Thoughts on Doctor Who Demons of The Punjab

It’s time for more thoughts on Doctor Who.  Time. It’s always about time, isn’t it?

As always, I hate spoiling things for anyone, and Doctor Who even more so.

So in the interests of fairness, just in case you’ve landed here before you’ve watched Demons of The Punjab, have some spoiler space. Proceed beyond there at your own (spoiler) risk. Here be demons, and all that.

Although I guess if you haven’t watched The Pandorica Opens, then… well, you’ve probably had enough time for that one, I think.

After last week’s somewhat inconsequential story, we got historical… sort of.

  • Yay! Bluey! (Once again, if you’re not watching on the ABC, you’re probably watching a whole lot earlier than I am.. but you’re missing out. Bluey’s Dad is one excellent hound who understands manners AND claw machines. Bluey’s Mum is equally wonderful. Although I am concerned that they both seem to lack actual first names.
  • Ahem. This isn’t meant to be about Bluey.
  • Yep, that new arrangement will have to become my ringtone. Although my SMS alert remains “All I got right now is this box of one dozen starving crazed weasels“, because of course it does.
  • I wonder how much of the audience would understand what a wristwatch actually was/is?
  • We’re into Father’s Day paradox territory here, and that’s a rather well-worn scheme for Doctor Who plots. Also, I now really want a Doctor Who story featuring killer turtles.
  • Am I the only one wondering why they’re not questioning the modern clothing — especially the sneakers — that the TARDIS crew is wearing? (Yes, a minor nitpick, to be sure)
  • A deep and challenging plot (and one with sensitivities for a UK audience) for Doctor Who to take on. Also a nice callback to Doctor Who’s original educational intent, even if it is juxtaposed against “the deadliest assassins in the known universe” (which is, let’s face it, a monumentally silly line.). But still, not ignoring the mistakes the UK made post WW2 is a nice step for a program that could have easily glossed over it.
  • Yaz drives the plot, and Mandip Gill has some lovely moments here, between her personal historical certainty, and dealing with the reality of what’s unfolding around her. Malcolm gets (once again) to play the role that The Doctor would ordinarily have handled — and I’m not entirely sure why the writing team is going down that path. I’m hoping it’ll pay off later down the track, no matter how much the whole “each story is standalone” idea is actually true.
  • Yaz’ grandma Umbreen is an excellent lady. Grandmas are often like that, I find.
  • This is different to Rosa — obviously — but it’s got the same deep dramatic tone, and I’m loving it.
  • Once again though, I’m delivered a twist on the classic formula, and it mostly works, although the idea of predestination is one that Doctor Who often dances around to suit its plot.
  • I bet some of the more UKIP/Pro-Brexit types hated this. It tells history as it happened and the negative effects UK power had, and they tend to live in a romantic past, not a realistic one.
  • Poor Prem. It was obvious by the smashed watch what had to happen, but that didn’t make it any less sad. Doctor Who ain’t afraid to pull out a tear jerker, folks!
  • I also love that the new series doesn’t have to define itself by threats that will end the planet earth for all time, and can instead do smaller, simpler stories about human beings. Done well — and I enjoyed this — it can be so much more effective.
  • Speaking of effective, this might just be my favourite single story musical score of the new series. So well paced, so effective.
  • I’m not a violent man by nature. Indeed, I’m something of a pacifist. But if the ABC doesn’t cut out the BLOODY ROVE McMANUS BITS OVER THE END CREDITS, I MIGHT JUST HAVE TO UNLEASH THE MYRKA!
  • Ahem. That’s not much of a threat, is it?

That wasn’t an easy episode to watch, but once again it was — in my not so humble view — superb. Such a good use of the concept of time in a way that Doctor Who doesn’t often approach. 

Next week: Kerblam! Have they handed over writing story titles to the Dangermouse writing team or something?

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