Demons of the Punjab

Home Forums Episodes The Thirteenth Doctor Demons of the Punjab

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    Right wing, face like gammon steak, hate anything that might smack of foreign, vote UKIP and the BBC in a consistent and inexcusable display of poor editorial judgement is prone to packing the audience for its Question Time show with such, vis:!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/image.jpg

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    Mostly though I’m reminded of Eccleston with Whittaker

    It’s also Eccleston that I’m reminded of most. Not always in a good way. Eccleston’s forced cheeriness sometimes comes across to me in Whittaker’s portrayal. I wasn’t that fond of that, but I came to accept it with Eccelston, as (over)compensation for his inner pain/insecurity from his part in the Time War. And it was toned down over time. I rather hope that’s the case with the current Doctor too, as she gains more confidence in herself. I agree that it’s time that we saw more character development in the Doctor, and that the ensemble cast has taken away focus from that.

    swordwhale @swordwhale

    @pedant …oh…coughtrumpocalypsecoughcough lol


    Interesting to see the views of Jodi Whittaker’s Doctor. I seem to remember a description, in an interview about the new series; “fizzy energy”.

    I think I relate to it as a fabulous well channeled version of the ADD brainstyle, with bottomless brilliance. Since we’re only six episodes in I suspect we’ll have much more character development to go.

    Wondering how much of the uncertainly some have with the character of the Doctor is because a woman is bringing a slightly different kind of energy to it? Is it different from what all the male actors brought to it?

    PS, I’m a 63 year old woman who has always been annoyed that boys had all the fun in all the TV and movies and books I absorbed … and who thinks gender doesn’t matter. But it might give a different color to a portrayal…


    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod I’m really enjoying this season and Thirteen, but you are right that so far we haven’t had a story that really lets her personality and code be the focal point of the action as yet.  We haven’t yet had any development thread this season focusing on her side of the story, but rather on those of her companions in a more-crowded-than-usual TARDIS.  Perhaps next week’s episode will do that, given its jumping off point.  In fact, with that and only three more episodes after to go (not counting New Year), it’s about time she took center stage now that we’ve seen enough of her filtered through the companions’ perspective.

    While it is nice that Chibnall isn’t heavily drawing upon the Doctor’s past this season, it is true that it feels a bit disconnected from it as a result.  A friend of mine wants to see some Daleks, Sontarans, etc. soon — it could make a huge difference to see how Thirteen relates to them.

    ismellofhockey @ismellofhockey

    Yeah if you’re going to take away all of the Doctor’s past because you want viewers to be able to understand everything without having watched what came before, it probably would have been best not to triple the doctor’s usual companion count. It’s hard enough to develop one character quickly, but 4?

    In support of what has been said before, this was by far the best episode. The writing is a little ham-handed at times, and some scenes seem cut straight from a soap-opera which Doctor Who is not. I understand the “not enough sci-fi criticism” though I don’t share the feeling. Jodie Whittaker still hasn’t been given her moment to shine as the Doctor, and I firmly believe that’s the writers’ fault. It’s not enough to give her catchphrases from previous Doctors.

    It hasn’t all come together yet, but then it always takes me time to adjust to a new Doctor. I hated Ecclestone and Capaldi outright at first, though I came to enjoy both (especially Capaldi). So Whittaker has a step on them at least.

    One thing this series gets right and better than the previous ones, is the visuals. This has been a stunning series. And the intro beats out even Ecclestone’s. Now hopefully they’ll start creating story arcs, stop trying to bludgeon us with edifying speeches when a simple nudge will do, and give Whittaker something to grasp onto.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    This was absolutely beautiful, and the last ten or so minutes had me in tears. The issue of divisiveness, that was so wonderfully expressed here, is something I feel passionate about, so I’m truly loving the ways it is being explored in this series. The heartbreak of families torn apart by the uncaring decisions of others was vividly portrayed. It feels as if all the stories are touching upon issues that are very pertinent right now. I appreciate that, and I hope they keep the historical episodes coming!

    By this point, I’m not sure how anyone can continue to argue that this isn’t the Doctor. Her speech to the “assassins”, and her words during the marriage ceremony, were as doctorish as we’ve ever seen. She really is all about hope love, and optimism, which I’ve always felt were core values of the Doctor, even during his post-Time War incarnations.

    And if there’s anyone better suited to travelling in the TARDIS than Graham, I’d like to meet that person. Every word and look makes me happy.

    Anonymous @


    By this point, I’m not sure how anyone can continue to argue that this isn’t the Doctor.

    Come now, it’s the internet! 😉  But don’t worry, I’m not going to take up the gauntlet. 🙂

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    One thing this series gets right and better than the previous ones, is the visuals. This has been a stunning series.

    I’d agree that the production values have been generally of a high standard- costumes, props, locations, environments, computer inferfaces and CGI (leaving aside some choices for the Pting) have all been well-realised. Not sure that these things are necessarily better than previous seasons, but there’s certainly no dip in quality. The Tardis is possibly an exception- I’m not that keen on the current design, but not to the point of it detracting from my enjoyment. I do however think I like the current opening sequence better than ones from previous seasons.

    I also think the actors have done a good job with what they’ve been given. Any reservations I’ve had, and I think this probably holds true of most people, would lie with the writing.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @kevinwho<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>    </span>That’s interesting. Personally, I never felt that the RTD and Moffat eras felt all that similar (although of course, the whole Last of the Time Lords/Time War arc ran through both). It’s true though, that RTD’s arcs were less complex, less timey-wimey, than Moffat’s. I preferred Moffat, not so much because of the timey-wimey, but because I preferred his take on the Doctor’s character, and I enjoyed the journey of those stories.

    @bluesqueakpip     I wrote a long comment on your blog but I can’t seem to get it to post. I’ll just say here that you encapsulated perfectly what I’ve been feeling about the thematic arc of the series, with its de-emphasis of alien villains. I’m really enjoying that element of the stories.

    And you make a good point about Umbreen, guessing the truth about what happened in her past. I tend to forget that some of the episodes from earlier series establish that humankind is by now well aware that aliens exist. Graham, or whoever it was, never said that aliens don’t come to earth, only that they don’t come to Sheffield!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @kevinwho   I should clarify that I wasn’t so much talking about people who aren’t liking the interpretation or who don’t feel that Whittaker is working for them. This was more about vague criticisms of change, because it struck me that we have now seen the new Doctor speaking up for humanity in a very Doctor-like way.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just managed to watch it, having taken control (for a brief time) of the dark arts of the web. And it was brilliant. I mean really brilliant. I watched “Rosa” and thought it one of the great Who historicals, but this was not just a brilliant historical, it also succeeded on the level of drama. The family relationships, the impact on Yaz. It all worked.

    I have long stood up for the historicals on Who on this site. Well, let me say that both “Rosa” and especially “Demons of the Punjab” have approached the brilliance of “The Aztecs”. And from where I am coming from the praise doesn’t get much higher.

    I will reflect on this some more, but I am beginning to think that Chibnall is recapturing the feel of the Verity Lambert years.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @margaret-blaine   . . . under Chibnall, the show seems to be moving in a different direction and the time for theorizing of a bonkers nature may, sadly, be over. Perhaps this has been a Moffat site more than a Dr Who site.

    My very thoughts.  Even a good story (like “Punjab”) is flatfooted, by which I mean — what you see is what you get, so how much more is there to say about it?  With Moffat, what you saw (and heard) was just one layer of what you got, so there was plenty to chat about, and reason to look again; and again.  So far, there’s been nothing I want to re-watch; and not a lot I want to say . . .

    @jimthefish  in all his episodes Chibnall has never shown the remotest interest in the Doctor.

    And that, I feel also, is exactly what’s going on here now.  She’s like agitated scenery, a sort of — talking McGuffin, as written.  What’s going on among the crew is the real focus, and that’s not a bad thing by any means — I recall some discussion during Capaldi’s run of too much close focus on the Doctor/Clara axis and a longing for more ensemble work to offset it (so here it is, solid and sometimes appealingly warm, but — unexciting, IMO).  She sets them in motion; they run around looking at stuff and discussing what it is, what it means.  The situation they’ve stepped into plays itself out without them messing it up, but — what are *they* there for?  What is *their* stake in the outcome; or hers?  I’m not feeling it.  And I miss that.  I miss feeling *involved* not as a companion, but as a traveling alien, a (gun-less) gunslinger for justice and compassion (and, sometimes, dangerous fury).  I don’t want to come here and moan about this over and over; but I’m not sure there’s enough else to discuss to stay engaged.

    . . . this series is just not doing nearly enough to take me out of my comfort zone. I want it to do it far more. I’m not so much feeling uncomfortable as slightly bored a lot of the time.

    Yes.  *sigh* Me too.

    @swordwhale  More and more I’m shouting “THIS IS THE SERIES I WANTED WHEN I WAS TWELVE!!!”

    That’s my problem with it; I haven’t been twelve in quite a long time, and going back to that place is just “been there, done that” for me these days.  I have a strong feeling that if Graham goes, that’s it for me: I’m gone too.  Sad, but not very; Doctor Who is indeed for everyone, just not everyone all at the same time.

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @jimthefish

    in all his episodes Chibnall has never shown the remotest interest in the Doctor

    You know, I figured one reason for lots of companions was to take the load off the actor playing the Doctor.  All the promotion, personal appearances, etc. seems to take its toll.  So with more companions, less screen time for the Doctor, easier on the actor.

    But now you’ve got me wondering.  With what seems to be Chibnall’s thematic emphasis on humans and their sins (racism, colonialism, etc.) as the real evils, thus being a clarion call for us in the audience not to just shrug things off…doesn’t it make sense that he doesn’t want the Doctor to save the day?  Which is why all this season’s enemies basically walk away at the end of every episode?

    One thing I like to emphasize in criticism is whether something is a matter of quality, or personal taste.  I won’t blather on about it here, but I do not see such a thematic emphasis (if it’s there, as opposed to us inferring it) as a quality problem.  It’s not a “bad” idea.  In fact, there’s a lot to be said for it.

    However, it’s definitely not to my taste.  I like the Doctor to represent the good impulses we all have, which we could indulge for years on end if we didn’t age and did regenerate. 😉  Making the Doctor a bystander thus feels *to me* like pushing good impulses aside (because that’s how *I* see the Doctor).

    Again, not a “bad” idea.  But if too much of the audience shares my taste on this, or sees the Doctor similarly, it could be a problem.

    (Demons and Tsuranga, according to Wikipedia, had Appreciation Indices of 80 and 79, respectively, which are very low for AG Who.  Then again, I don’t know how statistically significant those are, since 83 is quite high.  Anyway, as long as ratings stay up, the Index probably doesn’t much matter.)

    Anonymous @

    I started watching Dr Who with the first episode but was only a sporadic viewer of old Who. Have been a great fan since the reboot however.

    Loved the RTD era and adored Tennant’s doctor although I’ll be the first to admit some of the episodes were clunkers. Offset by great episodes though, great recurring characters too.

    I really loved the Moffat era when he was writing for Matt Smith.I loved all the complexities and looking for clues and theorizing. By the end of series 5 however I had begun to realise he tended to promise more than he could deliver. Things petered out (the ‘countdown’ in series 5), loose ends were left dangling,or written off in a single sentence way down the line (the Silence, Madame Kovarian.) Not to worry, I still liked the characters, was invested in them, and enjoyed the humour.

    For me the Capaldi years were far less successful. Not at all the fault of the actor but Moffat, reasonably enough, seemed to want to set a different tone for this doctor and it just wasn’t for me. I still watched though and enjoyed what I could. There was still the humour, (“I’m his carer. ” “Yes, she cares so I don’t have to. “)

    The show seemed to get back on track a little with the last series but on the whole I was ready for a new showrunner. And I’m liking what I’m seeing. OK the wit isn’t as sparkling, Chibnall isn’t a comedy writer, but there’s enough of it there. But I like his values and I like the fact that there hasn’t been a ‘big bad’ with a whole race of aliens being labelled as ‘evil’, (which is surely the very definition of racism.) And I like the ensemble nature of the Tardis crew.

    I’ll continue watching. I’ve not been put off yet.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Love and Monsters is the lowest, at 76. An AI of 80 is fine – generally the BBC 1 average is around 81 – and I suspect the BBC is smart enough to realise that some respondents might be reacting to the perceived criticism of the good old British Empire, sun never sets, etc.

    Apart from those two episodes, everything else is comfortably at 82 or 83.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – Well, it’s certainly far too soon to declare a trend.  Keep an eye on maybe.  And, again, ratings have got to trump the Index.

    It’s easy for me, somewhat put off by this season’s writing, to look for an excuse to say, “See?  Lots of everybody feels just like I do!”

    Except that’s rarely true, so I try to keep my critical faculties facile…

    syzygy @thane16

    @swordwhale   @missrori

    Wondering how much of the uncertainly some have with the character of the Doctor is because a woman is bringing a slightly different kind of energy to it? Is it different from what all the male actors brought to it?

    Yeah, I think the Doctor has been developed nicely. The episode before this where the Doctor says, “I love this, conceptually and actually [talking about anti-matter and its use]” really made an impact on me. That she paused to explain how she felt and what mattered.

    As always the character development can be nuanced in this show.  She has given us SO many hints as to what makes her tick ? Her attendance at Grace’s funeral; at the mourning of the Pilot; her listing of achievements including, “a Doctor of hope” shows she never gives up. She doesn’t like monsters who take over the planet like the Demons might have, saying “it will stop” but equally when told who they really are she adapts quickly. She also explains to her Adventurers that she can’t always protect them. She’s gabby (like my mum!) and tells everyone what she’s doing without being Time Lord-mysterious  which was part of AG Who with Davies and Moffat.

    Thank you, Thane


    syzygy @thane16


    Things petered out (the ‘countdown’ in series 5), loose ends were left dangling,or written off in a single sentence way down the line (the Silence, Madame Kovarian..

    There were some dangly ends weren’t there?  But I think maybe Moffat writes sparely for us to keep observing? That’s the way I’ve seen it. So that ultimately when we knew how to “kick the Silence out” and they ended up on a different planet Mat’s Doctor could say, “Clara you’ll forget you’ve seen them (from the days of Rory and Amy) but they’re confessors or…there’s a word for that I can’t remember!…and that idea of being able to forget them helps them in their job.”  I’m pretty sure Mat’s Doctor said these things. With Kovarian we eventually worked out that she found River, as a baby, and gave her whatever she wanted to do -which was be an archaeologist – and thus track the Doctor as a personal assassin.

    Kovarian didn’t think River would fall in love with the Doctor in whatever face he had. I think her eye patch helped  ensure you didn’t forget The Silence which also came down to Trenzalore to capture or kill the Doctor and that’s where the crack appeared after all that time from when the Doctor first ‘arrived’ on Earth in Amelia’s garden.


    I have long stood up for the historicals on Who on this site. Well, let me say that both “Rosa” and especially “Demons of the Punjab” have approached the brilliance of “The Aztecs”. And from where I am coming from the praise doesn’t get much higher

    Great to hear you can see some Who finally! And that you’ve liked those historical episodes. I liked them too and feel there isn’t a burden of theorising about what a little clue is, or what it isn’t? At the same time I think there is some interesting bonkers to be done because of the colour t-shirts, the fact the Doctor was sicker on the ship in the earlier episode but in this particular one it was a stand-alone episode focussing on the Humans as Monsters, wrecking their own creation, using power to ensure superiority with blood dropped as a powerful incentive to do what Power says. I think those are monstrous things and sometimes in society, like what’s happening in parts of Africa and across America now it’s a good time to speak about those things?

    Thank you , Thane.


    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    My other half (who is not given to bonkers theorising about Who but has watched it since pretty much the beginning and loves it almost as much as I do) has commented on how many times WhittDoc says ‘Sorry’.  I hadn’t picked up on that consciously but its interesting – apologising (in the sense of acknowledging fault or of expressing regret) is seen as more of a female trait, but I’d hope it’s more subtle than that.  As others have mentioned, we’re seeing a different response, a less interventionist response from the Doc, which may be a reaction to some of the actions of her predecessor(s) but also something that’s causing her internal conflict.  That might be the arc for this Doctor perhaps.  But it also goes along, possibly, with the fact that whilst she walks away because she believes she has to from situations where intervention would be wrong, despite the consequences and the conflict with her assertion that these people are protected, she stays in solidarity with the people who are hurt and grieving.  I’ll keep an eye on this in the remaining eps!

    winston @winston

    @cathannabel   I noticed that she says “sorry” quite a lot and she reminds me of the 10th Doctor who was also sorry a lot. In both cases I think it is because they feel helpless in the face of tragedy and the “laws” of time travel. They apologize because they feel they have a duty of care that is impossible to  live up to ,  as the 12th Doctor learned from Clara. They say “sorry” because that is all they can say sometimes. Or………

    the 13th Doctor is Canadian!

    nerys @nerys

    @cathannabel I agree with @winston in that the 10th Doctor, and also the 11th, apologized … a lot. It was usually in the face of something very bad that the Doctor knew was imminent and couldn’t prevent. It kind of became Tennant’s calling card, and Smith took it up. Capaldi’s Doctor apologized less. So I have felt that Whittaker’s Doctor is simply harking back to that sense of futility and acknowledgment of how little can be done to help, in some situations.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    the 13th Doctor is Canadian!

    I love it!


    Turn The Clock @turntheclock

    This is just race hatred BS get back to Doctor Who

    Turn The Clock @turntheclock

    Lets see some real Doctor Who special aliens with attitude and a conundrum that only the Doctor can solve. Forget the worldly social 2018 morality I watch the Doctor for entertainment that the last 40 years of shows has given me If I want a lesson in anything else I will go somewhere else.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @turntheclock most of the tension within the episode was based on religion rather than race. As for social morality look at this




    Trolling score:

    Technical merit: 2/10 – excellent failure to punctuate properly.

    Artistic impression: 0/10 failure to be original, failure to show craft, failure to even give a good laugh.


    -2 for claiming to be a long time watcher. Sheesh, half term was weeks ago.

    Overall 0/10.

    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – I agree.

    If we can’t attract the right level of troll, are we going to have to do it for ourselves?

    “We’ve alredy had the War Doctor – we don’t need the Social Justice Warrior Doctor!”

    Well, at least I’m trying


    Anonymous @

    You know, as long as this topic has popped back up to the top, I had a thought about this episode yesterday that I thought was too late for sharing, but now, what the heck.

    Imagine if Yaz had been so struck by Prem that she told the Doctor, “Since when do I deserve to live instead of him?”  And, “Why should I and my sister get to be born instead of his grandchildren?”  And then gets him to run with the family, while she confronts Prem’s brother and his cohort?  And then is wiped from the timeline in mid-speech?

    Not that I want to get rid of Mandip Gill or Yaz, because I don’t, but wouldn’t that have been one of the most memorable companion exits ever?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @kevinwho Interesting reflection. My uncle spent his life “walking in a dead man’s shoes” as the result of an accident in WWII. He would watch his children play and think, “these should be my mate’s children”. That feeling of being undeserving caused a breakdown and lifetime nightmares.

    SJA did a story where Sarah Jane dies instead of a friend in youth and her place it taken by that friend as an adult. Only one of the companions recalls Sarah Jane. It was one of the better SJA episodes as I recall.





    @kevinwho @janetteb

    As a theme survivor’s guilt has been kind of mined out in Who.

    Anonymous @


    It was one of the better SJA episodes as I recall.



    Oh well, maybe my next idea will be better. 🙂

    Turn The Clock @turntheclock

    @pedant Trolling Score thanks for the technical update and the troll. To correct this is just religious bs hatred.

    John William Smith @tardisprototype94

    Where can I complain about new season screen play. I didn’t like it and it’s worse than old doctor who episodes. Can someone fire Jamie Childs and Vinay Patel?

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @tardisprototype94 This is a parody, right?

    John William Smith @tardisprototype94

    No Miss Cath. I didn’t like the new season. It’s very different from doctor who stories. Social Messages are everywhere

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Social Messages are everywhere

    I believe tin foil is very efficacious.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Social Messages are everywhere

    Lawks. As they have been ever since the show started.

    syzygy @thane16


    Yes Lawks! “social messages”

    oooh, oh no! The Social Messages! We will never survive. As monsters of humanity we must band together and stop all social messages. We may become cleverer if we listen to them, less monsters, more human, we may even be kinder…This must stop. We must continue to be marauders against truth, purveyors of false news, we must be unkind, volatile, angry, resistant to change.

    Ah, The social message…’s got me……I’m dying……Ah, oh, no, gulp, whimper, I. Am. Dyingggggg.

    syzygy @thane16


    I like your handle.  You missed the word “back.”  It speaks of “social messages:” let’s get back to racism, poverty, homophobia, anti-intellectualism, anti-thought, anti-history, pro-gun, pro-shitty messages, pro-bad-television and on and on.

    You came here, made an account, just to complain, right?

    Who would WANT to turn back the clock? To right-wing, deterministic, middle aged, white dominance?

    Yeah, right on.

    Sorry mods, I feel we need to slap ’em down. Sometimes. But not always.

    Puro and T16.

    syzygy @thane16


    “it’s religious bullshit.”

    How the HELL is it religious? It’s POLITICAL. I am 16 and I know this. What are you, 10?


    winston @winston

    @thane16    You are very wise.  We should never go backwards.

    @turntheclock  Social messages in TV shows have been around since TV was invented. Even Gilligans Island had them. I for one can be entertained and learn something at the same time.In fact we all need the lessons on kindness and fairness . Hate and fear are out there and we can’t pretend it is not part of our lives. Doesn’t  it make you feel better to see that everyone can make a difference, no matter how small? Doctor Who gives me hope and that is not too bad for a TV show.


    I feel like this episode would fit better if it was a remembrance day special or something because its not very subtle in its messages about remembrance and yeah these messages are good but still they could be subtle.

    TGSOE @tgsoe

    Best historical of New Who, to me. And not much more to say, really. Instant classic.

    doctorwho220 @doctorwho220

    hey i’m new to this so vwhat was you talking about 4 days ago

    Robsie @robsiehallert

    I know it’s an old thread, but I need to say: another wonderful historical from the Chibnall team.
    These have been the strongest, most wonderful episodes by far!

    I normally like a few modern and futuristic-space episodes, but there is no question the Historicals for the last two seasons have captured my heart! Well done!

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Here I am, forever playing catch-up…   anyway, I’ll leave this here, someone may read it some time

    First impressions of Demons:

    What took the Doctor so long to realise they’d landed in northwest India bang on Partition? I mean, the entire audience had surely realised that long before. But maybe we’re all primed to expect that…
    And, even more, howcome the Doctor didn’t realise what was likely to happen when she let Yaz near her granny, considering what happened when s/he took Rose back to see her dad?
    Interesting that the aliens turned out to be benign and benevolent – I quite liked that, although they seem to have borrowed the idea from Testimony (Twice Upon a Time). “It’s not an evil plan. I don’t really know what to do when it isn’t an evil plan” – 12th Doctor, the Jodie doc seems to be encountering non-evil plans quite frequently these days.
    Certainly I thought the writing was a bit crisper than the last few eps, though I still miss Moff’s brilliance or even RTD’s.    The Jodie Doctor continues to be wordy, Moff’s Doctor would have said twice as much in half the words.

    And the actual evil ‘demons’ turned out to be, not aliens, but just people.
    So, they went to Grenada to film this one. South Africa, Spain, for 3 out of 5 eps – wish they’d had a budget like this in the Moffat years.

    But overall, I quite enjoyed this one.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I never miss a new post on the forum. (And I check far too often.) I really enjoy this story too. It is one of the few that I re watch from this series. The story reminded me of a book we studied in “Post Colonial Lit”. which lacked the demons. I did like that the aliens were not evil. Disappointed however to learn that it was not filmed in location but guess there are reasons for that.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb

    Yes, the demons not being evil was a pleasant surprise, particularly since they looked so ferocious.   It was actually quite a clever twist, since they always appeared in the vicinity of someone who had died a violent death, which naturally would make them the prime suspects.

    Reasons for filming in Spain – probably budgetary, as always.   It was shot just 40 miles from ‘A Town Called Mercy’, which of course was also the scene of many famous spaghetti westerns, so I guess much of the necessary location equipment would be available for hire locally.  (I know India has ‘Bollywood’ in Bombay (Mumbai), but the Punjab is 800 miles from there).

    Also, they’d save quite a bit on air fares and flight times.

    It’s surprising how much gear a ‘location’ shoot involves.   Just getting it all on site at the right time must be like planning a major military operation.    A friend and I were wandering through Woodhill Forest (west of Auckland) one day, hunting old ‘Xena’ locations, and we came on a lonely big white truck with no names on it at all, just parked and deserted.   When I touched it I could feel an engine running, but we could hear no sound at all – it was that well silenced.   Very impressive.   There was a thick cable running into the trees which we followed for 300 yards and came upon a film crew who were, as always, polite and friendly but uncommunicative (they always have a few spare minders to stop stray members of the public from walking into shot).   Must have been at least 50 people there.   We worked out later it was ‘Legend of the Seeker’ from Renaissance Pictures.

    I’ve only come across one other location shoot, at The Gap at the south end of Piha beach (my favourite beach).   They too were very polite and offered me coffee and cakes from the lunch tent – I still don’t know what production it was but a lot of stuff has been filmed there and even more at Bethells just to the north.    Which reminds me, it’s spring here in upside-down-land and as soon as my flu-which-is-almost-certainly-not-covid clears up, it’s ‘beach time’ again  🙂

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Demons of the Punjab

    I see I wrote a bit about this on my first time around, so I’ll cut the bits where I repeated myself.

    Scenery is great. Sound design is excellent, background music is haunting and quite lovely.

    Yaz trying to explain their presence to her ?grandmother? is a bit awkward. And then she defies the Doctor’s instructions of ‘just an hour’ (shades of Father’s Day?)

    The Doctor continues to recite technobabble (yes I know previous Doctors did, but their writers used to try and keep it in check. This series it flows unabated).

    The demon warriors and their ship are quite well done. But trust the Doctor (this one) to antagonise them and nick their container of souls. Yaz: “Still not interfering are we?” I like a bit of sarcasm.

    So it’s really a simple story of sectarian conflict in the days of Partition, with the Doctor and sci-fi sort of tacked on. It would work exactly the same way if the Doctor and companions and the demon witnesses weren’t even there. Not even Yaz. Did it feel as if the Tardis crew were ever in peril? No, not really. It’s very nicely filmed, well enough written that I kept watching, but not really sci-fi at all. And therein lies the problem. It just doesn’t grab me, this genre is not my cup of tea. And I like Yaz but am I invested in Yaz’s story the same way I was with Rose, Amy or Clara? No, because they were primary Companions and Yaz is only one of three so she hasn’t had time to really engage my interest. Maybe she will later on, I hear she plays a more prominent part in later seasons.

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