Yesterday’s episode of Doctor Who season 11, titled “Demons of the Punjab,” was another heavyweight emotional trip into the past as the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends visited the turbulent, tragic period of the Partition of India in 1947. Though this was fresh ground for the sci-fi show, some fans who are long-in-the-tooth found that it had a lot of similarities with an episode from back in 2005 titled “Father’s Day,” starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.
The two episodes certainly start much the same. In “Father’s Day,” Rose Tyler talks the Ninth Doctor into taking her back to the 1980s so that she can meet her father just before he died when she was a baby. Likewise, in “Demons,” Yaz (Mandip Gill) twists Jodie Whittaker’s arm into letting her visit her grandmother when she was a young woman, as she’s always wanted to know what her past was like.
Turns out this was enough for some Whovians to get a sense of deja vu, as seen below:
— Amanda (@Amx_nda) November 11, 2018
Very interesting… bit like Father's Day. #DoctorWho
— Gavin Perkins (@Valamist) November 11, 2018
you would've thought the Doctor would refuse to go back to a companion's personal timeline after Father's Day and Rose. #DoctorWho
— ten (@TenOncominStorm) November 11, 2018
The similarities don’t stop there, though. Both episodes end on a tragedy as well, as the Doctor and his/her companion realize they have to let a death play out as it has to happen (something described in other episodes as “a fixed point in time”). For “Father’s Day,” Rose learns the hard way that she can’t save her dad while Yaz discovers her Nani had a first husband – destined to die on their wedding day.
There’s a common shape to these episodes, then, but honestly, the meat of them is very different. “Father’s Day” is much more interested in playing with the rules of time travel – it introduces the concept of the Reapers, monsters that appear when time has been tampered with – whereas “Demons of the Punjab” is much more of a human, historical story.
What do you think, though? Was last night’s episode of Doctor Who too similar to “Father’s Day” for you? Let us know by dropping a comment down below.