When we last saw the Doctor and her companions, they were witnessing the end of the universe as the Flux threatened to destroy everything. Thankfully there was no big bang and, in this episode, we learn why time is unravelling.
War of the Sontarans’ was far less chaotic than the previous episode of Doctor Who and whilst the episode posed some new questions, we did get a few answers in this ongoing saga.
The Doctor on earth with Mary Seacole
The Doctor, Yaz and Dan find themselves alive and unharmed on earth in the 19th century. Whilst the Doctor ponders whether this is the end of the universe, Yaz and Dan are taken elsewhere through space and time leaving the Doctor alone with a broken Tardis that won’t open its doors to her.
The Doctor discovers she is in the middle of the Crimean war and that history has changed. Instead of Russians, the British are fighting Sontarans. She finds an ally in Mary Seacole (Sara Powell), a Jamaican nurse who used her own money to travel to Crimea and set up a hospital to treat the wounded soldiers. She also meets General Logan (Gerald Kyd) an army man hell bent on serving Queen and country even after the Doctor tells him he is no match for the Sontarans.
We learn that the crafty Sontarans are not responsible for the Flux, they just took advantage of it to invade earth. They intend for earth to be an outpost of the Sontaran Empire.
With the help of Mrs Seacole and General Logan, the Doctor defeats the Sontarans by starving them of much needed supplies that they need to withstand earth’s atmosphere. Before the Sontarans are able to take off in their ships, the General blows them all up out of guilt for sending his men to die in a war they could not win.
I liked the way Mary Seacole’s history was woven into the plot of this episode. It was much more enjoyable than the Rosa Parks episode where Rosa was the focal point of the story. If you had never heard of Mrs Seacole, you probably would have felt compelled to find out if she was real. It was a nice hat tip to the work she had done that went unrecognised for over a century.
Dan with a wok on earth
The time vortex has returned Dan to his home in Liverpool. His house is still missing but earth is now swarming with Sontarans. Turns out, they managed to invade earth before the Lupari (dog monsters) could form a shield around the planet and are now using Liverpool Docks to build time ships in order to invade earth’s history.
I’m really enjoying Dan. After spending just two days with the Doctor he’s nonchalant about the existence of aliens and brave enough to take on the Sontarans armed only with a Wok. When he finds himself in a sticky situation on board a Sontaran ship, his designated dog monster Karvanista (Craige Els) comes to his rescue. Between them, they manage to defeat the Sontarans.
Yaz and Vinder in the temple with Swarm
The most interesting part of the episode for me was the predicament that Yaz and Vinder find themselves in. Both are lured to the Temple of Atropos on the planet Time where a Priest Triangle anxiously asks them to fix something that is broken. Of course, neither of them has a clue how to fix the problem.
In the temple are a group of women standing on a podium and two appear to be broken. The Priest Triangle explains that they are the Mouri and all time must pass through them. Time ran wild before Atropos was built. Then the triangle talks about time being evil and destruction. It’s possible that the broken Mouri is what set off the Flux.
When Swarm arrives at the temple, we hear that it’s not his first time and that he has bad intentions. Why else would the podium be quantum locked against him? Somehow, he has the power to draw the Tardis to the temple and to use Vinder and Yaz as spare parts to fix the podium.
Who or what is he? He knows the Doctor, he’s met Yaz and Vinder before at some point as he knows so much about them, especially the inked letters in the palm of Yaz’s hand. He says humans are such linear creatures. Does this mean he perceives time in a different way so can already see what has not happened? Isn’t that cheating? He also seems jealous of the Doctor’s continued interest in humans.
We know from the season 12, Timeless Child episode that the Doctor had a past long before the Time Lords. Could the Doctor be from planet Time? Is she a Mouri? Is this where she met Swarm? Either that or she was part of Division and helped to trap him in the prison we saw him in the last episode.
My question still remains unanswered: Who is that guy with the hat and what is he going on about? There are so many questions. It’s time we start getting some answers before my head explodes.