Ahead of the upcoming series, which will debut on 1st January 2020 with the two-part opener, Spyfall, the Doctor Who cast – Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole – reflected on the previous run of adventures for the gang.
Mandip revealed which episode was her favourite and which she was most proud of. The answer to both was Demons of the Punjab.
Gill put it down to the fact that it was subject that was close to home for her so it was great to see it tackled on the programme:
“To put something like that on mainstream television, in a sci-fi genre, is quite a big deal. Because obviously my family watch it. We haven’t seen anything like that.”
She went on to say:
“We read about it. We know about our history. But we didn’t see about that. And just to see the effects of that episode, like Rosa Parks, and the effect it had on other people who didn’t know about certain things like that – I saw the reaction because of Twitter. And it just felt like, ‘Oh, I was part of that. I was part of a really iconic episode that also looked beautiful’.”
I think, like many fans, the historical episodes of this season were, on the whole, much stronger than the more science-fiction-based adventures. Demons of the Punjab particularly stood out for me as it really hearkened back to the original ’60s intention for stories set in the past. The crew are caught up in a historical incident and have to get back to the TARDIS in one piece. I know that other stories like Rosa and The Witchfinders did much of the same thing; however, for me, Demons of the Punjab really hit the mark in terms of Doctor Who historical stories.
And there was a lot of praise for the whole of Series 11 to go around from the rest of the cast. Tosin said:
“Just being part of the show, man, and being able to be a part of something of such history and, you know, with a great team as well. And doing that, and being able to entertain people, and educate people, and to make people feel they’re a part of something. So, yeah, just being a part of the show.”
“To know that for some little kids out there, or big kids out there, that we’re potentially their first – and everybody’s got their first, and we could be theirs. I think if this was their way into this kind of amazing history and amazing box-set after box-set after box-set after box-set to catch-up on, then that’s really incredible as well.”
And we’ve got some more episodes set in the past coming up in the new series as well. The Doctor and the gang will meet Thomas Edison and Nickola Tesla. They’ll travel back to worn-torn Paris during World War II and meet Noor Inayat Khan. Then, of course, there will be plenty more adventures that haven’t yet been confirmed…