In the penultimate episode of Doctor Who: Flux, Yaz and her companions Dan and Professor Jericho are stuck in 1904 looking for clues on how to save the future.
Survivors of the Flux was another kitchen sink episode where at least four subplots jockeyed for our attention. The main plot had the Doctor freed from the Weeping Angel form but trapped outside of the universe with an Ood and that mysterious woman (Barbara Flynn) from the third episode, Once Upon a Time. It turns out that she is Tecteun, the woman who found the Doctor as a child and experimented on her to harness her power to time travel.
Tecteun is still hellbent on destroying the universe that contains earth because of the Doctor. In several exposition ladened scenes we learn that Division started on Gallifrey and grew across time and space, interfering and guiding other species. The Flux was set in motion to stop the Doctor from finding out about her past. The Doctor notices a fob watch in a case. It contains her memories in a similar way that the Tenth Doctor had his essence and memories stored in the season 3 episode, Human Nature.
Tecteun tantalises Thirteen with the offer of her memories back if she chooses to return to the Divison. The alternative is to go back to the broken universe and attempt to save it and probably die trying. The Doctor’s choices are removed from the table when Swarm appears and kills Tecteun for revenge.
Yaz, Dan and the tunnels
Meanwhile, stuck in 1904, Yaz (Mendip Gill), Dan (John Bishop) and Professor Jericho (Kevin McNally) were doing up Tomb Raider adventures as they travel the world looking for clues that would help them save the future as per the Doctor’s hologram message. We get no acknowledgement that the threesome were last seen stuck in a time-locked village controlled by the Weeping Angels. No mentions of Peggy or anything. But you know what, that’s okay. I’m getting used to shrugging off discarded plot threads. I sleep better at night that way.
There was a little comedic moment when they meet the Seer, Kumar (Kammy Darweish). When he tells them to “fetch your dog” Yaz immediately understands that he is referring to Dan’s bonded Lupari, Karvanista. They travel to the Great Wall of China and armed with buckets of paint we see them graffiti up the place as they paint a message for Karvanista to come and fetch his human. Unfortunately, the Lupari can’t do time travel so is of no help to them.
Eventually, they end up in Liverpool where we finally get a connection to the Joseph Williamson character and his tunnels. Williamson appears happy to see them as his plans finally start to make sense to him. Parts of the tunnels have doorways leading to different worlds which explains how Williamson has been hopping about from episode to episode. It means the doorways also lead to different points in time and space. Does this mean Yaz and her companions will find a way back to their own time without the Doctor and the Tardis?
Infiltration of UNIT
The question of how and why UNIT (Unified Intelligence Taskforce) was shut down was answered in this episode. In the New Years Day Special, Resolution, the Doctor tried to get in touch with UNIT only to be told they had closed due to financial disputes and subsequent funding withdrawal.
It turns out the Grand Serpent who we met back in the third episode, has been travelling through time and manipulating UNIT events behind the scenes to put himself in power so that he could shut down the organisation. In 2017 he confronted Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) who was onto him and tried to blow her up. He did all of that so that his allies, the Sontarans could invade earth unhindered.
I’m sure fans who cursed showrunner Chris Chibnall for writing off UNIT with that one-liner in the Special will now be happy that he at least tied up that storyline. Or not.
Vinder, Di and other stuff
Vinder is still searching for Bel and ends up a prisoner of Passenger where he meets Dan’s friend Di from the first episode. Di is glad to finally meet someone with a gun as she has a score to settle. Meanwhile, Bel and Karvanista are now paired up after he chased her and boarded her ship because the ship she’s been travelling around in belongs to the Lupari.
I’m sure all these pairings will fit neatly into place for the final episode of the season. If not, there’s always the specials. I’m hoping that the Swarm and Azure storyline will be completed next week because as interesting as they appear, they aren’t that great or as interesting as they first seemed. I really don’t want to see them again.