‘The Vanquishers’ is the final episode of Doctor Who Flux, but did it live up to the hype?
I have loved most episodes of this series and the overall structure of it as a whole, however for the series to work the finale had to be great, otherwise all of the set up in the previous 5 episodes would feel like a waste of time.
The episode had a lot to live up to and a lot of plot threads and characters to tie up however, all in all, I found the finale to be a let down.
First of all, there is far too much going on. So much that it became a bit of a headache trying to process everything. It got confusing, in fact, more confusing than any Moffat episode ever was.
This isn’t helped by the choppy editing and an over reliance of close up angles, which makes it hard to keep track of what is going on.
The overall direction of the episode was a bit of a let down. While all of Flux has been well directed, this episode just fell flat to me. The editing and pacing felt jarring and it felt like we were jumping from scene to scene, with no build up or flow.
While all of the actors do a good job, there was a lot of wasted potential. Yaz’s reaction to meeting the Doctor again after 3 years was a moment I was excited for, however it gets no time, and we don’t even really see Yaz’s reaction to seeing the Doctor pop up for the first time.
John Bishop’s Dan was unfortunately underused. He probably had less than 20 lines and didn’t really do anything. Which is a shame because he only has 3 episodes left, so it felt unfair that he got sidelined.
Kate Stewart was another let down. While she had a good moment with the Doctor, she was left to the background for the majority of the episode. Despite her epic line that she was ‘head of human resistance against Sontaran occupation’, she really didn’t get to do anything, which is a shame as Jemima Rebecca Redgrave is fantastic in the role.
As for the big questions of the series, most pay-offs were underwhelming, and the biggest mystery of all was left unanswered, in a moment that did not feel very earned.
The Doctor vs Swarm. Image credit; [BBC]
However, that’s not to say that the episode didn’t have its moments because it certainly had.
Jodie Whittaker once again shines as the Doctor and although the plot is often rough, she makes it enjoyable to watch, with good comedic and dramatic moments. Mandip Gill, John Bishop and the whole cast do a good job, they just deserved a better script.
Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall continued to be amazing as the villains and they stole the screen whenever they were present. However, their motivations felt lackluster and their ending was very underwhelming.
There was a brilliant emotional scene between the Doctor and Karvanista, which was performed really well by Jodie Whittaker and Craige Els, which gave us some interesting insights into the Doctor’s past and added more emotional depth to the story.
There’s also a hilarious scene involving a Sontaran eating chocolate, which was the highlight of the episode for me.
The last 5 minutes were also very good and all emotional beats were covered, while not all felt earned or set up, they were all performed well. The last scene made me excited for the last 3 episodes in this era and I do hope that Jodie and co end on a better note next August.
Overall I really enjoyed Doctor Who Flux , while not all plots were satisfying and the finale didn’t work for me, it was fun being excited for Doctor Who again and I had a blast watching most episodes.
Featured Image Credit: [BBC]