Halloween Apocalypse – | Review Score = 2.5/5
War of the Sontarans – | Review Score = 4/5
Once, Upon Time – | Review Score = 2/5
Village of the Angels – | Review Score = 4/5
Survivors of the Flux– | Review Score = 1/5
The Vanquishers – | Review Score = 1.5/5
Its not been a good year for sci-fi on the small screen. Foundation bungled its execution, Invasion has been outright boring and the less said about Another Life Season 2 the better. Even in Korea, Sisyphus: The Myth and LUCA: The Beginning showed up with disastrous storylines with more holes than swiss cheese.
Alas, it fell to beloved Doctor Who to try and prop the genre up and send off showrunner Chris Chibnall with a triumphant final series swan song. With six episodes leading to a much larger, serialized story, Who looked set to take the sci-fi genre by storm. In reality, this 13th season for the 13th doctor proved to be unlucky number 13. In fact, it’s arguably the worst season of Doctor Who since the show came on air back in the 1960’s.
Much like Rise Of Skywalker did to Star Wars, Doctor Who (dubbed “Flux” this year after its universe-ending threat) throws everything and the kitchen sink at viewers to see what sticks. The trouble is, it does so across six discordant episodes with rapid pacing, pretty visuals and returning baddies (including Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels and Sontarans) with the sole, cynical purpose of bombarding its viewers into submission. The trouble is, when you stop to examine any of these elements individually, you see the massive story, plot and character issues plaguing this series.
The story here picks up with a world-ending threat called the Flux, released on the world by a maniacal uber-villain known as Swarm. This colourful villain soon teams up with fellow colourful villain Azure. Together they set out to end all of the universe as we know it.
Along the way, the Doctor meets new companion Dan (whom she has about 5 lines of dialogue with) and supporting players Professor Jericho, Claire, Diane, Bel, Vinder and dog/human hybrid (known as a Lupari) called Karvanista. All of these characters are completely underdeveloped, with pointless subplots, meandering, expository heavy dialogue and paper thin motivations to boot.
With the exception of episode 4 (which is co-written with Maxine Alderton) every episode is written and directed by showrunner Chris Chibnall. If you ever needed evidence that this guy cannot write a good Doctor Who story on his own, this is it. Doctor Who: Flux is an unequivocal nightmare. It’s a disjointed, poorly paced mess.
To quote another, this season feels like the tv show equivalent of spending ages untangling headphone wires only to find out they don’t work anyway. That pretty much sums up this final season for Jodie Whittaker who does her best with the poor material given to her.
The morals and ethics of this doctor are something that’s been brought up a lot this era, but it’s that much more evident in this singular story. Many fans have been back and forth on the conclusion to this one and I won’t spoil what happens here. Suffice to say that if you thought the doctor committing genocide was bad, imagine joyously taunting your enemies while you do it.
As someone who has watched almost every Who episode, including most of Classic Who as well, Doctor Who: Flux is a disaster. Its a terrible series in its own right and somehow manages to be worse than all those other failed tombstones of 2021 sci-fi efforts. It’s a cynical, rushed, visual feast that’s as disjointed as possible to hoodwink its viewers into thinking this is a solid cohesive story. In reality, it’s anything but. Unfortunately Flux solidifies itself as one of 2021’s worst TV shows.
Verdict - 2/10