Fans Are Divided Over Doctor Who‘s New Historical Approach
So people just forgot Doctor Who was created to teach history to children?
Leave it up to Doctor Who fans to forget what the show was originally created for! This week’s episode, “Demons of the Punjab,” showed viewers a very real historical moment that many of us were not taught about in school. The Partition of India occurred when was an important time in Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh history when India and Pakistan separated from one another while under British rule.
When Yaz wants to go back and learn more about her grandmother as a young woman, the Doctor takes them back to August of 1947, when the Partition began to take place. Throughout the episode, Yaz learns that her grandmother was the first woman married in Pakistan, as she states in the beginning of the episode … just not to Yaz’s grandfather.
As the episode goes on, there is, of course, an alien that the Doctor has to try to fight against, but later learns that the Monks, the Vajarians, are no longer assassins but, since their people have died, come to places to be with people who die alone. First, it was Prem’s oldest brother on the battlefield. Then, the man who had agreed to marry Prem and Umbrine (Yaz’s grandmother) when Manish, Prem’s brother, kills him for being willing to do so.
The Doctor has to let his death happen, knowing she can’t interfere or it will affect Yaz’s entire timeline but the episode does an incredible job of showing what the divide did to families and, as the Doctor states, how millions of people were displaced from their homes or murdered during the Partition.
The episode, surprisingly, has been met with criticism. Many are excited about the way that Doctor Who dealt with explaining the Partition.
i can’t believe im saying this but the partition episode of doctor who is…..good?!!!!?!!!?!?
— civic discourse wallah (@krutika) November 12, 2018
However, one of the main criticisms is that the show is being “too historical,” which is honestly laughable. Out of the 6 episodes so far in season 11, 2 have been heavily history based. Sure, that may seem like a lot to people who don’t know the show, but Doctor Who was created to help teach history to children. So yeah, of course there are going to be episodes about history …
To answer this Twitter user simply: 1963. When the show was created.
When did Doctor Who stop being a sci fi show and become some sort of 20th century history doc?
— Michael (@BlueMerleBill) November 11, 2018
People complaining about Doctor Who doing “too much history” need to remember that 4 out of the first 8 stories were historical ones. The idea was ALWAYS that a historical story would alternate with a sci-fi one. We had sci-fi last week and next. #DoctorWho
— Jay 🌹 🏳️🌈 (@ScouseSocialism) November 11, 2018
Overall, it was an incredible look into history that we may not have known previously. The criticism is just from people who forget that Doctor Who was created to teach children about history and think it’s just meant for their sci-fi needs.
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