Survivors of the Flux, prefixed in the title sequence with Chapter Five, and in other sources with Flux, was the fifth episode of series 13 of Doctor Who. It formed the fifth chapter of the six-part serial Doctor Who: Flux.
The episode established "Awsok" as another incarnation of the Shobogan Time Lord Tecteun, whilst revealing the space station she was found on to be the remains of the Division, with an Ood as her servant.
It further revealed the space station to be a Multiversal division point in the Void between what she labelled Universe One and Universe Two, revealing that, with the Flux destroying "One", all that is left is moving into "Two".
For Yaz, Dan, and Jericho, life in the early 20th century is holding more adventure and danger than they could have ever imagined. For Bel, her mission to find her husband has taken a drastic wrong turn. For Vinder, the wrath of the Ravagers awaits. For the Grand Serpent, UNIT is his for the taking. And for the Doctor, nothing may ever be the same again...
Directly after transforming into a Weeping Angel, the Doctor finds herself able to move in her real body again as she stands among rows of thousands of her enemies. She asks them what their plan is and even taunts them by slowly blinking again, eventually hearing her voice coming out of an Angel. It explains that they are transporting her somewhere and that her friends are lost where they were stranded in time.
1904, Mexico. Having been living in the early 20th century for three years, Dan crashes through the roof of an ancient temple, followed calmly by Yaz. As Dan narrowly avoids being killed by a wall-mounted spear, he is quickly replaced against his will on their pulley system by Professor Jericho. Together, they carefully approach what they believe to be a mystical offering pot that they need to decode and consider the morality of potentially stealing it.
The Weeping Angels tell the Doctor they have arrived and forcibly return her to her Angel form. She is awoken by an Ood on a highly unstable space station surrounding a large cherry tree, wired into computer banks, and is told to go and visit someone as she is given a conversion plate to help her 'quantum realignment'. In the open centre of the station, she is greeted by Awso, who she previously met when submerged in the time storm. Awsok explains that they have returned to the Division.
1904, Constantinople. Yaz, Dan, and Jericho give the pot to a woman in a marketplace to decipher, having been told that it states the date on which the world ends, unaware that a man has lit a fuse outside their market stall. Discovering it already burning down, the group get the innocents away from the scene, cover up the bomb and run as it detonates. Later, in the sleeping quarters of a cruise ship, the group weigh up their options, knowing that the pot pointed to 5 December. However, they are interrupted by a knock on the door and are forced to hide Dan under the bed as a stowaway. A waiter with a snake tattoo enters and immediately tries to kill them but is quickly wrestled to the floor. After telling them that "you can't fight the future", he bites on a poison capsule in his tooth and dies. Yaz decides to hide his body for now and throw him overboard at night-time.
1958, England. In a wide country estate, a man called Farquhar praises another man's shooting skills, who is revealed to be the Grand Serpent, taking the name of 'Prentis'. Making conversation, the Grand Serpent explains that he works on threats from space to which Farquhar explains that he has been tasked by the United Nations to set up a British task force for that very reason. Relieved at having someone more experienced than him around, Farquhar asks him to act as his assistant, and the Grand Serpent grins and carries on shooting.
At night on the cruise ship, Yaz pulls out a small metallic oval and activates it, projecting a somewhat glitched hologram of the Doctor. She explains that she has recorded it shortly after leaving the planet Time just in case they get separated for more than two weeks. Yaz recounts her task: to work out where and when an inevitable battle for Earth will take place in the future because of the Flux's effects. Shortly after the hologram ends, Yaz sits quietly before being interrupted by Dan and Jericho, having thrown the waiter's body overboard. Dan promises Yaz that they will see the Doctor again.
At Division headquarters, the Doctor tries interrogating Awsok for answers about the Division, but to not much success. Eventually, she explains that she is its current leader and that the Division spans innumerable species across time and space, having far outgrown its original aim of ensuring the safety of Gallifrey. They aimed to guide events in time in direct contravention of the Time Lords. Angry and confused, the Doctor demands to know why she could not find any trace of this enormous group across the universe. Awsok simply replies that they are not in the universe at all.
2021, Earth. Karvanista notices that one of the Lupari ships encasing Earth has left formation for no reason and as a result, Earth is now under threat. However, he identifies one ship that never responded to Species Recall and decides to bring it in – the ship currently being piloted by Bel. She follows the signs of Vinder from Puzano to a giant foreboding monolith structure suspended in deep space, but before she can get there, is interrupted by Karvanista. Despite her cries of protest, he takes remote control of her ship and sends her on hyperdrive to Earth. At the same time, Vinder teleports onto the monolith and hears the hyper warp, unaware that his wife was on board. He discovers a cleared area with all the people that Azure captured from Puzano standing in, staring at a series of blue glowing beacons. Swarm and Azure easily disintegrate all of them and say they have finally gathered enough power for their plan.
Awsok tries to explain her situation to the Doctor, explaining that the Division ship is resting in the Void between universes, requiring the conversion plates to keep them stable between dimensions. Awsok explains that with the old universe ending, they are moving to the next, with the ship used to transfer genetic traces into Universe Two. She admits that she blames herself over the Doctor's meddling with the universe and although she tried to contain her, eventually had to engineer the Flux to destroy the universe with the Doctor in it, considering her experiments in Universe One a failure and is ready to try again. Astonished that the Flux was created purely to stop her, the Doctor asks Awsok who she truly is. She replies that she believes her eyes always stayed the same between regenerations; she is Tecteun, the woman who discovered the Doctor as the Timeless Child.
1967, England. At the Ministry of Defence UNIT headquarters, General Farquhar leads the Grand Serpent through the building, hearing a shout from Corporal Lethbridge-Stewart in the distance. In Farquhar's office, the TARDIS rests, having been recently recovered from Medderton after the Weeping Angel incident. Farquhar insists on testing a new technology for identifying alien lifeforms and despite the Grand Serpent's protests, he is tested and comes up as non-human. Finally showing his true colours, he summons a large, spiked snake-like creature that crawls out of Farquhar's mouth, suffocating him from inside before returning to its master.
The Doctor continues questioning Tecteun, who confirms that the Spy Master's story of the Timeless Child was true. She is furious that her life has been tampered with from the very beginning, but Tecteun defends herself, citing the necessity to move on to the next universe because of the Doctor as a valid reason for having wiped her mind of her life as the Timeless Child.
On the monolith, Vinder is the only survivor as he finds himself trapped between two Passenger forms by Swarm and Azure. Without making conversation, Vinder is captured by a Passenger. Waking up inside on what looks like stone steps, Vinder meets Diane, who is grateful for the company. As he recognises her from the projection in the Temple of Atropos, they plan to work together to escape.
1904, Nepal. Yaz, Dan, and Jericho finish their ascension of a mountain while bundled up in furs to visit a "legendary seer" called Kumar and find out the date of the battle for Earth. When they arrive at his small camp, he turns out to be much more light-hearted than they expected and teases them repeatedly for not having brought him any news of the rest of the world. For his message, he summons three words: "fetch your dog." Jericho is baffled but the others have a better idea of what to do. Travelling to the Great Wall of China, the trio works hard to cut down many trees and spread white paint over a huge area. Eventually, having worked for long enough for Dan and Jericho to grow large beards, they finish their work and Jericho bemoans never knowing what it looks like in full. Their message, several hundred metres long and tall, reads "KARVANISTA! DAN IS HERE - 1904, FETCH YOUR HUMAN!" Watching from space 117 years later, Karvanista mutters that he cannot help as he does not have time travel.
On the Division ship, the Doctor tries to explain to the Ood that she can help it save its species from being wiped out by the Flux. Although initially hesitant due to its instructions, it relents and shows the Doctor a map of the universe, but she is adamant there should be much more. The Ood explains that many galaxies have already been destroyed and it is still centring on Earth. Although the Doctor begins to formulate a plan, she is distracted by intense whispering audible only to her, emanating from a biodata module in the shape of a fob watch nearby.
1987, England. The Grand Serpent, still under the alias of Prentis and having not aged a day, holds a private retirement dinner for a man named Millington, the Chair of the UNIT Oversight Committee. The Grand Serpent admits that he would like to take over the job, but Millington says that his charitable work should keep him busy enough, adding that he would take the job "over my dead body." Later, he leaves to enter his car and tells the driver to turn the heating down but is met by the Grand Serpent in the driver's seat. He grins at using the "personal touch" as his snake-like creature kills Millington from the inside.
Back on the cruise ship, Dan complains about not having heard from Karvanista as the cabin door opens to reveal Joseph Williamson, baffled at appearing on a ship. As Yaz and Dan both point out they have met him in different places before, he walks off, cursing the shifting doorways that brought him there. Dan remembers seeing his tunnels being excavated in 2021 and decides they must go to visit his work.
1904, Liverpool. Yaz, Dan, and Jericho chat to a young man called Alfie whose grandfather used to work for Williamson, explaining that his tunnels have long since shut down in the decades since his death but is willing to lead them to them anyway. Six and a half hours of exploring later and the group are nearly out of rope and lamp oil, finally stumbling upon Williamson again as they begin to leave. Dan asks if he is a ghost, receiving a hard slap in return, but Williamson is overjoyed at hearing others who understand the threats to time and space like he does, promising to show them everything.
The Doctor studies the fob watch, with Tecteun explaining that all her lost memories reside inside, having previously been held by the Weeping Angel that tracked her down. The Doctor begs to know how many other people she has been, even guessing at thousands, but Tecteun refuses to elaborate. She offers the Doctor an ultimatum: either return to her universe and watch it fall or get her memories back and re-join the Division in the new universe where the Timeless Child's wormhole led. The Doctor refuses everything.
2017, London. In the modern UNIT headquarters, the Grand Serpent tells Kate Stewart that, despite his efforts, UNIT needs to be wound down as soon as possible. She refuses to accept this and reveals to him how she has tracked all evidence of his meddling over the decades and knows about his evil intentions, but he calmly states that she must be feeling very tired. Furious, Kate explains that her psychic manifest shield will protect her from his snake-like creature and if he does not stop immediately, she will call in "someone you really don't want to argue with" to expose him. Returning to her house that night, she stops as she hears the beeping of a bomb placed behind her front door and barely escapes in time. She recovers herself from the ground and phones Osgood, explaining that she is going dark, then snaps her phone in half.
2021, Earth. Bel's Lupari craft is brought out of hyperdrive by Karvanista, and he teleports on board. They exchange shots and insults briefly but are interrupted by violent shaking and are forced to hold a ceasefire to report that all ships are under attack.
1904, Liverpool. Williamson leads Yaz, Dan, and Jericho into the central chamber of his tunnels, where they discover a dozen doorways, each labelled with which other world and time is behind it. Knowing that humanity may be in danger, he has been attempting to build defences but admits that everything has been shifting since Halloween, especially the "endless death" behind doorway nine. Their conversation is interrupted when they hear a knocking from behind one door.
On Bel's ship, she and Karvanista brace as their attackers prepare to board. Meanwhile, in the Grand Serpent's office at UNIT, he orders a worker to lower the planet's defences and aim all their weaponry inwards. He asks a hologram if they are ready, and on the other side, Sontaran Commander Stenck prepares to enact revenge on Earth. At once, the Sontaran fleet materialises above Earth to destroy the Lupari and burst into Williamson's tunnels.
Elsewhere, on the Division ship, the Doctor promises to Tecteun that she will stop them and save her friends and the universe as she does it. However, she is interrupted by Swarm and Azure, who have teleported into the Void through a psycho-temporal bridge built from the energy of the people they killed so they can get their revenge on the Division. To start, he immediately disintegrates Tecteun and says that the Doctor is next.
- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Yasmin Khan - Mandip Gill
- Dan Lewis - John Bishop
- Professor Jericho - Kevin McNally
- Tecteun - Barbara Flynn
- Prentis/Grand Serpent - Craig Parkinson
- Farquhar - Robert Bathurst
- Karvanista - Craige Els
- Bel - Thaddea Graham
- Vinder - Jacob Anderson
- Swarm - Sam Spruell
- Azure - Rochenda Sandall
- Diane - Nadia Albina
- Millington - Nicholas Blane
- Williamson - Steve Oram
- Kate Stewart - Jemma Redgrave
- Sontaran Commander Stenck - Jonathan Watson
- Weeping Angels - Barbara Fadden, Isla Moody, Lowri Brown
- Ood - Simon Carew
- Voice of Ood - Silas Carson
- Waiter - Guy List
- Passenger - Jonny Mathers
- Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Kumar - Kammy Darweish
- Alfie - George Caple
|Executive Producers Matt Strevens and Chris Chibnall|
|Co-executive producer(s) Nikki Wilson|
|Director of Photography
Andy Pryor CDG
|Costume Design & Creature Design
Original theme music by Ron Grainer
• Title sequence by Ben Pickles
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- UNIT is established at some point between 1958, when Farquhar and "Prentis" discuss it, and 1966, when WOTAN attacked London with the War Machines.
- Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is a newly-recruited corporal in 1967.
- Kate contacts Petronella Osgood before she goes into hiding.
- According to the map, Yaz, Dan and Jericho travelled past River Ganges, across the Bay of Bengal, through a bay between Sumatra and Siam, past Borneo and the Gulf of Siam, through the China Sea and past Formosa on their way from Nepal to the Great Wall of China.
- Tehraun, Persia, Persian Gulf, Bombay, Hindoostan, Calcutta, Arabian Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb, Maldives, Cape Comorin, Ceylon, Madras, Birmah, China, Canton, Java, Luzon, Philippine Islands, Mindanao and Gilolo can also be seen on the map.
- This is the only story in series 13 not to have a cold opening; all that came before the title sequence is the "Previously" sequence.
- This story references the real world release date of the subsequent episode, mirroring how The Halloween Apocolypse also referenced and was released on Halloween.
- This is Nicholas Courtney's first credit on "main" televised Doctor Who since the 1989 story Battlefield. He had since appeared in the 1993 story Dimensions in Time and the The Sarah Jane Adventures story Enemy of the Bane in 2008. The audio clip used for his cameo was taken from the Third Doctor serial Terror of the Autons.
- Whilst various spin-off media has delved into UNIT's history, this is the first televised story to give an origin for UNIT-UK, who first appear in The Invasion as an already existing "independent intelligence group".
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- In a close-up shot in the first pyramid scene, Yaz is looking at the Professor whilst talking to him; however, in the next shot, she is seen looking away from him, her head and eyes in a different position.
- Swarm and Azure build a psycho-temporal bridge to the Doctor using the Time Force harvested from the Temple of Atropos (TV: Once, Upon Time) and the spatial energy harvested from the lifeforms trapped within the Ravagers' Passengers, (TV: Village of the Angels) in conjunction with the psychic link between Swarm and the Doctor. (TV: The Halloween Apocalypse)
- As they did to Eustacius Jericho, the Weeping Angel taunt the Doctor by using her own voice. (TV: Village of the Angels)
- The Weeping Angels bring the Doctor back to the Division. (TV: Village of the Angels)
- Three years have passed since Yaz, Dan and Jericho were left in 1961 by the Weeping Angels. (TV: Village of the Angels)
- UNIT has been in the works since 1958, but were only established after the invasion of the War Machines on C-Day in 1966. (TV: The War Machines)
- In his office, Farquhar has reports on the Shoreditch Incident, as well as a sketch of a Special Weapons Dalek, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) the Post Office Tower, (TV: The War Machines) and Holly Tree Lodge. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
- In her pre-recorded message to Yaz, the Doctor mentions they just left the planet Time and hears Yaz calling her from the TARDIS control room. (TV: Once, Upon Time)
- Karvanista and the Lupari are still protecting Earth from the Flux event, (TV: The Halloween Apocalypse) just as the Doctor had asked them too. (TV: War of the Sontarans)
- Bel is still using a stolen Lupari ship. (TV: Once, Upon Time)
- Tecteun reveals she and members within Division caused the Flux to occur and notes that the Doctor launching her TARDIS and its heart into the event is what prevented it destroying the entire universe there and then. She also reveals that the Flux was initiated to primarily destroy the Doctor, explaining why it seemed to target her TARDIS when she first found it. (TV: The Halloween Apocalypse)
- UNIT found the Doctor's TARDIS in Medderton after all the residents disappeared. (TV: Village of the Angels)
- The Doctor asks Tecteun if what the Spy Master told her about the Timeless Child on Gallifrey was true, which Tecteun confirms. (TV: The Timeless Children)
- Tecteun recalls how she found the Doctor as a child underneath a wormhole and how she experimented on her to discover regeneration. (TV: The Timeless Children) She also dismisses the Doctor's efforts to scold her, noting that taking the Doctor and leaving her when her usefulness ran out is similar to how the Doctor treats her companions; Davros and the Dream Lord made similar comments. (TV: Journey's End, Amy's Choice)
- Diane is still trapped within the Passenger. Vinder remembers seeing her while he was at the Temple of Atropos. (TV: Once, Upon Time)
- The Doctor's lost memories are contained within a biodata module shaped like a fob watch. (TV: Human Nature) When near it, the voices of her lost incarnations are heard calling towards her. (TV: The Family of Blood, Utopia)
- Yaz and Dan recall their previous encounters with Joseph Williamson at the Temple of Atropos and in an unknown tunnel. (TV: War of the Sontarans, Once, Upon Time)
- Tecteun shows the Doctor that she has captured the Weeping Angel whom possessed Claire. (TV: Village of the Angels)
- UNIT's funding is cut in 2017, contributing to its eventual shutdown by 2019. (TV: Resolution)
- Kate Stewart mentions being the head of UNIT. (TV: The Power of Three, The Day of the Doctor)
- The Sontarans return to once again invade Earth, seeking revenge for their loss in an alternate timeline. (TV: War of the Sontarans)
Home video releases
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- This episode was also simulcast on BBC America, as well as other networks.