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Doctor Who Thread of Space and Time: Discussing S11E06 Demons of the Punjab


#4895

I enjoyed that a lot.

It was more heavy handed than I like my tv, and I felt it sagged a little in 3rd quarter of the epsiode however this epsiode is going to have a wide reach round the country and beyond with kids everywhere and I know this because of the following, which elevates the epsiode significantly for me;

I had to pause this episode early to explain what was happening to my 4 year old son, while choking back tears and really struggling to do so.
This is not a conversation I expected to be having with any of my kids yet, not for a while.
My kids are colour blind when it comes to skin, and I don’t really want to point out any diffferences, something I feel strongly about and why I oppose and get very frustrated with a lot of movements that push difference and draw attention to it, rather than the message that you treat EVERYONE the same, which is the one that my kids are growing up with.

So it was a difficult conversation because I didn’t really want to have it. But I hope I put the message across in the right way and I think I did.

I’ve got quite a lot of black family and my kids have never mentioned anything about the colour of their skin, and having grown up in a small town in Scotland where there were very few black people, we grew up as kids wondering why everyone was being weird round my uncle and my cousins, not realising until later in life that it was because folk just were not used to seeing black folk in this part of the world. I’m not saying there was racism, because there was nothing malicious, but my uncle used to have streams of kids coming to the door because we told them he was Mr T’s cousin.

So I don’t want my kids calling their cousins ‘black’ or even mentioning it.

However tonight I sat with my wife, who NEVER watches Dr Who - and she watched the whole thing with tears in her eyes - with our kids, and had a chat with my 4 year old son where he referred to a policeman and a bus driver as ‘baddies’ and at the end of the epsiode my overwhelming feeling was, you know what, fair fucks to all the people involved in the making of this.

This took some balls.


#4896

I think there may be similar conversations happening with kids around the country tonight (we also had quite a lot of chat about issues around racism and civil rights history during and after the episode). The episode provided a good springboard for those conversations.

As I mentioned a few days back, it’s also particularly timely with Black History Month and related modules being taught in schools.


#4897

It was a little heavy handed, as expected, but I cannot tell a lie. It got to me. I was quite emotional at the end there. I won’t pretend that I’ve had it bad, but racism is something I’ve had to deal with in a number of ways over the years. I probably owe my kids a conversation about this episode, but suspect I should wait until I can talk about it without tearing up. Brave topic to handle so head on.


#4898

I really lost interest about halfway in, so was only half paying attention to the rest, but… racism is bad, yeah?


#4899

And that standing up to it is good, with a historical example.


#4900

I thought that was fantastic. For a kids show with adult appeal it hit all the right notes for this sort of story. I was welling up in the last parts (human endeavour always gets me) and the feeling I had was that this episode will be talked about all week by kids like Blink (albeit for different reasons). I’m with @ChrisS that it took alot of balls and to me it felt like everyone involved cared and gave their all in making it. I have no problem with the messages being heavy handed throughout, it’s a subject that is massively prevalent today - just look at Colin Kapernik - and it’s a perfect vehicle to get the points it made across. Absolutely fantastic.


#4901

I’ll probably give it another go in a few days, when I’m in a more receptive mood (I watched it straight after the US GP and I think I was still buzzing from that). But one of the best things about science fiction is its capacity for allegory, telling stories that are exciting and interesting on a surface level with a subtext of relevelance to real world issues. Chris Chibnall isn’t capable of subtext, so we get this, which is just text, with all the worst hagiographical elements of the show’s celebrity historicals thrown in too.


#4902

I’m actually really glad this wasn’t subtext and they took the issue head on, I felt it added to it with having the subtext in the villain more of a mirror to would you travel back in time to kill Hitler to avoid the holocaust. If the story of Rosa Parks itself was just the backdrop with some sort of alien invasion it would have been crass and a wasted opportunity. In a show where you can inform and educate children through entertainment, I think clear and concise is the way to go on a subject like this.


#4903

Let’s get the bad out of the way: That fucking heroic fanfare every time they met Parks in the story.

The excellent: They actually mentioned that Parks was an activist! Even if they didn’t talk about how her refusal to stand was a planned action, they at least referred to her not being the first person to do it.

The pretty good: Everything else. It was far better than I was expecting it to be with the description of “The Doctor stops a racist time traveller from disrupting Rosa Parks sitting on the bus”, it was respectful and did a great job of capturing the racism of the deep south in the 50s. We got a bit more characterisation for Yaz, Ryan got some great moments - I loved him refusing to fist bump Graham, and while it was telegraphed, him just zapping Krasko was amusing and a good way to tie off that story abruptly.

So yeah, I think that was my favourite of the three episodes so far.


#4904

Doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Krasko.


#4905

The finale will be him and Tim Shaw teaming up.


#4906

Every episode so far has ended with someone getting teleported out at the end to tie up their story. I’d love to think there was some larger plan being set up, and everyone teleports back in together at the start of the finale for a Series-11-bad-guys-team-up, but I suspect it’s just slightly lazy writing. :slight_smile:


#4907

Pretty much.

And this.

But the episode could’ve been a train wreck and it’s not. Damning with faint praise I know, but praise none the less.

I think Chibnall knows what he wants the show to be, and that’s relevant. He wants a politically and socially aware show that carries a positive message and reaches the kids in the audience that are watching with the rest of their families.

While he’s doing that, I hope he brings in writers who have a bit more skill, to help him achieve his goal.


#4908

It seems that way, and I think he’s doing well so far - even if it’s a less dazzling, funny and energetic show than it was under Moffat.

I saw some of my extended family over the weekend, and found out that one of my nephews loved Ryan’s bike storyline in the first episode as he’s learning to ride and struggling with it - so he was happy and relieved to see someone older than him who can’t ride a bike. Again, it’s slightly heavy-handed and simple but it reaches kids and works for them.

I’m already starting to feel that even if Chibnall’s version of the show isn’t quite for me, it’s one that is succeeding by aiming for kids and throwing in stuff for adults when it can, when Moffat’s version often felt like it was the other way around.


#4909

I think that’s a fair so far, and if it continues that way then I’m ok with that too.

Next week though… spiders…


#4910

Yeah, my daughter did pull quite a face when she saw that trailer. And her mum.


#4911

Do you mean a literal musical fanfare? Because I really didn’t register that at all.

Which reminds me of a general point in praise of the new series: for the first time in years I’ve been able to watch episodes of Doctor Who without thinking “Turn the bloody music down!”

I don’t know whether that’s down to the new composer or different sound editing, but either way it’s a welcome improvement.


#4912

Yeah, this little duh de duuuuh with a MIDI horn every damn time. It put my mind of the worst moments in past episodes where they go to America, but it’s just shot in the same studios, with a bunch of British actors putting on bad accents and leaning way too heavily into the rah rah patriot image of the US. In an episode where they mostly avoided the shit accents and had a thougtful and accurate view of America, it stood out.

I’m in two minds about the music. It’s nicely atmosphereic and for the most part I like it, but every episode so far there’s been one or two moments where it veers into a more blatantly synth sound that isn’t as polished and it pulls me out.


#4913

For anyone wondering how Rosa might have played differently with the Twelfth Doctor instead of the Thirteenth:


#4914