Jodie Whittaker is already set to cross paths with Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement in Doctor Who episode three, but the BBC has now revealed the sci-fi show will also delve into another important moment in history: the partition of India.
Called Demons Of The Punjab, the upcoming sixth instalment of series 11 sees the Tardis materialise in India during 1947, with companion Yaz hoping to discover more about her grandmother’s hidden history.
As a synopsis for the episode says, “What’s the point of having a mate with a time machine if you can’t nip back and see your gran when she was younger?”.
However, as the episode synopsis reads, “the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land”.
This being Doctor Who, that probably means that there will be literal demons/aliens terrorising the population – but the traumatic division of Indian and Pakistan following independence is also expected to be referenced in the sci-fi drama.
The episode – written by Murdered By My Father creator Vinay Patel – will guest star Shane Zaza (Happy Valley), Amita Suman (Ackley Bridge) and Hamza Jeetooa (Our Girl).
There we are then, this is finally announced. I've written episode 6 of this season of #DoctorWho. Demons Of The Punjab – Yaz goes in search of her grandmother during the Partition of India. Starring @shanezaza @hamzajeetooa and @amita_suman. Directed by @JamieRossChilds. https://t.co/YwZXLJmfKh
— Vinay Patel (@VinayPatel) October 15, 2018
The partition of India, occurring after the country gained independence from the British in 1947, divided three provinces – Assam, Bengal and Punjab – based on Hindu or Muslim majorities. The split displaced 14 million people and led to widespread violence.
The BBC has also released details about Doctor Who series 11 episode five, The Tsuranga Conundrum.
The synopsis reads:
“Risk to life: absolute.” Injured and stranded in the wilds of a far-flung galaxy, The Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan must band together with a group of strangers to survive against one of the universe’s most deadly – and unusual – creatures.”
The episode, written by showrunner Chris Chibnall, will feature guest stars Suzanne Packer (Casualty), Ben Bailey Smith (AKA Doc Brown), Brett Goldstein (Derek) and Lois Chimimba (Karen from Trust Me, a drama which also starred Jodie Whittaker).
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Radio Times has been given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the new Tardis, including interviews with the cast, designer Arwel Wyn Jones and all sorts of juicy secrets from the set.
You can pick up the new issue from Tuesday 16th October.