My one paragraph, instant reaction to this week’s DOCTOR WHO.
There’s been a lot of talk about the low level of threat currently, in DOCTOR WHO. Last week it was a gremlin in space, the week before there wasn’t even an alien menace, and the week before that was an inept racist time meddler. The aliens in ‘Demons of the Punjab’ are a lovely piece of misdirection. A striking design with screaming voices which smash home their supposed threat, before it all flipped and they turning out to be fairly lovely aliens (although I could have done without The Doctor desecrating all their ancestors before that happened). The real threat is of course man against man and the episode becomes all the more affecting because of that. It’s all Yaz this week and Mandip Gil plays what she has to do beautifully. Revealing so much hurt and confusion, but also determination, with just a glance of her eyes. Jodie Whittaker has made The Doctor her own, to the point where when she referred to herself as once being a man I was actually jarred out of the programme a little. And although Ryan and Graeme are as unconventional a double act as the show has ever seen, they’re also surely one of the best double acts the show has ever seen. Okay, the stakes aren’t high. But if the show can be this affecting, and the Tardis team this engaging, what does it matter?
(Five stars to Mrs Jameson – or am I giving points now? I can’t remember – who spotted that the final theme was a Punjabi remix of the DOCTOR WHO theme. I didn’t notice at all.)
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