Unable to find distribution in America, the series was given a limited engagement screening at The Public Theater in Manhattan from December 1994 to January 1995.
Karim Amir is a mixed-race 17-year-old who lives in a South London suburb during the 1970s. With an English mother and a Pakistani father, Karim is uncertain of his cultural identity. As his father becomes a kind of spiritual guru to the surrounding middle-class neighbours, Karim begins to explore his cultural roots with hopes that he will achieve sexual and racial self-realisation.
The series features many songs from the seventies as well as music written and performed specifically for the series by David Bowie. While an album classified as the series' soundtrack was released on 8 November 1993, the tracks on the album are significantly reworked. The primary song that remains the same on the soundtrack album is the programme's theme song "The Buddha of Suburbia". A promotional music video was made for the song, featuring Bowie performing the song while strolling around an English suburb as scenes from the series are intercut throughout.