11.6. Demons Of The Punjab

Series 11 - 2018

Writer: Vinay Patel
Producer: Alex Mercer
Director: Jamie Childs
Music: Segun Akinola


The Doctor takes Yaz back to Sheffield for her grandmother Nani's birthday. Nani makes the claim that she was the first woman married in Pakistan. Nani gives Yaz a broken watch that had belonged to her grandfather, and tells Yaz the watch must never be fixed - but will not tell her why. Instead Yaz asks the Doctor to take her back to see her gran when she was younger - just for an hour. The TARDIS takes them to India, 1947.

As they are looking around the Doctor gets a vision, stumbles, and is nearly run over by an ox and cart. Yaz tells them they are looking for Umbreen and the driver, Prem, offers to give them a lift. When she sees the young Umbreen she immediately gives her a hug, without explaining who they are. Yaz claims she is a very distant relation. Yaz is taken aback when Umbreen asks if any more relatives are going to be coming for her to Prem on the following day. When Prem's younger brother, Manish, appears to meet the newcomers Yaz sees the watch, working, on Prem's arm.

When Umbreen, Prem, and Manish, head inside to hear an annoucement Yaz tells the Doctor that Prem is not her granddad. The hour is almost up, but Yaz wants to stay to get answers. Inside the farm the Doctor realises it's the 17th August 1947 when she hears the announcement about the partition of India, where India is cut into two countries - India and Pakistan. Despite this Umbreen wants to go ahead with her marriage.

Outside Yaz is with Manish who is planting flags on the new border between India and Pakistan - with the Pakistan being created for Muslims, whilst the Hindus have India. At the same time the Doctor has another vision of two beings inside a room. A short distance away they can all see "demons" - similar to the beings in the Doctor's vision. The Doctor scans them with her sonic screwdriver as they teleport away. The Doctor leads Graham, Yaz, Ryan, and Prem, into a forest following the signal. They find the two "demons" standing over the body of a Sadhu, Bakti. Bakti was supposed to be blessing Prem and Umbreen's wedding.

The Doctor notices that Prem was not scared of the "demons" - and Prem tells her he has seen them before durng the war in Singapore. The sonic screwdriver reveals Kordian waves, and the Doctor, Ryan, and Prem, follow the signal. They come across a transmat doorway partially buried, and when they get close are teleported inside a spherical room. After activating a control panel the Doctor realises they are in a Thijarian Hive. The Doctor has never encountered Thijarians, but has heard of them: the deadliest assassins. It seems that Bakti was their target.

When the Doctor takes a container of dust, dust that had been on Bakti, the Thijarians are alerted and appear inside the room. Using the sonic screwdriver the Doctor teleports herself, Ryan, and Prem, out of the ship and back into the forest. In the forest there are transmat locks, and Ryan and Prem are teleported to a different part of the forest. The Doctor runs from the Thijarians, taking any teleport locks she sees with her. 

Back at the farm Graham and Yaz tell Hasna and Manish about Bakti. Manish takes the cart to retrieve Bakti's body as Hasna prepares for the burial. Umbreen is not sure what to do, as not many people would marry a Hindu and a Muslim given the situation. Yaz asks is the wedding is going to be called off, but Umbreen says she will not give up that easily.

The Doctor, Prem, and Ryan, return to the farm, and the Doctor tells them to get into the barn, planting teleport locks around the farm. In the barn the Thijarians appear, but when the Doctor activates the locks the Thijarians disappear and are prevented from teleporting back in, giving time for Umbreen and Prem to get married. The Doctor is also able to start examining the dust that she took from the Thijarians. The Thijarians manage to break the locks and teleport the Doctor back to their ship.

The Thijarians tell the Doctor they are no longer assassins, but are witnesses. In the past as they hunted their world was destroyed. The dust the Doctor took is all that remains of their world. As the Thijarians died, unwitnessed, the new Thijarian mission is to bear witness to those who die alone. They sow the Doctor an image of Prem, who is destined to die soon. The Thijarians are not able to change the events, they only witness them.

The Doctor returns the barn, after being gone for hours, to tell Graham, Yaz, and Ryan, that the Thijarians told her everything, and that Prem dies today. Despite knowing the Doctor officiates the wedding between Prem and Umbreen, the first marriage in Pakistan. Prem hands Umbreen his watch, but it drops onto the ground and breaks.

Manish is not happy with the union. He threatens the Doctor with a gun, and the Doctor knows he killed Bakti to prevent the marriage. Manish has called for some armed men to ake back the farm. Prem stays with the farm to give everyone else time to escape. Hasna and Umbreen escape into the forest as the Doctor, Graham, Yaz, and Ryan, watch Prem confront the men. The Thijarians tell them they will watch over Prem, and as they walk away they hear a gunshot.

Regular Cast

  • Graham O'Brien: Bradley Walsh
  • Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
  • Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole

Guest Cast

  • Nani Umbreen: Leena Dhingra
  • Umbreen: Amita Suman
  • Prem: Shane Zaza
  • Manish: Hamza Jeetooa
  • Hasna: Shabeen Khan
  • Najia Kahn: Shobna Gulati
  • Hakim Kahn: Ravin J. Ganatra
  • Sonya Kahn: Bhavnisha Parmar
  • Voice of Kisar: Emma Fielding
  • Performance of Kisar: Nathalie Cuzner
  • Voice of Almak: Isobel Middleton
  • Performance of Almak: Barbara Fabben

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 6. Demons Of The Punjab Sunday, November 11, 2018 7:00 PM - 7:50 PM 7.23M 80

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The end credits scroll over an a capella version of the theme tune.