Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab Review

Another Win For Historical’s

After the decent but weak Arachnids in the UK and the disappointing Tsuranga Conundrum, Doctor Who puts the season back on track with episode six. This has definitely been the year for historical’s, as we had the fantastic Rosa that covered racial segregation in the deep south earlier in the season. This time we’re traveling to South Asia.

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Picking up back in the present, Yaz is celebrating her grandmothers birthday with the rest of her family. Yaz becomes intrigued when she receives a broken watch from her grandmother that apparently holds a secret behind its origin. Convincing The Doctor, the team travels to Punjab in 1949, exactly one day before the partition of India. Yaz is shocked to see her grandmothers younger self prepare to marry a man that isn’t her grandfather. There’s also strange creatures that lurk in the distance, watching events unfold.

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This is a story about family and I’m happy to see Yaz have a larger role this time. I’ve enjoyed the character and the actress has done a great job. But I feel like she doesn’t get to do as much compared to the other two companions. So it’s great the she gets the spotlight this time. There are a lot of wonderful character moments throughout. One of my favorites is between Graham and Yaz. Graham tends to stick with Ryan most of the time. So it was touching to see these two get a chance to interact one on one.

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Another welcome surprise were the “villains.” Called the Thijarian, they are a race of dangerous assassin’s The design is the best we’ve gotten so far and they are really creepy early on. There’s a twist that I wasn’t expecting which I thought was pretty clever drew comparison’s with The Doctor’s own past. I won’t give anything away but that reveal was another highlight for me.

This isn’t the only threat in the episode though.

I know virtually nothing about the partition of India, but from what I’ve read it was the separation of British India that led to the creation of the two independent dominions; India and Pakistan. Today the are known as the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. This event led to large scale violence that caused a number of deaths varying from several hundred thousand to two million. The episode did a great job at balancing two different kinds of dangers.

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The only critic I have was the actor playing Prem, the man marrying Yaz’s grandmother. He’s okay but his performance could be very wooden at times, especially when he’s around others.

That aside, I’m happy to say that this was another solid episode that delivered on great characters, music, and a decent threat. Hopefully the next four episodes will remain at this level of quality or better.

9/10

 

 

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