Greetings everyone! Hope you guys are having an amazing day! I took some time off last month but I’m back in time to review the latest episode of Doctor Who! First, how excited are you, dear Whovian, that the Doctor is BACK?! Always an exciting time to have new Doctor Who. Even if this era isn’t your most fave, you have to admit, it’s always fun to have it return.
Quick Answer: I rather enjoyed the Halloween episode over all! I would probably give it a strong 7/10 for now. However, I expect as the season of the Flux continues, I will probably increase that number over time. Why do I say that? Because this episode felt like a set-up. It introduced all the players of the story, even if it felt like all at once, and over the next few episodes we will learn more about each of them. At least that is my hope.
Now, I’m one of those weird ones who actually really enjoy Chibnall’s era of Doctor Who! I think it’s pretty bold what he’s doing, and it’s risky. I know a LOT of people are complaining that the Timeless Children plot “ruined” Doctor Who by changing the lore … even though Steven Moffat also changed the lore when he brought the Time Lords back and also broke lore with Smith’s era in the Name of the Doctor yet no one complained nearly as much as they are with Chibs. True, Moffat did it to logically explain how the Doctor can have more regenerations to keep the show going … but at the end of the day, I believe that is what Chibs is also trying to do. Giving the show infinite story possibilities and spin-off capabilities as well. However, instead of people taking time to try to appreciate what a change in the lore could mean for the future of the show, they choose to look at it that Chibs took a Poo Emoji on the past of the show deliberately or is just plain incapable of writing a good plot and labeled him the worst Showrunner ever. And, I don’t think that’s fair nor very mature response. Sadly, I don’t think Chibs will be appreciated until very many years to come, which is a shame. But I’m pleased that Chibs has thick skin, can take the hate thrown at him and move onwards. Because Chibs is a capable writer, many of last seasons episodes were quite good and even some that he wrote during RTD and Moff’s era were very enjoyable like “42” and “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” among others.
However, this isn’t a post defending Chris Chibnall’s writing, this is a post on what I thought of the Halloween Apocalypse episode and my viewing experience of AMC+ streaming service.
Although the viewing experience for this episode, and I even watched it twice to understand it better before reviewing, was subpar. I was frustrated that I was Shanghaied into subscribing to AMC+ just to watch the new episodes of Doctor Who. Because literally every other episode of Modern Who, that’s 2005-2020 lives at HBO Max, which was the streaming service I had to subscribe to last year to watch the newest Doctor Who. And let me tell you, I’m not a fan of AMC+ at all. They didn’t have very many shows that interested me outside of Doctor Who and worst of all were the commercials AND the inability to have subtitles. I even searched google for answers, Reddit you name it trying to figure out how to get stupid subtitles for streaming Doctor Who. Because, although I talk to British people on the regular through the magic of Twitter Spaces, I have a hard time understanding Jodie Whittaker when she plays the Doctor. During interviews I can understand her just fine. And don’t get me wrong, her high voltage energy is one of the things I LOVE about her! But between her fast gab and the loud music and SFX around her, it is very difficult to properly hear her and appreciate her dialogue. And she’s not the only character I have trouble with! I also have trouble with Dan in this episode. His Liverpool accent is just a little … too … much. As much as I enjoyed the character greatly. Yaz however I was able to understand just fine. She has a nice even tone voice that’s easy to pick up on, even with the music in the background.
So yeah, not having subtitles really impaired my viewing experience a little bit. But yeah, I was able to get most of the episode and I enjoyed it. I just would have enjoyed it way more if I have my usual subtitles. Even on American shows I watch with subtitles! It just helps me get immersed in the story with them on. I don’t know, it’s just my thing!
So while I didn’t enjoy the AMC+ viewing experience, I did rather like the episode itself.
I really enjoyed it because it had a high energy to it, big stakes, and fresh new perspective with introducing a new companion in Dan Lewis played by John Bishop. To be honest I hadn’t been familiar with Bishop before Doctor Who, but I can tell he is talented and a true comedic. He also seems to understand the nature of the show; that it’s about change and helping in however you can.
Yaz has a new perspective too, even if Dan hadn’t been introduced. It feels about a year or so since Graham and Ryan left the fam, and Yaz and the Doctor have been having misadventures all on their own. It’s a shame we only got a glimpse into what life was like for this amazing duo: Yaz and the Doctor. Whether you ship them as a romance or simply platonic besties; there’s no denying the amazing chemistry between Mandip Gill and Jodie Whittaker.
Personally, I’d have loved a season in between season 12 where Graham and Ryan left and the Flux season with just Yaz and the Doctor. I understand why they introduced a new companion and it was fun to have a likable everyday man who was down to Earth like Dan; but it would have been a pure joy to just have a season with Yaz and the Doctor. Personally, I think Yaz earned it. She seemed to care more about the Doctor and not just about the adventure like Ryan appeared to or a means to escape grieving a loved one like Graham. Yaz was constantly checking in on the Doctor, called her the most amazing person she ever met, and just had the most “companion vibe” of the Fam in my opinion. It wasn’t really until last year’s New Years Eve special that it felt like all of them had totally and completely cared about the Doctor … but that could have been just the pacing of the previous episodes.
Regarding the episode, I enjoyed that it felt like previous Doctor Who episodes we’re already familiar with, in a good way. It especially reminded the David Tennant special The End of Time Part 1 how it was a setup of all the players of the story such as the Master, Wilf’s dream and the people who kidnap the Master. Similarly, the Halloween Apocalypse had a similar setup impression. We were introduced to how Yaz is now the seasoned companion and solo companion of the Doctor. She can sense when the Doctor is being truthful or closed off and she is comfortable enough as the Doctor’s best friend to call her out when she’s not being totally honest with Yaz or withholding from her, being cold. Yaz worries that means she doesn’t care about Yaz as much as Yaz as the Doctor. We’re also introduced to some old British in topmast digging a mysterious project, Dan impersonating a museum guide for his passion of his home city of Liverpool; his friend and maybe romantic interest Diane; a mysterious woman who claims to have met the Doctor in her past, maybe? called Claire! Love having my name officially in the cannon! And we’re introduced to the Swarm and his sister; the Sontarans are back and so are the Weeping Angels.
Plus, there’s the mysterious Flux that sends a dog-like species called the Lupa who are duty-bound to rescue humans in case of galactic cataclysmic events such as the Flux. Which conveniently the Lupa who was chasing the Doctor and Yaz (or rather, they were chasing him for information on the Division) called Karvanista. Karvanista becomes a huge player in the episode when he kidnaps human from Liverpool, Dan Lewis. It’s unclear exactly why Dan was chosen, especially when Karvanista even agreed with Dan that he wasn’t special or remarkable, he was just “his human” as each Lupa are “species bound” with the human.
So yeah, there are a few technical plot holes there if you think about it logically. But isn’t that almost every single Doctor Who episode? Time Wimey and all that.
Although the logistics of how the Lupa choose their humans are a bit of a head scratcher; I love the idea of embracing “rescue pet” culture except in this episode, it’s the humans that are needing rescuing! Very cute twist on having a rescue pet, lol.
Overall though, despite having so many players in one episode … I enjoyed it! It felt so good to have Doctor Who back, even if my brain was like: “wait, what?” through most of the episode … it was a great re-watch and so fun to have a Halloween episode.
Lots of questions and fan theories left, and that’s part of the fun of the Doctor Who community!!!
So what do you think of the latest episode of the Doctor Who Flux? Are you excited to see where the story goes? What about Claire and Diane what do you think happened to them? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!