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November 14, 2021 at 5:28 pm #346geektalkKeymaster
DID IT SUCK? | Doctor Who Flux #2 [WAR OF THE SONTARANS REVIEW]
Been away… this week Harry tackles the return of the Doctor’s old enemies The Sontarans in a review of the latest Doctor Who episode “War of the Sontarans”
i think and i could be wrong that thisis the first episode that the covidproduction issues rear their ugly headsproducer matt strievens would like us towatch this without thinking oh well butthey made this during the pandemic butthis is truly impossible with theaccompaniment of seriously bad writingthis era is plagued with it looks likethey accidentally admitted to this in anarticle by the radio times just to recapfor those at the back that don’t knowexactly what has happened with theproduction of this series filming wasdelayed due to the director of bbc walesputting a halt on productions whilstsocial distancing measures weremandatory last year having differentcovered rules in england and wales alsomade production difficult overseasfilming was obviously not given thegreen light and upon realizing this inow see the allure of making somethingserialized like classic whoand having the sontarans looking the waythey do what i’m imagining has happenedis that the showrunners had an episodeset during the crimean war with thesantarans and mary seacole that wasoriginally set to be a singular episodewithout other connections most of theepisode consists of that with theoverarching narrative glittering therest of it up with the flux appeal theepisode opens with a reminder of whathappened in the previous one which inturn reminded me of how the halloweenspecial hypes itself up like series 6did 10 years ago the doctor has anothervision this week being drawn to theshrieking shack floating in the sky thegang woke up in the middle of thecrimean war where i realized i literallyhad no real knowledge about thisconflict whatsoever apparently thebritish and russian empires weren’texactly agreeable in the middle of the19th century i say that because of theanglo-afghan wars that predate theconflict of this episode which i’vealready talked about in my review of thesherlock episode the great game puttingit simply the events in this episodetake place during the turning point ofthe crimean war the siege of sevastopolwhere this episode takes place primarilycan be seen as an allied victory againstthe russian empire when they sued forpeace except in this episode thesontarans have mysteriously replaced allmentions of anything and everythingrussian curb-stomping the british forcesinto the dirt mary seacole materializesas coincidentally as the trio do makingme wonder why she was out here aloneessentially doing soldiers work heyget away from him show me your handswhat did you take show me we didn’t takeanything instead of having a largeamount of nursing to do with all theinjuries and deaths shown literally allaround them returning to the britishcamp the companions then startedvanishing out of thin air and iinitially believed they were going for acool back to the future kind of vibeuntil the doctor explained it all theway collision between flux and vortexenergy you’re falling through space andtime why dan and diaz ended up wherethey did remains to be seen the showdoesn’t seem capable of entertaining theidea of the doctor and by extension theaudience not knowing what happened tothe pair nor the idea of the sontaransmeddling with the past having ripples inthe present more on that later thedoctor tries to return to the tardis butit is seemingly now capable of deletingdoors as well as growing them the doctorchecked into the british hotel where wefound a general planning and drinkingrum given that there are people arguingabout which nurse held most significancebetween mary seacole and florencenightingale i do appreciate that theepisode did three things firstly notrepresenting nightingale as the thomasedison party pooper of this episodesecondly acknowledging that nightingaleclaimed in a letter to herbrother-in-law that mary seacole woulddo some good and make many drunk andthirdly didn’t let race become theepisode’s focal point seeing as thesantarans as far as i’m aware havenothing to do with racism it is writtenin mary seacole’s book however thatracism was what prevented her attempt tojoin nightingale’s group all thiscontext made for great narrative rootsin the story they have this big revealthat the sontarans have been here thewhole time by showing that russia andchina have simply become sonta thisevidently means that the sontarans hadtraveled even further back in time toestablish this state it’s not so farback in time though to suggest that thecharacters had forgotten russia entirelyit gives the sontaran’s almost mongolempire vibes seemingly popping out ofnowhere and swallowing nations whole ifyou needed more evidence that thesontarans were fans of the mongols iwanted to ride a horsewhat a great line that was there wasalso a rather effective interrogationscene with the doctor and this sontarangrunt that refused all help from mary ireally liked how she used her gender tohide her own identity and get thesontaran to lead her to his base stanstarkey’s performance here was prettygreat as well admittedly doing what healways does but still had me smiling atmoments like these may death ring downon you bothhuman scum you will be stamped beneaththe boot of suntan at a future point tobe determined it would seem on thesurface like the sontaran wasconveniently kept here only to bereleased shortly afterwards but the factthe general doesn’t like mary keepinghim here makes his release moreunderstandable his immunity tointerrogation prevents him from being anasset to the british as well the pairfollowed the discharged patient to ahidden cave where all the centaurianswere preparing for battle mary’s duty ofcare got swept under the rug here thoughin favor ofsitting for hours taking notes of whathappens she doesn’t decide to do thisherself but the doctor whom she met 15minutes ago asks her to do it withoutany questions or objections mary c colejust became a note taker for the doctorwhilst all her patients suffered anddied in the british hotel the nextmorning the doctor blasted her sonicscrewdriver megaphone to get thesontaran’s attention she firstly revealsher identity to this commander characterand he in turn reveals that thesontarans have developed psychic powersas they foresaw the flux’s arrival thisnot only gave the scene in the previousepisodes and purpose but it does allfeel a little bit overkill consideringthe sontarans can also time travelwait why would they even need a psychicif they can time travel i mean at leastthey claimed not to be the creators orcommanders of the flux aspects that arestill left a mystery i started feeling abit troubled though when he startedtalking some more he claimed that rightbefore the lupari brought up theplanet-wide shield they justzipped inside okay fine but there wasalso this why sebastopol the crimeanskirmish seems the perfect place tostart so much conflict so muchopportunity yet they started yearsbefore this event we saw it on the mapwith those nations stamped out of memorysuddenly the fog cleared away for thesetwo massive armies to become visible andthey had a big battle the doctorreturned to mary seacole and once againwithout any urge to return to nursingsome soldiers back to health she wentalong with the doctor’s vagueinstructions and bordered a centaur andship this was where the present and pasttimelines converged so i’ll just hoponto what happened in the present beforegoing any furtherwe are treated to the first of manycoincidental teleports that brought danback to his street in liverpool thingsstarted getting murky when his neighborsgave him strange signs one neighborpointed at her watch which somehowprompted dan to turn around and see agiant centaur and ship parked in themiddle of the stadium had it not beenfor this line earlier collision betweenflux and vortex energy you’re fallingthrough space and time i would havenaturally assumed the sontarans had beenruling over the humans for over acentury and dan being ejected back intothe present day was time sorting itselfout santarans have traveled in timebefore in the show but seeing as theyaren’t on the ground in the halloweenapocalypse we can rule out the idea thatthe present was created because of themruling over the earth for a considerableamount of time therefore i wonder whythey felt the need to have multipledivisions of troops deployed indifferent timelines isn’t thereconsiderable risk that they might end upsomehow [ __ ] themselves over by doingthis damn was then chased through thestreets with more horrendouslyinaccurate shooting when anothermiraculous coincidence occurred dan’smum and dad appearing as though theywere expecting him and took out twozomtarons with a wok and frying pan it’shilarious that their positioningindicates them expecting him but theirdialogue says otherwise where the hellhave you been afterwards they’re allseen in a car hiding from the santaransseeing as there are no broken windowsi’m guessing it belongs to the parentsthis means they would have either drivenout here during the curfew without thishappeningor they parked near dan street and hidfor hours in case their son suddenlyappeared in the street like he does themum then said that it’s been two dayssince the last episode and that thelupari shielded the earth for threeminutes and then [ __ ] off this being anighttime setting doesn’t clear upwhether the flux destroyed the sun ornot i’m assuming it didn’t because theyhaven’t all frozen to death but givenhow much damage we saw the flux createlast week it would be good to know howthe sun got off so lightly withoutlupari protection they then arrived atthe waterfront which is supposed to bewhere the invasion originated it wasrather hilarious to me that after whatwould seem to be two strange statementsfrom dan must’ve been the cavanistashipsyeah well i’ve had some experience ofdealing with aliens these last few dayshe tells his parents to go home and theyjust do way to underwrite the bravery ofthese two characters going out into thenight smacking sontarans looking fortheir son the next scene has danoverseeing an execution of somespies i was thinking about how weightythis moment might have been had dan’sparents been caught and executed insteadi know it sounds a bit morbid but it’sjust the fact these people who werekilled are so undeveloped and get killedoff screen that makes the whole scenejust a laughingstock we already had agreat couple of moments showing just howextensively powerful this group ofsontarans are this was just so pointlessif dan had an emotional reaction toseeing this then i could understand thisbeing put in here but he just stares atthem like a piece of cardboard no tearsno fearnothing he’s then seen filming all thewaterfront [ __ ] on his phone beforeclimbing aboard a sontaran ship withoutobstacle this was where the twotimelines converged and it was all a bitcringe the pair talking simultaneouslydespite barely knowing each other thefilming of himself on the shipshenanigans all just so that the doctorcould figure out the sontaran plan ofhaving the earth since the dawn of timewhy didn’t the sontarans just timetravel there to begin with if that wastheir end game maybe they could onlytravel in time whilst planet-bound maybethey can only time travel in incrementsof 170 years or so what the sontaranscan and can’t do in relation to timetravel is never explained or maybe iwatched the episode twice for thisreview and missed a very important pieceof information or maybe they’re justgonna reveal it later in the series ihave no idea just in the nick of timebefore dan was executed carvinistashowed up to zap the centauronsingle-handedlyi see three blasts and five sontaranswhat the actual [ __ ] i wanna call deusex machina here but i am just so in lovewith this idea that there is a speciesof humanoid dogs looking out forhumanity that i’m willing to overlookthis rather convenient escape hatch ittook the lupari two days to realize thatthey left prematurely and poorcarvinista getting the blame gavefurther context for his resentmenttowards humans the pair do have reallygood chemistry and jokes but i stillfound the whole ram the sontarans out ofall timelines and locations thing to besuper convenient either lupari smashingup other sontaran sites across the globewhilst this is all happening i guessthere’s always next week back at thehotel the doctor gave the commander andmary a big lecture on how to defeat thesontarans it was such a cringe festessentially watching her talk for threeminutes straight whilst giving mary goldstars and having a good jab at thegeneral for sending his men to die allthese drawings here were apparently doneby mary during her overly longnote-taking session how did she haveenough light to draw in such detail evenstranger to me was the idea that theearth’s atmosphere has damaging gasesfor the sontarans sure it gives themreason for gassing the entire planet 13years ago but i thought that was just tofeed clones adding this detail raisesone rather major question why would theyever take their helmets off if theearth’s atmosphere was so harmful tothem how did that sontaran they hadchained up earlier survive without arecharge so they all go outside to emptythe sontaran’s supply chain whichconveniently happens to be right at thetip of the legs that are planted intothe earth afterwards the doctor and thecommander are then seen justoutside somewhere foggy without anacknowledgement of the conflict thatshould be ensuing right now if this iswhat happens when the supply is drainedoutsurely this should be happeningthroughout the entire division withtroops dispatched to put the sabotagedown instead we shall makea strategic withdrawal umwhat this was made even more frustratingby the general magically making a [ __ ]load of explosive barrels appear beneaththe ships destroying them all with thegas they’ve just unloaded just like thebarrels of dynamite appearing out ofnowhere the tardis also does the samething not only that but the front doorsthat previously went missingmaterialized because the doctor did justthe right amount of begging she thengrabs dan for the cliffhanger of theepisode where they find the tardis hasgotten even weirder than merely havingextra doors it only clicked with me justnow that the tardis’s interior designdoes have a very crystalline feel to itthis connection with the design of thecrystal siblings definitely made mesuspicious of their involvement in thishijacking that took place so let’s talkabout what happened on this episode’sfinal front shall wethe final coincidental teleports of theepisode brought vinda and yaz to thetemple of adropose for some reason shefound the guy digging the great hall of1820 here too he seemed to have dementiaor something unable to even makeconversation with yaz and wandered offwithout being seen again for the rest ofthe episode i am not kidding he isliterally there for just over a minutewith yaz being pulled away by thatrepetitive diamond-shaped voice thingcan you repairyeah oh man i laughed so hard at thiswhen the hell did she have the time towrite that down i only seem to rememberher using or even having a pen in herfirst [ __ ] episode why would she needto write this down even though it waspainfully obvious what this acronymstood for they still felt the need tospell it out to us in a later scene iguess yaz doesn’t wash her hands verymuch either disgustingthe pair then come together to do somerepairs what they were repairingthisi mean those banisters have seen betterdays it’s not exactly clear yet what’sgoing on with these lots only that thereare now three meanings to the word timethe planet they are on just happens tobe called time and the beings withinthis room are preventing time as an evilforce from being unrestricted andunleashed on the universe the crystalduo then appear with a third personnamed passenger this character had arather robert strong kind of vibe exceptwithout the jumbled or convenientbackstory the other two have i wonder ifthe passenger has something to do withthem kidnapping diane from last weekthis mental speculation that’s going onin my brain about the character i likevery much the three then went to whereyaz and vinda were can you repairyessureyou got identification how did yazimmediately suspect these three of foulplay the doctor might but she’s notexactly here right now she didn’t seemto have a problem with the vanishing oldman and vinda despite never meeting thembefore had they said yes we can repairbut we need you to step into thatposition and the task will be completeit might have made for an interestingtest as to whether these two charactersare gullible enough to believe thisstuff or are too easily trusting insteadthey’re just forced into these positionsoff-screen vinda tries uhshooting the siblings and they justteleport around for reasons that shouldbe explained later down the line thedoctor and dan then arrived and swarmclicked his fingers and there’s notreally a lot else to say here until nextweeksodid it suckthis episode was quite hit and miss it’sgot a few moments here and there worthappreciating but by the end i foundmyself frustrated and dissatisfied bythe plot the only aspect of the previousepisode that had literally noinvolvement was the claire character andthe weeping angels they did a great jobof making the sontarans appear powerfulin the past but are a bit of a laughingstock in the present day i’m still quitelost by all the crystal [ __ ] mary c colefelt very underused without sufficientcharacterization and i can definitelysay the same thing about vinder anddan’s parents too you can support thechannel by making a pledge on my patreonpage where you can get early access toreviews like this one as well asexclusive content you won’t find onyoutube thanks for watching see you allnext week[Music]i’m feeling really pretentious today i’mfeeling really pretentious today i’mfeeling really pretentious today giventhat there are people arguing aboutwhich nurse held most significancebetween mary seacole and florencenightingalemary’s duty of care got swappedswapped under the reg wow
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