Doctor Who : Demons of the Punjab

As the series goes from strength to strength we have another historic episode, this time we actually get to learn a little of Yas’s family history as we visit her grandmother on the day of the Partition of India.

I don’t think I can find words to describe how much this episode touched me. There are so many things I loved about it and most of the episode I was a little mixed on whether or not I cared for the way that Yas was acting in her pursuit of understanding why her Grandmother was about to marry the wrong person but it all came to such a dramatic and touching end that I’m lost for words.

Shane Zaza and Amita Suman as Prem and Umbreen were something else. In such a small amount of time the two of them made me fall in love with them, believe in their love story and want them to succeed. Maybe, just maybe that is why I was getting annoyed at Yas because I didn’t care for her attitude of Prem being the wrong person because it was so very obvious so very early on in the episode that he and Umbreen loved each other that I didn’t want to hear that a time line had been changed or something stupid like that I wanted to see them married and happy.

What I got tore my heart out and 100% of that was down to Zaza being one of the best guest cast members this show has ever had. His story is on par with Tony Curran as Vincent back in Series 5 for very different ways.

It was the final moments with Prem, like those final moments with Vincent, that had me in tears but for a very horrible and different reason. I know very little about the Partition of India, it is hard to remember that in a lot of wars a neighbour can turn into a enemy in seconds. At school all we ever really learnt about was World War II and one of the things that terrified me when actually learning about the rise of one of the most detestable and evil men in history was that families turned on families, having no real knowledge of the Partition of India it wasn’t until the Kisar were found to be peaceful that it hit me so hard in the gut that this is what we were about to see.

Manish, the brother of Prem, wasn’t just annoyed and upset that his brother was about to marry a Muslim, he was about to do anything he could to stop it and to stand for what he believed to be right.

That scene in the field with Prem, Manish and the Hindu Nationalists was one of the most impactful scenes I’ve ever seen. It didn’t need words or anything else. You knew what was about to happen and it just broke me.

I guess this isn’t even a review of the episode itself but just that one strand of the story leading to one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen.

Away from that I really liked the Kisar. They looked terrifying but their story was also sad and it was nice to see a alien species that had changed their ways and became peaceful. So often in Doctor Who the bad guys will look like bad guys, something that looked like the Kisar would very obviously be the bad guy and that would be it but in this instance their look and their actions were very different and in any other story just their story alone would have me on the verge of tears. The fact that they roamed space and time to be with those who died on their own. It was sad. It was the Doctor just different. Her interaction with them when she found out was testament to how good Jodie Whittaker is because she changed gear so fast from being forceful in the face of a threat to kind and compassionate to a species that had lived through great pain and was trying to alleviate others suffering.

Bradley Walsh was once more the absolute top companion. His talk with Yas was touching when he tried to comfort her when she tried to figure out her feelings after knowing her grandmother had lived a different life then she knew of by explaining that this, as of yet, wasn’t her grandmother and the story that Yas knows hasn’t happened yet. He really is the glue that holds this group together at the moment and he brings such small touches to already brilliant scenes that would be irreplaceable. I rolled my eyes at the news he’d be a companion but this series honestly would be so much poorer without him and I have found a new respect for him as a actor.

It was a love story more then a history lesson. I hope it’ll teach people a lesson, people will learn a little about this and we’ll see once more what is happening in the world today with a new perspective. Anna loves to throw around the saying if you don’t learn from history you are bound to repeat it and I find it sad to think this really is happening in the world today. How many more love stories are going to come crashing down because the people in charge want to pit us against each other instead of bring us together?

Not even sure what to say anymore.

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