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Monday, November 15, 2021

[Review] Doctor Who Flux: War of the Sontarans

Time for the second episode of the Doctor Who Flux, and an opportunity to see where this plot is going. So let's get into it.

The story begins interestingly enough with the Doctor, Dan and Yaz all appearing in the Crimea (1854-55). And meeting Mary Seacole who is the only level-headed person here.

One of the things this episode really excited me was the return of the Sontarans. Not the bumbling comedy Moffitt gave us. I like the Sontarans and their over-the-top militaristic tough guys approach to everything. It is funny but at the same time terrifying that people may actually think that way. A good point for the villains!

Now what most people remember of the Crimean War is NOT Mary Seacole, but the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade. No reference to it here. Not a word.

All the man are bumbling fools who do random things without concern with repercussions. Pffff... I am so tired of these predictable plots where token characters can be described as "dumb old white guy," or "tough calm intelligent black woman." Lazy writing. To give you an idea, the episode did not spend any time telling us who Mary Seacole is, what she accomplished, why she is important. Nope. You, dumb viewer, SHOULD know who she is. No. Tell me. Use this in the story.

But no. we just get the same preachy bullcrap where the woman is right, good, and intelligent while the officer is completely idiotic, listening to no advice or intelligence from anyone.

Now after a trip to Wikipedia informed and now I'm actually even MORE disappointed in how she was used in the story. Rather than have the Doctor ask her to catalog and merely look at the Sontarans, have the diary. In case you did not know, she kept an extensive diary complete with illustrations that was turned into an autobiography.

I will say that at the end, when the Sontaran ships exploded and the officer claimed the credit for it, I cheered. "By Jove, you saved your world!" Then the Doctor chewed him out and I just wanted her to STFU. Instead of just displacing TIME-TRAVELLING SHIPS, he destroyed them.

Yes. Destroying TIME-TRAVELLING SHIPS is the only way to ensure they won't come back (in time) and take you over.

Good work, Dumb Old White Guy!

Dan on the other hand, gets an interesting subplot where he travels to modern-day Liverpool where the Sontarans are building time ships. He does some sneaking around. All the while trying to convince himself that this is crazy. You know, a real person's reaction. He is truly the high point.

Yaz is a talentless actress without any range of emotion who always looks confused or disdainful. Don't care about her. Yaz is just surplus at this point. She adds nothing, has no meaningful arc and will not evolve, change, or mature before the camera. She is "tough cop Indian woman".

I love the fact the his aging parents are the ones who teach him how to take down the Sontarans. It is just so funny. I really like Dan and what little we have seen of his girlfriend, family, and subplot overall so far. A high point.

The space-guy Vinder is window-dressing. Just someone else to steal away screen time. He's "fine" but really provides nothing of interest.

So despite all my moaning and griping about what I did not like about it. This episode is actually pretty decent and fun. The pacing is good, the side-stories advance the overall plot. We learn more about Dan. I will definitely rate this one a re-watchable 3/5.

"By Jove, you saved your world!"

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