Now THAT was a over-stuffed pumpkin of action.
The new season of Doctor Who started this past Halloween with several bangs. They included a Liverpool guy who gets kidnapped by an alien dog, a woman who is a friend of the Doctor (eventually), a mine owner from 200 years ago, two familiar villains and a long-time enemy the Doctor doesn’t remember….yet.
And of course, the end of the universe.
It starts with The Doctor and Yaz in a very difficult situation against someone named Karvanista (Craige Els). He’s on his way to Earth just before its destruction, but Doc and Yaz will stop him and his plan…whatever it is.
Cut to Liverpool….1820? A mine owner named Williamson (Steve Oram) has many people digging tunnels with no rhyme or reason. He insists there is a very important reason, but it’ll be a while before we know what it is.
Two hundred years later, we meet Dan Lewis (John Bishop), a very good guide at the Liverpool Museum. Too bad he doesn’t really work there. Despite the fact he lives near Liverpool’s home grounds, he seems to be down on his luck. It gets worse when he’s grabbed by an alien dog…named Karvanista.
Yes, him. It’ll make sense soon.
Meanwhile, the Doctor comes in contact with a very dangerous guy named Swarm (Sam Spruell). She doesn’t quite know him but he sure knows her. He’s been confined for millennia, but he escapes by dissolving two of his would-be guards. Their deaths will foreshadow something that will threaten the universe. He plans to wipe out the universe, and especially the Doctor. She still doesn’t remember him but he does mention the Division, the group that provided more lives for the Doctor than she thought. Is this battle from a forgotten life?
It’s also revealed he has a sister named Azure. She was hiding as someone in the Arctic Circle until Swarm kills an unfortunate roommate.
Then we see Vinder (Jacob Anderson), a man who was at an observation post where not much happens. That changes when something destroys a nearby solar system, and eventually his post before he leaves quickly. We’ll hear more from him.
He’s followed by the Sontarans, as evil as ever from the 70s. They seem to be happy about the sudden collapse of the universe, and imply it will lead them to greater glory.
Anyway, the Doctor and Yaz do find out what happened in Liverpool and Dan. They also discover a massive invasion of Lupari headed for Earth. The real reason is surprising.
They narrowly escape a shrinking bomb disguised as a laptop, then meet someone named Claire (Annabel Scholey) who seems to know them. She claims she’ll meet them in their future but her past. That’s because she also meets a Weeping Angel, and knows the rules about not looking away or blinking. She almost gets to her house, but the Angel sends her to the past. She will also be seen again, maybe near a 19th century mine (not confirmed yet).
The Doctor eventually gets to Karvanista. She wants to know why his people are coming, and what exactly is the Division. He won’t tell her about the second question, but warns her the Flux is coming. It’s a galactic hurricane that destroys galaxies, and is headed towards the Earth. His Lupari was just there to save the Earthlings. They see our species as their species bond, man’s best friend. Of course, we don’t know that, but considering the emergency…
The episode ends with the Lupari able to protect the Earth thanks to their ships. However, the TARDIS is about to be swallowed into the Flux…..to what?
Thanks to the trailer that immediately followed, it’s revealed the crew wind up somewhere…and will meet a Sontaran.
The episode’s one jumbled mess, but still somewhat easy to follow despite the sudden changes in scenery. How all the plots were arranged at the end might remind someone of 24.
Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill are an excellent pair. While we miss Graham and Ryan, the Doctor and Yaz make great traveling mates. Still, Yaz is worried that the Doctor is hiding something, and she has every right. It’s still great to see Yaz take a bigger role.
So how about the new guy, played by comic John Bishop? He fits right in quite well, especially arguing with Kavanista about why he was grabbed in the first place. He’s clearly a good guy who’s down on his luck, but it safe to say this new adventure will make his life better…hopefully. If the show is smart, they’ll keep Dan around at least through 2023…and maybe meet Graham, too.
We do have to wonder about why he thinks Sheffield is too close to Leeds.
It’s too early to tell how much of a threat Swarm is, but he must have had a lot of battles with the Doctor. Could he be worst than the Master (any of them)?
Flux should be considered a six-hour movie, but the first act is certainly getting people interested in what’s next.