Tardis

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Survivors of the Flux, prefixed with Chapter Five in the title sequence, 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".

Synopsis[]

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...

Plot[]

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.

Cast[]

Crew[]

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound



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.


References[]

UNIT[]

Locations[]

Story notes[]

Ratings[]

  • Overnight: 3.82 million[2]
  • Consolidated: 4.72 million[3]

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • 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.
  • In the end credits, "Cast Payroll Accountant" is incorrectly spelled as "Crast Payroll Accountant"

Continuity[]

Home video releases[]

DVD releases[]

to be added

Blu-ray releases[]

DVD and Blu-ray release[]

Survivors of the Flux was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 January 2022, along with the five other episodes of Doctor Who: Flux.

Digital releases[]

to be added

External links[]

Footnotes[]

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