“These are demons I have to face alone.”
When the enemies you fear are the faces you’ve known all along, the world has become a worrisome place, to be certain. Deepening that concern is the reminder that this is not only what is, but what has been, and if lessons are not learned, what will be once again.
Asking Chris Chibnall to step away from the pen this week, we are given Vinay Patel’s fascinating depiction of the 1947 Partition of India, in “Demons of the Punjab”. In yet another successful real-world-history episode, our Team TARDIS grapple with the repercussions of paradox, the dangers of preconception and preconditioning, and the complicated, sometimes unfathomable complexity of family. We finally get our Yaz-and-Graham moment — to some degree — learn more than we may have ever been handed in Western educational systems about the personal impact of this infamous moment in world history, and realize that the sort of thematic approach to social issues and awareness in this season is not only intentional, but precisely what the substantially-sized viewing audience is looking for. Yet another reminder that if you feel that “topical relevance”, “social issue motivated” and “morality message” stories are something new to Doctor Who…you’ve been watching the wrong show for the past 55 years.
EXTRA: We take a moment to appreciate the overlapping contribution to fandoms everywhere by Stan Lee, on the announcement of his passing this week. You will be missed, but always with us, sir. Excelsior.