War of the Sontarans was a joy to watch, the best single episode in years.
While it wasn’t exactly on a par with the Battle of the Bastards (Game of Thrones), the sheer scale of the Sontaran test run war against the British Crimean soldiers was unusually ambitious for Doctor Who. There was a grim number of casualties despite the Sontarans’ poor aim, and no holds were barred in showing us the devastating effects of the potato heads’ bloodthirsty warmongering.
As we flipped between the battlefield, the dramatic CGI images of Sontaran time ships docked in present day Liverpool, and a mysterious subplot set inside a futuristic alien temple, the past, present and future were all vying for our attention in this thrilling story.
As far as Doctor Who episodes go, this one is truly epic and thankfully, Chris Chibnall has suitably upped his game with a witty and punchy script the likes of which George R R Martin would never be able to write (we’ll forgive Chibbers for the jarring ‘Sontar – ho’, and the stereotyped joke about someone ‘stealing’ Dan’s house, not good even if it did come from the lips of a scouser).
It all hung together much better than The Halloween Apocalypse, but plenty of questions were raised along the way leaving us still largely in the dark about the Flux.
10. How Did The Doctor, Yaz and Dan Survive The Flux?
With the recent trend towards self-contained episodes, it's good to see the return of the weekly cliff-hanger and The Halloween Apocalypse ended with a particularly dramatic one. With the Flux is about to enter the open doors of the TARDIS, the Doctor contemplates the end of the universe.
The resolution is not so satisfying - with our heroes waking up in the 1850s less disoriented than they ought to have been. They have been ejected from the nearby TARDIS, which we later learn no longer has doors. Once again, Dan seems to be taking the whole crazy experience in his stride.
The Doctor reasons that the Lupari shield of interlocked ships must have successfully cocooned the Earth, but it’s not clear how the TARDIS passed through it or what happened to the Flux when it did. And how convenient for the TARDIS to land in the one moment in the Earth’s history the Sontarans had chosen to test their batter-free temporal war efforts on.
More importantly, have they brought a part of the Flux with
them? Is that why the TARDIS has hidden its doors, to keep the Doctor and the Flux
apart? Or is the Flux somehow already inside the Doctor and the TARDIS is protecting