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Doctor Who: Survivors of the Flux review: Predictable and half-hearted episode sets up epic finale

The Doctor comes face to face with Swarm and Azure in the latest episode (Picture: BBC)

Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Who Flux: Survivors of the Flux (episode 5) ahead.

Doctor Who: Flux seems to have hit a bit of a lull in Survivors of the Flux, as the Doctor was recalled to Division.

After showrunnner Chris Chibnall provided one of his best episodes, Village of the Angels, last week, things seem to have gone downhill quickly.

We catch up with the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) after she appears to have been transformed into a Weeping Angel – an absolutely terrifying premise. Only she hasn’t.

She’s back in Division, with a mysterious figure who she knows she’s met before, while Yaz (Mandip Gill), Dan (John Bishop) and Eustacius (Kevin McNally) are worlds away, trying to figure out what’s happened to time.

We haven’t seen the last of the Grand Serpent (Craig Parkinson) either, as he attempts to infiltrate UNIT, held up only by the returning Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and eventually teams up with the Sontarans, who are about to set the universe at war.

Kate’s return was a little short-lived (Picture: BBC Studios/James Pardon)
Yaz and Dan are worlds away from the Doctor (Picture: BBC Studios)

On the positive side of things, Craig was a standout, stealing scenes as the sinister Grand Serpent.

The return of Jemma as UNIT’s Kate was welcome but short-lived – here’s hoping we see more of her.

Swarm (Sam Spruell) and Azure (Rochenda Sandall) are just as terrifying as ever, cementing their legacy as one of the best villains of Doctor Who in recent years.

Karvanista makes his return (Picture: BBC Studios/James Pardon)
Swarm and Azure are about to cause chaos (Picture: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Meanwhile, the only real sense of suspense in episode five comes at the end, when Swarm and Azure find their way back to Division and look set to release the Doctor’s imprisoned memories.

However, the introduction of Barbara Flynn Doctor’s mother is a slightly predictable moment for fans and seemed to hold none of the shock meant for moments like this. It did give us an answer as to who ordered the Doctor’s memories to be erased, but the revelation definitely fell flat.

Yaz and Dan’s side story was a bit painful at times, and it’s still a bit difficult to care about Vinder (Jacob Anderson).

But things might be about to change in next week’s episode as we see the return of many of the Doctor’s enemies – the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Sontarans at the very least – as the Flux is unleashed.

As for whether it’s going to be too much to take on in one final episode, only time will tell, but we can only hope Chibnall’s about to pull something out of the bag.

Doctor Who Flux: The Vanquishers airs Sunday at 6:20pm on BBC One.


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