“Survivors of the Flux” is overstuffed and worrisome

I’ve been saying all season, I want Jodie Whittaker to have a great season of Doctor Who because she has all the hallmarks of being a great Doctor and has never been given a chance because the showrunner, Chris Chibnall, is just… awful. This season, titled Flux as a whole, has given Whittaker the season she deserves (so far) but, as I’ve said, Chibnall is awful and I have doubts he will stick the landing, exasperating my fear that Flux will be undone by a terrible ending.

“Survivors of the Flux” is worrying me. It wasn’t a bad episode, but the signs are there that the ending will not be good.

The Doctor has been angelfied by the Weeping Angels and taken to Division HQ where she gets some answers about what the Flux is and who is behind it. Yaz and Dan are stuck in the past with Professor Jericho and, at the behest of a holographic mission given to them by the Doctor, are globetrotting to find out the exact date and time of a post-Flux attack, and strangely (and welcomely enough) we also get a brief history of U.N.I.T. with The Grand Serpent infiltrating the organization in the 1950’s and weaseling his way into power until he comes face to face with Kate Stewart in the most welcome return of the season.

It’s a lot, but to its credit, the episode moves at a brisk pace and never dawdles too long which is a relief because some of these scenes are slow and one or two are downright cringey. I swear, the scene with the guru on the mountain cringed where no cringe has cringed before.

Plus… Kate Stewart! I was not expecting her to return, given that Chibnall unceremoniously threw U.N.I.T. into the trash at the beginning of his regime, but it appears that there was a reason for it and Kate is back. I swear, I think I was happier to see her than I was any other character with the exception of David Tennant returning for the 50th anniversary special (maybe).

This season has also seen the absolute best use of Yaz since she first came onto the show. Yas, who was basically just set dressing for her first two seasons, has really broken out as one of the best and most entertaining characters of Chibnall’s run. I actually hope that she sticks around after Whittaker’s exit, but I know there’s a very slim chance for that.

Dan, though… the poor guy has been reduced to Yaz’ role. Set dressing with the difference of that he’s also serving as bad comic relief. It’s almost like he’s lost all purpose for being on the show at all.

“Survivors of the Flux” It handles a lot… some of it good, some of it not so well. It is fast, dumps a lot of information, and barely stops to take a breath. It’s a plus and it’s a problem because it’s got me worried about the next episode which has the larger than I’m comfortable with change of dropping every ball that Flux has juggled during these last fifteen episodes.

Here’s hoping, though, that Chibnall pulls it off because, in addition for rooting for Whittaker, I suppose I’m rooting for him.

Don’t flux it up, Chris.

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