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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Doctor Who Season 13 Episode 6: The Vanquishers

December 6th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

Ok, so…if you haven’t noticed, there was a bit of a catastrophic problem on the site. Mainly, everything we wrote over the last two months…vanished. Including all my Doctor Who Flux reviews (among many other things, obviously). So, quick recap, very few things made sense in the first 5 episodes. And now, episode 6 has come and…some things make sense? Kind of?

Let’s get rid of the stuff that kind of made sense. First, our 1812 guy? Joseph Williamson? He apparently found a part of his plot of land connected somehow to other parts of the universe, that’s where he discovered the Flux event and tried to use his tunnels as a way to save humanity, but obviously, things went awry and that’s why he kept popping up randomly near our compansions.

Also, he was based off a real guy who built real tunnels of a “strange description”, I honestly didn’t know that, wish I had known that before though. But why his plot of land? Why didn’t he just show others what he saw to help convince them of what was happening? No idea.

As for the Sontarans, their plot was honestly the most straightforward ironically enough. After getting help from the Grand Serpent to take over Earth, they were going to use the “Final Flux Event” (because of course there was going to be another…) to wipe out the remaining forces of the Dalek’s and Cybermen in order to “save and conquer the universe” and basically achieve ultimate victory. All in all, brilliant plan, save for the part where they thought it would work flawlessly, but oh well.

This is where things get…complicated…as if they weren’t complicated enough.

For example, when the Doctor got split into three and was able to co-exist in three different places in time at once. How did this happen? We weren’t told, and even the Doctor admitted it shouldn’t be happening…and yet…it did…ok. But her flirting with herself? Comedy gold.

Furthermore, they got Claire back…somehow (wasn’t she still an Angel or trapped with the Angels? And wasn’t 1901 “time-locked” away or something?), and needed her help because of the Sontarans needing a psychic. Convenient…but ok.

Oh, and Sontarans apparently have a weakness for corner store candy? Uh… Oh, and remember Diane? Yeah, she was still alive inside the Passenger…alone…even though everyone else was gone…and she was left alive because she was “insignificant”. Huh? But that wasn’t all, when all was said and done, she didn’t want to go out with Dan because…uh…she didn’t say. A bit dumb.

Which brings us to Vinder, who had arguably the high and low points of the episode. The high point being when he finally reunited with Bel and it was honestly rather touching and beautiful. Including his reaction to them having a baby. However, then it was revealed that it was the Grand Serpent who was the one who sent him into exile (I had completely forgotten that) and so he got his revenge in the lamest way possible…by putting him on an asteroid in the middle of space…where the Grand Serpent could live…somehow. Oh, and despite using his “signal lock” to do the inside serpent thing multiple times…he couldn’t do it on Vinder and Kate despite them being right in front of them…how?

And that leads us to our resident Lupari. Who reaffirmed he DID know the Doctor, and was said she left him in her past life…but…couldn’t say more because The Division put a bomb in his head for if he talked. To which I ask, “Why didn’t they just kill him?” Yes, you could argue he could still be recalled, but that’s a lot of effort to NOT talk to The Doctor, who didn’t even remember who he was. Also, if they were former comrades, why did he try to kill her in the first episode of Flux?

Not to mention, the Sontarans killed all of his people, despite it being on Lupari ships, and Sontarans having clear weaknesses that Bel was able to exploit…and yet an entire Lupari fleet couldn’t at least handle SOME of them without being forced out airlocks?

Nope, not done yet. Because there’s the matter of Jericho to discuss. This Flux event had to have a sacrifice…but…why make it arguably the least valuable character of the lot? No offense to Jericho, he had his moments, especially in Village of the Angels, but he was hardly a “beloved companion” even with the fact he spent years with Dan and Yaz, because it was mere moments for us the viewer. And yet they treated it like he was a big death…when he honestly wasn’t. “Who’s lived a life like mine?” he asked, to which I said, “A lot of people.” It felt really hollow.

Next…we had Swarm and his sister, who were duped in a rather basic way in the end, and could’ve had victory over the Doctor multiple times, but instead offered her to their “Savior”…who just took the form of Swarm and then The Doctor…and then saved the Doctor…why? And what really was the “Savior”?  No idea!

Finally, we have the Doctor’s memories, which were frustratingly vague throughout the episode, including being a house of some kind…ok…and then the Doctor not visiting them, but dropping them in the Tardis until ‘she wanted to look at them’. Why build that up for that lack of a payoff? Very frustrating.

In the end, “Flux” was a grand experiment that honestly just didn’t ring good in my mind. They tried way too much, and by the end, I was basically as confused as I was when I started. Sure, they ended well enough, but there’s a difference between “well enough” and “well done”. Jodie’s now got three movies left before her time ends…and I hope they’re memorable adventures. She deserves them, and not the muddled mess Flux turned out to be.


Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!