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Doctor Who's 'Demons Of The Punjab' Episode Taught An Invaluable Lesson About Love

Doctor Who's 'Demons Of The Punjab' Episode Taught An Invaluable Lesson About Love

Fans of Dr Who were left emotional and mesmerised by Sunday's instalment of the show, after it showcased what life was like for both Muslims and Hindus during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.

The episode, titled 'Demons Of The Punjab', appeared to begin with a more 'old school' approach, as two quick-moving and seemingly evil demons appeared in the distance.

However, it quickly became apparent that the narrative would be less about the aliens, and more about compassion, and the true power of love to cross boundaries.


The story began with Yas' grandma, who claimed she was the 'first woman to get married in Pakistan', but refused to divulge any further information to her granddaughter in a bid to keep a tragic secret.

Taking matters into her own hands, Yas begged the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) to take them back to the 1940s so she could find out the truth for herself.

After arriving in India, the Doctor's entourage were met by Hindu character Prem (Shane Zaza), who agreed to take them to meet Yas' Muslim grandma, Umbreen (Amita Suman).

However, Yas was left confused after Prem was introduced as Umbreen's fiancé, despite him not being the same man who would eventually become her grandfather.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Umbreem & Prem Grin On Their Wedding Day

Throughout the episode, a light was shone upon Prem and Umbreen's relationship, which was put to the test after the characters learned that India was being 'carved up' into two separate countries - a partition that quickly saw alliances form.

But despite the impending riots and risk of violence, the lovers decided to stand their ground so they could marry one another in the place they had grown up and fallen in love - a location which conveniently saw the border between India and newly-established Pakistan.


Officiating their marriage, the Doctor then gave a speech which captivated the essence of the episode - a moment which received widespread praise across social media.

She said: "I know there aren't many certainties in any of our lives, but Umbreen, Prem, what I see 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 kind of hope, and like hope, love abides.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Umbreem & Prem Defy Tradition To Be The First Couple Married In Pakistan


"In the face of everything. You both found love in 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 the entire universe."

The ceremony itself made an important point about how love transcends religion, as both characters chose to honour one another's Hindu and Muslim faiths.

Looking at her new husband while their hands were being tied together, Umbreen bravely and defiantly proclaimed: "Now it can be our thing, if we want it to be."

However, the emotional day was interrupted by a band of armed Hindu rebels - led by Prem's extremist brother, Manish (Hamza Jeetooa).

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After being forced to flee for their lives, Umbreen and her mother left Prem to face up to the rebels alone.

Fighting for a united nation with the argument that love conquers all, the character was tragically killed - a moment which saw thousands of viewers in tears.

The lesson in the power of love didn't stop with the main cast, as producers decided to break from tradition and use the aliens as a force for good.

Instead of being the usual evil specimens we've come to expect from aliens in the Doctor Who universe, the 'demons' turned out to be creatures of compassion - not there to assassinate, but to honour those who die alone.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

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Clearly moved and impressed by the show's dedication to educating about key historical events and the enduring power of love, fans took to Twitter to exclaim their gratitude and express how impressed they were.

Mandip Gill, who plays Yasmin Khan in the show, also took to Twitter to express her gratitude for the overwhelming response.

She said: "A massive thank you to those who watched and those involved in last night's Doctor Who. It was an episode close to my heart and I am SO grateful I was able to be apart of it. Proud of Who for sensitively highlighting the partition. The score, sets, shots & costumes Were BEAUTIFUL."

This isn't the first time Doctor Who fans have been impressed by the show's exploration of key historical events.

Earlier this month, an episode based on the incredible Rosa Parks caused a frenzy on Twitter, with many viewers claiming it had given them 'goosebumps'.

Followers of the show were left in tears during the 'inspirational' episode, which highlighted the cultural segregation caused by racism in 1950s America.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

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At the end of the episode, the Doctor said Rosa "not only changed the world, she changed the universe," before her death in 2005 - a quote which resonated with many.

Writing on Twitter, one fan commented: "Getting actual goosebumps watching this episode of Doctor Who with my children. An amazing episode about an incredible lady, Rosa Parks,"

Another added: "Doctor Who was phenomenal. One of the most amazing things I've ever watched. I think it really did justice to Mrs Rosa Parks."

Doctor Who continues next Sunday on BBC1 at 6.30pm.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment News, BBC, TV News, TV Entertainment, Doctor Who

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Rachel Pugh

Rachel Pugh is Tyla's Social Editor. She previously worked as the Overnight TV & Showbiz editor for OK! Online. She started her journalism career in 2014, where she worked on the video desk for the Daily Star and Daily Express. Since then she has worked as a publisher, journalist, copywriter and social media manager on a variety of websites, with subject matters ranging from menswear to pop culture. Contact her – [email protected]