Across Time and Space

By Tony Cross

An Unofficial Doctor Who Companion with an introduction from Daniel Hardcastle

Monday, 1 November 2021

Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse

Morning all, 

Today is the morning after the first new Doctor Who for some time. The first part of a six part story: Flux. As you're all supporting this project I thought I'd put my first thoughts here. Now, my blogs are usual my instant reactions to stories. I'll try to avoid spoilers but if you haven't already seen this. Stop reading now.

I enjoyed this a lot. Chris Chibnall packed a lot in. Threads were begun in this story that might not get all tied together until the final episode so analysing this as an episode in its own right is both tough and probably a little unfair. 

Ah, the Doctor and Yaz are having adventures. The implication of this episode is that they have been travelling together for a while. I like that the Doctor in this story is a little less open. She's keeping secrets from Yaz. I also like that Yaz calls her out on it. I like Jodie's version of the 13th Doctor here a trap set by the Karnavista (Craige Els). I'm going to say that the handcuffs and the bed suggests to me that Chibnall knows exactly what he's doing in terms of helping to encourage the creation of Doctor Who smut. 

The Karnavista is a dog-like being who sounds a bit like Christopher Eccleston (or he did to me.) Although Eccleston will be unimpressed with all the Liverpool FC references. I digress. 

The story introduces us to multiple characters and villains and I won't dwell on all of them here. I think some of the stories will be told in future episodes (as the series trailer hints.) The question is will those stories then be part of the whole Flux event. We shall see.

The most important introductions we get are to Dan Lewis, played by John Bishop. Dan is a proud Scouser and we get some interaction with the issues of the real world here: unemployment and food banks. Dan is a good man and, as befits a character played by a comedian, quite funny. He's arranging a non-date date with Diane (Nadia Albina) who is drawn into the story towards the end. Nadia Albina is a fine actor. I've seen her in both The Merchant of Venice and Othello in Stratford-upon-Avon so I hope they give her more to do. I like Dan. I think John Bishop does a good job in his first story. 

We also meet The Swarm (Sam Spruell) who, it seems, will be the main villain of the Flux (although the massive indestructible Flux itself would appear to be the biggest bad of them all, but perhaps they are all linked.) The Swarm is genuinely creepy. It's nice to have a villain that I think would genuinely have scared me as a kid and it is pretty ruthless. There's an implication of battles past, which the Doctor seems not to know about. I have a theory about that but now is not the time and place to go into it. 

We meet Claire(Annabel Scholey), who has also already met the Doctor. She has an encounter with some Weeping Angels. Her use of the line, "the long way round" has also got everyone's attention. Whether this will mean anything or is just a red herring is something I suppose we will only find out later. Perhaps everyone in this story is a pre-Hartnell Doctor? (Sorry, I'm being silly.)

Another thread introduces us to Vinder (Jacob Anderson), who has been trailed as having more involvement in further stories. Add to this the Sontarans - who are the focus of next weeks episode; the Flux itself (which at this point just seems to be an unstopable, universe ending force); Weeping Angels; Azure (Swarm's sister and, at the beginning of the story, disguised as a human living in the Artic Circle for reasons I don't entirely understand).

By the end of the episode most of the pieces are in place for the ongoing story and what felt at points like a season conclusion has only just started things off. 

There was a lot to take in. Chibnall has given himself quite a lot to do if he's going to tie all this up and the Timeless Child. I have theories. I always have theories.

Solid performances from everyone and a great start to a new season. At least in my opinion. What did you all think? 


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Peter Dalling
 Peter Dalling says:

I was confused, but given that there was a lot of scene setting to do in episode 1 that's understandable. I think a few more watching's of the episode before next Sunday should straighten it out. As you say, the double bed was a interesting inclusion. The tension between the Doctor and Yaz had the flavour of a lovers tiff to me. They need to have a hearts to heart at some point.

posted 1st November 2021

Patricia Caminada
 Patricia Caminada says:

A lot to take in, in this first episode. I left me with a bit "what's happening?" all over. Surely I have to watch it a few times again to understand the build up.

posted 1st November 2021

Louise Romana Wade
 Louise Romana Wade says:

Given how much I didn't enjoy some of Chibnall's Series 11 and 12 stuff, I was impressed by The Halloween Apocalypse. I was going to watch all of Flux regardless, but I'm now really interested. I do believe that with 13 doing research into tue Division and the Swarm saying about memories being wiped, he has to relate to those pre-Hartnell Division days, which kinda makes sense as to why the dog person seemed to be aware of the Flux stuff, because he is part of the Division. I'm looking forward to what comes next. The episode seemed so overpacked though, which is something that can go not great, but actually seemed to pace quite decently in my opinion. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

posted 1st November 2021

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