After coming off worse in an encounter with a sonic mine, the Doctor and her friends found themselves trapped on board an emergency medical craft with one of the universe’s deadliest creatures. But what did we learn about Yaz, Ryan and Graham during their latest adventure?
They’ve been on more unseen adventures
In the opening moments of The Tsuranga Conundrum we learn that, when the Doctor’s not dragging her new friends around junk planets, she’s taking them on far more palatable adventures, including rainbathing in the upward tropics of Kinstarno.
This episode pieces together some more about Ryan’s difficult family past. Opening up to TARDIS pal Yaz, he reveals that he was only thirteen when his mum died from a ‘massive heart attack’ whilst doing the washing up, and that he was the one who found her.
He also talks a bit more about his dad, who we already know was a no-show at Grace’s funeral in The Woman Who Fell To Earth. Ryan last saw him a year before, but at the time got angry at him for his continuing absence from his son’s life. Generously, Ryan shows his dad some understanding, acknowledging that his dad loved his mum too, and must have struggled with the resemblance between mother and son.
Physics, physics, physics
Yaz clearly was paying attention in school. With her knowledge of Rosa Parks – learnt from her days in primary – coming in handy during a previous adventure, this time its her former physics lessons she calls upon.
When the Doctor shows her the ship’s antimatter drive she’s familiar with the concept, even if she ‘never quite understood it’. She can relate its workings to what she learnt about CERN at school though, and she’s right – the European research facility hosts several particle accelerators, including the famous Large Hadron Collider.
Yaz is a fan of the beautiful game – particularly the women’s game! After stunning the Pting she attempts to kick it as far away from her, Ronan and the antimatter drive as possible, drawing on the skills of England and Man United goalie Siobhan Chamberlain for inspiration – a reference the Lioness herself was delighted by:
Amazing to get a shout out on @bbcdoctorwho tonight! Great to see mainstream programmes referencing women’s football! ??
Me taking goal kicks for England…now that is some time travel! ??? pic.twitter.com/JPwIJY79jb
— Siobhan ⚽️?? (@Sio_Chamberlain) November 4, 2018
Graham’s a Call The Midwife fan
When pregnant Yoss needs male doulas during his labour, it’s Ryan and Graham who boldly step up to the task. Of course, it helps that Graham has seen every episode of Call The Midwife – even if he does look away during the all-important ‘squeamish bits’!
There’s no looking away for real, though, and their first time as birthing partners sees Ryan and Graham work together well to deliver Yoss’ baby. It’s still not quite enough to earn Graham a fistbump from Ryan, but it does look as though the latter may be thawing…
Graham knows his avocados
Yoss honours Ryan and Graham for their help during his child’s birth by naming them after the ‘ancient Earth hero’, Avocado Pear. Historical inaccuracies aside, the naming leads to a debate between Ryan and Graham over what an avocado actually is, with Graham correctly identifying it as a fruit. (It’s specifically a large single-seeded berry, fact fans, but he’s close enough.)
Doctor Who continues this Sunday 11th November on BBC One and BBC America with Demons of the Punjab.
“What’s the point of having a mate with a time machine, if you can’t nip back and see your gran when she was younger?” India, 1947. The Doctor and her friends arrive in the Punjab, as the country is being torn apart. While Yaz attempts to discover her grandmother’s hidden history, the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land. Who are they and what do they want?
Guest starring Shane Zaza, Amita Suman and Hamza Jeetooa. Written by Vinay Patel. Directed by Jamie Childs.