Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

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Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-11-13 07:52am

Not seen it yet. Will iplayer soon.

Doesn't mean we can't have a thread.
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by Broomstick » 2018-11-13 08:29am

Saw it last night after I came home from work. Like Rosa, it deals with a real and recent historical event on Earth, although not with a particular real person. Again, the Doctor intervenes much less than in past series. They deal with prejudice that can have deadly results. And, apparently, post-broadcast on-line searches for "partition of India" surged just as after "Rosa" there was a burst of searches on the American civil rights era and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

So... the trends this season are:
- more actual history
- stories that prompt folks to find out more about actual history
- less intervention by the Doctor
- character backstory/development about the companions
- prejudice can kill you
- the social commentary subtext is more obvious

While I am enjoying this series, and certainly I found parts of "Rosa" moving, as with "Demons of the Punjab", I'm not quite as in love with this series as some past ones. On the other hand, it has typically taken me some time to warm up to a new Doctor (the exception being Capaldi, no doubt because I've been a fan of the actor since 1983 or so)

(I didn't want to spoiler the episode this early in the thread)
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-11-13 08:36am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-11-13 08:29am


So... the trends this season are:
- more actual history
- stories that prompt folks to find out more about actual history
- less intervention by the Doctor
- character backstory/development about the companions
- prejudice can kill you
- the social commentary subtext is more obvious

Watching this now, however by focussing more on history it reminds me of the show in its early years. Personally I like stories where the Doctor does more.
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-11-13 09:38am

This is a more character driven than plot driven story. I think it works, but it will detract from Who as a whole, if all episodes become like this. IMO Who has largely been plot driven and I think it works well this way. A character driven story like this could be told with any time travel franchise and not necessary Doctor Who.

One could accuse it of being hamfisted, but to be honest it didn't seem that way to me. My understanding is there were segments of Muslims and Hindus who got on well with each other fine before partition. Even today India supposedly has more Muslims than Pakistan. It doesn't seem inconceivable there were Hindus who preferred India to remain at all. So Prem's speech about tolerance doesn't strike me as unrealistic or that preachy (note when I say preachy, I am talking about the story preaching to the audience, rather than the in universe character preaching to other characters).

I also wonder who destroyed the Thijarians planet, and how ancient are they? Racnoss and Time Lord ancient?
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by ray245 » 2018-11-13 02:18pm

I wish they can continue with the exploring the lesser known aspect of history instead of sticking to the familiar periods and regions.

Like explore some aspects of African history! Middle East! Asia! The Crusades!

One thing I really liked is that they are making full use of South Africa to depict places that looked different from western Europe.
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-13 02:46pm

On the whole, I liked it- the focus on an often-forgotten part of history, and the depiction of the fear that political divisions create among ordinary people, and the Doctor's frustration at being unable to help. A little heavy-handed at times, perhaps, but not bad. I wouldn't list it among the show's all-time greats, but I'd rank it higher than the average quality of Twelve or late Eleven's run.

The identity of the aliens, and the villains being entirely human, was a fine twist.

This season certainly seems to be focussing more on historical stories-in that sense a return to Who's oldest roots-and on contemporary politics. I approve. The opening credits seem to have more of an old series vibe to them too. It's an interesting blend of old and new.

Nice to see some more development of Yaz. Naturally, the Alt. Reich troll types are calling it "Muslim indoctrination".

Big question I wonder about is whether Yaz's grandmother ever figured out that her granddaughter time traveled. It seemed implied to me that she did know, but I don't think it was ever outright stated.

I really like Graham. A truly decent man.

There seems to be a theme this season of minor individual actions having a large impact on history (particularly in relation to bigotry), and the Doctor not being able to interfere. I wonder if this is building to something, or if it'll be mostly just stand alone stories.
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-13 05:07pm

I am confused if she ended up marrying manir or not?
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by Bedlam » 2018-11-13 05:20pm

I guess my problem with this episode was that the aliens, the doctor and the companions did absolutely nothing they were all basically observers. Not that the story shouldn't have been told, just that it didn't need to be told as part of Dr Who. It seems like the production team have good stories they want to tell, but that they have been handed Dr Who to produce and don't know what to do with that format.

It does seem interesting to me that this is probably the closest to a 'pure historical' story we've had since the 60's (with the exception of Black Orchid) but they had to put some fairly unnecessary aliens in it. Are the current audience unable to deal with Dr Who without aliens?

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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-13 07:06pm

I think theres a bunch of things. Dr Who does tend to have periods where the alien of the week is not a cannibal monster. They have too, the show gets too xenophobic otherwise.

The episode aired on remberance Sunday - the centenary of the end of ww1. This is a huge date in the uk, incredibly important to many people and emotionally charged as the true memory of the war is dying of old age. The episode takes that theme and runs with it.

There has been a steady push in the media towards our trading partners. With india especially that means facing up to our bloody past. There have been a lot of documentaries about partition this last year.

So the aliens, perfect assassins, finding their world destroyed and learning a better way. On remembrance sunday when we pledge to do better and value the peace?

Charged.
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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-14 12:52am

Bedlam wrote:
2018-11-13 05:20pm
I guess my problem with this episode was that the aliens, the doctor and the companions did absolutely nothing they were all basically observers. Not that the story shouldn't have been told, just that it didn't need to be told as part of Dr Who. It seems like the production team have good stories they want to tell, but that they have been handed Dr Who to produce and don't know what to do with that format.
I don't see that. As you observe, Who started out (and was originally conceived) more as a historical educational series, using time travel as a plot device to tell historical stories. So this is very much going back to Who's roots. It just seems weird because Who hasn't really followed that original concept much since about... the second story?
It does seem interesting to me that this is probably the closest to a 'pure historical' story we've had since the 60's (with the exception of Black Orchid) but they had to put some fairly unnecessary aliens in it. Are the current audience unable to deal with Dr Who without aliens?
Probably the execs are worried that they won't, and so insist on an alien a week. Plus aliens and Who are kind of synonymous now.

I do like that they've managed a pretty good blend of new and classic Who.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Doctor Who Series 37 Episode 6 - "Demons of the Punjab" Spoilers

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-11-14 05:20am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-14 12:52am


I don't see that. As you observe, Who started out (and was originally conceived) more as a historical educational series, using time travel as a plot device to tell historical stories. So this is very much going back to Who's roots. It just seems weird because Who hasn't really followed that original concept much since about... the second story?
There were still historical stories into Patrick Troughton's reign, and several during William Hartnell's reign even after the introduction of the Daleks. Notable Hartnell stories include topics about the OK Corall, the Trojan war, the French revolution with human opponents. The notable historical story of Troughton's reign without aliens or the paranormal is the Highlanders, which introduced one of the favourite companions, Jamie MacCrimmon.

This story did seem to be going back to Who's roots, although I feel DW has kind of moved on since the 1960s and this story while well down, for me personally I don't want to see too many of these in NuWho. I prefer the alien monsters with some plot personally. That being said, I think the story served to make his companions deeper by exploring Yaz's family history.
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