The Flux saga has reached the halfway point, and some answers have been revealed. People are still wondering what will happen, and whether it’ll be the Doctor’s fault…at least from the redacted part of her past.
Half of this week’s episode is one big jumble of memories, but it soon focuses to show some clues about why Swarm and Azure want revenge against the Doctor. There’s also some bombshells, and one shocking hijacking.
Strangely, though, the episode starts with someone called Bel (Thaddea Graham). She is avoiding several Daleks, and a strange force that is killing her friends. She’s a fairly scrappy gal, and would make a great Companion. As we later learn, she’s also trying to avoid Sontarans and Cybermen, thanks to a deserted Lupari ship, while looking for someone. More on that later.
Back to the temple at Atropos, Swarm is set to kill Yaz with the force of time. The Doctor stops this with her Sonic Screwdriver and enters a time storm. She tries to hide Vinder, Yaz and Dan in their own personal memories, and wants the Mouri to help her restore the temple. She winds up in her own timestream, a part she doesn’t remember.
It’s her redacted past, as we see the return of the Fugitive Doctor (Jo Martin) aka RuthDoc. Swarm met RuthDoc quite a while ago, and she was about to banish him and Azure. She also had a crew, but in her recollection they look like Vinder, Yaz and Dan (one of them is really Karvanista). It’s also revealed she used the Mouri to regulate time, and Swarm is angry about this.
What’s interesting is that Swarm considers the Doctor and the Time Lords as the real villains. He says they created a secret planet called Time to control…well, Time. He says that it’s a losing battle because Time will always defeat Space.
As for the Companions, they notice their pasts aren’t what they seem. Yaz is hunted by Weeping Angels, even getting through video games. Vinder recalls how he got a top job serving the Grand Serpent (Craig Parkinson), even if he’s unpleasant. Vinder also remembers how the Serpent was planning an “accidental killing” to push back against a critic. Being a whistleblower got Vinder sent to a lonely outpost where (usually) nothing happens. It’s the price he pays, but that’s before the Flux.
The Companions also show up in each other’s memories, causing a lot of confusion.
Dan recalls his time with Diana (Nadia Albina), and even reveals he almost got married. Then, someone appears but Diana disappears. It’s later revealed Swarm’s Passenger, which is also a prison, has Diana inside itself. He plans a lot of torture for her.
He also finds himself in a mine, where Williamson appears again. It’s still not revealed who he’s fighting on his mine, but knows about the Flux clouds.
The Doctor wants to learn more about her secret life, but the Mouri can’t do that. She does wind up meeting someone named Awsok (Barbara Flynn) , who seems to know the Doctor. She casually says the Flux was planned, and it’s about time the current universe was destroyed because it was getting worn out. The Doctor is upset by this…and the insinuation that this is somehow her fault.
She returns to Antropos, and Yaz is OK now that the temple has enough Mouri. Swarm is there, too, still quite vague. He says he wants to rein in Hell, and that’s it. He really wants revenge and will be happy ruling a totally dead universe.
Back to Bel, she kills a Cyberman, and tells it her mission is love. That’s something it doesn’t understand. She does comment that it’s absurd the Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans can still fight and conquest in a post-Flux universe. Eventually, all that will be left is each other.
Would Swarm be happy there, or maybe he thinks it’s not important?
She’s also right that her mission is love. He wants to get back to someone who is also the father of her unborn child.
Yes, it’s Vinder, and he misses her too. He’s dropped off at what’s left of his planet, and hopes to get back to her. Will he meet the Grand Serpent, too? That’s a possibility.
It ends with a shocking invasion: a Weeping Angel calls Yaz on her cell, emerges form it and takes over the TARDIS.
Why? It might have something to do with a village disappearing overnight. Is that its mission?
One thing is sure. Claire just might be back.
The episode was very confusing in the first half, but some questions were answered. Fans still want to know why Awsok thinks she’s God, and can blame the Doctor for it all. The look on her face, thinking she may not survive this latest crisis, is heartbreaking. Even though it’s almost the end of Jodie Whittaker’s time in the TARDIS, she should get a better finish. Maybe she will.