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Demons Of The Punjab

ShowDoctor Who / Series XI / Episode 6
First Broadcast2018/11/12 - 18:00 (Link: ABC TV)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Tsuranga Conundrum
Next EpisodeKerblam!

Yaz asks the Doctor is she can take them to meet her grandmother when she was younger to find out the history of her gift - a broken wristwatch. The Doctor eventually agrees despite the risks and uses the TARDIS's telepathic circuits to find the appropriate point in time and space. The location confuses Yaz as it does not match what her grandmother has told her. She is even more confused when she discovers her grandmother's younger self is about to marry someone she's never heard of.

The surrounding drama and danger is twofold. The Doctor and her companions have arrived at a key point in the subcontinent's history - the division of India and the creation of Pakistan. This is a powerful and sad story as seen through Prem's eyes. He mourns that so many around him seem to have lost their minds. Muslims, Hindu and Sikhs, who lived together for decades are now in a frenzy, convinced their differences are more important than what unites them. It is a timeless message.

The second half of the drama involves the Thijarians - the eponymous demons of the title. At first the Doctor believes them be assassins. As the story unfolds, she finds out that while this once the case, it is no longer true. Instead they travel through time bearing witness to those who die alone.

The Doctor's mistaken belief about where the danger lies highlights the hate-mongering of the time and the magnification of differences. In the end, it is Prem's brother Manish who is the real danger. A young man poisoned by angry words, betrays his family and causes his brother's execution. All up, a sad, relevant story, very well told.