Getting there…

DOCTOR WHO FLUX
CHAPTER 5 SURVIVORS OF THE FLUX
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It was likely that after such an episode as Village of the Angels that the following episode would be rather disappointing when compared to that episode and to be honest this episode did suffer from that in a way but, in a different way, was still a great episode in its own right, and a good continuation of the flux storyline.

So this episode was divided into specific sections. One was the Doctor who was transformed back to her usual self from a weeping angel, and then took to a strange place with a strange woman whom she had met before but didn’t know who the hell she was.

One is the story of Yaz, Jerricho and Dan travelling around the world looking for clues on how to get back and being attacked by agents of the grand serpent.

Another is the story of how the grand serpent helped the format of UNIT from its beginnings and how he helped bring it to a half.

Another is the contiuing story of Bel and Vinder. Vinder ends up in a passenger form and meets up with Diane from the first episode and she is up for a fight the same as Vinder. Bel meanwhile gets pulled back to the Earth by Karvanista when he finds a Lupari ship that isn’t where it should be.

By the end of this episode we find out that it was Division that caused the flux to happen and that they were hastening the end of the universe by destroying it themselves and were ready to move into another universe so we know that the flux was not natural.

The woman who says she is the head of the division reveals herself to be Tecteun the Gallifreyan who found the timeless child and took them back to Gallifrey, and used them to form the time lord race as we know it, and who was also responsible for the Doctor’s loss of memories from before they were the Hartnell incarnation.

To me this character being linked to the timeless child storyline made a lot of sense rather than her being the rani or even one of the guardians or whatever as I am sure that guardians could have stopped the decimation of that universe with a click of their fingers if they wished, and the Rani just wouldn’t care so this being part of the timeless child thread made perfect sense. Also Tecteun kept all of the Doctor’s memories hidden in a fob watch and you can seen the Doctor agonising about whether or not they really need to know about their past or not.

The stuff with Yaz, Dan and Jerricho was a lot of fun as they travelled the world and met up with a comical spiritual leader in tibet and travelled to the great wall of China and loads of other places all over the world before ending up in Liverpool and finding Joseph Williamson still wondering his tunnels when he should be long dead and admitting that the tunnels were some sort of time/space portal, explaining how he could still be alive 80 years after his own time and also at the temple of atropos on the planet of time, which I thinks is a great idea and a good use for the Williamson tunnels when their real purpose is entirely unknown.

The UNIT stuff was interesting and you do have to wonder what was in it for the Grand Serpent to help UNIT become to the thing that it did and then help to bring it down when he felt that it had its time. Then there is who is the Grand Serpent? He is certainly able to travel in time, and he certainly isn’t human and he seems to be able to conjure snakes which kill people and then go back inside him.

Is he linked with the Division? Well it would sort of make sense but there is no direct link between him and the Doctor. Him and Vinder certainly but not him and the Doctor. Is he a Timelord? Is he the Master? It is definitely possible, after all in Doctor Who anything is possible.

With Bel and Vinder the question is where are they from? Are they human? Are they Gallifreyan? We know they met at an academy but we do not know which academy they met in so that opens up the possibility that they might be the parent of the Timeless child, and therefore the Doctor’s real parents.

I am not sure that this should be the case to be honest and are just parents of someone but not someone in the series, as why do they need to be linked to someone and can just exist within the confines of this story? There would be nothing wrong with that.

I am not convinced that all the threads present in Flux so far will be explained. Some of them have been already and most of them are not as I write this so I wait for the final episode with bated breath to see what we get in the final hour of the story.

The Angels have the TARDIS

DOCTOR WHO FLUX
CHAPTER 4 VILLAGE OF THE ANGELS
SPOILERS

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The TARDIS having been hijacked by a couple of Weeping Angels and lands in a typical English village in the 1960s. However, this is a village where the population is about to entirely disappear, and where Claire, whom the Doctor and Yaz met in modern day Liverpool, was working with a Professor Jerricho. The village is also full of weeping angels and, both Yaz and Dan, are sent back into the past to a time in the village when the people all disappeared before again because of the weeping angels.

Yaz and Dan were paired up for the episode with the Doctor pairing up with Claire and Jerricho. Yaz and Dan were 66 years away from the Doctor for most of the episode and without a TARDIS to boot.

Of course they had been zapped there by a weeping angel so should they even be able to get back to future? And if they can how in the hell do they manage it.

To top if all of the village seems to be shrinking and appears to be in space itself rather than where it should be and also that that village 66 years in future is also in space.

They find the girl that they had been searching for before they saw the angel and also that the same girl was also in the village in the 1960s but much older.

This allowed Yaz to act like the police officer that she is. Dan was just tagging along really for the most part in this episode it had to be said but then it would have been a bit boring if Yaz had no one to talk to wouldn’t it.

It is a shame that Dan didn’t have a great deal to to in these scenes except being a sounding board for Yaz and for Yaz to take the role of the Doctor in that partnership with Dan in the role of questioner.

Forward 66 years and the Doctor is trapped in a house with Jerricho (an excellent performance by Kevin Macnally) and Claire who we learn had visions of weeping angels, and the Tardis and the Doctor which neatly explained why she knew the Doctor in episode one just before she was zapped by an weeping angel to, god knows where at that point, but we find out in this episode that she was sent back to 1965.

By this point Claire was firmly ensconced in 1960’s life and had fabricated a back story for herself in the decade. Meanwhile there were Weeping Angels everywhere and I do not think that we have ever seen so many of them.

Then Claire saw herself with angels wings, and then she started to actually turn into an angel herself, which would be an horrific thought.

The most interesting thing about the episode was what we found out during the episode: that there was an angel inside Claire, and that angel was an agent of the division, and that all of the angels in the village were division and were after the angel that was inside Claire.

That wasn’t even the half of it really when we got to the end of the episode where it all turned out to be a plan by Division to trap the Doctor and bring her in, in the shape of angel.

Boy was that a fantastic cliffhanger seeing the Doctor turn before our very eyes into a weeping angel and you really have to wonder how the Doctor is going to get herself out of this mess.

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Tomb of the Cybermen is another great Patrick Troughton story featuring an enclosed location and a classic implacable baddie with a large initial cast, which is whittled down slowly one by one during the course of the story from the non speaking extras to the secondary characters to the main characters. 

This is the third story to have featured the Cybermen and is considered by a lot of people to be one of the better Cybermen stories. I am not one of those people as I think that honour belongs to The Moonbase, which this story is very similar to. 

In Tomb the TARDIS lands on a planet that happens to be Telos, the planet that the cybermen fled to after the destruction of Mondas and at a time when the Cybermen had apparently died out so basically if they hadn’t have landed there then the events in the story would not have happened. In this case curiosity got the better of certain people, and delusions of power got the better of other people and an expedition to Telos was financed. 

To be honest looking at the first part of the first episode the Doctor not turning up there might have been a good thing as they didn’t seem able to get the doors open without help but is doubtful that they would have let that stop them. They might not have been as successful though if they did get in either I would say. 

The Cybermen are as menacing as ever in this story, and even when it is just a picture of them, or a model of one for instance it still creeps both the characters out and the audience along with them. The Cybermats make their debut in this story too and certainly they look much better from a distance than they do up close, when they entirely lose their credibility, but they do do the job that they were designed to do so they are not totally redundant in that sense. 

Like the previous story this one uses stock music to great effect specially to ratchet up the tension during certain scenes, particularly the scenes of the Cybermen breaking out of their tombs. 

Morris Barry, who directed the previous Cyberman adventure, returned for this episode and did a great job with the story using the set design to great effect, with its expansive vistas replete with the cyber symbol and the impressive tombs themselves. Hats off to the designer Martin Johnson for his sterling work on this adventure, his only work on the show, which is a shame given what he did in this episode. 

Victoria gets more to do in this story than she did in her debut adventure but is shielded against much of the action apart from when she gets herself trapped in the first episode and some of her scenes with Kaftan, the only other female character in the story. Jamie gets stuck in as usual; the Doctor himself lets the other characters get on with their stuff and buts in when needed and to save them from themselves making some of them very cross that he is much smarter than them – notably Kleig and you can see the Doctor getting more and more under his skin as the story progresses. 

Troughton is sublime in this story and the chemistry between the three leads is evident even in their first adventure together. There was quite a large cast in this story with sterling performances from Shirley Cooklin, Aubrey Richards, Cyril Shaps, George Pastell as Kaftan, Professor Parry,  John Viner  and Kleig, which is a pretty impressive cast list whichever way you look at it.

I would have to say that Tomb of the Cybermen is a very good example of its era, but there are better.

Today on the BBC HOME SERVICE 27th

In 1941 on the BBC Home service broadcasting begins at 07:00 am with the News. There was a news bulletin at 08:00, 13:00, 18:00, 21:00 and 00:00 as well the news in Welsh and Norwegian.

Between 7.30 and 7.40am was a programme for exercises for both men and women.

Between 11am and 12am was an hour for children, there was also Children’s hour which ran from 5.20 to 6pm so not quite a whole hour.

There was The Kitchen Front at 8:15am a daily programme all about food.

Music While You Work was at 10.30am and 3pm. This ran from about 1940 until 1967.

Workers’ Playtime, a lunch-hour entertainment for factory workers was on at 12.30pm.

At 10:15am was The Daily Service which is still running today.

The rest of the schedule was made up of talks, lots of gramaphone recordings plus various concerts and the occasional variety show and play.

Ten years later in 1951 The Home Service hadn’t changed a great deal with old favourites such as The Daily Service, Music While You Work, Workers’ Playtime, Children’s Hours (now 55 minutes) still broadcasting and its new programmes on this day in 1951 including Desert Island Discs and a comedy show Over To You with Richard Murdoch and Kenneth Horne.

On the Light Programme we had Mrs Dale’s Diary, Woman’s Hour, The Archers, The Adventures of P.C. 49 and A Book At Bedtime.

On BBC Television we had Andy Pandy and a play To Live In Peace produced by Fred O’Donovan which had been translated from Italian.