Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
And we’re on the fifth and penultimate episode of ‘Flux’, the six-part story that is essentially Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’. I’ve enjoyed this third season of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, and it’s fair to say that each episode has indeed been compelling non-stop so far.
The fifth episode called ‘Survivors of the Flux’ by Chris Chibnall especially has many twists and turns throughout and there’s certainly a lot to take in, matching to what ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ was like. I imagine a lot of people will be re-watching the first five episodes before checking out the sixth.
From Tuesday, I’m hoping to make a start on revisiting the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ in the build-up to the final instalment called ‘The Vanquishers’. I’ve been satisfied with each instalment of the six-part story so far, but I would like to check up on every detail to make sure I haven’t missed anything so far.
In ‘Survivors of the Flux’, we follow up on what happened to the Thirteenth Doctor when she was turned into a Weeping Angel in ‘Village of the Angels’. Thankfully, she wasn’t turned into a Weeping Angel permanently, since the Angels were merely transporting her to where the Division summoned her. 😐
Or is it simply called ‘Division’? I don’t know. Anyway, the Division happens to be this group who do a lot of interventions across the universe on behalf of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. Similar to the Celestial Intervention Agency, I believe. Perhaps the CIA of Gallifrey we know was a cover for Division.
The Doctor ends up on a spaceship set in the void between universes. This episode reintroduces the concept of multiverses in ‘Doctor Who’. Hey, at least it might explain why certain continuities in ‘Doctor Who’ don’t match, especially in stories like ‘At Childhood’s End’ and ‘Farewell, Sarah Jane’. 🙂
Maybe one of those universes has the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy having adventures as a trio. Aboard the spaceship is an Ood, played by Simon Carew and voiced by Silas Carson. It was nice to see an Ood again in ‘Doctor Who’. Apparently, Ood can be working operatives of the Division as well.
The Doctor also meets up with Barbara Flynn as Awsok, who we met in ‘Once, Upon Time’. Although, it turns out ‘Awsok’ is not her real name. It turns out that Awsok happens to be…brace yourself…big shock here! She happens to be…Tecteun, the person who picked up the Timeless Child!
And the Timeless Child was of course the Doctor. It was fascinating and exciting to finally meet Tecteun, although she’s more villainous than I expected and she must have regenerated a number of times before she became Barbara Flynn. I enjoyed the scenes Jodie’s Doctor has with Barbara Flynn.
It turns out that the Doctor left the Division – for what reason is unclear – before she lost her memories and ended up travelling the universe in time and space, as we’ve known the Doctor to be doing in the TV series. Tecteun was not happy about that and has been trying to get the Doctor back.
She also blames the Doctor for what’s happening with the Flux destroying the current universe since she defected. Even though it was Tecteun who probably initiated the Flux in the first place! The Doctor was apparently robbed of a life she could have had, as Tecteun took her as the Timeless Child.
I enjoyed how hints of the Doctor’s past are revealed in the episode, especially up to the point where she spots a fob watch (similar to the ones in ‘Human Nature’/’The Family of Blood’, ‘Utopia’ and ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’) where the Doctor’s long forgotten memories are being locked inside. 😮
I’m currently anxious about whether the Doctor will receive her forgotten memories or not, especially when Tecteun was threatening her aboard her spaceship and when the Ravagers – Sam Spruell as Swarm and Rochenda Sandall as Azure – came aboard. This is all becoming pretty intense.
The episode does feature a lot of jumping back and forth to places on Earth as well as time zones. Sometimes we’re in various parts of 1904 with Yaz, Dan and Jericho; we’re in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s as well as 2017 with U.N.I.T., and we’re in the present day where Earth is protected by the Lupari. 😀
As I’ve implied, this episode needs to be seen more than once in order to get around the complexities of jumping back and forth in time on Earth. But it isn’t overly complicated as I’ve often found with Steven Moffat’s writing, as Chris Chibnall is able to keep my interest throughout this tale.
Meanwhile, with Mandip Gill as Yaz, John Bishop as Dan and Kevin McNally as Jericho, they’re travelling the world in 1904, three years after the events of ‘Village of the Angels’ in order to discover when the end of the world will come. If only Indiana Jones was around to help the trio out. 😀
Yaz, Dan and Jericho go to places like Mexico, Constantinople and Nepal before they end up in Liverpool. Along the way, there are people who are trying to thwart their efforts. How these people know about Yaz, Dan and Jericho and what they’re trying to do is not made clear during the episode.
In their endeavours, Yaz, Dan and Jericho meet up with Steve Oram as Joseph Williamson, who has been popping in and out of episodes of this six-part story. It turns out that Williamson has discovered several doorways leading to various other places in the tunnels he’s dug under Liverpool.
Perhaps those tunnels lead into other universes whilst the Doctor is aboard the spaceship in a void between universes. It was nice to see Kevin McNally back in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode as Professor Jericho. I assume Yaz, Dan and Jericho left little Peggy in Medderton before they travelled the world.
Jericho works well as a third participant with Yaz and Dan. It was intriguing to see how he coped with the baffling aspects of the 1900s, considering he comes from 1967. He isn’t annoying or a hindrance to Yaz and Dan, as they’re trying to find out more information on how the world will come to an end.
Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. It was interesting to see Yaz playback a holographic message given to her by the Doctor before they parted company. It’s clear that Yaz misses the Doctor whilst they’re in 1904. Maybe this is a hint of Yaz having feelings for the Doctor. 😐
John Bishop is also very good as Dan in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. Dan wonders whether he and Yaz will get out of 1904 and reunite with the Doctor. I’m not sure, considering the Weeping Angels feed on the time and life-force energy of their victims. But you never know. There may be a way out of it.
Anyway, let’s talk about the U.N.I.T. scenes featured in this episode. It seems that Craig Parkinson as the Grand Serpent, who was introduced in ‘Once, Upon Time’, has been forming U.N.I.T. over the years and has gone under the alias of Prentis. This was a disturbing revelation to uncover in the tale.
The episode also features Robert Barthurst as General Farquhar, who works in U.N.I.T. Hey! Robert Bathurst gets a promotion from being a sergeant! Yes, for those of you who don’t know, Robert Bathurst played Sergeant Wilson in the ‘Dad’s Army’ lost episodes 2019 remake, which I’ve enjoyed.
I’m disappointed Robert Bathurst didn’t get to meet up with Kevin McNally in the episode, since Kevin McNally played Captain Mainwaring in the ‘Dad’s Army’ lost episodes 2019 remake. This is especially when Robert Bathurst’s character gets killed off too soon in the episode. It’s a big shock. 😮
On a side note, it serves him right for jilting Lady Edith at the altar in Series 3 of ‘Downton Abbey’! 😀 I’m not exactly sure what the Grand Serpent’s motives are in wanting to control U.N.I.T. and why he seems to be so evil with killing people off. Perhaps it’ll be explained in the last episode of ‘Flux’. 🙂
This episode also features the welcome return of Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, the Brigadier’s daughter in ‘Doctor Who’. It was nice to see Kate Stewart back, especially after a long absence and especially when U.N.I.T. haven’t been seen very much in ‘Doctor Who’ due to going into retirement.
Although, this episode does provide an explanation for how and why U.N.I.T. seemed to have disappeared since ‘Resolution’. In 2017, Kate has a meeting with the Grand Serpent/Prentis and reveals to him that she knows about his activities and those that he’s killed in U.N.I.T. over the years.
It does put Kate’s life at risk, as she avoids being blown up inside her house, caused by a bomb planted inside, presumably by ‘Prentis’. Kate goes into hiding. I’m pleased Kate wasn’t killed off like previous U.N.I.T. characters were killed over the years. Hopefully we’ll see her in the next episode. 🙂
The episode also features…Nicholas Courtney as Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart? Or rather a voice-over cameo of him. I assume that was taken from a recording of a previous ‘Doctor Who’ episode or something. His name is credited in the end credits of the episode. I double-checked on BBC iPlayer!
There’s also Craige Els as Karvanista, the Lupari who’s been looking after the planet Earth in 2021 since the Doctor’s absence. He soon captures the Lupari ship that Thaddea Graham has been piloting since we saw her in ‘Once, Upon Time’. There’s soon a fight between Karvanista and Bel in the story.
Incidentally, Yaz, Dan and Jericho try to send a message to Karvanista in order for him to pick them up when they’re trapped on Earth in 1904. But Karvanista doesn’t have time-travel technology aboard his ship. I wonder if Karvanista is going to rescue them in the final episode of the ‘Flux’ story.
This episode also features the shocking return of the Sontarans, led by Jonathan Watson as Commander Stenck. Apparently, the Grand Serpent has been working with the Sontarans in their invasion plans for Earth. Why the Grand Serpent would work for the Sontarans, I’m not entirely sure.
Jacob Anderson also returns as Vinder in the episode. He’s on the search for his beloved Bel, but he soon ends up getting zapped by Swarm and Azure and is put inside a Passenger, I believe. By the way, a Passenger is a prison. There, Vinder meets up with Nadia Albina as Diana, Dan’s love interest.
The episode concludes with Swarm and Azure following the Doctor to the Division spaceship where they plan to exact their revenge upon the Division, since they imprisoned them. Tecteun gets disintegrated (Aw, I had hoped Barbara Flynn would have lasted longer) and the Doctor is up next. 😮
‘Survivors of the Flux’ has been another gripping episode in the ‘Flux’ story. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s geared me up to check out more of the story in the final instalment. I hope all plot threads will be concluded in a very satisfying manner and the Doctor will win the day and sort the Flux out. 🙂
There’s certainly a lot of hype for what’s to come next in the final episode, especially with the Sontarans about to invade as well as the Daleks and the Cybermen making an appearance. Will the Doctor have her memories back from what is her forgotten past? Will they be worth getting back? 😐
By the way, a ‘Doctor Who’ multiverse? Jim Carrey’s Master might appear in a future ‘Doctor Who’ episode! 😀
Timelord007: (screams; from a distance) “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Tim grins away, raising his hands.
(gaily; ignores Timelord007’s screams) “I knew he’d like that.” 😀
Next week’s episode is ‘Flux – Chapter Six: The Vanquishers’ by Chris Chibnall.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!
No way in any multiverse going feature that face pulling over the top hammy fool play the Master or any other character.
I bet in another universe Winter For The Adept is your favourite Fifth Doctor and Nyssa story Lol.
I’m calling this now Bel and Vinder are the Doctor’s biological parents, i rewatched this & had a Columbo moment, Bel defeated the Daleks & Cybermen a family trait passed down perhaps?
That pocket watch the Doctor will throw that to destroy the Flux, she’ll say i don’t need past memories of who i was, i am the Doctor & i save universes or something along those lines.
Enjoyed this series i prefer longer story arcs & this been brilliantly paced at 6 episodes, tense, dramatic & i hope a very emotional final episode, i wonder if the Doctor will fly solo for the last three adventures?
I rate this 8/10
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Oh I don’t know. Jim Carrey may well be playing the Joker in another universe instead of the Riddler. 😀 At least the ‘Winter For The Adept’ in that other universe will have Nyssa sounding more like Nyssa rather than Nyssa sounding like Tegan, which got on my nerves when I heard the story.
Hmm. Bel and Vinder as the Doctor’s parents. Well, it’s possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Chibnall went in that direction. I think other fans have come up with theory lately. I’ve no idea what’s going to happen when that fob watch opens for the Doctor to revisit her forgotten memories.
Very pleased you’re enjoying ‘Flux’ so far. I’m currently revisiting the first five episodes on BBC iPlayer to get an overall picture of the story before venturing into the final episode. I’ve enjoyed ‘Flux’ so far too. I’ve no idea what’s going to happen when it comes to the last three adventures with Jodie’s Doctor. Will she fly solo or have Yaz and Dan as her companions? I’ve no idea.
Many thanks for your comments.
Great review Tim.
‘Flux’/ Series 13 is shaping up to be even crazier than Series 11 and 12. It was interesting to have the Timeless Child theory return though I am still stressed about the fact that it divided fan opinion. It was shocking when Tectuan was killed by Swarm and Azure. This was my first time seeing the Ood on tv. They are in ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’ which I am currently reading. I’m not sure how to feel about a ‘Doctor Who’ multiverse even though there have been hints at it. Maybe there’s a universe where Nyssa is like Tegan in general, and vice-versa.
Yaz, Dan and Jericho shared great chemistry during their plot. The scene on top of the mountain in Nepal was funny. I found it interesting when they met Joseph Williamson and when the Sontarans arrived. It is a shame that Robert Bathurst didn’t have any scenes with Kevin McNally. Craig Parkinson was very menacing as Prentis/the Grand Serpent. I wonder if it bears any relation to the Mara.
It was nice to see Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart again. This is my second time seeing her, the first being ‘Day of the Doctor’. I thought I saw Nicholas Courtney’s name in the credits. I don’t remember hearing him from archive recordings. I am also glad Chris Chibnall didn’t kill Kate off. Mind you, Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch killed off her father in ‘Battlefield’.
I look forward to the ‘Vanquishers’ on Sunday. Tomorrow, I’ll comment on your review of ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’.
Take care, WF92.
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Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Survivors of the Flux’. I’m currently re-watching the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ on BBC iPlayer before we get to ‘The Vanquishers’ next Sunday. I’ve seen the first three episodes already.
I think it’s inevitable that not all fandom will appreciate or like the Timeless Child storyline going on in the Thirteenth Doctor era, but I don’t mind it so much and it provides an interesting new angle on who the Doctor is as a character. Many people reacted in a similar manner to the Time Lords of Gallifrey in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ when Robert Holmes made them less god-like as they’d been percieved to be in their previous appearances in the Second Doctor and Third Doctor eras. Hope you’re enjoying ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’. I’ve reviewed the book already on ‘Bradley’s Basement’. Honestly, I don’t mind a multiverse in ‘Doctor Who’. If there’s a chance for my Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy stories to exist in an alternative universe in ‘Doctor Who’, I’m strangely okay with that. 😀
Interesting theory you have that the Grand Serpent is related to the Mara. He could be. It would make sense considering the evil things he’s done lately. I’m wondering if Swarm is actually the Devil considering he wants to ‘reign in Hell’. I take it you haven’t seen ‘Battlefield’ yet, because the Brigadier wasn’t killed in the story. Ben Aaronovitch originally planned to have the Brigadier killed, but he didn’t kill him in the end as he couldn’t go through with it in the writing process. 😀
Looking forward to your thoughts on ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’.
Many thanks for your comments.
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Oh no! I’ve said they killed him off. I meant to say they nearly killed him off. I can’t believe I forgot the nearly! 😂 Glad I’ve cleared that up. Anyway, it was nice that Cartmel and Aaronovitch kept the Brigadier alive because he is in my opinion, the best supporting ‘Doctor Who’ character. I have seen ‘Battlefield’.
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That’s alright. No worries. Glad we got that cleared up. 😀
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