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Who Review Episode Five

LOUISE WILSON lays out Who Flux finale predictions

I missed last week’s review because I was unable to watch episode 4 until later in the week (blasphemy, I know), so I’ll start this week off with a brief recap of my thoughts. Episode 4 is the only Flux episode that isn’t written by Chris Chibnall. Maxine Aldertone is co-writer, whose previous credits include my favourite episode from series 12, The Haunting of Villa Diodati. It’s not hard to see why she was the only additional writer brought onto this series, because she clearly has a talent for writing suspense. The episode was genuinely scary, the Weeping Angels were utilised perfectly, and I had very few complaints.

Now, onto episode 5.

The Pros

Separating Yaz, Dan, and Jericho from the Doctor for a whole 3 years was a good move. Yaz’s character benefits from being away from the Doctor because she’s able to do something that doesn’t just involve asking questions for exposition’s sake. The scene where she watches the hologram from the Doctor was lovely; their quiet “I miss you”s showed just how much the pair care about each other.

I’ve surprised myself in how invested I’ve been in Bel and Vinder’s story. The performances are great, and the benefit of having one story span across 6 episodes is that their reunion doesn’t have to be rushed. Same with Jericho, his character can be slowly explored rather than crammed into one 45-minute slot. The format really continues to work in Chibnall’s favour.

I was also very surprised with how much I enjoyed the Williamson Tunnels reveal. Watching the random Victorian bloke wander about for a few seconds every episode was starting to get really annoying, but the twist in having the Williamson Tunnels be a gateway through space and time paid off. One of my favourite tropes in Doctor Who is when writers take unknown elements of history in our world and explain their origins with the supernatural. It’s just fun, and that is exactly what Who should be.

The Cons

Despite being pleasantly surprised by the balancing of so many characters this series, there are some pitfalls. I don’t find the Grand Serpent interesting in the slightest. We’ve got some incredibly interesting villains in Swarm and Azure and instead of exploring them further that time is spent on a space gangster with a snake inside him. UNIT could have easily been included without the repetitive b-plot of the episode.

Unfortunately, the aftermath of the Timeless Child properly started to unfold in this episode. I think the little hints of the Division we’ve been given this series have been really promising, but it turns out they were just guns for hire. In the most soap-like twist in all of Doctor Who, the mastermind behind it all turned out to be the Doctor’s mother. I’m not going to go into why I don’t like the Timeless Child stuff again, but for something that was received so poorly, I’m surprised that Chibnall seems to be digging his heels in.

Bingo and finale predictions

Another slow week on the Bingo card. I’m giving myself someone makes a joke about Dan’s accent because Yaz joked about his scouse heritage. I’m tempted to cross out Yaz loves the Doctor based on her continued dedication and the wistful way she watches the hologram (Rose and 9 parallels, anyone?), but in all honesty, I think the BBC are cowards and won’t go there. Very happy to be proven wrong on that one. So, my final predictions:

  • Swarm and Azure aren’t evil as they’re being portrayed.

  • They’re very heavily involved in the Doctor’s origin.

  • Dan is going to stay in Liverpool and leave team Tardis.

Written by Louise Wilson

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