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"Demons of Punjab" focuses on family and progress, solidifying the cohesive thematic stamp this season is making upon the greater series.
At times, the script seemed to be straining for contemporary relevance. At others, it strained and wheezed with exposition. However, there was also plenty to like.
We're still waiting for a truly great sci-fi episode this season, and "Kerblam!" most definitely isn't it. It's at best visually interesting, and at worst poorly written pseudo-intellectualism with very little to say.
In an episode that centers on Yaz and her family history, the time-travelling crew venture back to Partition-era India, providing us with an insight into Yaz's grandmother's background, with the perils of the era showcased.
The sci-fi elements if anything detract from what was an interesting and dramatic story of this rarely-touched-upon time in history...
If 'Demons of the Punjab' was released in week 2 or 3, I would have given it a stellar review. However, we are over halfway through this series now, and I can't help but feel we are constantly being confronted by the same issues and plot-threads.
This story is painful because it's familiar-we're seeing it play out every day, and everywhere.
A purposely uncomfortable episode throughout. There's a terrible dynamic between Prem and Manish, echoing the conflict of the nation. It's brother-against-brother in the most literal sense of the phrase.
Father's Day and Demons of the Punjab were excellent vehicles to get into the heart of the companion.
Thankfully we didn't have an apocalyptic paradox to deal with, but my goodness, we had a stunningly moving story of love and loss, set against the tumultuous landscape of India on the eve of Partition, in 1947.
I think we can safely say that period drama is this Doctor Who's strong suit?
Demons of the Punjab is a great episode on its own, but since we still barely know the companions The Doctor is traveling with, I think we need a few more stories where there are problems they can actively solve as a team.
I had hoped that "Demons Of The Punjab" would bring a more decisively different energy to the season. But while the episode's subject matter is new, its structure feels disappointingly familiar.