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The Flux with the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz and Dan
Here we are on Jodie Whittaker’s third and final season of ‘Doctor Who’! 🙂
And since seeing ‘Flux’ in 2021, I’ve had my Blu-ray cover of the six-part season of new ‘Doctor Who’ signed by Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill when I saw them at the ‘London Comic Con Spring’ in February 2022. I’m really amazed and thrilled that I’ve had my Blu-ray cover of ‘Flux’ signed by them.
But yeah! Here we are again, everyone! 🙂 This is the latest ‘Doctor Who’ season of the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era from 2021. Jodie Whittaker is joined by Mandip Gill as Yaz and newcomer John Bishop as Dan. Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ is also this six-part adventure called ‘Flux’.
It’s interesting to look back at this season of ‘Doctor Who’, knowing it’d be Jodie Whittaker’s last in the series (which I was afraid would happen). At this point, there are two special episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor to look forward to. I hope the last one will be a good swansong.
And whilst many of you have your own opinions about Jodie Whittaker’s performances as the Thirteenth Doctor and Chris Chibnall’s efforts as the showrunner of her era in ‘Doctor Who’, I must stress that I also have my own opinions about the two, as I was saddened to hear they were leaving.
In 2021, rumours circulated on whether Jodie Whittaker would leave the TV show or not. I held back from making any comments, as the rumours weren’t officially announced by the BBC and I wanted to be sure they were true. Sadly the BBC News article that I came across confirmed those rumours. 😦
I’ve made it clear in both in my blog posts and in my fully-detailed reviews that I rate Jodie Whittaker very highly as the Thirteenth Doctor. She’s one of my favourite Doctors alongside Peter Davison and David Tennant. Watching Jodie as the Doctor in the TV show has provided me endless bouts of joy. 🙂
Series 11 and Series 12 have reinvigorated my interest in the TV show. Jodie even cheered me up when I was feeling down during the Covid-19 pandemic in her ‘Message From The Doctor’ video. There’s no doubt I have had positive and happy memories watching Jodie’s Doctor in the TV series. 🙂
I greatly enjoyed Jodie’s Doctor in ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ on New Year’s Day back in January 2021. I was looking forward to Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop, which I was able to get tastes of in the trailers on ‘Doctor Who’s YouTube channel. Exciting!!!
I was intrigued about what this six-part story formed as Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ would be like and I was looking forward to seeing the three specials shown throughout 2022 – one to be shown on New Year’s Day, one to be shown over Easter time and Jodie’s last adventure to be shown in the autumn.
Whilst I was excited about Series 13 and the three upcoming specials of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker, I wish she stayed on to play the Thirteenth Doctor for the show’s 60th anniversary. She could’ve stayed on to end her tenure for the show’s 60th year, like Matt Smith did for the 50th year.
At this point, I hope Jodie will return for the show’s 60th anniversary. Maybe Russell T. Davies has some plans in mind for that with reuniting the latest new series Doctors like Jodie Whittaker, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. Not sure about the classic Doctors or Christopher Eccleston.
I was also saddened Chris Chibnall was leaving the TV show as its showrunner. I know people have criticised his writing, but for me, I felt Chris Chibnall was a breath of fresh air and a welcome relief compared to Steven Moffat’s writing. I know people won’t agree with me on that, but it’s how I feel.
It’s a pity Chris Chibnall didn’t get to outlive his true potential as a showrunner compared to Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat, who were in the job longer than him. Chris Chibnall is likely to end up being underrated as a showrunner. Very much like how 1970s producer Graham Williams ended up.
At this point, I don’t know what the future of ‘Doctor Who’ as a TV show will be like. Maybe the upcoming neo-RTD era will be good. Maybe the casting of the Fourteenth Doctor will be good. At present, I still saddened that Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall are leaving, as it’s too soon for me. 🙂
I might change my mind about the future of ‘Doctor Who’ and be excited by it. At present, I’m enjoying what Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Eve of the Daleks’ have offered to us. I hope Jodie will have a good swansong in the next two 2022 specials. I’m still getting used to her leaving the show. 😐
I’m pleased Jodie got to do three seasons of ‘Doctor Who’ as opposed to two. I would’ve hated it if Jodie received the same treatment as Colin Baker, since he wasn’t able to do more than two seasons in the 1980s. But enough about that! Let’s talk about what ‘Flux’ is like and whether it’s good or not.
As established, this is a six-part story making up for one season in new series ‘Doctor Who’. The six episodes are as follows. There’s ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’, ‘War of the Sontarans’, ‘Once, Upon Time’, ‘Village of the Angels’, ‘Survivors of the Flux’ and ‘The Vanquishers’. Let us venture into them!
‘CHAPTER ONE: THE HALLOWEEN APOCALYPSE’
Did the opening episode of ‘Flux’ hold up well after watching it on BBC iPlayer on Sunday the 31st of October 2021? Would the rest of Series 13 meet my expectations and be worth it by the conclusion?
I hoped it would, as I didn’t wish to be disappointed and underwhelmed by the end of ‘Flux’. Usually I felt satisfied from watching each season of Jodie Whittaker’s era, so I hoped it’d be the same here.
It also should be pointed out that Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ was the first to be made during the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021. ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ was lucky, as it was made in 2019.
From watching the first episode of ‘Flux’, you wouldn’t think the cast were filming during a pandemic. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan seem at their natural best and not social distancing with each other.
It’s a contrast when you watch the behind-the-scenes special features on YouTube, DVD and Blu-ray, as well as behind-the-scenes photos of the crew with facemasks on. It’s eerie to check out indeed. 🙂
And yes, this happens to be a first for new series ‘Doctor Who’ to do a complete story across one season, with it being a six-part story and there aren’t any standalone episodes to be featured in it. 🙂
The classic ‘Doctor Who’ TV series has done something like this before with ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ with Colin Baker’s Doctor. I didn’t think something like that would happen again in the new series. 🙂
And no, I’m not counting ‘The Key to Time’ season in that particular category. Each of the six stories of that season are connected by an interlinking theme and they don’t make up as a multi-part story.
Having Series 13 as a multi-part story called ‘Flux’ makes it feel quite epic compared to the first two seasons of Jodie’s era. Whether intentional or not, it does feel attention-grabbing upon reflection. 🙂
Does the first episode of the season called ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ reflect that epic scale? Well, there’s certainly a lot going on in it. There were plenty of characters to get introduced in the season.
And I did something that I wouldn’t normally do after watching a new series episode of ‘Doctor Who’. I watched ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ twice on BBC iPlayer! 😀 And that was on the Sunday! 🙂
Yes! I saw ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ twice on Sunday the 31st of October 2021! I had to recheck every detail that went on in the episode to get a clear idea of what was going on in the general ‘Flux’ story.
The first time I saw it, I was pretty mind-boggled (but in a good way). I’m glad I saw the first episode of ‘Flux’ a second time round. And I have seen it more times on BBC iPlayer and Blu-ray pretty lately.
So, what’s the story of ‘Flux’ about then? Well, it begins with the Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz dealing with an alien – a Lupar called Karvanista! Karvanista happens to be a former member of the Division.
The Division were the group responsible for wiping most of the Doctor’s memories of his/her early life as the Timeless Child from Series 12. It’s very intriguing how that gets readdressed in this season.
It’s nice to see Jodie Whittaker ass the Doctor and Mandip Gill as Yaz again. Apparently, the Doctor and Yaz have been travelling together for quite some time since parting company with Graham and Ryan.
Who knows how many travels the Doctor and Yaz have had?! I think we could have had a season of stories featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz together. Maybe Big Finish will provide us with that.
Jodie Whittaker continues to be excellent as the Thirteenth Doctor in the series. Again, I know people tend to criticise Chris Chibnall’s writing, who has written most of the ‘Flux’ story in Series 13.
But I wouldn’t say that was Jodie’s fault, since she does her best with delivering the lines she’s given. I also wouldn’t judge on the friendship and working relationship Jodie and Chris have in the series. 🙂
It was intriguing to see Jodie’s Doctor being secretive some of the time in the story’s first episode, especially as Yaz accompanies her on her TARDIS travels. This especially concerns her forgotten past.
I’m surprised Jodie’s Doctor hasn’t revealed much to Yaz on what she knows about the Division at this point. She was able to share hints of that revelation to Ryan during ‘Revolution of the Daleks’. 😐
I liked it when Jodie’s Doctor is on the case to solve the mystery of Dan being abducted by Karvanista as well as confronting Karvanista aboard his spaceship. She’s able to outwit traps set by Karvanista. 🙂
Jodie’s Doctor becomes horrified by what she sees, as the Flux makes its way to Earth and is destroying the universe as it spreads. She’s pretty baffled by the Flux and how unfamiliar she is with it.
Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz. At this point, I was curious on where Yaz and the Doctor stood in their relationship with each other, as Yaz seems more argumentative compared to Series 11 and 12.
This is especially when she blames the Doctor for what happened to them when they were dangling and about to face death in pools of acid. We weren’t shown what occurred in the events before that.
Yaz is also frustrated by the Doctor not telling her much about what’s going on when wanting to see Karvanista; with knowing more about the Division; and having the mental contacts had with Swarm.
I’m not sure if Yaz has entirely forgiven the Doctor for being absent for 10 months in ‘Revolution of the Daleks’. Again, a season that features the Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz needs to explore that angle.
Yaz does seem to have a larger role in the TARDIS compared to when Graham and Ryan were around. I suppose it helps there are fewer people in the TARDIS compared to being crowded and all.
It seems Yaz can co-pilot the TARDIS along with the Doctor, which is intriguing to see. Yaz also gets to rescue Dan from his electric cage whilst the Doctor is confronting Karvanista aboard his spaceship.
It was intriguing to see Yaz’s reaction to Dan when he joins the TARDIS crew for the rest of the season. There’s a little tension between them, since Yaz is from Sheffield and Dan is from Liverpool.
It was very funny to see the Doctor and Yaz use a mallet (like the Ninth and Tenth Doctors would in their TARDISes) to knock some sense into the TARDIS when she’s refusing to dematerialise at points.
Come on, Doctor and Yaz. To knock sense into the TARDIS, you have to bang your fist on the console like the Fifth Doctor would. I have made the point clear in one of my stories – ‘Dawn of the Dwaxi’. 🙂
And now it’s time to talk about John Bishop, who makes his debut as Dan Lewis in the TV series. This is the first time I’ve seen John Bishop in anything. I don’t know much about him as a comedian here.
However, I did enjoy his debut performance as Dan in ‘Doctor Who’. He comes across as quite likeable, friendly and funny. I knew I was going to have a good time watching him in the TV series. 😀
John Bishop also has a very distinct Liverpudlian accent compared to Jodie’s Yorkshire accent. 😀 Dan joins the TARDIS crew by accident. When we meet him, he works at this food bank and helps others.
He can’t help himself however, as he has very little food at home. Should have taken the soup, Dan! Come to think of it, how come he forgot that he didn’t have enough food in his fridge in his house?
It was fun to see Dan, especially in that YouTube teaser clip, where he was giving out sweets to children on Halloween night. It’s a nice way to be introduced to him before and in the episode itself.
Mind you, it was a bit mean of him not to give something to that homeless guy who was taking advantage. I suppose he should be lucky that Two-Face and the Riddler didn’t come and visit him. 😀
Chewbacca could have easily visited Dan’s house at Halloween night. Actually, I’m not far off. Craige Els as Karvanista, who comes and abducts Dan, does almost look like a wookiee from ‘Star Wars’. 😀
I know he’s meant to be a dog-like man, but I can’t help think of Chewie when seeing Karvanista. I wonder if that was the intention to create a ‘Star Wars’-esque character in a ‘Doctor Who’ TV story.
Or is it a Vulpine from the audio adventure ‘Zaltys’? Lupari and Vulpines could be of the same family/species in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe. I’m surprised that particular connection wasn’t made. 😐
And it seems that Karvanista has Jedi-like mind control powers. Or at least he gives off the impression that he has them, because they don’t seem to be working well when he’s using them on Dan. 🙂
Karvanista: “You will not resist. You will do exactly as I command.”
Dan: “I don’t think I will.”
Karvanista: “I said; you will not resist! You will do exactly as I command!”
Dan: “And I said, get back out through that door or I’m getting the bizzies.”
You know, you could’ve easily replaced this dialogue with this.
Qui-Gon: “I don’t have anything else, but credits will do fine.”
Watto: “No, they won’t.”
Qui-Gon: “Credits will do fine.”
Watto: “No, they won’t!”
Incidentally, Karvanista has a northern English accent. I suppose lots of Lupari have a ‘north’. See what I did there? 😀 I imagine Earth accents on alien worlds are very common in ‘Doctor Who’ today! 😀
The rest of the cast includes Nadia Albina as Diane, who happens to be a friend of Dan’s at a Liverpool museum and perhaps a potential love interest. It’s intriguing how she’s introduced here. 🙂
There’s also Sam Spruell as the mysterious Swarm, who seems to know the Doctor well when he makes mind contacts with her. At this stage, it’s unclear what grudge Swarm has against the Doctor.
Incidentally, there’s Matthew Needham who plays the ‘old’ Swarm in the season. There’s also Rochenda Sandall who plays Anna, who ends up becoming Azure, Swarm’s sister in the ‘Flux’ story. 😐
I’m not sure why Azure was Anna in human form for a while when she was with Gunnar Cauthery as Jón in the Arctic. Sadly the season doesn’t make that point very clear either, which I found annoying.
Jacob Anderson of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame makes his debut as Vinder, an observation officer aboard the Observation Output Rose. He sees the Flux approaching in space, as it’s erasing the entire galaxy.
I wasn’t sure what Vinder’s role was in Series 13 by this point, since he didn’t do much in the story’s first episode. I was looking forward to finding out more about him, as ‘Flux’ progressed in its next instalments.
There’s also Annabel Scholey as Claire, a woman who seems to know Yaz and the Doctor when they meet her in Liverpool where Dan lives. I was curious as to how Claire knew Yaz and the Doctor here.
I was on the edge of my seat once I saw Claire being pursued by a Weeping Angel before she gets zapped back in time. I wondered what her role in the rest of the ‘Flux’ story was going to be about. 🙂
I did find the Weeping Angel scene quite tense and scary. It does match to the efforts of ‘Blink’ compared to the Weeping Angels’ appearances during the Steven Moffat era of ‘Doctor Who’ on TV.
It was also good to see the Sontarans making an appearance in this episode as well as the rest of the ‘Flux’ story. These Sontarans happen to look like Linx from ‘The Time Warrior’, which was intriguing.
Dan Starkey still plays one of the Sontarans called Kragar in the episode. It was amazing to see him in classic series-styled Sontaran make-up as opposed to the new series-styled Sontaran make-up we’d been getting. 🙂
I was looking forward to how the Sontarans’ journey will progress in the next episode. 🙂 Jonathan Watson plays Ritskaw, a Sontaran who seems to be higher in rank compared to Dan Starkey’s Kragar.
At this point, something odd is going on concerning the TARDIS whenever the Doctor and Yaz are re-entering the ship. Apparently, the TARDIS door is repositioned in different parts of the console room.
Whether this is the other side of the console room or on the TARDIS floor. I’m not sure what’s going on regarding that and to be honest, I don’t think it gets properly explained by the season’s finale. 😐
The Flux happens to be a universe-breaking force that is bound for Earth, as it destroys and disintegrates planets and galaxies in its wake. It puts me in mind of the entropy wave in ‘Logopolis’. 🙂
I wasn’t sure where the Flux came from and how and why it could cause so much chaos and destruction in the universe. I was looking forward to finding out more about the Flux in the season. 🙂
The Doctor has Karvanista set up the Lupari fleet of ships to form a barricade around the planet Earth to protect it from the Flux approaching. The CGI effects for that sequence are very impressive.
But the Doctor is unable to get the TARDIS behind the barricade with her, Yaz and Dan aboard, as the Flux manages to catch up with them whilst in space. Things seem to be really tense by this stage.
In a last effort, the Doctor opens up the heart of the TARDIS in order to unleash time vortex energy upon the Flux. This is so they can steer it away from Earth, but even that doesn’t seem to work here.
It seems like the end of the universe is upon our heroes in ‘Doctor Who’. But how can this be? We’ve only like five episodes of the ‘Flux’ story left to be told! Is this really the end of the series already? 😀
‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ is a decent opening episode to the six-part ‘Flux’ story, which is Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’. This episode might require more than one viewing, since there is a lot to take in.
There are so many story strands occurring and quite a number of characters for us to get to know. But I’m glad that I saw the story when I did on BBC iPlayer and it’s very exciting to watch, even on multiple viewings.
At this point, I was curious as to whether the Doctor, Yaz and Dan would be able to escape the Flux. If they were to escape, would Dan fit in well as a travelling companion with the Doctor and Yaz here?
Would the Doctor, Yaz and Dan get to meet Claire? Would they meet Vinder? How were the Sontarans and the Weeping Angels involved? I looked forward to these questions being answered. 🙂
Incidentally, it was nice to hear Nitro-9 being mentioned and the TARDIS cloister being heard in ‘Flux’s first episode. Those bits of ‘Doctor Who’ continuity are nice to hear in an epic story as this. 😀
‘Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse’ rating – 7/10
‘CHAPTER TWO: WAR OF THE SONTARANS’
I saw the second episode of ‘Flux’ on Sunday the 7th of November 2021. I greatly enjoyed it and found it a better instalment than the first episode. I was able to follow what went on in the episode.
This was different compared to finding everything crammed in the first episode. There was more to discover in terms of what was happening in ‘Flux’ as a story, but I felt so settled into the story by then.
I was able to see the second episode of ‘Flux’ on TV via BBC One at 6:15pm compared to watching the first episode on BBC iPlayer. BBC iPlayer is great, but it’s good to watch things on initial channels.
I was hoping to watch the rest of ‘Flux’/Series 13 on the initial BBC TV transmissions for the last four episodes rather than BBC iPlayer. Thankfully, no other commitments got in the way of that objective.
Mind you, I had to re-watch ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ before checking out ‘War of the Sontarans’ on its initial Sunday evening slot to get a clearer idea of what was going on in the ‘Flux’ story so far. 🙂
This is a pattern that kept going throughout my viewing of Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’, as I rewatched ‘War of the Sontarans’ on BBC iPlayer the following week before checking out ‘Once, Upon Time’. 😀
‘War of the Sontarans’ depicts Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor coming up against the potato-headed Sontarans. We’ve had her coming up against Daleks, Cybermen and the Master so far in the series. 🙂
It does make sense for her to confront the Sontarans this time round. I’m pleased that she’s been able to do that, as I’ve wanted Jodie’s Doctor to meet the iconic ‘Doctor Who’ monsters in her era. 🙂
Chris Chibnall is the writer of this particular episode as well as the writer for most of the ‘Flux’ story. It’s so incredible how Chris Chibnall can come up with a six-part story forming as the entire Series 13.
I hoped everything would be consistent and smooth-running by the time we reached the conclusion of this pretty exciting and epic story so far. Chris Chibnall seemed to give a good impression for me. 🙂
In the second episode, we follow on from the events of the previous episode where the Doctor, Yaz and Dan have ended up. They’re in Sevastopol and the Crimean War is occurring sometime in 1855.
Not sure how the Doctor, Yaz and Dan managed to escape the Flux after the first episode ended. Then again, time has been messed around lately in the series and this is the Flux we’re talking about.
The Doctor, Yaz and Dan soon meet up with Sara Powell as Mary Seacole. And once again, I see another example of the TV show ignoring the fact that Big Finish have done a story like this before. 😦
They’ve ignored the fact the Doctor has met Mary Seacole before. It’s a similar case when the Doctor met Mary Shelley in ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, but met her previously in the Big Finish audios. 😦
And she was played by Mandi Symonds. I’m surprised the TV series didn’t check up on that when doing this episode. Or maybe they forgot they permitted Big Finish to do a Mary Seacole audio story.
And yes, I know this episode takes place in perhaps an alternative timeline. Over the years, I’ve grown used to inconsistencies featured in ‘Doctor Who’ in certain stories being made quite recently.
As well as ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, there’s ‘At Childhood’s End’ and ‘Farewell, Sarah Jane’. I’ve even done this approach myself when it came to writing my ‘Unbound’ story ‘Into the Death-Space’.
But it’s so surreal to watch the episode and see the Thirteenth Doctor meeting Mary Seacole, when a year ago, I previously heard an audio adventure about the Twelfth Doctor meeting Mary Seacole. 🙂
And no, this isn’t from a story made a decade or so ago like ‘The Company of Friends: Mary’s Story’ was. ‘The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles’ was released in 2020! And this episode was one year afterwards.
Mind you, I will give credit to the story in terms of defining Mary Seacole as an historical person. It matches to what I’ve heard of her as person in ‘The Charge of the Night Brigade’ audio by Big Finish.
And it’s nice to see how Jodie’s Doctor interacted with Mary Seacole and how they worked together in sorting out the Sontaran menace in the Crimean War. It’s an approach in the story I quite enjoyed.
It’s funny. On the night I was about to watch the episode, I made sure to see if Mary Seacole had been in another ‘Doctor Who’ story before, as her name sounded familiar. It’s just as well I checked.
And yes, it turns out the British are fighting the Sontarans in the Crimean War. This is wrong, as it should be the British fighting the Russians in the Crimean War. I should know that from studying history. 🙂
The Doctor realises that the influence of the Flux has shifted human history, especially with Russia being replaced by Sontar on a map. Wow! The Sontarans don’t waste their time by making their mark.
I found that funny when I saw the episode on TV. It becomes worrying for the Doctor though when her friends Yaz and Dan are phased out and transported through time, which was pretty unexpected.
The Doctor is also unable to enter her TARDIS to track down and find her friends, as she’s stuck with Mary Seacole in Sevastopol. The TARDIS literally has no door when the Doctor tries finding a way in.
Just to clarify for those new to my blog, Mary Seacole happens to be a Jamaican doctor who founded the British Hotel in Spring Hill during the Crimean War. It’s nice how she’s introduced in the TV show.
It’s also intriguing to see how Mary Seacole and her hotel were depicted in the TV series compared to how I heard them in ‘The Charge of the Night Brigade’. I’d need to hear the audio episode again. 🙂
The Sontarans are great to check out in this episode. I enjoyed them more in this episode compared to seeing them briefly in ‘Flux’s first episode. I knew though we would see more of them anyway. 😀
It was good to see the Sontarans in their ‘Time Warrior’ armour and going at full pelt, especially when they’re in an action scene fighting the British soldiers. Something missed in Sontarans lately. 🙂
It was also fun to hear the Sontarans in their Linx-like voices, matching to how the classic series Sontarans would sound. It’s a thing that Big Finish have done with Sontarans in classic series-era stories.
The Sontarans include Jonathan Watson as Skaak and Riskaw as well as Sontaran favourite Dan Starkey as Svild. It was also great to see a Sontaran officer riding on horseback in the Crimean War. 🙂
Mind you, the Sontarans can still be dim-witted, especially when knocked out for the count by someone on their probic vents. No seriously, that still does happen, even in the Jodie Whittaker era.
The Sontarans still chant “Sonta-Ha!” in their ‘Time Warrior’ stages. I thought they would’ve said, “Sontar, Sontar, we fight for Sontar, the glory of Sontar, the death of our enemies is why we live!” 🙂
They sort-of said it in ‘Heroes of Sontar’. Mind you, this could be after the lengthy war chant they used to have! I shortened it by the time we got to the Sontarans in my story ‘The Stockbridge Terror’.
Incidentally, the Sontar war chant in classic series-era stories has only been used in ‘Heroes of Sontar’ and my story ‘The Stockbridge Terror’. It has never been used in the classic TV series itself. 🙂
I’m surprised the “Sontar, Sontar, we fight for Sontar, the glory of Sontar…” war chant hasn’t been used more than once in Big Finish since ‘Heroes of Sontar’. It wasn’t used in ‘The First Sontarans’. 😐
There is another instance of the “Sonta-Ha” chant in the episode, except it’s said negatively in the form of “Sonta-Ho”. It’s when Skaak executes Svild for his dishonour to the name of their species. 😐
I still think Dan Starkey is great in that ‘Time Warrior’ make-up, especially when he’s held prisoner at Mary Seacole’s hotel. It’s a shame his commanding officer shot him, despite providing vital information.
It was great to see Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor up against the Sontarans and attempting to parley with them, especially in that close-up shot of hers from the Series 13 teaser trailer we saw in July 2021. 😀
I like how the Doctor’s history with the Sontarans gets touched upon in the episode through Jodie’s performance. I do like it when call-backs to the past are made with the Doctor’s current incarnation.
Jodie’s Doctor also shows how angry she can be when people like Gerald Kyd as Lt-General Logan (Not Logan from the ‘X-Men’ films 😀 ) interrupts her negotiations with the Sontarans in the episode. 😐
She’s also angry with him when he blows up the Sontarans when they’re about to leave Earth. Sometimes she wonders why she bothers with humanity, yet Mary Seacole is pleased that she does.
I liked the interaction between Jodie’s Doctor and Mary Seacole in the episode. Jodie’s Doctor is impressed by Mary Seacole’s attention to detail when taking notes about the Sontarans in the story.
This is especially concerning how long a Sontaran can sleep for and what’s going on in the Sontarans’ camouflaged base of operations in the Crimean War. I like how those moments are touched upon. 🙂
John Bishop is equally good as Dan in the episode. It’s interesting how he ended up back in Liverpool, only a few days ago after he went missing. Almost like he never left the place to start with.
Surprisingly, the Sontarans are already there when they’ve taken control of Liverpool and they’re attempting to gun down Dan once he runs away from them. The Sontarans need to learn manners. 😀
It was nice to see Dan’s parents in the episode, as they save him from the Sontarans. Dan’s parents are Sue Jenkins as Eileen and Paul Broughton as Neville. They’re pretty enjoyable, as Dan is in the tale.
I like it when we get to learn more about a new companion’s background, especially when Dan’s parents relay to him all that happened since he’s been away. Dan is surprised by all that’s happened. 🙂
I found it exciting when Dan ventured into a Sontaran spaceship in the 21st century at the same time the Doctor and Mary Seacole ventured into a Sontaran spaceship in the 1850s. Intriguing parallels! 🙂
It was funny when Dan and the Doctor saw each other on computer screens and they talked to each other simultaneously, unable to get a word in! I like the comedic moments in ‘Doctor Who’ at times.
Meanwhile with Mandip Gill as Yaz, who’s also very good, she gets transported to a religious temple on the planet Time. I wouldn’t say Yaz had a lot to do in this episode here, which is a bit of a shame.
But it’s interesting how she copes without the Doctor, down to having the initials WHAT WOULD THE DOCTOR DO? on her palm. This emphasises how much the Doctor means to Yaz at this stage. 😀
She even expresses confidence when she says that she can repair the temple’s mainframe to the robotic triangular priests in the episode. Yaz gets to meet Jacob Anderson as Vinder in the temple. 🙂
Vinder turned out to be less of the villain I expected him to be and more as a potential ally in the ‘Flux’ story. It’s strange how I originally perceived Vinder as a villain before watching the ‘Flux’ story.
Yaz also briefly meets up with Steve Oram as Joseph Williamson, who was in the previous episode and comes from Liverpool in the 19th century. I wasn’t sure where Williamson fitted into the story. 🙂
He did seem to be mysterious, especially when Yaz encountered him in a corridor and he soon vanished. I had no idea how vital Joseph Williamson’s role in the ‘Flux’ story would be in watching it.
Intriguingly, the Priest Triangles whom Yaz meets in the Atropos temple are voiced by Nigel Lambert (who is credited as Nigel Richard Lambert in the episode). I’m not sure why he was credited like that.
Criag Els as Karvanista is also back in the episode. He continues to begrudgingly protect Dan when he’s aboard the Sontaran ship that’s soon about to be swamped with Sontarans. A devoted Lupar! 😀
Thankfully, Dan and Karvanista manage to sort the Sontarans out. At the story’s end though, Karvanista seems fine about Dan going with the Doctor to join her in her TARDIS travels. Interesting.
I did find it funny when Karvanista and Dan escaped from their Sontaran spaceship in the 21st century through a waste tube. Dan also sarcastically named Karvanista ‘Scooby-Doo‘ in this episode!
Dan and her mum also use a wok (or is it a frying pan) to knock out Sontarans on the probic vets to defend themselves, which is great. A wok/frying pan is better than a gun to knock out the Sontarans.
At the end of the episode, the Doctor and Dan end up on the planet Time where they’re hoping to find Yaz. They’re welcomed by the Ravagers – Sam Spruell as Swarm and Rochenda Sandall as Azure.
At this point, I wasn’t sure what Swarm’s angle was and how he happened to know the Doctor at all. I did wonder what the secret twist between the Doctor and the Ravagers would end up becoming. 😐
It turns out the Temple of Atropos on the planet Time used to have the Mouri gatekeepers. Their death and the ruin of the temple were caused by the Flux. Fascinating how that gets unveiled here. 🙂
Swarm seeks to control ‘time’ himself and he’s imprisoned Yaz and Vinder as replacement bodies for the Mouri, which is pretty terrifying to witness. The Ravagers come across as very cruel by this point.
I felt gripped throughout the episode as I watched it. The epic feel of the ‘Flux’ story has come into fruition by this point, especially with the things getting unravelled layer by layer for our main heroes.
Not all the questions from the story’s first episode are answered here, but it made me eager to find out more about what was going to happen to our heroes. The character drama is well-handled here.
The temporal power that Swarm intends to unleash will inevitably kill Yaz as well as Vinder. The Doctor begs Swarm not to activate the temple, but he ignores her warnings, which is so cruel of him.
I wondered what was going to happen to Yaz the next time we’d see her in ‘Flux’. Would she survive next time?! I really hoped that Yaz would survive in the rest of ‘Flux’/Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ here.
‘War of the Sontarans’ is a gripping instalment in the ‘Flux’ story. I enjoyed the Sontarans featured in this episode, especially in their ‘Time Warrior’ gear and how Jodie’s Doctor got to fight against them.
It was also fun to see Dan coping well in the episode as well as meeting up with his parents in this. I also like how the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series did their own take on Mary Seacole compared to Big Finish.
Even though the story took place in an alternative timeline and even though the Doctor met Mary Seacole as his twelfth self, it’s nice how the Thirteenth Doctor was able to work well with Mary here.
I hoped the Doctor would be able to save Yaz for ‘Flux’s next instalment. Incidentally, it was fun to see Jodie’s Doctor use a catapult in the episode so she could knock out a Sontaran! Nice shot, Jodie! 😀
‘Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans’ rating – 8/10
‘CHAPTER THREE: ONCE, UPON TIME’
The third ‘Flux’ episode is called ‘Once, Upon Time’ by Chris Chibnall. My parents and I revisited the second episode ‘War of the Sontarans’ on BBC iPlayer before checking out ‘Once, Upon Time’ on TV.
I enjoyed ‘Once, Upon Time’. Mind you, there was a lot to take in with this episode, especially involving its character twists and plot revelations that were told in a rather solve-the-puzzle manner.
But it wasn’t overly complicated as I’ve found when watching some of the Steven Moffat-era stories of ‘Doctor Who’. Even the ‘Sherlock’ episodes were a challenge to follow than this certain episode. 🙂
On the contrary, as I watched ‘Once, Upon Time’, I wanted to find out more about what was going on and who were the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz, Dan and Vinder as characters in their certain journeys.
This episode might require more than one viewing though in order to get your head around some of the confusing, bizarre moments. I’ve seen this episode quite a few times in order to understand it. 🙂
My parents and I did that when we revisited the episode on BBC iPlayer the week following before we checked out ‘Village of the Angels’ on TV. It was good to check previous episodes the week next.
Thankfully, at the time of this review, we saw the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ on BBC iPlayer before watching the sixth and final episode on TV, and we’ve seen the complete ‘Flux’ TV story on Blu-ray. 🙂
The episode has Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor saving Yaz, Dan and Vinder from potential death, when the Ravagers – Swarm and Azure – unleash deadly time onto them. This is a really tense situation here. 😐
The Doctor, Dan, Yaz and Vinder fight for survival with time running wild throughout. They uncover some pretty unusual aspects about themselves involving their past lives (or could it be their own futures?).
It’s fascinating when it gets unveiled how the Flux happens to have a devastating impact across the universe. There’s a sense of mystery of where the Flux came from. It appears the Doctor is involved.
Initially, I assumed it was because she couldn’t remember, especially when something happened in a past life she’d forgotten about. I was wrong about that, but it’s because of her the Flux is happening.
It was nice to see how the Doctor, Yaz, Dan and Vinder get unravelled as characters and how we learn more about them. And it’s interesting how Chris Chibnall unravelled their characters in the story.
The cast, including Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop and Jacob Anderson get to play different characters in each of the simulations featuring our main heroes when caught up in time. 😐
I’m reminded of the Big Finish audio ‘The Natural History of Fear’ where Paul McGann, India Fisher and Conrad Westmaas played a variety of characters based on the Eighth Doctor, Charley and C’rizz.
Mind you, I found that audio hard to follow, whereas this episode was easier to get the gist of. It’s interesting how something really visual as this is somewhat easier to follow on TV than it is on audio.
Essentially, the Thirteenth Doctor is trying to keep her companions safe whilst she’s sorting out the unleashing of raw time upon her friends by the Ravagers. The Doctor had little time to save them. 😐
It’s here where we get to learn a little bit more about what Swarm and Azure are, and why they’re treating the Doctor as their greatest enemy. Swarm and Azure are pretty demonic-like as characters.
We explore the memories of each of our main heroes, including the Doctor, Yaz, Dan and Vinder, in their respective timestreams. The way that their memories are presented to us is almost dream-like.
The reason why I say that is because Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is interacting with characters from her past who’ve taken on the physical appearances of Yaz, Dan and Vinder, except…they’re not them. 😐
I did wonder if I was seeing an alternative universe version of the Thirteenth Doctor or if this was something that happened in her future. This can be confusing when you’re getting into the episode.
It clicked in that it was happening in the Doctor’s past (and you probably know where this is going). The Thirteenth Doctor is even wearing a brand-new coat in this, which I found very fascinating here.
I was hoping that this would be the Thirteenth Doctor’s new look in donning a darker blue coat as opposed to the light grey coat she usually wears. It would have been a nice look to have for her too.
It also would’ve matched to Colin Baker’s Doctor, who often wore the multi-coloured coat and sometimes wore the blue-coloured coat in the Big Finish audios. Is Big Finish taking notes about this?
Or maybe when David Tennant is often donning between a brown pinstripe suit or a blue pinstripe suit in the series! Sadly that wasn’t to be, which is a pity as I watched the episode and ‘Flux’ overall.
Maybe the Thirteenth Doctor will think about wearing a dark blue coat as well as a light grey coat after this episode. Whether that’ll be in the rest of her time in the TV show or not, I don’t know here.
Maybe she might wear the dark blue coat in the Big Finish audios when it comes to the Thirteenth Doctor having her turn in Big Finish. Who knows how long the Thirteenth Doctor will last after ‘Flux’?
It’s not made clear who the characters Mandip Gill, John Bishop and Jacob Anderson are meant to be when they’re interacting with the Thirteenth Doctor in her past. They might be her companions.
However, we’re given a clue on who John Bishop’s character is meant to be, as he carries a weapon that is similar to Craige Els as Karvanista. He even reveals himself to be him at one point in the story.
Who the other characters Mandip Gill and Jacob Anderson are meant to be, I don’t know. Perhaps Big Finish will explore that when it comes to that angle. They’re meant to be Division members here.
Yes, what we see in the Doctor’s past happens to be when he/she was a member of the Division before he/she became William Hartnell. Another opportunity to explore more of the Doctor’s past. 🙂
From this, we get to have another appearance of Jo Martin as the Fugitive Doctor from Series 12. It was good to see Jo Martin’s Doctor back in the series. I wondered when she would turn up again. 🙂
It’s intriguing how the Thirteenth Doctor re-lives what the Fugitive Doctor did when raiding the Atropos temple and what she did to make the Ravagers – Swarm and Azure – be that angry with her.
I know how many criticise the Timeless Child theory of the Chris Chibnall era, but I find it fascinating to watch. I know many are divided on the Timeless Child theory, but it doesn’t bother me so much. 🙂
You would have to check out my review on ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’ to know my feelings about the Timeless Child theory. Not everyone will agree, but it’s how I feel on it. 🙂
The Thirteenth Doctor however isn’t able to view the whole story of her past as the Fugitive Doctor through to the end. Drat! And it was getting so interesting whilst watching the story’s third episode.
This is because the Mouri, voiced by Amanda Drew, interrupt her and warn the Doctor about staying too long in the timestorm. She’s trying to protect Yaz, Dan and Vinder whilst the Mouri restore time.
It was intriguing to see the Doctor becoming so frustrated when trying to learn things about the past she’d forgotten about. I’m sure it’s quite frustrating for fans who want to learn more about her past.
We are given another hint of the Doctor’s past just before she reunites with her friends. She meets up with a very mysterious woman-like entity called Awsok, who I believe exists outside the universe.
Awsok reprimands the Doctor, implying that she’s the cause of all that is happening with the Flux. I was curious about who this Awsok person was, why she seemed to begrudge the Doctor here, and…
Wait a second! Barbara Flynn is playing Awsok in the episode?! Wow! Barbara Flynn in ‘Doctor Who’! I wasn’t expecting her to make an appearance in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. Quite amazing! 🙂
This is from me watching her in period dramas such as ‘Wives & Daughters’, ‘The Barchester Chronicles’ and ‘A Family At War’. I’ve yet to see her in ‘A Very Peculiar Practice’ with Peter Davison.
Meanwhile, we get to learn more about Dan’s character, especially when he experiences his date with his love interest, Nadia Albina as Diane. Mind you, the setting keeps changing for him with that.
And the Doctor appears to him as a hologram whenever he’s re-living his past memories before Dan gets to meet up with her. I’m sure Dan must have found it confusing once caught in the timestorm. 🙂
Dan even gets to meet up with Steve Oram as Joseph Williamson, who happens to be a real-life person in history since he’s an English eccentric, businessman, property owner and philanthropist. 🙂
He’s best known for the Williamson Tunnels. I still don’t know what Williamson’s angle in all of this is about. He was there in ‘Flux’s first episode and does tend to keep popping in and out at times in this.
The Doctor has yet to meet him too. By the episode’s climax, it turns out that Diane has been abducted by Swarm’s companion called Passenger. Dan is clearly anxious about Di’s well-being here.
He’ll have to rescue her another time though, when he, Yaz and the Doctor return to the TARDIS and they take Vinder back home. I didn’t realise that Di was trapped inside Passenger this whole time. 😐
Incidentally, is it just me, or does Passenger look a lot like the Shadow from ‘The Armageddon Factor’? The dark cloak and the cape that Passenger wears seems to give off that impression, I think.
I did wonder if this was the Shadow and he had come to torment the Doctor for not being willing to give him the Key to Time the last time. As it turned out, Passenger wasn’t the Shadow. A bit of a pity!
Yaz’s story is fascinating, especially when we see her in her past life as a police officer. It was very amusing to see Jodie Whittaker in a police uniform when she was trying to make contact with Yaz. 😀
This episode also has another appearance of Bhavnisha Parmar as Sonya Khan, Yaz’s sister, in the series. I always like it when Yaz’s family gets reintroduced in ‘Doctor Who’ in some form or other.
I was saddened I didn’t meet Bhav Parmar at the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ in October 2021 when she was booked as a guest. Lately, I have had a photo with her at 2022’s ‘London Comic Con Spring’.
At least she’s kept busy lately, especially with playing a new character in the ‘Timejacked!’ box set by Big Finish with Jacob Dudmam’s Twelfth Doctor. I’m curious about what her character is like in that.
It was tense and scary when the Weeping Angel in Yaz’s phone, the TV screen, and the police car rear-mirror kept popping out and approached her. I wondered how the Weeping Angel got there. 😐
Thankfully, Jodie’s Doctor was there to help Yaz out. I’m curious on what will happen to the TARDIS trio concerning the Weeping Angel that appeared at the episode’s conclusion (more on this later on).
It was interesting to see how Vinder’s character got unveiled in the episode. I’m not sure I fully understand Vinder’s past from watching the episode. It was very interesting to uncover nonetheless.
This is especially when it’s detailed how he ended up on the Observation Outpost Rose where we met him in ‘Flux’s first episode. It’s sad how Vinder ended up in that low position in the first place. 😦
Mandip Gill gets to play more than one character in Vinder’s experience of memories, including where she plays his commanding officer, who is actually male when revealed at one point, I believe.
Like I said, this episode needs to be seen more than once in order to gain a clearer insight on who Vinder actually is as a character. That and checking out the rest of ‘Flux’, which is pretty worthwhile.
There’s a character in the episode that has her own story to tell. She’s Thaddea Graham as Bel. I wasn’t sure what to make of her story and how it connected to the rest of the episode and ‘Flux’ here.
It soon transpires by the end of this episode that she happens to be Vinder’s lover, whom he got separated from. It was nice to have that revelation given to us and that she wasn’t irrelevant in this.
The episode does feature Daleks and Cybermen in it, but don’t get excited about it. The Daleks and the Cybermen don’t meet Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. Their scenes are mostly featured in Bel’s story.
We see Bel hiding from Daleks when we first meet her and when her story begins in the episode. We also see Bel fighting against Cybermen when they attack her spaceship and she talks to one of them.
Whilst I appreciate the Daleks and Cybermen making an appearance in ‘Flux’ and this certain episode to add to Bel’s story, I wish that there was a confrontation between them and the Thirteenth Doctor.
You know, like there was a confrontation between the Sontarans and the Thirteenth Doctor in the second episode of the ‘Flux’ story. I had hoped that this would be made up for later on in the season.
It was good to see the Cyber Warriors in the episode, even though they do get beaten easily by Bel. 😐 It was intriguing to hear the conversation between Bel and one Cyberman that she beats down. 🙂
Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall continue to play Swarm and Azure and they continue to be nasty in the story. There’s also Matthew Needham from ‘Flux’s first episode as ‘old’ Swarm in this episode.
That was in the Doctor’s past where she was Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor. I’m curious. Are the Ravagers like Time Lords where they can regenerate into new bodies? This isn’t properly explored. 😐
The episode also features Craig Parkinson as the Grand Serpent, who doesn’t take to Vinder when he questioned his authority during Vinder’s memory experience. The Grand Serpent doesn’t seem nice.
Nigel Lambert also returns to voice the Priest Triangles in the episode. Huh! I thought they were destroyed when Azure touched them in the second episode. Perhaps one managed to survive in this.
It was tense when the episode ended with the Weeping Angel coming out of Yaz’s phone and taking control of the TARDIS. That has to be a pretty attention-grabbing cliff-hanger in ‘Doctor Who’ here. 🙂
I had no idea what was going to happen in the following instalment of ‘Flux’, but I was keen to find out how the Doctor, Yaz and Dan would avoid getting zapped when journeying back through time. 🙂
‘Once, Upon Time’ is another enjoyable instalment in the ‘Flux’ story so far. With that said though, I would have to say that the third episode of ‘Flux’ is probably the weakest of the six-part story so far.
This is especially when presenting the various memory experiences that our main leads get to have, as it can come across as quite complex. Viewers might find it confusing when watching it first time. 🙂
Regardless, I enjoyed the episode very much. I was really getting into the ‘Flux’ story rather well and wanted to learn more about what would happen to the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz and Dan next time. 🙂
I understand ‘Once, Upon Time’ a little better from watching it more than once. It was also nice to see Jo Martin back as the Fugitive Doctor. I wonder if she’ll ever get to do some Big Finish audios. 😀
Would the TARDIS trio survive the terror of the Weeping Angels next time? Would they receive some unexpected help? I didn’t know what to expect when it came to checking out ‘Village of the Angels’.
I was looking forward to seeing Annabel Scholey as Claire Brown again in the series. I was also really looking forward to watching special guest star Kevin McNally in the next instalment of ‘Flux’. 😀
‘Chapter Three: Once, Upon Time’ rating – 7/10
‘CHAPTER FOUR: VILLAGE OF THE ANGELS’
After what was arguably a decent, albeit underwhelming instalment of the ‘Flux’ story called ‘Once, Upon Time’, could things get any better with the next instalment of the story, ‘Village of the Angels’?
Well actually, yes they could. Because…my goodness!!! The episode’s cliffhanger ending was such a shock to watch on TV! It’s so rare for me to come across a ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger like that on TV.
‘Village of the Angels’ left me in a state of “What’s going on?!” in the same way that ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ left me in a state of “What’s going on?!” It’s amazing the Chris Chibnall era does that to me.
I was intrigued about what was going to happen in the last two instalments of ‘Flux’ after watching the fourth episode. And I hoped the Doctor would be fine and she would return to her former self. 🙂
I revisited ‘Once, Upon Time’ on BBC iPlayer before checking out ‘Village of the Angels’ on TV. I would later revisit the first five instalments of ‘Flux’ before checking out the final episode of the story.
This was so I could take into account all that had been going on before seeing the finale. I’m not sure if many other ‘Doctor Who’ fans did it like that, but it’s what my parents and I did with watching this.
‘Village of the Angels’ is an episode by Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton. It’s interesting Chris Chibnall only invited Maxine Alderton to work on a Series 13 episode whilst writing the rest of ‘Flux’.
Maxine Alderton previously wrote the story ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ in Series 12. Despite my reservations about that particular episode, Maxine Alderton does come across as a very good writer.
I imagine what happened is that Maxine pitched a Weeping Angels story; Chris Chibnall liked it; and asked if they could use it for ‘Flux’. I don’t know if there are sources that would confirm that theory.
Had ‘Flux’ been a 10-part story instead of a 6-part story, maybe writers like Pete McTighe and Ed Hime would have been invited back to contribute to the epic story of Series 13. It would make sense.
‘Village of the Angels’ takes place on the 21st of November, 1967 in Devon. So that’s 54 years ago on the day this ‘Doctor Who’ episode was transmitted on BBC TV. An intriguing and unusual connection.
In the episode, a little girl called Peggy has gone missing. Meanwhile, Professor Eustacius Jericho is conducting psychic experiments in the area and she has Claire Brown helping her in the experiments.
Whilst that’s going on, there is one gravestone too many in the village graveyard. No-one knows why that is. As the Doctor, Yaz and Dan in the TARDIS end up in Medderton, Devon, the mystery unravels.
Why is the village Medderton called the ‘cursed village’ and what do the Weeping Angels want with it? Could it be something deadly? The Doctor is hoping to find out, but not in the way she expects. 😐
I like how this episode resolves the cliffhanger ending from the previous episode where the TARDIS had been hijacked by a Weeping Angel. The Doctor manages to sort it out, saving her, Yaz and Dan. 🙂
But things might not be plain-sailing when they venture out of the TARDIS into the village of Medderton. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what they would expect to find when arriving in the village.
As established, this episode features the return of Annabel Scholey as Claire Brown. It was nice to see Claire again, since she debuted in the six-part story’s first episode ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’. 🙂
It was good to find out more about what’s with this character, although I don’t think every question gets answered. At least, in the way of how she could perceive the future before meeting the Doctor.
It’s clear that Claire was born in 1985 as opposed to 1935 when she was being interviewed by Professor Jericho. She was sent back in time by her Weeping Angel in ‘Flux’s first episode after all. 😐
But I don’t know how she came to know the Doctor and Yaz in the first place when they met in Liverpool 2021. I know it’s to do with premonitions that she had, but it’s still weakly explained here.
This episode does showcase the Weeping Angels at their best in ‘Doctor Who’, matching on the level of ‘Blink’ and maybe even more so, compared to the Weeping Angels from the Steven Moffat era. 😀
However, there are familiar elements of the Weeping Angels from previous episodes in Steven Moffat’s era. This I liked, especially when call-backs to the past are done well to help the story along.
This includes stone in Claire’s eyes; her hallucinating that she’s a Weeping Angel and there are images taken of Weeping Angels that become Weeping Angels themselves. These are pretty scary. 🙂
These elements of the Weeping Angels were featured in stories like ‘The Time of Angels’/’Flesh and Stone’. It’s very intriguing how those elements get reused for this particular ‘Doctor Who’ episode. 🙂
In fact, it’s fair to say that Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton make good use of those terrifying elements of the Weeping Angels introduced by Steven Moffat, and push them up to another level. 🙂
I wonder if Steven Moffat is happy with what Chris and Maxine have done with his creations lately. Has he seen ‘Village of the Angels’? I’m sure he has and I’d like to think he’s happy with the episode.
There are also new terrifying elements of the Weeping Angels introduced in the episode. When someone gets zapped back in time by an Angel, if you’re touched a second time, you die instantly. 😐
You crumble into stone! It was shocking to watch that when I saw Peggy’s great aunt and great uncle touched by a Weeping Angel a second time. You don’t consider these things with a Weeping Angel.
It was also a shock when the Doctor got rid of an Angel picture drawn by Claire by tearing it in two; it came back and became an Angel. The Doctor scrunched the picture; burned it and it came back fiery.
Thankfully, the Doctor was able to douse the fiery Angel out with a fire bucket, as it was on hand. I like it how the episode provides us with shocking turns, considering the Angels being unstoppable. 🙂
One of these days, I’m going to have to write a ‘Doctor Who’ episode called ‘Blink in Hell’. As in ‘blinking hell’! Get it? 😀 Maybe I should do that story with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy someday.
Oh, and it was also disturbing when it was revealed that Claire had an Angel inside of her. The Doctor mind-melds with Claire and she makes contact with the Angel that’s controlling her in this. 🙂
From her contact with the Angel speaking through Claire, the Doctor learns that the Angels can be operatives of the Division, the group that recruited the Doctor during the past she’d forgotten about.
It’s interesting how the Division can just pick up Weeping Angels as operatives to do their dirty work. It’s shocking how it all culminates in the episode’s cliffhanger, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The episode’s cast also includes Kevin McNally as Professor Jericho. For ‘Doctor Who’ fans, Kevin McNally is well-known for playing Hugo Lang in ‘The Twin Dilemma’ with Colin Baker’s Doctor in 1984.
He’s also been in a number of Big Finish audios such as ‘Spider Shadow’, ‘The End of the Beginning’ and episodes of ‘Dalek Universe’ season of stories with David Tennant, e.g. ‘The House of Kingdom’.
I’ve also seen Kevin in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies, the ‘Downton Abbey’ TV series, and he played Captain Mainwaring in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake. He’s quite a busy gent. 🙂
It was amazing to see Kevin McNally in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode and interacting with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor throughout. I enjoyed his performance as Professor Jericho during the ‘Flux’ story.
Kevin McNally is also married to Phyllis Logan, who’s also been in ‘Downton Abbey’ and was in ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’, didn’t you know? A shame they didn’t appear together in this episode.
Actually, it’s interesting that Kevin McNally is the second of three of the regular cast of the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake in ‘Doctor Who’. Yeah! There have been three of those actors! 😀
The first was Kevin Eldon who played Lance Corporal Jones, as he appeared in ‘It Takes You Away’ in Series 11. The second is Kevin McNally, and he was in ‘Doctor Who’ way before he did ‘Dad’s Army’.
We’ll soon have a third upcoming actor in ‘Flux’s fifth episode in Robert Bathurst, who portrayed Sergeant Wilson in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2019 ‘lost episodes’ remake. Amazing to see these coincidences.
There’s also Vincent Brimble (who played Tarpok in ‘Warriors of the Deep’ – I wouldn’t have guessed! 😀 ) as Gerald, and Jemma Churchill as Jean, little Peggy’s guardians/great aunt and uncle. 🙂
Jemma was also in ‘The Five(ish) Doctor Reboot’ with Peter Davison. Gerald comes across a mean so-and-so whilst Jean seems to be genuinely concerned about the whereabouts of Peggy in the episode.
If only Gerald and Jean didn’t go in front of the Angel and listened to Yaz, Dan and Peggy, they wouldn’t have been killed so horribly. Then again, I suppose that was bound to happen in the story. 😐
The episode also features Poppy Polivnicki as Peggy and Penelope McGhie as Mrs. Hayward. Hey, big shock! Peggy and Mrs. Hayward are the same person. Yeah! What a coincidence this seems to be. 😀
Peggy ended up in 1901 before she became Mrs. Hayward in 1967. I sort-of worked that one out whilst watching the episode from start to finish. But then again, I suppose some fans didn’t realise it.
There’s also Alex Frost as Reverend Shaw, who accuses Mrs. Hayward for sending him threatening messages about the gravestones. It isn’t long till the Reverend Shaw is zapped by one of the Angels.
The episode also features another appearance of Thaddea Graham as Bel, who appeared in the previous episode and is looking for her lover (oh sorry, life-partner – that sounds weird 😀 ) Vinder. 🙂
Bel ends up on a desolate alien planet where she meets Blake Harrison as Namaca. Incidentally, Blake Harrison played Private Pike in the ‘Dad’s Army’ 2016 film. It was nice to see him in this tale. 😀
Blake Harrison is also well-known for playing Neil Sutherland in ‘The Inbetweeners’. Hey, at least he had a better role to play in this certain episode compared to what James Buckley had in ‘Orphan 55’.
But it’s still not as good a role compared to what Joe Thomas got in ‘Castle of Fear’. Some do get lucky, I guess. 😀 Interesting how these roles for ‘Inbetweeners’ actors vary in ‘Doctor Who’ terms. 🙂
Incidentally, Blake Harrison also worked with Jodie Whittaker in Season 1 of the TV drama series ‘Trust Me’. I’m surprised Blake Harrison didn’t get to have a scene with Jodie Whittaker in ‘Flux’. 😀
I did find the Bel storyline a little distracting from the main plot. I guess it’s meant to keep the main ‘Flux’ plot going, but I wanted to find out what was happening in the ‘Village of the Angels’ storyline.
Whilst it was intriguing to see what Bel did and what Rochenda Sandall as Azure and Jonny Mathers as Passenger did on desolate planets, I wasn’t sure what Bel had to do with the general plot in ‘Flux’.
Apart from trying to reunite with Vinder of course! Speaking of which, Jacob Anderson makes an appearance as Vinder in the episode’s mid-credits scene where he meets Blake Harrison as Namaca.
Vinder asks questions about Bel’s whereabouts. Thankfully, Vinder sees a message meant for him by Bel, which guarantees Jacob Anderson’s appearance in the next episode. Sort-of expected, I guess. 🙂
Just to talk about the three main regulars, Jodie Whittaker continues to be excellent as the Thirteenth Doctor. I enjoyed how she tackled the Weeping Angel menace in the Devonshire village. 🙂
She also becomes frustrated when trying to get answers to questions about her past. This is especially in her contact with the Weeping Angel in control of Claire when mind-melding with her. 🙂
I enjoyed how the Doctor interacted with Claire and Professor Jericho. It was disturbingly unusual when Jodie’s Doctor wasn’t affected by the Weeping Angels when she had turned her back on them.
Yeah! She turned her back on them when she ran away, but they didn’t zap her back in time. Strange that. I was getting anxious about what had become of Jodie’s Doctor by the episode’s climax here. 😐
Mandip Gill as Yaz and John Bishop as Dan are equally good in the episode too. I was also getting anxious about them, since they were zapped back in time by a Weeping Angel from 1967 to 1901. 😐
In 1901, Yaz and Dan get to meet up with Peggy. I wondered whether Yaz and Dan could never return to the Doctor and not time-travel again due to being sent back in time by the Weeping Angel.
It was disturbing when Yaz, Dan and Peggy discovered that the Medderton village was taken out of time and space altogether. Surrounding the village was infinite space, making it feel eerily spooky. 😀
I wasn’t sure what to make of that, as to whether the Angels did that or whether the Ravagers did that. In the end, it was the Angels that did that, but it was shocking to see when watching the episode.
And now we come to the cliffhanger ending of the episode. And let me say, I didn’t see this coming when watching the episode. It’s one of those cliffhanger moments you’d have to see to believe it. 😀
The episode concludes with the Thirteenth Doctor being recalled to the Division and being turned into…a Weeping Angel. I’m not joking! The Thirteenth Doctor…transforms…into a Weeping Angel!!!!
Sorry, let me that say that again!
I mean, really! What else can you say but…WHAT?!!!!! That is the most ‘out of nowhere’ cliffhanger ending I’ve ever come across in a ‘Doctor Who’ episode! I was flabbergasted by the episode’s end. 😀
I had no idea what was going on with the Doctor becoming a Weeping Angel. I knew I would be revisiting the episode again the following week, but still. It just made me baffled upon watching it. 😀
I didn’t know how worried I should’ve been by this point. I will give the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era this. It did make me want to come back to check out the next episode in the TV series. 🙂
I was certain Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor would be alright. But at the time, I was getting curious as to what all of this was all about. It’s something the Steven Moffat era of ‘Doctor Who’ never did for me.
‘Village of the Angels’ is a mind-blowing instalment in the ‘Flux’ story of ‘Doctor Who’. The Weeping Angels are far more terrifying in this episode compared to what they were when appearing in ‘Blink’.
They’re also far more terrifying compared to their Steven Moffat era episodes. The episode also has a very good cast in it throughout, including the likes of Kevin McNally, Annabel Scholey and more. 😀
The cliffhanger ending is something I didn’t expect to see when watching this particular ‘Doctor Who’ episode on TV. I was looking forward to checking out the next episode of the six-part TV story.
This is especially from watching the ‘next time’ trailer for the fifth episode of ‘Flux’. From it, the signs were promising, especially with the inclusion of familiar faces, whether they’re good or bad in the story.
It would also be interesting to see how things have turned out for Yaz, Dan, Peggy and Jericho in the next episode. Would Yaz and Dan ever get to be reunited with the Doctor at any point in their lives?
I was also curious as to how the Bel subplot will come together in the overall ‘Flux’ story with the Thirteenth Doctor. Would she be reunited with Vinder? Was Bel’s unborn child in the story relevant?
‘Chapter Four: Village of the Angels’ rating – 9/10
‘CHAPTER FIVE: SURVIVORS OF THE FLUX’
Here is the fifth and penultimate episode of ‘Flux’. So far, I was enjoying Jodie Whittaker’s third season of ‘Doctor Who’ as the Thirteenth Doctor. It’s fair to say each episode has been compelling. 🙂
The fifth episode called ‘Survivors of the Flux’ by Chris Chibnall has many twists and turns throughout. There’s certainly a lot to take in, matching to what ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ is like. 🙂
I imagined that a lot of people would be re-watching the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ before checking out the sixth and final episode. It’s certainly what I did when I was checking out this certain season. 🙂
From Tuesday the 30th of November 2021, my parents and I revisited the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ in the build-up to the final instalment called ‘The Vanquishers’ on Sunday the 5th of December 2021.
It was very satisfying, especially as I’d been mostly satisfied with each instalment of the six-part story so far. I wanted to check up on every detail of ‘Flux’ to make sure I hadn’t missed anything so far.
In ‘Survivors of the Flux’, we follow up on what happened to the Thirteenth Doctor when she was transformed into a Weeping Angel in ‘Village of the Angels’. I was anxious regarding that cliffhanger.
Thankfully, the Doctor wasn’t turned into a Weeping Angel permanently, since the Angels were merely transporting her to where the Division summoned her. Well, that’s a massive relief, isn’t it? 🙂
The Division – or is it simply called ‘Division’? I don’t know – happens to be a group who do a lot of interventions across the universe on behalf of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. Wait, that sounds familiar.
Didn’t the Celestial Intervention Agency (CIA) do that in the classic series? Perhaps the CIA of Gallifrey that we know of was a cover for the Division. I’m not sure. It’s not properly explored in this. 😐
The Doctor ends up on a spaceship set within the Void between universes. This episode reintroduces the concept of multiverses in ‘Doctor Who’. Not only the ‘MCU’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ doing it.
At least it might explain why certain continuities in ‘Doctor Who’ don’t match with each other. This is in stories such as ‘Doctor Who and the Time War’, ‘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. Ideally, I would like those adventures to be ‘canon’ and adapted into audio adventures by Big Finish.
Mind you, I don’t mind there being 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 okay with that.
Aboard the spaceship in the Void is an Ood, played by Simon Carew and voiced by Silas Carson. It’s nice to see an Ood again in ‘Doctor Who’. Apparently, Ood can be operatives for the Division too. 😀
The Doctor also meets up with Barbara Flynn as Awsok, who we met in ‘Once, Upon Time’, the third episode of ‘Flux’. Although, it turns out that ‘Awsok’ isn’t her real name. It’s not even said in the story.
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 here.
It was fascinating and exciting to finally meet Tecteun, though she’s more villainous than I expected her to be. She must have regenerated quite a number of times before she became Barbara Flynn. 😀
I enjoyed the scenes Jodie’s Doctor had with Barbara Flynn in this episode. It was amazing to see these two ladies acting opposite each other, having seen them a number of times in TV productions.
It turns out that the Doctor left the Division – For what reason is unclear. There might be a number of reasons. 🙂 – before she lost her memories and ended up travelling the universe in time and space.
The rest is history, as we know what the Doctor has been doing in the TV series and other mediums like the Big Finish audios. Tecteun wasn’t happy about this, since she’s been trying to get the Doctor back.
She also blames the Doctor for what is happening with the Flux destroying the current universe, since the Doctor 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 wonder what the Timeless Child could’ve been like had Tecteun not picked her up years ago.
Going back to the Timeless Child theory, I think it’s inevitable not all fandom will like it going on in the Thirteenth Doctor era. I don’t mind it so much. It provides a new interesting angle on the Doctor.
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 perceived in their earlier appearances.
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 where the Doctor’s long forgotten memories are being locked inside. 😮
I was getting anxious about whether the Doctor will receive her forgotten memories or not, especially when Tecteun threatened her aboard her spaceship and when those Ravagers arrived. 😐
Yes, Sam Spruell as Swarm and Rochenda Sandall as Azure come aboard Tecteun’s ship by the time the episode comes to an end. Things were getting pretty intense by the time the episode concluded.
I did wonder whether Swarm was actually the Devil, considering he wanted to ‘reign in Hell’. It would make sense considering the evil that Swarm and Azure have been spreading throughout this story.
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 when we focus on their journey.
Sometimes we’re in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s as well as 2017 with U.N.I.T., and sometimes we’re in the present day where Earth is protected by the Lupari. It’s a big challenge to keep track of things.
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. You can’t fall asleep whilst you watch this. 🙂
Thankfully, it isn’t overly complicated as I’ve often found with Steven Moffat’s writing in ‘Doctor Who’. Chris Chibnall is able to keep my interest throughout this story, especially with the characters.
Meanwhile, with Mandip Gill as Yaz, John Bishop as Dan and Kevin McNally as Jericho, they’re travelling the world in 1904. It has been three years since the events of ‘Village of the Angels’ here. 🙂
Yaz, Dan and Jericho have to uncover when the end of the world will come. If only Indiana Jones was around to help the trio out. 😀 Actually, their story does feel like it’s from an ‘Indiana Jones’ movie. 🙂
The trio go to places like Mexico, Constantinople and Nepal before they end up in Liverpool. Along the way, there are people trying to thwart their efforts in the episode. Some even try to kill them. 😐
How these people know about Yaz, Dan and Jericho and what they’re trying to do is not made clear in the episode. Even after watching the episode a few times, I’m not entirely sure about this matter.
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. I wondered when he would serve the plot.
It turns out that Williamson has discovered several doorways leading to various other places in the tunnels he’s dug underneath Liverpool. It’s interesting how Williamson was able to find those places.
Perhaps those tunnels lead into other universes whilst the Doctor is aboard the spaceship in the Void between universes. There’s precious little time to explore where each of these various tunnels lead.
It was nice to see Kevin McNally back in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode as Professor Jericho. I can only assume that Yaz, Dan and Jericho left little Peggy in Medderton before they travelled the world here.
Jericho works very well as a third participant with Yaz and Dan in the episode. It was pretty intriguing to see how he coped with the rather 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. Big Finish could do an audio box set for Yaz, Dan and Jerricho. 😀
Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. It was very interesting to see Yaz playback a holographic message that was given to her by the Doctor before they parted company. 😐
It’s clear that Yaz misses the Doctor whilst they’re in 1904. I guessed this was a hint of Yaz having feelings for the Doctor. This would be confirmed when we got to ‘Eve of the Daleks’ in January 2022.
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 wasn’t sure if that was going to be possible here.
This is considering the Weeping Angels feed on the time and life-force energy of their victims. I didn’t think there could be a way out of it, as perhaps Yaz and Dan wouldn’t reunite with the Doctor.
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 formed U.N.I.T. over the years. 😐
He’s gone under the alias of Prentis in the episode when he’s with U.N.I.T. This was a disturbing revelation to uncover in the story and I wondered what the Grand Serpent’s true motives were in this.
I wasn’t exactly sure what the Grand Serpent’s motives were in wanting to control U.N.I.T. and why he seemed so evil with killing people off. I had hoped this would be explained in ‘Flux’s last episode.
A theory WilliamsFan92 came up with is that the Grand Serpent is related to the Mara. It would make sense considering the stuff he’s been doing in this story, which I’m not sure how he’s able to do.
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 to becoming a general! He must be lucky to have it!
For those of you who don’t know, Robert Bathurst played Sergeant Wilson in the ‘Dad’s Army’ lost episodes 2019 remake. I’ve enjoyed those episodes. I must check them out again in the near future!
I’m disappointed Robert Bathurst didn’t get to meet up with Kevin McNally in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. Kevin McNally was Captain Mainwaring in the ‘Dad’s Army’ lost episodes 2019 remake after all. 🙂
Robert Bathurst’s character gets killed off too soon in the episode. It was a big shock. I was expecting him to have a prominent role in the rest of ‘Flux’, after watching in the previous ‘next time’ trailer. 😀
On a side note, it served Robert Bathurst right for jilting Lady Edith at the altar in Series 3 of ‘Downton Abbey’! 😀 I was still watching ‘Downton Abbey’ on Blu-ray when this episode came about.
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 quite a long absence.
It was also nice, especially when U.N.I.T. have not been seen very much in ‘Doctor Who’ due to going into retirement or bankruptcy. I wondered whether Chris Chibnall would readdress this in the series.
The episode provides an explanation for how and why U.N.I.T. disappeared since it was established in ‘Resolution’. I know that some ‘Doctor Who’ fans were disappointed about U.N.I.T.’s disappearance.
In the story, in the year 2017, Kate Stewart has a meeting with the Grand Serpent/Prentis. She reveals to him she knows about his activities and about those that he killed in U.N.I.T. over the years.
It does put Kate’s life at risk, as she avoids getting blown up inside her own house, which was caused by a bomb planted inside, presumably by ‘Prentis’. After she contacts Osgood, Kate goes into hiding.
I’m pleased Kate wasn’t killed off in the episode, like previous U.N.I.T. characters (including Robert Bathurst’s) were with getting killed over the years. It guarantees we’ll see her in the next episode. 🙂
The episode also features…Nicholas Courtney as Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart? Or rather a voice-over cameo of him. I assume it was taken from a recording of a previous ‘Doctor Who’ story. 🙂
Nicholas Courtney is credited in this episode’s end credits. I double-checked on BBC iPlayer. I wish his cameo was visual and not a voice-over. It could’ve been shown as an archive video clip instead. 😐
There’s also Craige Els as Karvanista, the Lupari officer who’s been looking after the planet Earth in 2021 since the Doctor’s absence. So far, the only Lupari character presented in ‘Flux’ is Karvanista.
He soon captures the Lupari ship that Thaddea Graham as Bel has been piloting since we saw her in ‘Once, Upon Time’. There’s soon a fight between Karvanista and Bel in the episode, which is exciting.
Incidentally, Yaz, Dan and Jericho tried to send a message to Karvanista in order for him to pick them up since they were trapped on Earth in 1904. But Karvanista doesn’t have time-travel technology. 😐
You’d think our heroes would know that. Then again, Kammy Darweish as Kumar the seer wasn’t helpful. I wondered whether Karvanista would save Yaz, Dan and Jericho in the story’s final episode.
This episode also features the shocking return of the Sontarans, led by Jonathan Watson as Commander Stenck. Apparently, the Grand Serpent has helped the Sontarans in their invasion plans.
Why the Grand Serpent would help the Sontarans, I’m not entirely sure. It’s not made clear in this episode and it’s not really made clear in the final episode of ‘Flux’, which I found to be a real shame.
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, as they put him inside one of the Passenger shells.
Incidentally, a Passenger is a prison. There, Vinder meets up with Nadia Albina as Diana, Dan’s love interest. Yeah, apparently Diana’s been in a Passenger prison this whole time since getting captured.
As established, the episode concludes with Swarm and Azure following the Doctor to the Division spaceship where they aim to exact their revenge upon the Division for their eternal imprisonment. 😐
Tecteun also gets disintegrated by Swarm in the episode. Aww, I hoped that Barbara Flynn would have lasted longer to appear in the final episode of ‘Flux’. Soon, the Doctor is up next for the Ravagers. 😮
‘Survivors of the Flux’ has been another gripping episode in the ‘Flux’ story. There’s a lot to take in, but it geared me up to check out more of the story in the final instalment once it came to next week.
I hoped that all of the plot threads would be concluded in a satisfying manner and that the Doctor would win the day and sort out the Flux. How the Doctor would sort out the Flux here, I had no idea.
There was certainly a lot of hype for what was to come next in the story’s final episode, especially with the Sontarans about to invade as well as the Daleks and the Cybermen appearing in the last act.
Would the Doctor have her memories back from what’s considered her forgotten past? Would they be worth getting back? I pondered upon these questions as I waited to see the story’s last chapter. 🙂
By the way! A ‘Doctor Who’ multiverse? Jim Carrey’s Master might appear in a future ‘Doctor Who’ episode! 😀
Timelord007: (rants; from a distance) “No way is any multiverse going feature that face-pulling, over-the-top, hammy fool to play the Master or any other character in ‘Doctor Who’! I can’t stand him! After what he did to the Riddler in [‘Batman Forever’…”]
Tim grins away, raising his hands.
(gaily; ignores Timelord007’s rant) “I knew he’d like that. Who knows? Jim Carrey may well play the Joker in another universe instead of the Riddler.” 😀
‘Chapter Five: Survivors of the Flux’ rating – 8/10
‘CHAPTER SIX: THE VANQUISHERS’
And here’s the final episode of ‘Flux’/Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’! The six weeks of ‘Doctor Who’ from the end of October 2021 to the beginning of December 2021 went by pretty quickly and were very worthwhile.
I enjoyed Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’! I enjoyed each instalment of the six-part adventure called ‘Flux’, with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, Mandip Gill’s Yaz and John Bishop’s Dan throughout here.
Does that mean ‘The Vanquishers’ is a satisfying finale to ‘Flux’? I’d like to think so. There are plot points left unresolved, but I think the majority of what occurred in this epic tale holds together well.
It’s certainly a complex finale. I’m glad I was able to check out the first five episodes of ‘Flux’ on BBC iPlayer first to remind myself what went on before. ‘The Vanquishers’ does require a lot of viewings.
With that said; I admire Chris Chibnall and his production team for putting together this enjoyable and pretty intriguing six-part adventure that features a lot of complexities as the whole of Series 13.
This is especially when the season was made under Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. I admire how they avoided the ‘Flux’ season look like it had been made with health and safety measures in place. 🙂
In the final episode of ‘Flux’, there are three storylines going on. The Ravagers – Sam Spruell as Swarm and Rochenda Sandall as Azure – have taken control of the Division’s base within the Void. 😐
They’re also holding the Doctor as their prisoner as well as the fob watch that contains her forgotten memories. The Ravagers come across as pretty cruel, especially with how they treat life and such. 😐
It was interesting to see the scene between the Doctor and Azure on how they have different viewpoints on life. This emphasises why the Doctor may have been against the Ravagers many years ago. 🙂
Meanwhile, the Sontarans have taken control of the Earth with the Grand Serpent’s help. They also plan to lure the Daleks and the Cybermen into a false alliance in order to exploit the Flux upon them.
There’s also Yaz and Dan accompanied by Professor Jericho and Joseph Williamson in the tunnels throughout time. It seems that all hope is lost, especially when the Doctor doesn’t seem to be about.
Thankfully, there’s one chance for the universe to be saved and not be destroyed by the Flux. It turns out, through some mental contact with Swarm; the Doctor has split herself…into three people!
So, there are three Thirteenth Doctors played by Jodie Whittaker in the episode! And no! It isn’t like one Doctor is real and the other are fakes. They’re all the same Doctor…played by the same actress!
I…um….err…”Captain Jack, if you will?”
CAPTAIN JACK: (from ‘Journey’s End’) “I can’t tell you what I’m thinking right now.”
“Thank you very much!” 😀
Yeah, the idea of three Jodie Whittakers appearing in ‘Flux’s final episode is pretty mindboggling to dwell upon, and yet it’s pretty hilarious as well. And I must say; it works well in the episode’s favour.
I wonder whether Jodie Whittaker was confused behind-the-scenes as to which Doctor she was playing in the episode and how it all tied together as the season’s epic conclusion was being made. 🙂
Regarding Swarm and Azure, they’re hoping to achieve their ultimate revenge on the Doctor. To be honest, I’m not sure I entirely understand Swarm and Azure’s motives as villains in the ‘Flux’ story. 😐
I mean, I get that they’re pretty evil beings and they have no morals. It’s also clear the Doctor did something terrible to them, as established when she was the Fugitive Doctor in ‘Once, Upon Time’. 🙂
But aside from that, I don’t understand them as characters and why they’re so evil. Maybe there’s something about the Ravagers we don’t know about, locked inside the Doctor’s forgotten memories.
They must be kept in that fob watch of the Doctor’s. It’s something we don’t know about clearly. I wonder if it’ll ever be explored, as the Thirteenth Doctor era draws to its conclusion in the TV series.
The Ravagers also torture the Doctor when they open up the fob watch for her to see the illogical house that contains her past memories. The illogical house briefly featured in ‘War of the Sontarans’.
I think the Ravagers were unlocking the Doctor’s memories as she saw the illogical house in her mind. I’m not entirely sure on that whilst viewing the episode on TV and quite recently on Blu-ray. 😐
Whilst one of her selves is aboard the Division’s base in the Void with Swarm, Azure and the Ood (played by Simon Carew and voiced by Silas Carson), what about the other two Thirteenth Doctors?!
Jodie’s Doctor’s other two selves are in different places. The second Jodie Doctor is with Karvanista and Bel when they’re tackling the Sontarans. You have to be alert once tracking down these Doctors.
The third Jodie Doctor is with Yaz, Dan, Professor Jericho and Joseph Williamson, who are joined by Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart of U.N.I.T. I’m very pleased Kate joined this particular Doctor team.
It can be a challenge to get your head around the complexities of three Doctors in three different places, but it was very enjoyable to watch in the story. Thankfully most of these happened in 2021. 🙂
It was nice to see Kate Stewart meeting the Thirteenth Doctor for the first time in this particular ‘Flux’ episode, although they don’t really get to spend enough time sharing scenes with each other.
Kate seems to like the Thirteenth Doctor. Hopefully this won’t be the last time the two will meet each other here. I’m wondering if Big Finish will arrange future Thirteenth Doctor and Kate meetings.
It was good to see Kevin McNally again as Professor Jericho. The third Jodie Doctor and her team of Yaz, Dan and Jericho get to rescue Annabel Scholey as Claire from 1967, which I was so happy about.
Professor Jericho and Claire also help the Doctor out with distracting the Sontarans from their evil scheme. It must have been very brave for Jericho and Claire to be so willing to help the Doctor out. 🙂
It was sad when Jericho self-sacrificed himself in the episode. But at least he did go out on a heroic note and he had more screen-time in ‘Flux’ compared to Robert Bathhurst in the previous episode. 🙂
Professor Jericho was also brave in being defiant towards a Sontaran in his self-sacrifice. It’s good Kevin McNally played a likeable character throughout the three episodes of this six-parter he was in.
I liked how Jodie’s Doctor interacted with Steve Oram as Joseph Williamson at last! It’s taken a while for the Doctor to meet up with Williamson in the season and I suppose it was well worth it in the end.
Williamson becomes helpful when the Doctors and her friends sort out the Sontarans and the Grand Serpent as well as the Flux. Williamson’s place in history is preserved once he’s returned to his time.
Meanwhile, with the second Jodie Doctor tackling the Sontarans, she’s interrogated by Craig Parkinson as Prentis/the Grand Serpent. The Doctor is curious about the Grand Serpent in the story.
Like the Ravagers, I’m not entirely sure why the Grand Serpent was doing the evil things he did and why he was working with the Sontarans in the season. It’s not properly explored as far as I’m aware.
I mean, I get there is some backstory hinted at during his interrogation of the Doctor, but it’s not explored enough in the way I would’ve liked. If only this was a 10-part story as opposed to a 6-part story.
At least the Doctor was able to resist the Grand Serpent’s attempts of killing her with a snake and at least he got his just desserts when Vinder exiled him for all the things he did. He must be a bad man.
Craige Els as Karvanista continues to be grumpy as ever. It’s interesting that Karvanista couldn’t or can’t exactly reveal what occurred when he and the Doctor were travelling companions one time. 😐
Apparently, there’s something inside Karvanista that would kill him should he reveal what he knows. The Division must be a pretty cruel bunch. I can see why the Doctor would defect from them here. 🙂
I did feel for Karvanista when it was revealed to him that the Grand Serpent and the Sontarans killed all his Lupari kind aboard their ships protecting the Earth. That was a very cruel thing for them to do.
I had hoped that the Grand Serpent and the Sontarans were lying to Karvanista to make him feel bad, but it seems they actually did kill all of the Lupari. Is Karvanista truly the last of his kind though?
It’d be interesting how things will turn out for Karvanista, now he’s joined by Vinder and Bel at the end of the episode. Maybe there’s potential for a spin-off series featuring Karvanista, Vinder and Bel.
Perhaps Big Finish will work on that someday. Hopefully Karvanista won’t be too grumpy then. There has to be a time where he was cheerful and not so miserable like he is throughout this ‘Flux’ story.
And yes, Jacob Anderson as Vinder gets to reunite with Thaddea Graham as Bel in the episode. It was nice to see them back together. They do seem to really love each other, as implied throughout ‘Flux’.
This leads onto a theory that has been suggested by fans! I’m surprised this wasn’t exploited when it came to the episode’s conclusion. Then again, so much has happened in the finale to wrap up things.
The theory is that the Vinder and Bel are actually the Doctor’s biological parents. Somehow, I quite like that theory and I’m surprised Chris Chibnall didn’t introduce that when writing this season finale.
Then again, it might be a repeat of what he did when he revealed the Doctor as ‘the timeless child’ in Series 12’s finale. Perhaps that’s a mystery yet to be resolved. Perhaps Vinder and Bel will reappear. 😐
It was good to see the Sontarans again in this episode, including Jonathan Watson as Commander Stenck and Dan Starkey as quite a number of Sontarans characters like Senstarg, Shallo and Kragar. 🙂
In some respects, the Sontarans have been like the main baddies of Series 13 and they’re far more enjoyable compared to Swarm, Azure and the Grand Serpent. In fact, they’ve been a joy throughout here.
Mind you, it was weird when one Sontaran character (Shallo, apparently) seemed to have an addiction to chocolate. Seriously, what? Where did that come from? That was so unexpected for me.
That Sontaran better be a good boy and not be on Santa’s naughty list, or else he won’t have any chocolate in his Christmas stocking! I can imagine the Sontaran owning his own chocolate factory! 😀
Like I said, the Daleks and the Cybermen (voiced by Nicholas Briggs) make an appearance in the final episode of ‘Flux’ when lured by the Sontarans’ false offer of an alliance to combat against the Flux. 😐
I’m disappointed the Daleks and the Cybermen didn’t make a proper appearance in ‘Flux’ and they didn’t confront the Doctor. Sontarans, Dalek and Cybermen fighting the Doctor would be awesome!
I hoped that the disappointment would be made up for in ‘Eve of the Daleks’ on New Year’s Day in January 2022. I still wonder if the Cybermen would make an appearance in one of the 2022 Specials.
Also, it was cruel of the Sontarans to have the Daleks and the Cybermen wiped out by the Flux in the story. 😦 Mind you, this could be before the Sontarans joined the Alliance in ‘The Pandorica Opens’. 🙂
Also, come to think of it, I don’t think an alliance between the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Sontarans would have lasted long. These three sets of ‘Doctor Who’ monsters aren’t so trustworthy.
After all, the Daleks and the Cybermen were depicted fighting each other in ‘Doomsday’ and the Daleks and the Sontarans didn’t last long in their alliance in ‘The Five Companions’. Bit of a pity that.
Nadia Albina also returns as Diane in the episode when she and Vinder manage to escape from one of the Passenger prisons. They’re saved by the Doctor in her TARDIS once Vinder has called for her. 🙂
Dan and Di get to reunite with each other, although it isn’t a very happy reunion compared to Vinder and Bel’s happy reunion in the episode. It’s a shame about the circumstances between Dan and Di. 😦
Di is helpful in suggesting to the Doctor that they use the Passenger prison to absorb the Flux and stop it destroying the universe. I’m pleased they came up with that idea against an impossible force.
I did think it unfair of Di to blame Dan for being late on their date in the story’s first episode; since it wasn’t his fault he got captured and caught up in the adventure. But then, it is how she feels here. 😦
By the episode’s end, the Ravagers’ plans are foiled and they’re erased from history when they confront Time, played by Sam Spruell in Swarm’s image, on the planet Atropos. I’m glad they’re gone!
Time is also played by Jodie Whittaker in the Doctor’s image, wearing the darker outfit from the story’s third episode. Ah, I wondered when that dark outfit of the Thirteenth Doctor would return. 🙂
Jodie’s Doctor seems to like the dark outfit Time in her image is wearing. Maybe this means the Doctor will soon wear the dark outfit at some point in the series. Maybe in one of the 2022 Specials!
Or perhaps in a Big Finish audio! Jodie also plays Time in the Doctor’s image well when the Doctor meets her. Time in the Doctor’s image seems more serious compared to how the Doctor behaves. 😐
In re-watching the first five episodes of ‘Flux’, I noticed Jodie voicing the Weeping Angels that communicated with her when journeying to the Division’s base at the start of ‘Flux’s fifth episode. 🙂
Jodie does seem to be getting to play more than one character in the ‘Flux’ adventure. It’s just as well the three Doctors were merged back into one person. I’d hate it if the Doctor was split forever like that.
Time in the Doctor’s image reveals some interesting information to the Doctor concerning her future. There’s mention of a certain Master here. Wow! The Master, huh! Who could that be, hey? 🙂
I hope this means that Sacha Dhawan’s Master will return to make a final confrontation with the Doctor. I’d be so disappointed if that weren’t the case. Maybe it’s in Jodie’s last episode of her run. 🙂
I like how the story ends with the Doctor and Yaz inviting Dan to join them on their TARDIS travels. The Doctor and Yaz also forgive each other, as the Doctor apologises for not sharing secrets to Yaz. 🙂
There is a hint of a romantic connection between the two at the story’s conclusion, but it isn’t explored. And I guess Dan and Yaz managed to cheat death from the Weeping Angels in the story. 😐
Yeah, about that! I thought the Weeping Angels sucked your life dry when they zapped you back in time and fed on your remaining temporal energy. That doesn’t seem to apply in this particular story.
Yaz, Dan, Jericho (Yeah I know, he died in this) and Claire seem able to escape this fate. Has that been changed since then? Can Amy and Rory cheat their own deaths after all this time in the series?
Whilst Yaz shows Dan to his room aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor decides not to open the fob watch containing her forgotten memories. Instead, she places it deep inside the TARDIS for safe-keeping. 🙂
It’s pretty fascinating that the Doctor decided not to open up the fob watch to experience her forgotten memories. I expected the Doctor to do that after wanting to find out more about herself.
I’m curious what will happen next should the Doctor ever need the fob watch again. Maybe that’s saved for Jodie’s final episode in ‘Doctor Who’ where she may come across the Master in the series.
‘The Vanquishers’ has been an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion to end Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ on as well as a satisfying conclusion to the ‘Flux’ story. I enjoyed watching the episode on BBC One. 🙂
There are complexities concerning the plot of the episode as well as the overall story, but for the most part, I enjoyed what I saw of this epic story. This has been a pretty engaging ride throughout. 🙂
I’m also pleased Dan decided to stay as a companion with the Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz. I was looking forward to what would happen next to the TARDIS trio when they faced the Daleks next time!
‘Chapter Six: The Vanquishers’ rating – 8/10
The DVD/Blu-ray special features for ‘Flux’ are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Flux’/‘The Complete Series 13’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s ‘Bringing Karvanista to Life’, ‘Introducing John Bishop as Dan’, ‘Mary Seacole and the Sontarans’, ‘Meet the Ravagers’, ‘The Return of the Fugitive Doctor’, ‘Meet Vinder & Bel’ and a ‘Flux’ launch trailer. There’s an audio commentary on ‘Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans’ with Sara Powell, Dan Starkey, director Jamie Magnus Stone and costume designer Ray Hellman.
On Disc 2 of ‘Flux’/‘The Complete Series 13’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s ‘The Weeping Angels Return’, ‘Directing Doctor Who’ with Jamie Magnus Stone, ‘Kate Stewart and U.N.I.T. Return’, ‘Meet the Sontarans’, ‘The Flux Story Breakdown’, John Bishop’s video diary, and a series sneak peak with Mandip Gill.
‘Flux’/Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ was pretty enjoyable to sit through. I enjoyed the six weeks featuring an instalment of the six-part adventure and I admire Chris Chibnall and his production team for putting together this epic story, especially during the period of the coronavirus pandemic. 🙂
I can imagine how challenging it must have been to put together this six-part adventure and I think most of it comes together pretty well. With that said, I had to re-watch the episodes a number of times on BBC iPlayer in order to appreciate the complexities of what went on in each instalment. 🙂
I don’t think everything gets answered in a satisfying manner. The villains are a problem for me. Whilst I enjoyed the Sontarans, the Ravagers – Swarm and Azure – as well as the Grand Serpent were underdeveloped in my opinion. The story’s complexities got in the way of their development. 😦
It’s a shame, as the actors themselves playing the characters are very good and they do their best with the material given. I can’t say it’s a major criticism, since all turned out well in the end with the Doctor sorting out the Flux, but I wish a lot more was given in terms of the villains’ backstories here.
On the plus side, Jodie Whittaker continues to be excellent as the Thirteenth Doctor. I especially enjoyed her relationship with Mandip Gill as Yaz and it was nice to have her form a new friend in John Bishop as Dan. John Bishop turned out to be a really good ‘Doctor Who’ companion in the end.
I know criticisms continue to be laid on Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, but she continues to be one of my favourite Doctors in the entire series. Mainly because she’s so instantly likeable, which is what I want to receive from the Doctor – something I didn’t always get from Peter Capladi.
I’m thankful I’ve been able to re-watch each episode of ‘Flux’ in consecutive weeks, particularly for the finale when it came to re-watching the first five episodes before ‘Chapter Six’ in December 2021. I have gained more clarity regarding what’s been going on in the story by re-watching the episodes. 🙂
‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ was quite a mind-boggler of an episode to watch, but it was a good start to the season, especially with the cliffhanger it had. ‘War of the Sontarans’ is a better instalment, especially in featuring the potato heads in the Crimean War and the Doctor meeting Mary Seacole. 🙂
‘Once, Upon Time’ is the weakest instalment in the six-part story. ‘Village of the Angels’ showcased the Weeping Angels at their best, especially with the episode’s dramatic cliffhanger. And both ‘Survivors of the Flux’ and ‘The Vanquishers’ served as pretty compelling instalments to draw the season to a close. 🙂
I can’t say ‘Flux’/Series 13 of ‘Doctor Who’ is better than Series 11 and 12, but it has been an enjoyable season throughout. I commend Chris Chibnall and his production team for putting together this season under unusual conditions and the performances of the cast are pretty excellent.
I was looking forward to checking out ‘Eve of the Daleks’ on New Year’s Day in January 2022 as well as the other two 2022 Specials depicting the closure of the Thirteenth Doctor era. 🙂
‘Flux’ rating – 8/10
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