A bit late with this review, and yet, I wanted to write it before the next episode comes in and I forget all about doing this one. This new Doctor is growing on me, but I didn’t expect to like her episodes so much. They get better and better, and my favourite part is that, well, it’s a return to the Doctor’s origins. You know, the historian type who wants you to learn about our world’s past. And succeed they do, don’t you think?
Finally, after five episodes with zero character development for Yaz (or at least I felt it that way), ‘Demons of the Punjab’ is dedicated to her and her family. Because Graham and Ryan are “related”, I understand it has been easier to show their ins and outs (although not fully, yet), so this was a great occasion to learn more about the police officer.
Yaz’s gran, thinking that one day might be too old and forgetful to do it, decides to give away things to her family, and she gives Yaz (her favourite grandchild. Never say that ever if you are a grandparent. Cruel to the others) a broken watch. We assume it belonged to Yaz’s late grandfather, right? Especially since gran just talked about how she was the first woman who got married in Pakistan.
So, in a plot that reminded me of the splendid season 1 episode ‘Father’s Day‘, Yaz begs the Doctor to let her visit her gran in the past, so she can learn more about her. And off they go. But they start seeing weird visions as they arrive (or was it just the Doctor?)
The team meets Prem, a boy who agrees to take them to Yaz’s gran (here a young girl). But then Yaz sees him wearing the watch. But wait, he is not her grandad! What is going on? What happens is that it’s August 17, 1947, and Yaz’s gran is marrying Prem, whom Yaz knew nothing about. And Prem has a dickish younger brother to whom I will refer to as Hindi Ansel Elgort, because he looked a lot like him. Hindi Ansel Elgort is not happy about his brother marrying a Muslim because he is a bigoted moron.
But the point is, the team and Prem eventually find Bakti, the man who was going to marry the couple, dead in the forest, with the demons from the vision surrounding him. As Prem explains, he also saw them during the war, at Singapore, surrounding his older brother, who was also killed by them -or was he?
I’m going to get to the point and explain that the demons are Thijarian, and are not killers anymore, but witnesses. They travel the universe in search of souls they know are going to pass away, so that they can be with them when they die, to comfort them. It was actually very touching. BUT! The thing is, they are there because Prem is going to die (obviously). Who is going to kill him? Hindu nationalists, who want Muslims like Yaz’s family to get the hell out of there and move to Pakistan. All led by Hindi Ansel, who also killed Bakti to prevent the wedding.
But the wedding happens anyway, and the team is forced to let Prem meet his fate. But that way, Yaz’s gran will eventually meet her granddad and move to Sheffield, the “exotic” place she had pinpointed in a map.
And here ends another Doctor Who installment of “the alien is actually not the villain, some idiotic humans are.”
I have apologised for the dead-eyed turtle army!
-I love this back and forth between the Doctor and Graham, with veiled loving insults and Graham saying “Doc.”
-“Do you need a singer? I know all the classics… or latest hits to you, lot.”
-The Uncle Malik moment reminded me so much of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Everyone has the same name.
-“All the way from England.” “You might wanna keep that to yourself right now.”
-“You must leave or we will stand over your corpses.” “Nothing like getting to the point.”
-“I need oil, water, tree bark, a saucepan, nine containers, an old newspaper, a touch of ox spit, a chicken poo and a biscuit.”
-“This is the best thing ever! Never did this when I was a man.”
-“Yeah. That’s right. My references to body and gender regeneration are all in jest. I’m such a comedian.”
-“I haven’t officiated a wedding since Einstein’s! His parents didn’t approve either. Non-denominational, though.”