Doctor Who returns this week with the first episode of the 13th season. Doctor Who: Flux will be a six-part series with one story arc. After watching the first episode of the new season, I felt like I watched a one-hour trailer for the series vs an actual episode.
CHAPTER ONE: THE HALLOWEEN APOCALYPSE
The new series features a host of acclaimed British acting talent including Rochenda Sandall, Annabel Scholey, Craig Parkinson, Kevin McNally, Sam Spruell, Robert Bathurst, Steve Oram, and Thaddea Graham. I’m excited to see what becomes of this season. However, I’ll probably refrain from judging this season too harshly until the end of the six-part episodes. I have a feeling this season will be one of those where everything seems confusing at first, but ties in together at the end.
*General Spoiler Warnings Apply
Every episode this season will be a continuation of the last. Unlike prior seasons, Season 13 will have no stand-alone episodes. Previously, in modern Doctor Who (2005 and beyond), there have been 2 or 3 episodes of a storylines arc. But, for the most part, the series is mostly stand-alone episodes that don’t always tie into the overall narrative. It’s very “monster of the week” if you will.
This season takes the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her friends (Mandip Gill, John Bishop, and Jacob Anderson) to the edge of the universe and beyond. The Doctor will engage in a battle for survival against a new evil known as The Flux.
On Halloween all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. Storylines are happening on Earth in the Arctic Circle, as well as in deep space, where an ancient evil is breaking free from prison. Then, in present-day Liverpool, Dan Lewis meets the Doctor while being kidnapped by Aliens that were trying to kill them. We even had some flashbacks to things happening in the Victorian Era. We got slapped with a lot of fast-paced action, witty banter, and probably more information than we could process all at once, with very few answers. It was very timey-wimey and a call back to the way Sally Sparrow met the 10th doctor in “Blink.”
On top of all this, if you remember the Trailers leading up to Season 13, fans are promised new villains and the return of iconic Doctor Who monsters such as the Sontarans and the Weeping Angels. I had the impression that we would see these monsters throughout the six episodes. Not the case! All of these monsters were back in the very first episode. Doing this made me feel like episode 1 is an hour-long trailer that was meant to hype us up for the rest of the season. Did it work? I’m not sure.
“The Halloween Apocalypse” had a ton of interesting ideas embedded in the episode, but overall it felt confusing and messy. As I’ve said, the episode debuted more like a really long trailer for the series versus one cohesive episode. We got a look at so many new characters that it was a little hard to keep track of who everyone was. My guess is that this must have been done intentionally as a way to generate excitement for what’s to come and to get fans discussing who these characters are and what they will mean for the Doctor.