Spoilers might ask you to bring out your dead.
Welcome to India of 1940. The Partition of India is about to happen. India and Pakistan will be divided as well as Hindus and Muslims. It’s into this powder keg of a time period that the Doctor and his companions wade into to discover a love story lost in time between Yaz’s grandmother Umbreen and a man named Prem. Except, Prem is not Yaz’s grandfather. To top it off, demons are about – and it’s not the aliens.
Highs, lows and Vajarians:
- Once more, the show uses sci-fi to tell a human story in a sad period of history. Rather than go for the big picture, this time the show recognizes it works better focusing on a small farm and the love story between a Hindu and a Muslim.
- The threat first presented by the Vajarians seems very palpable, but it’s only misdirection. The Vajarians honour those who die alone with nobody to mourn them. For being a one shot, they look rather menacing. Specially with that disappearance act.
- You soon gather that something is about to happen to Prem, even before the Vajarians reveal it. But then the moral quandary rears its ugly head. If the Doctor stops it, Yaz might not be born. But the emotional toll of letting someone get murdered is terribly jarring.
- Prem’s young brother Mannish is setup as the one with the inner demons, in this case in the form of his intolerance of a Hindu and Muslim marriage right up to murdering a holy man. I can’t help but thinking that a show produced in Britain should not be selectively passing judgement of that time period in India. Something about glass houses and casting stones.
- The closest that we seem to come to acknowledging British guilt is when Graham mentions he’s from England and gets told to “keep that to yourself, mate.” Unfortunately, that is definitely a low.
- Although it’s nice to get a Yaz’s episode this one is definitely a heavy one for the show.
That will do for now.