Demons of the Punjab – Doctor Who Series 11 Episode 6 – The DVDfever Review

Demons of the Punjab
Demons of the Punjab sees the Scooby Doo gang run back to August 1947 Pakistan for the partition of India. Yaz wants to go so she can interfere with history and meet her grandmother, Umbreen, when she was much younger than she was today, making me think we’re just going to get a fairly dull history lesson – and a lack of ‘Doctor Who’-style action – like Rosa.

Well, as soon as they arrive, they meet the man who’s about to marry Umbreen, but… it’s not Yaz’s grandfather so, basically, it’s Back to the Future, and Lorraine Baines is about to marry Biff Tannen and NOT George McFly like she should do. Can the Scooby Doo gang change the past and restore the future? GREAT SCOTT!

There was yet more quotes where the Doctor references meeting someone from the past, as Prem moans about the British being in India, and she replies, “I’ll make a note of your thoughts, and pass them onto Mountbatten… if I ever see him again.”, as well as officiating in Einstein’s wedding.



Plus, there’s too much use of the sonic screwdriver – and Demons of the Punjab wouldn’t be Demons of the Punjab if it didn’t have demons, so the title kinda gives it away – the device this time unlocking the answer to why they ended up locked inside a spaceship, aka a Thijarian Hive, and Thijarians are a race of deadly assassins.

However, yet again, they’re not really monsters, but just misunderstood creatures since, as they say in a five-minute section where the Doctor is whisked away to their Hive during the bit where everyone stops and explains the plot, the Thijarians explain that they’re no longer assassins, but…:

    “We honour the lost, as we cannot honour our own. As the assisn hunter, the Thijarian world was destroyed. We returned to find nothing. This is all that remains of our home, our people – all one dust.

    They died unwitnessed, unsaved. We were too late to grieve or honour them. But we who returned, gave up 100 generations to sift, To remember the lost dead, the unmourned. In time, it was all we knew. And now, we travel beyond, seeking the unacknowledged dead. Across all of time and space.

    This is now the Thijarian mission. To bear whitness to those alone. To see, to bear pain, honour life as it passes. As each one passes, we commemorate union.

    Millions will perish unseen, unknown, in the days to come here. We read the timewaves.”.

And then they explained how it tied in with the Partition.

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Demons of the Punjab – Trailer – Doctor Who


And with referring to “100 generations”, as well as the sight of red flowers at one point, it was hitting you over the head with references to Armistice Day – the day of the broadcast.

So, Demons of the Punjab was another history lesson and a great lack of actual sci-fi… and the Thijarians could’ve at least explained things to her *without* scaring the shit out of her in their Cybermen voices!

Despite a different writer (yay! No Chris Chibnall! – and I didn’t think I’d be saying that any time soon), I couldn’t feel emotionally invested in this episode at all. The gang are still running about all over the place yet, while I’ve never been to India, I do know one thing – it’s a bit hot… and no-one is perspiring.

On the plus side, as the Indian music continued into the credits, it was a reworking of the classic theme tune, and thankfully, the dickhead continuity announcers stayed quiet for a change.

Back to the episode, and I loved these two tweets about it, referencing Skyrim and another amusing observation:

Next time: The Scooby Doo gang are in the galaxy’s equivalent of Amazon, aka of the galaxy’s largest retailer, Kerblam. There they’ll meet Julie Hesmondhalgh (Broadchurch, Coronation Street) and Lee Mack… I do hope he dies. Can’t stand him!

Demons of the Punjab is available on the BBC iPlayer for a month.

You can also pre-order it on Blu-ray, Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook and DVD.

Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.


Score: 1/10

Director: Jamie Childs
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Vinay Patel
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Nani Umbreen: Leena Dhingra
Prem: Shane Zaza
Manish: Hamza Jeetooa
Hasna: Shaheen Khan
Najia: Shobna Gulati
Sonya: Ravin J Ganatra
Performers: Nathalie Curzner, Barbara Fadden


Previously on DVDfever:

November 4th:

Demons of the Punjab, is the sixth episode of Doctor Who Series 11, and has a trailer which shows the Scooby Doo gang are in Pakistan, 1947, with and at the partition of India, causing Yaz to meet her grandmother she attempts to discover her grandmother’s hidden history, but wouldntchaknowit, there’s demons demonising everyone!

I do hope this isn’t just going to be another non-sci-fi history lesson like Rosa.

Either way, we finally have an episode from a writer which is not Chris Chibnall!. It’s Vinay Patel, who brought us the acclaimed Murdered by My Father, which I’ve not seen but perhaps following this episode’s airing, the BBC will air it again, or at least, put it on the iPlayer.

It’s also directed by Jamie Childs, who directed the best episode of this series so far, The Woman Who Fell To Earth.

Demons of the Punjab is broadcast at 7.00pm on BBC1 next Sunday.

Read our review for The Tsuranga Conundrum.

Director: Jamie Childs
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Vinay Patel
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Nani Umbreen: Leena Dhingra
Prem: Shane Zaza
Manish: Hamza Jeetooa
Hasna: Shaheen Khan
Najia: Shobna Gulati
Sonya: Ravin J Ganatra
Performers: Nathalie Curzner, Barbara Fadden

Check out the brand new trailer below along with a look at what police officer Yasmin Khan has on file about the Mutant Spiders from episode four.



Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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