The penultimate episode of a multi-part Doctor Who story usually answers most of its questions. That way the final chapter can be entirely action driven. We ought to know by now the real threats and we must have a pretty good idea of what the Doctor and co must do to overcome them. We should also expect a fair bit of exposition and a slowing down of the drama before the grand finale.
To an extent, Survivors of the Flux follows the tried and tested pattern. There were revelations aplenty. We now know that the woman in the hat is the Doctor’s adoptive mother, Tecteun. We know why the universe is being destroyed and why the Flux was created to do just that. We also know why the Ravagers have been abducting the survivors.
But a great deal of mystery remains, perhaps an unavoidable consequence of the series being significantly shortened due to the pandemic. We are left with numerous unconnected strands and at this point we cannot be confident that it will all hang together in the end. How will Bel and Vinder’s story fit in? Who is the Grand Serpent and why does he suddenly feel important? What do Swarm and Azure want with the Doctor? It’s asking a lot of The Vanquishers to answer all those questions and more, especially when it’s key function will be to tell the story of how a universe that has already been significantly shrunk will be restored.
10. What Is The Flux?
So the Flux was created by the Division to destroy the universe. All because the Doctor has been unknowingly thwarting their plans ever since she left them. With an endless multiverse to meddle in, unlike Sontarans, Daleks and Cybermen they don’t need to conquer it. Like a failed experiment it can be discarded. Tecteun sees the Doctor as a virus that has contaminated the entire universe with all her moral crusading.
Even with the Flux already destroying countless alien civilisations, the Doctor is making it difficult for the Division. With help from the Lupari she has temporarily protected the Earth making it a potential place of refuge as well as a target for alien conquest. It’s a clever way to retcon all those alien invasions, explaining why the Earth has become such a hunting ground over the years.
To ensure the universe’s destruction, the Doctor has been
recalled to Division, taken out of time and space. If this universe is
self-contained and the Doctor’s adventures limited within it, the Division could
have just left it to its own devices. But the Doctor and those she has inspired
have often found ways to travel from one universe to the next: E-Space, Pete’s
World, the parallel earth in Inferno, the wormhole on the planet Tecteun first
found the Doctor… The virus can still be spread unless the Doctor is taken out
of the equation.