Part 2 – War of the Sontarans

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    Craig @craig

    War of the Sontarans

    It’s part two of ‘Doctor Who: Flux.’ So far I have to admit that I’m not engaged, but I’m hoping that the end of this episode, traditionally the end of Act One in screenwriting, will have me hooked.

    All I know is that, during the Crimean War, the Doctor discovers the British army fighting a brutal alien army of Sontarans. And they’re the classic, ugly Sontarans.

    Yaz and Dan are thrown deeper into a battle for survival. What is the Temple of Atropos? Who are the Mouri?

    Jacob Anderson (who wasn’t credited on the BBC site last week for some reason) is back as Vinder – if you don’t know, Anderson was Grey Worm in ‘Game of Thrones.’ I’m guessing he’ll be a recurring character in this single story.

    This is again written by Chibnall (is he writing them all?) and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    I am really enjoying where this Series is going and the concepts and freshness they are giving us 🙂

    Another really good ep 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Still confused, it’s obvious we’re going to get info on the big story in pieces over the 6 episodes so it being episode 2 we’re not going to get anywhere near any sort of major plot reveals this far in, the secondary story appeared to be a typical Doctor vs the Sontarians episode. There’s obviously something seriously going on with the Tardis and it obviously wanted the Doctor to sort out the Sontarian situation as to how this is related to the bigger Flux situation I’m not sure. Why can’t I shake the feeling Swarm is something to do with the Master.

    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    Those Sontarans are rotten shots!

    much better than last week –  Azure and Swarm, “translations, but close enough”. Throwaway comment, or possible clue…

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @Charlie Cook how are you 🙂

    ooo I like the idea that their names may be a hint or hidden code to something 🙂 and wasnt the third guy literally called passenger or passenger 3 so I dont know what his deal is as that name though maybe code is less alieny than Swarm and Auzral is that right, interesting though 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, I thought that was pretty damn brilliant. Really enjoyed it. Finally, Jodie’s Doctor actually felt like a Doctor with authority.

    I loved the premise of time running riot, and..I never thought I would say this…but Chibnall’s version of a Time War actually made more sense to me that Moffat’s version of a Time War. It was really about time. (No, that wasn’t intended to be a bad pun.)

    I loved Swarm and Azure. Unrelentingly evil in a sort of Boris and Natasha kind of way.

    Have to go, as the cat needs the daily insulin injection, but back later (tomorrow?) with more reflections.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Or ‘Stramash of the Tumshie-Heids’, as my old pa would have said.

    Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed that quite a bit. I’d say that was easily Chibs’s best episode of Who ever and, what’s more, I’d say he’s produced the best Sontaran story since The Time Warrior. I’m gradually getting used to the new Sontaran design and it was nice to see Dan Starkey back, even if it wasn’t as Strax. The Sontarans here certainly occupy that fine line between comedic and threatening that Robert Holmes laid out for them all those years ago and props to Chibs for managing that (certainly better than RTD did).

    And once again, the whole thing looked absolutely beautiful. Both the Crimean sequences and the battle at the Liverpool docks were positively cinematic and really the most epic the show’s ever managed to be. If the shorter season duration is the price we pay for this level of polish, then it’s a price worth paying.

    But the real revelation (sort of) this ep was Whittaker. For my money, we finally saw the excellent Doctor that seemed to be trying and failing to come out for the last two years. She was great in this episode, channelling aspects of Davison, Tennant and perhaps even a little Tom Baker at points but still being utterly her own Doctor. The passivity was gone as she took control of the situation, whether bouncing off Mary Seacole or facing down General Logan. It, in fact, showed what had been the fundamental problem with her era these past two years — the bloody Fam. Like Davison, she was lumbered with a TARDIS full of absolute lemons and this series is positively benefiting from the absence of the oaken presence of Graham and Ryan. It was even a relief to see the getting-slightly-proprietorial Yaz shunted off into a side-plot as it really gave Whittaker a chance to shine. I’m now starting to feel that I’m going to miss her Doctor, which surprised me no end.

    Bishop as Dan was also killing it this episode. He’s another engaging, active presence and I far prefer him to the maudlin passivity of Graham. Where he shone most was in his interactions with his parents, of course. And this is where Chibs does shine as a writer. His SF plots are always full of more holes than a gorgonzola but there’s no one better at doing the bickering, loving interactions between ordinary folk. I think in the long run, his most memorable contribution to Who is going to be in the utterly vivid, utterly human side characters like Dan and his parents, Rory and Brian, Nasreen and Tony. In this respect, he’s easily as good as RTD and somewhat better than Moff. I’m kind of hoping @juniperfish and co are wrong about Dan being the Master. I’d be sad to see him go.

    Not that there aren’t problems with the story. The Sontarans were rather easily defeated and the Doc’s plan seemed to hinge on Dan managing to pull off some unspecified coup at his end — which wouldn’t have happened if Karvanista hadn’t shown up. Similarly, the concept of the Sontarans all going for their recharge at exactly the same time seems like rather a tactical faux pas. But this one I can let slide a bit more because it fits with the previously established Sontaran sense of arrogance and outright stupidity.

    The stuff on the planet Time, I’m not sure about yet. Vinder is interesting but a bit bland so far. Swarm and Azure look and act like a nicely old school pair of Who villains and that cliffhanger too was nicely BG in feel. As mentioned on t’Other Place, it feels like they’re setting up a Weeping Angels origin story here. Is that going to be Yaz’s fate? Turned into a Weeping Angel in the way Bill was turned into a Cyberman?

    Overall, so far this is feeling very like s26 to me. A change in direction and quality that’s hard to credit with what came before and a Doctor who’s finding her mojo after a shaky start. Still plenty of time for it to all go pear-shaped, of course, but at the moment I’m feeling oddly elated and hopeful.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Okay, that was … dull. I’m not sure why I felt that way, because most other people seem to have found it a fun episode.

    It probably didn’t help that I have to watch the current series on time-shift, which means that if I get bored I can pause rather than having to carry on watching. But it’s a bad sign when I really do wander off to make a cup of tea in the middle of the episode.

    Okay, good points. We were introduced to Mary Seacole, who’s well worth a shout out. The budget clearly couldn’t afford the Charge of the Light Brigade, but the CGI of armies clashing was very nice. On a slightly sadistic note, I enjoyed the actors valiantly acting their socks off despite a Welsh downpour.

    Unfortunately, I rated the Sontarian threat level as about zero for any character with lines. I don’t think they killed anyone at all with a speaking part – except for Dan Starkey. Who was playing a Sontaran. As credible episode villains, therefore, they were pants. Couldn’t they have at least vaguely threatened Dan’s Mum, or something? Couldn’t the budget stretch to having the Evil Lt. General having a nice adjutant who gets horribly slaughtered?

    Onto Dan – he’s still weird. This week in the ‘Look at Dan, he is a real human’ series we saw his parents. Clearly Dan is human, because he has parents (humans have parents). Admittedly his parents first appear as a proper example of a Deus Ex Machina, following every single rule. One, they solve Dan’s ‘Going to get killed’ problem by Two, suddenly and abruptly appearing and Three displaying a previously unknown ability. It’s debatable whether they’re previously unknown characters, because admittedly, if Dan is a Real Human (TM) he has parents. But if you notice, despite their explanation that some bloke in Birkenhead discovered the Probic Vent weakness of Sontarans, they seem to be the only people in the whole of Greater Liverpool who know what the Bloke from Birkenhead found out.

    Nobody else ever tries to hit the Sontarans on the back of the neck. This is Liverpool – if Liverpudlians had discovered you could take out the aliens by sneaking up on them and whacking them in the back of the neck with a handy kitchen utensil, dead or unconscious Sontarans would be decorating every street. So how come Dan’s parents turn up at precisely the right moment with the right abilities, but no one else ever does?

    Two dates are mentioned by Dan’s Mum and Dad. One is the year of William Hartnell’s regeneration into the Troughton Doctor and the other (via their ‘classic’ car) is the year of the Key To Time. So – another connection with the Master’s Children of Time explanation – is Dan a ‘Brendan’? Is he an adopted child? There’s a great deal of utterly blatant mirroring in the Sontaran spacecraft, where he does exactly what the Doctor does. Yaz has a reminder written on her hand – Dan just does it, right down to the ‘randomly press buttons’ (very reminiscent of Family of Blood) and the conversation in which he says exactly what the Doctor says.

    The point that Karvanista seems utterly unbothered by the deaths of any human but Dan is emphasised this week. If the Lupari are each bonded to one human, how come the Sontarans are casually killing Background Artists without any Lupari rescuing them? The Lupari are currently in orbit around Earth… but Dan is the only human whose ex-Division Lupari is utterly determined to keep him alive.

    And Karvanista deeply dislikes Dan. Admittedly, this may be simple ‘rule of funny’, but there’s still that thing from last week where a temporal storm gets Dan rescued early so that he’ll be waiting in Karvanista’s spacecraft when the Doctor and Yaz turn up.

    Swarm, Azure and Passenger – Azure and Passenger are names of butterflies. Don’t know if that’s relevant.

    If you are a character in any SF, fantasy or horror story and find yourself in the Temple of Atropos, call a cab. Atropos is one of the Moirai and she’s the one who cuts the thread of life. This is the Temple of Death.

    In addition, the Morai are the fates, which is probably another reason I was finding the whole episode a bit dull. The entire ‘time is death, time is the enemy, time is going out of control’ thing with forces who have to stabilise time was reminding me very much of the MCU series Loki and the TVA. Mind you, I very much enjoyed Loki (and it won’t be a deliberate plot echo, because these series were in production at the same time), but it did feel very familiar. Hopefully we’ll go in a different direction in later episodes.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    That was somewhat hectic; a bit like one of those science fiction or fantasy novels which are narrated from multiple points of view and skip between them with such dizzying frequency that one keeps on having to back-track, but the pieces are beginning to link up. I enjoyed it and found myself more fully engaged than has generally been the case since Chibnall took over. Visually it was again amazing, and I wonder if the production team had the same budget to play with as they would have done with a normal season of 10 or more episodes.

    @jimthefish said

    we finally saw the excellent Doctor that seemed to be trying and failing to come out for the last two years

    and I agree. This was a portrayal of the Doctor which I found, for the first time, entirely convincing and consistent; something which we have seen only occasional glimpses before.  It also seemed to me that there was a lighter touch and sense of fun in the dialogue, much missed in the last two seasons.

    John Bishop as Dan Lewis is already proving his worth as a companion, but I am beginning to wonder whether those who think that there is more to him than he seems on the surface may be right. He has only just met the Doctor, but already she appears to have a surprising degree of trust in him, and he has a remarkable degree of self confidence for someone supposedly new to the world of time travel and menacing aliens; confidence enough, at any rate, to go off and attempt to deal on his own with the problem of massed Sontarans in Liverpool – which he manages with a fair degree of success, even if Karnavista does have to rescue him from certain death in the end. Maybe the key is in Liverpool itself and perhaps a link between Lewis and Williamson, whose tunnels are evidently destined to play a crucial part in the resolution of the plot.

    As for Karnavista, I have rather taken to him, even though I am more of a cat than a dog person. Perhaps it is the combination of grumpiness and the charm of a furry face. I found the edgy banter between him and Lewis amusing, but it does look as if perhaps the role of guardians of humanity has been imposed on the Lupari by some outside agency and that they strongly resent it, or why their ambivalent attitude?

    My take on the Flux at this point is that it is a disruptor of time rather than a destroyer of worlds, although it could of course be both. If so, it makes some kind of sense that the Sontarans could cross a distance of 30 trillion light years, taking a short cut via a convenient spacio-temporal rift. At any rate, it seems as if several apparently different agents have been ready and waiting to take advantage of the chaos.

    The theme of disruption of time brings us to the newly introduced Temple of Atropos and the Mouri. @bluesqueakpip has beaten me to it in pointing out the equation Mouri = Moirae, the Fates in Greek mythology. The dedication of the temple to Atropos is not exactly a subtle hint.  I will need a second viewing to count the number of Mouri, although clearly there are more of them than the Moirae, who number only three: Clotho, who spins the thread of life; Lachesis who weaves the fabric which determines the chances in life, and Atropos, representing the inescapable end for every individual, who cuts the thread. Collectively the task of the Fates is to ensure the proper order of life, which certainly fits the context here. With time and all proper order in disarray, no wonder the Mouri are glitching and in need of repair. Something which Swarm and Azure are evidently bent on exploiting for their own sinister ends.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Hi all,

    I’m playing catchup as well and I’ve just binged the first two episodes.

    I have to say I probably enjoyed them more than I was expecting, but confess that I started with such low expectations that I probably had a lot of room for manoeuvre. I thought the Halloween Invasion was interesting in terms of structure (although I thought it may have benefitted from focusing on the more immediate story strands to reduce the ‘messy’ feel), and as a followup this was strong.

    In plus points, the humour seemed more naturalistic and less laboured than in previous shows. Some of the direction and visuals (I really liked the vision of the floating ‘haunted house’ at the beginning of the episode) were impressive. I’ve often thought that the Direction on the show recently consisted of magnificent establishing shots of locations allied with a dynamism of live action that can only be compared to a stagnant pond. There were some interesting camera angles and a flow to this story that made it seem to live a bit more.

    There are problems on the horizon though. Not least is the fact that Flux promises to give more information on the revelations of “The Timeless Brenden”. This episode did contain a fairly big chunk of Chixposition on the nature of the Fates, Guardians of Time and all that jazz. I have a horrible suspicion that this series is going to end with a steaming dollop of Chixposition that will leave even The Master saying “Tone it down a bit, love”.

    So I get a bit anxious whenever Swarm goes into this mode. As good as the actor is, he wouldn’t be the first good actor to be undone in this way. I picked up on Azure and Passenger being butterflies as well @bluesqueakpip and Swarm is an accepted collective name for butterflies (although when the delightful alternative ‘a kaleidoscope of Butterflies’ exists, swarm goes down my list). A reference to the Butterfly Effect perhaps, as time is in ‘flux’. Given the term used by Swarm for his ‘regeneration’ was the old term ‘renewed’ and he has a collective name, possibly echoing The Doctors assertion that she contains ‘a multitude’, I think it’s likely he originates from the supposed home Dimension of the Doctor.

    If the later episodes contain the phrase “Luke Doctor, I am your Father” uttered by Swarm, can we all just agree to post that meme of Picard doing the facepalm as a review. It’ll be the kindest thing.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Talking of ‘The Timeless Brenden’ I can remember on that thread probably confusing a lot of people with talk of Sony negotiating with the BBC to obtain rights for Doctor Who. The main point was that the BBC may have suddenly been keen on this radical change to lore to facilitate this move. Well, a year and a bit later and Bad Wolf is announced as an outsourced production partner. Then it’s announced Sony is in a deal to buy Bad Wolf.

    I mean, it’s a thing. Potential opportunities and dangers are about equal with a partner like that. Be interesting to see how it progresses. I can’t help but wonder if Sony/BBC actually did take some notice of Moffats criticism of the proposals, and see Russell T Davies as a kind of ‘Kevin Fiege’ figure for Doctor Who?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I have a horrible suspicion that this series is going to end with a steaming dollop of Chixposition

    Yes, I thought that myself. Especially as that Temple of Atropos set did rather remind me of the Gallifrey one where that hideous infodump took place last series. I’m hoping that Chibs has learned by his mistakes though and we get a finale that’s a little more dynamic. Right now I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, and trying to put any misgivings to the back of my mind. Something I’ll possibly regret.

    Then it’s announced Sony is in a deal to buy Bad Wolf.

    Yeah, that would certainly change the implications for Who going forward. I thought it was just a proposal at the moment though. Has it definitely gone through? If it does, then RTD is almost certainly going to have a lot more money to play with than he otherwise would and my guess would be that this would constitute the shift of Who away from the Beeb and more into an international, streaming arena that I’ve been feeling has been inevitable for some time.

    The main point was that the BBC may have suddenly been keen on this radical change to lore to facilitate this move

    I’m not sure that such a change would have been strictly necessary though. Who lore is quite a loose and baggy monster anyway and there’s already lots of spin-off potential if what Sony has in mind is some sort of DWEU. But maybe that has been the plan all along. Personally, I didn’t mind The Timeless Children concept too much (although its execution was godawful) and think it was more Chibs trying to make his mark on the lore and was his riposte to Hell Bent as much as anything else. It was a Captain Marvelfication of the Doctor, to be sure, but I’m not sure in the long run it’s going to be any more damaging or had any more corporate agenda behind it than the James Bondification of the Third Doctor back in the day.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Your recent post led me back to your brilliant post  on Deus Ex Machina from…2014 (!) Have we been here for that long? No, longer! Which, in itself, is pretty fabulous.

    You made the point in that earlier post that DEM could be used as a joke, even flirtatiously. But, if I read your recent post correctly, you imply that Chibnall is using it crudely, rather than jokingly.

    Why not jokingly?


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Or knowingly?


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Definitely meant ‘knowingly’. This is Chapter 2 – if a Deus Ex Machina turns up in Chapter 2, I expect to find out why by the end of the story. 😀

    Dan’s parents 1) turn up without being mentioned previously. 2) Have the precise skills needed to save Dan as well as the precise information he needs and finally (this is the reason it’s clearly a ‘knowing’ DEM) reference two important years in Doctor Who lore.

    Dan’s other guardian angel is Karvanista. Dan has been provided with almost as much Plot Armour as the Doctor.

    Brewski @brewski

    Hello all.  Been a long time!

    But this is the first time in a while I’ve felt a bit bonkers.

    I enjoyed this ep more than I thought I would.  The Sontaran story is a bit boilerplate but was ok for that.  The main plot, anyway.  The sub-plot in contemporary Liverpool was a little sappy.

    Felt like a standalone ep shoe-horned into the main arc, which is also fine.  Wouldn’t be the first time in the history of Who where that’s been done! 🙂

    The remainder of the story – sub-plot point 2 with Yaz and Vindar – is where I’m ready to trot out my bonkers thoughts.  And here goes!

    It is a Portal to “The Divide”.

    What we’ve been seeing over 3 years has been happening in an Alternate Reality.  Since 13 regenerated.  She slipped through to another universe, where she doesn’t belong.  That’s why the TARDIS was trying to eject her.  (It might even be an Alternate TARDIS.)

    She may be slipping back and forth between the two Realities without even knowing it.  Well… maybe sensing it but not sure.

    This Alternate Reality has its own Doctors and even Masters, whom we’ve seen.

    In between the two Realities is an area of Anti-Time known as The Divide.  It is inhabited by Anti-Time Lords, like Swarm, Azure and Passenger.

    The Alternate Time Lords created a special force – The Division (get it?) – to monitor the Divide and keep the Anti-Time Lords at bay.  Division Doctors have done battle with the Anti-Time Lords before, and Swarm may not even realize he’s dealing with a Doctor from a different Reality who has no knowledge of him (assuming that is just part of the standard Division practice of mind-wiping).

    Now something has gone wrong.  The same something that propelled 13 into the Alternate Reality.

    I think the something is the Flux: Perhaps the Anti-Time Lord’s version of the Moment, used in their own Time War.  Like an Anti-Moment!  It somehow broke through the Divide.  Or is expanding out of The Divide on both sides and into The Alternate (and possibly both) Realities.

    Or… I’m just bonkers.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @brewski lol. Isn’t bonkers theorising what we do here.

    @phaseshift I dearly hope if Sony are being bought in as production partners that the Beeb have layed  down some serious caveats one of which is that there be a predominately British casting including that of the Doctor. Too often I have felt that when American TV companies try and reproduce classic British tv series’s they make a total Balls-up of it by too blatant Americanisation.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Now that is a bonkers theory. I like it!

    I particularly like the idea that the Doctor is the real Doctor, but everything we have seen over the last three years has taken place in an alternate reality.  Back then, I always felt that the whole Timeless Children story was an invention of that unreliable narrator, the Master. In your bonkers theory could the Master have been an alternate Master?  Could the whole Timeless Children narrative have been taking place in an alternate reality? Could Gallifrey still be out there in a pocket universe?

    Must watch both episodes again…


    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    Didn’t have time to post for the previous episode, but I enjoyed it. But while The Halloween Apocalypse was fun and exciting, I felt like this was amazing. Swarm and Azure seemed suitably sinister (and Passenger sort of just…followed…but we’ll probably learn more about them later). And the jokes really worked for me.

    I agree about Dan’s parents being knowing Deus Ex Machina. It seemed odd to me how useful they were and how they just happened to show up, though I didn’t notice the dates at the time.

    This was probably mentioned for the previous episode, but both Dan and Ruth are tour-guides of some kind. Ruth does it for a living and Dan gets kicked out of the museum for trying to lead tours. Dan is obviously very passionate about it, and Ruth seems passionate about her work as well.

    Dan also asks what the purpose of life is if not helping people, which is a major flag of either little self-worth or Doctor-ness.

    I think that Dan is too different from the Master to be him, but he could very well be the Doctor.

    In keeping with Atropos being the Fate that snips the string and the Moiri being the fates, a labyrinth is being built. Not the same legend, but similar mythology. So we might end up with a Daedalus (I’ll probably look into this more later) who would either be the Victorian guy building the tunnels or a higher power that’s controlling him.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Bonkers, yes, but in the best possible way 🙂  An alternative reality as the context of so much that has happened in recent Doctor Who episodes would suit me all too well, and would be a very happy solution to some of the questions raised by Chibnall’s clumsy attempt to set a permanent stamp on the show.

    It’s not that I have any problem in principle with the Doctor having a back story which we were previously unaware of, but I have found it difficult to come to terms with this particular back story and, more to the point, the way it was presented in an indigestible lump of what @phaseshift so aptly describes as chixposition, although the fact that it was delivered by a decidedly unreliable narrator provides a possible get-out clause.  A few days ago I decided that I needed to refresh my memory of The Timeless Children by re-watching it and today, as a preliminary, I re-read some of the original discussion and discovered that I hadn’t contributed. Not sure of the reason – it may simply have been Real Life getting in the way, but equally it may have been that I was too busy trying to swallow the implications. And, yes, I do realise that trying to reconcile everything in the Doctor Who canon, such as it is, is a futile exercise 🙄

    Brewski @brewski

    @devilishrobby lol. Isn’t bonkers theorising what we do here.

    Heh, yep.  But I was afraid I was out of practice.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Now that is a bonkers theory. I like it!

    I particularly like the idea that the Doctor is the real Doctor, but everything we have seen over the last three years has taken place in an alternate reality.

    Thanks.  I confess to this particular theory being motivated for that very reason. 🙂  I’ve not been overwhelmed by the Timeless Child arc and would honestly like to see it glossed over.

    Another advantage is it cleans up the messy stuff with Doctor Ruth.  Explains how she can be in the Police Box and yet unaware of the Sonic.

    @mudlark Bonkers, yes, but in the best possible way 🙂  An alternative reality as the context of so much that has happened in recent Doctor Who episodes would suit me all too well, and would be a very happy solution to some of the questions raised by Chibnall’s clumsy attempt to set a permanent stamp on the show.

    It’s not that I have any problem in principle with the Doctor having a back story which we were previously unaware of, but I have found it difficult to come to terms with this particular back story

    Agreed.  It just seems like such an overreach.  It’s one thing to add an element to the cannon, like the name of the Doctor’s home planet.  I am all for giving us some new, unexpected twist.  But this invents an entire separate narrative that can barely be squeezed into the existing structure.  How, for example, has the Doctor managed to go 1,100 plus years without so much as a hint of this?  He’s run into his other selves several times, but somehow only post-Division??  And yet the wormy things plucked the hidden memories of past lives right out of her head after seeing her only a few hours.  And just before the Master discovers it for himself.  Yeah, no.  Not working for me.

    I am holding out hope for the rest of the Flux arc, though.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Yes, agree with everything you say. And it would be great if it works out.

    But…how does one account for Yaz? If the Doctor is the real Doctor, is Yaz part of the alternate reality of the last three years? If the Doctor finds her reality, will Yaz have to disappear?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Actually, as I think about it, I suppose that could be a resolution to Yaz’s story–i.e. the Doctor discovers her reality, while Yaz either goes off to explore the universe in her reality or returns to Earth (again, her reality), hopefully with the memories of her adventures with the Doctor intact.

    However, in my reality, it is time for a cup of tea.

    Brewski @brewski

    @blenkinsopthebrave Actually, as I think about it, I suppose that could be a resolution to Yaz’s story–i.e. the Doctor discovers her reality, while Yaz either goes off to explore the universe in her reality or returns to Earth (again, her reality), hopefully with the memories of her adventures with the Doctor intact.

    Oh I like that idea!  Otherwise, I already baked an out into my theory. :p

    “She may be slipping back and forth between the two Realities without even knowing it.”

    Yaz is from our Reality, and has been slipping into the other one while travelling with the Doctor. 😀

    Enjoy your tea!


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @brewski I’ve never had a real problem with the concept of the Timeless Child and it being the Doctor just it’s clumsy implementation by Chibnal. Let’s be honest those of us who were around pre-gap era especially during the McCoyDoc era there were given hints that the Doctor was possibly something other than just a Timelord (yes, yes I know I’m referring to the infamous/famous Cartmel Plan) so I was not that adverse to find the Doctor is supposed to be the Progenitor Timelord and as I’ve stated my main problem has been way Chibnal has dealt with it. From what I’ve read, Chibbers had never intended to stay more than 3 seasons in the helm and he was already given a big task of having us accept the concept of a female Doctor, then he’s essentially rushed headlong into another major change in what we thought we knew of the Doctor by changing her back history and I think it was just done too quickly. If the likes of Moffat had been doing this I think there would have been more subtly and it would have been mapped out over a longer period. Oops my apologies for getting slightly off topic.

    Brewski @brewski

    Had one other random thought:

    They didn’t say it outright, but I got the impression that the Sontarans failed to recognize 13 as the Doctor because they were assuming he would be a man.

    But I thought they couldn’t tell the difference between genders.


    Whisht @whisht

    Hi all – so managed to watch and catch up.
    Not sure what to add.
    The Flux – was it released to capture Swarm or released by Swarm for nefarious ends..?
    Or just a ‘natural’ event he’s using (as Sontarans did)?

    Its silly, but when I heard the character named “Passenger” my mind weirdly thought of Ghost Light. Basically without knowing remembering the names, I was thinking of ‘Control’ and ‘Light’ (and it turns out a 19th Century setting).

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Really like your idea of invoking Daedalus! Victorian engineer building tunnels under Liverpool and Daedalus constructing the Minotaur’s labyrinth. The parallel is striking, now you point it out. You never know, there might even turn out to be a place for Icarus as well…


    Davros @davros

    I thought this was a fine episode, very much like a 1970s ep but with 2021 effects. We are getting a picture of how all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together and also seeing a bit more of the “ancient warrior” in Jodie’s performance that was lacking in Season 11 and 12.


    I’ve been through this thread and near as I can see no one has mentioned that the episode starts with a shot of the House of Lungbarrow. If Chibnall is planning on canonising aspects of that story, then hell… there will be backlash but I admire his stones.



    nerys @nerys

    Many thanks to all who have posted and helped me make sense of these first two episodes! But yikes, alternate reality? Makes my head spin.

    I did enjoy this episode far more than the first one, and the only reason I can come up with is that fewer new characters were engaged in the story. I don’t mind new characters, but having them all introduced in one fell swoop is confusing to me (and I don’t care who’s doing it). “War of the Sontarans” felt more settled in, grounded in a path forward … wherever that path is leading.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @nerys I confess I had to look up Lungbarrow, but I see what you mean. Could Chibnall be throwing everything in? Including the kitchen sink?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @davros I meant to send the message above to you, not @nerys,  about Lungbarrow. Have been reading about it, and, why not? There is so much swirling around after only two episodes.

    Davros @davros

    <span class=”useratname”>@blenkinsopthebrave I read Lungbarrow some years ago. It’s near impossible to get hold of a paper copy and they haven’t made it available as an ebook but you can find it online.</span>

    It is a 7th Doctor stories and picks up on some of the hints of a more mysterious and unique origin for the Doctor as well as expanding on some of the Gallifreyan lore generally. Ostensibly a murder-mystery, we learn that the major Time Lord houses use Looms to produce fresh children because Time Lords are now barren. Lungbarrow is the name of the rickety old house where The Doctor’s cousins have been trapped for centuries. Time Lord society was founded by The Other, Rassilon and Omega. The Other was reincarnated via the looms into The Doctor. There are obvious parallels to the Timeless Child narrative.



    Stylistically I found it a tough read.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @davros Thanks for that. It was really helpful. It doesn’t sound like the Doctor Who I fell in love with. More…medieval fantasy? Maybe not, but…probably not for me.

    But I can see how Chibnall might throw out the allusion to Lungbarrow to excite the punters.

    In my eternal optimist mode, I hold out hope for the next episode

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well now, random impressions on first watching the ep –

    ‘The Doctor – former President of Gallifrey.’ That’s new isn’t it? Chibs messing with the timeline again?

    Why would Mary Seacole (who I wasn’t aware of before but she was a historical figure) agree to spend a day away from her ‘hotel’ where I imagine she was vitally necessary, to monitor the Sontaran camp? Surely a suicidally dangerous and fairly pointless operation? Was this just Chibs wanting to find something for her to do? And incidentally, I don’t like writing real minor historical figures into fiction in arbitrary roles, I suspect it does them an injustice.

    Sontarans, Crimean War, Liverpool docks, the Temple of Atropos, the Flux, Tardis locking the Doctor out – there’s just too much stuff going on for me to get interested following it. It’s like those damn soaps that have half a dozen plot threads going at once. There’s enough stuff here for six good episodes if they they were untangled and dealt with at one theme per episode.

    Why does the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver need to make such an appalling noise just to signal ‘parley’? And isn’t it touching how the Sontaran general tells the Doctor everything she wants to know?

    Um, and if the Lupari are sworn to protect one Earthling each, howcome they aren’t doing anything about the Sontarans? And if the Earth is now encased inside the Lupari shield, where’s the daylight coming from?

    And of course the British commander has to be a pompous oaf who gets all his men killed pointlessly because that’s how the Empire was built, wasn’t it? (sarcasm).

    I must admit, when Dan was about to get shot, I’d completely forgotten about his guardian Wookie. Which still raises the question, where were all the other humans’ individual Lupari guardians when they were getting executed?

    And now pompous oaf general has to beg strategic advice from the Doctor, who is now being even more obnoxious and patronising than usual? What a surprise.

    And the Sontarans all go dormant simultaneously at precise intervals? Haven’t the Sontarans (who are, allegedly, skilled and deadly warriors) ever realised this makes them uniquely vulnerable to a sneak attack and posted a few sentries on a different time schedule?

    And then the Doctor gets even more hypocritical and snotty with the general for blowing up the Sontaran ships as they were retreating. The Sontarans would understand, it’s what they’d do. And they’d thank the General for giving them an honourable death. (How did he get the gunpowder in place in time? How fast does a gunpowder trail burn? This is nonsense).

    I notice the Doctor doesn’t even bother with a lecture to the Wookie who dematerialises *all* the Sontarans and their ships in one go. Maybe she used up all her righteous indignation on the General.

    Really, this episode is a mess. Full of ideas, but only half-developed. Half as much stuff going on, but a bit more carefully edited for credibility, only half of which I’ve found space to query, would have been an improvement.

    On the plus side, Swarm, Azure (and Passenger) were much better drawn (and more subtle) than the usual scenery-chewing villains. And the production values and CGI were excellent.

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