This is us, forever. Our moment in time.
"Ordinary people who've lived here all their lives, whipped into a frenzy to be part of a mob. Nothing worse than when normal people lose their minds. We've lived together for decades, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, and now we're being told our differences are more important than what unites us. Like we learned nothing in the war. I don't know how we protect people, when hatred's coming from all sides."
"Well, all we can strive to be is good men. And you, Prem, are a good man."
Demons of the Punjab
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
I know there aren't many certainties in any of our lives, but Umbreen, Prem, what I see you in you is the certainty you have in each other. Something I believe in my faith. Love, in all its forms, is the most powerful weapon we have, because love is a form of hope and, like hope, love abides in the face of everything. You both found love with each other. You believed in it, you fought for it, and you waited for it. And now, you're committing to it. Which makes you, right now, the two strongest people on this planet. Maybe in this universe.
I love this episode so much. It is absolutely everything that Doctor Who was conceived to be from day one. It is not quite a Pure Historical, as there is a bit of a red herring with the titular Demons who ultimately have no real bearing on the story except as witnesses. But that is the tiniest thing.
This is a beautifully written, filmed, and acted episode set at the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. This event caused a massive humanitarian refugee crisis as fourteen million people were displaced in a wave of widespread violence that led to hundreds of thousands, or possibly even up to two million, deaths. This is exactly the kind of story that proves why Doctor Who doesn't need aliens, robots, or genocidal pepperpots to present a compelling story. And for such a horrific historical event, it shows that the large-scale bloodshed can be left off-screen in the distance while the story focuses on the human drama. Here the entire essence of the Partition is boiled down to the love between a Muslim and a Hindu, and the rift between two brothers as their country breaks in two. As with Rosa, the TARDIS Team exists in the story to be witnesses to history, and that is plenty.
More of this, please. Seriously. I mean, sure, I love a good romp with an alien doomsday weapon as much as the next guy, but it is this kind of story that truly shows the unlimited potential of Doctor Who and why it is still on the air fifty five years later.
Companion(s): Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan
Episode(s): Demons of the Punjab
Steps Walked: 7,442 today, 4,436,371 total
Distance Walked: 3.86 miles today, 2,323.86 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 100 today, 11,000 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 5,465 total
Weight: 264.24 lbs (five day moving average), net change -43.06 lbs