. Ray’ explores several true-to-life themes and subjects, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is not rooted in reality and is a work of fiction.

Read More: Where is D.I. Ray Filmed?