Monday, February 7, 2022

Doctor Who: Series 13

I know they called it Flux, it's series 13.

So last series for Chibbers and kinda of a throwback to classic Doctor Who, not so much in terms of story but format. Instead of a regular series of 13 odd episode, this series comprises of only 6 epsiodes each picking up immediately from the last. A true serialized return of Doctor Who, so how is it? Honestly I thought it was pretty good, I do feel it went too fast in certain episodes but it was still enjoyable and brought a lot to the show that I loved. So after the tremendous reveal of Series 12, the Doctor is thrown head first into the deep end with an unparalleled cataclysm known as the Flux, an oncoming storm that is destroying the universe planet by planet as enemies from her unknown life reemerge forcing our hero to try to figure out how to avert the disaster and defeat the villains. I honestly do not think the Doctor has ever been on the backfoot, backed into the corner so much before in all of Doctor Who, I mean she has quite a lot to contend with and is constantly going 1 million miles an hour to keep up with the insurmountable odds. Now I will say I haven't seen stories like The War Games or The Key To Time, very expansive and involved stories but it's cool to see this format back. And thusly we get a new good sized cast that spans the majority of this series, we still have Yaz and I'm all for seeing her continue on with the 14th Doctor. We get John Bishop as Dan who I really loved, a true down to earth bloke swept away in the madness, he was great and I hope to see more of him. We get a brief semi-companion Vinder played by Jacob Anderson, I don't think we'll see him beyond this series but his story is a strong one and it's nice to see another companion well versed in the spacey stuff. Now we get to the villains, hell yes. The second I saw this bizzare, purple skinned, crystal faced alien I was pretty much hooked, and the performances of both Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall no joke honestly make these the best original villains of the Whittaker era for me. I cannot tell you how much I love the design, the character, the stakes they bring. When the Doctor asks what they want for Swarm to only reply, "To reign in hell!" I was like well f*** I don't know how she's gonna beat these guys. Excellent work on that front. But let's talk episodes now, we start off pretty wild with all the seperate threads of the story and characters setting up each one, so it goes quite quick and it does make you question a lot but the intrigue works and I was very interested to see what happened next. We then get a mostly standalone epsiode with the Sontarans in beautiful classic Who garb, doing what they do best perverting the course of human history, fun and simple, bring on the next! The thrid episode is when we hit the mental time f***ery, it's a bit complicated but can be simplified as such: universe is going to hell, Swarm and Azure want to screw the universe even harder, companions escape into a constantly shifting avenue of memories, get some backstory on Vinder, one more seed is planted for the story, once more unto the breach my friends! The time of angels is upon us once more in a pretty good episode with time displacement, excellent touches to the already established mythos of the angels, has some long occuring outcomes for our companions, and one hell of a cliffhanger for the Doctor. The penultimate episode follows our companions travelling linearly through time adventuring and treasure hunting, parallel to an alien force inadvertantly forming UNIT which brings back Kate. My love, my dearest, I forgot how much I missed you so and you are more beautiful as each day passes. And she eventually meets up with the Tardis crew and deals with her alien problem while the Doctor is faced with her old life in more ways than one. Time for the endgame. Final episode, still neck breaking speed with some big events happening both personally to our cast and the universe as a whole, but it eventually wraps itself up and not super horribly at that. Though you bastards are tickling my good spot bringing up the Master, and I genuinely can't wait for series 14. But we got a special to talk about before the wrap up. A good concept with a Groundhogs Day premise yet still keeping a ticking clock, I absolutely cherished Aisling Bea she was brilliant and I would not mind if she got to be a permanent companion, I think I liked Revolution better than Eve but it's a decent special and I lost my fudge when we finally get the Sea Devils back. They should have showed up in Praxeus but screw it, I'm happy. I'm not entirely sure why this series was 6 episodes, maybe Chibmunk had other writing matters to attend to, maybe they just slashed it to have a bigger budget for a shorter story, so it has some pros and cons to it. Good villains, interesting story, but it goes too fast at times which I feel is the biggest detriment to the whole thing. If this story was expanded even by just 3 or 4 episodes the problem wouldn't be as prevalent. I still say series 12 is my favorite Jodie series but time will tell if her last few stories tip the balance. 3 stars, 7.5/10, and we'll dip our toes in the mystery pool next time.

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