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Topic: Demons Of The Punjab (S11, E6) Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 11 November 2018 at 2:17pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

PLOT: The Doctor and friends travel back to the Partition of India, 1947. They travel there on a personal mission so that Yaz can find answers to questions pertaining to her grandmother, but get caught up among the violence - and battling aliens.

I really enjoyed this one. I was always more of a fan of the Doctor doing historical tales as opposed to ones in space.

This series feels very character-driven. It's India, circa 1947. There are some aliens (looking very generic, I must admit) who are perceived as "demons" by the inhabitants of India. And, just like in "Rosa", the Doctor and her friends have to allow events to take place because changing history, deliberately or otherwise, could have ghastly consequences.

I've always preferred character-driven stories in any series. All the CGI explosions in the world don't matter to me if I don't care about the characters; but put two compelling characters in a lift for an hour-long episode, and give them excellent dialogue, and I will watch.

It's poignant in places, there is a little bit of a mystery going on, and there are some nice moments of dialogue from all the supporting characters. We know what happened historically, but in stories where the Doctor has to allow history to run its course, the journey is more important than the destination.

This may well have been my favourite of the new season so far. Does anyone know where it was filmed? The scenery was beautiful.
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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10688
Posted: 11 November 2018 at 2:36pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Some of it looked to be the U.K. (The forest scenes) and
i am guessing South Africa again, with a bit of digital
help?
Was it explained why the aliens were involved? I nodded
off for a bit, no reflection on the episode, just tired!
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 2:49pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The aliens pay tribute and honour the dead who fall in battles. Sort of Watcher-esque in some respects, it seems.
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Bill Collins
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Location: England
Posts: 10688
Posted: 11 November 2018 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Ok, thank`s!
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Robbie Moubert
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Evertonian

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1247
Posted: 11 November 2018 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The episode was shot in the Province of Granada in Spain.
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Conrad Teves
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Joined: 28 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1616
Posted: 11 November 2018 at 8:57pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Strong episode!  They've demonstrated an ability (twice now, with Rosa) to convey real historical large-scale horror (and future regret) with a snapshot of events at a personal human level.  Even the aliens had their own horror/regret arc.

Hopefully, they can pull off something similar not on Earth at some point.
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Jim Muir
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Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1227
Posted: 12 November 2018 at 3:34am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Really liked this episode. Which is odd because for the
first half I really, really disliked it! To clarify,
this is what went through my head for 20 minutes or so:

- Yaz want's to visit her Gran in old India and The
Doctor essentially shrugs and says okay. Really?
- Now they're all seasoned time travellers, but still
no mention of going back and saving Nan???
- The ultimate alien assassins - what, another Predator
clone? Didn't we just do this in episode one?

Then about halfway through something clicked.

- Bradley Walsh's conversation with Yaz was very
touching. He continues to be the strongest presence on
the show.
- After my initial annoyance (see above) I loved the
flip on the aliens motives.
- As Robbie pointed out, they put a spotlight on the
human drama and it was all the better for it. For
better or worse this is now a show about people, not a
killer sci-fi concept.
- Given that this episode and ROSA seem to be the most
well received, I think maybe they should have just
embraced this 'quantum leap' format for the whole
series - the alien elements all feel really tacked on!
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 12 November 2018 at 6:12am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'd agree with that, Jim.

Walsh is certainly a strong presence on the show. I liked what he said about living life, something about taking it all in your stride and that.

When I first saw the aliens, I did think, 'Oh, no, not another generic assassin.' I was pleased when their motivations were revealed.

I'm seeing some criticisms (not here) about the Doctor not changing history in "Rosa" or this episode. One, there are valid reasons why she didn't; two, when the show was in its infancy, someone (First Doctor perhaps?) was very firm about history could not be changed. Okay, that rule did get broken at times, but it seemed very much a Time Lord "policy". 
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James Woodcock
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Joined: 21 September 2007
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Posted: 12 November 2018 at 8:07am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I enjoyed this episode - I think it has been a string series so far and have really enjoyed Bradley Walsh.

My one gripe is actually the whole, can't change history, thing.

The Doctor interferes all the time in events that would be classed as history were they viewed at some point in the future. Is it just because someone wrote about the event/took a photo of the event what?
History from the perspective of the observer? Remove the observer and everything is OK to change?

In the case of Yazz, yes, save the bloke and she doesn't get born - that scenario must exist all the time.

This isn't a case of 'time for me to move on' but I think more of a case of 'Stop bringing this concept up in the stories' because it opens cans of worms that we do not need opening.
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Jim Muir
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Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1227
Posted: 12 November 2018 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

They had the whole 'fixed point in time' thing that RTD
(i think) introduced - ROSA very much fits that template.
This one, less so - other than interference would have
cancelled out Yaz.

It's an interesting one - should The Doctor have found a
clever way to save both the husband AND Yaz? The writer
could have done but is that the heroic thing to do? Or is
the bravery in letting history play out even when you
don't like it? Where do you draw the line in time travel
stories?
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 12 November 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 Jim Muir wrote:
Or is the bravery in letting history play out even when you don't like it? Where do you draw the line in time travel stories?

Good point, Mr Muir. There is a certain bravery, and it makes me think of Edith Keeler in STAR TREK.

That said, Mr Woodcock made some good points. It's a can of worms that should be used sparingly.
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Andrew Saxon
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Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 314
Posted: 14 November 2018 at 4:47am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I didn't hate it, but I still had a couple of problems with the episode: I thought the characters spoke a little too 'modern day' for my liking (though I could put that down to the TARDIS' telepathic translation circuit). I also thought the aliens' purpose was a little too similar to that of the Testimony from Twice Upon A Time. That aside it was okay.
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