Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Passage to India

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Will Yaz be able to uncover her family's secrets in 1940s Punjab?

Doctor Who

Sunday, BBC1 HD, 7pm


The Doctor flew into a turbulent time for world history when she and the gang met Rosa Parks during the American civil-rights struggles of the 1950s in a previous adventure.

Now the TARDIS goes back a further decade for more political turmoil when it arrives in the Punjab, India, in1947. It's a time when independence from Britain has been achieved but the country is riven with violence as it undergoes Partition, with forced resettlements creating both India and Pakistan.

NANNI STATE

For one of the Doctor's time-travelling pals, the region's history is of huge interest —and has major consequences.

The Doctor's feisty companion Yaz, played by former Hollyoaks star Mandip Gill, wanted to take the TARDIS to this particular time as she's determined to seek out her grandmother — aka 'Marini' — who was living in the Punjab and who had a few secrets when she was young.


Inevitably, as the gang goes back in history, things become cosmically complicated. As Yaz is discovering her family roots, the Doctor finds out that demons are haunting the land, too. Who are they and what do they want?

TROUBLED TIMES

'We didn't want to sugar-coat the violence and sheer terror of the era, but at the same time we wanted to make it possible for parents to watch the episode with their children', executive producer Chris Chibnall says.

'Those times were dangerous and scary to live through, but you don't need graphic violence to convey that. Arguably the greatest tragedy of Partition was the fracturing of families and communities. The wounds still linger today:

For Gill, this glimpse into India's past is important for showing cultural diversity on television today — especially as she didn't feel she was represented in popular culture when she was younger.

'You couldn't get a brown doll in the shops and you didn't see many brown people on TV,' she explains. 'But now there are millions watching me and relating to my character.


Caption: Mandip Gill as Yaz and Amita Suman as Nanni

Caption: Yaz with the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2018-11-10). Passage to India. TV & Satellite Week .
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Passage to India." TV & Satellite Week [add city] 2018-11-10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Passage to India." TV & Satellite Week, edition, sec., 2018-11-10
  • Turabian: "Passage to India." TV & Satellite Week, 2018-11-10, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Passage to India | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Passage_to_India | work=TV & Satellite Week | pages= | date=2018-11-10 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 July 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Passage to India | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Passage_to_India | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 July 2020}}</ref>