Search for:
  • Home/
  • Gaming/
  • Doctor Who’s Best Historical Episodes: Aztecs, Greeks, Daleks & Demons

Doctor Who’s Best Historical Episodes: Aztecs, Greeks, Daleks & Demons

Doctor Who Father's Day episode, Rose and Pete Tyler

By 2005, Doctor Who had already looked back into the recent past, with 1988-broadcast stories set in the early-Sixties. In ‘Father’s Day’, we have a story set in 1987 with the fashion and music of the era present and correct.

This story is based around Ninth and Tenth Doctor companion Rose (Billie Piper), the day that her Dad died, and the legacy of that loss for her. When Rose goes back in time and saves her Dad’s life, it brings about a change to the timeline that attracts creatures called Reapers, who besiege the characters in a church.

This is a rare case of changing the timeline in Doctor Who for an event that doesn’t appear in history books. (Whenever someone mentions fixed points in time it’s always some significant event in Earth′s history rather than, say, some woman on Delphon losing her keys.) This story looks at someone’s personal history and really commits to its stakes, with the Doctor seemingly erased from time for a while before Pete Tyler – heavily based on Cornell’s own dad – sacrifices himself. This really commits to the new version of the show, exploring similar territory to Russell T. Davies novel ‘Damaged Goods’, and making the personal as dramatic and moving a subject as the epic.

9. Demons of the Punjab (Series 11, 2018)

Written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs.

Doctor Who Demons of the Punjab Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole

Demons of the Punjab′ is a highlight of the Chibnall era, and probably the closest the show will ever get to the Pure Historical format again. Set on the eve of the Partition of India in 1947, it’s about 13th Doctor companion Yaz’ search for answers about her grandmother’s past, and a mysterious alien threat. The story’s ostensible monsters though, turn out to be red-herrings, actually present to pay their respects to those who would otherwise die alone. It’s a story about family conflict brought about by Partition, a rapid division of the country roughly along lines of religion that escalated migration and violence to unprecedented levels. The province of Punjab was split between the newly formed Pakistan and India, and it′s where the worst violence took place.

Writer Vinay Patel′s story wisely has one family to represent the entirety in microcosm (as with ‘Father’s Day’, the personal is the focus). It doesn’t really tell us much about Yaz as a person, but echoes the McCoy era′s critiques of British Empire by reminding us that the Doctor is an echo of it, unable to interfere because saving a life here means Yaz will no longer exist. ′Demons of the Punjab′ moves the scope of historicals away from Britain and Europe, ably demonstrates the cost of Partition, and does what it does so well that it can′t be repeated any better.

Source link