297f – "The Vanquishers"
Doctor Who episode
Cast
Others
Production
Directed byAzhur Saleem
Written byChris Chibnall
Script editor
  • Caroline Buckley
  • Rebecca Roughan
Produced byPete Levy
Executive producer(s)
Incidental music composerSegun Akinola
SeriesSeries 13
Running time6th of 6-part story, 59 minutes
First broadcast5 December 2021 (2021-12-05)
Chronology
← Preceded by
"Survivors of the Flux"
Followed by →
"Eve of the Daleks"
List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"The Vanquishers", prefixed frequently with either "Chapter Six" or "Flux", is the sixth and final episode of the thirteenth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, and of the six-episode serial known collectively as Doctor Who: Flux. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 5 December 2021. It was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall, and directed by Azhur Saleem.

The episode stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, alongside Mandip Gill and John Bishop as her companions, Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis, respectively.

Plot

The Doctor runs from Swarm, taking Tecteun's Ood with her. Swarm and Azure advance on her but the Doctor takes off her conversion plate and, as Swarm touches her, is split into three copies between the Division spacecraft, Bel's ship, and the Liverpool tunnels.

On the Division spacecraft, Azure attempts to return the Doctor's missing memories to her using the fob watch. The Doctor refuses to see them. Azure reveals her intent to engineer the Flux into a time loop of universal destruction. The Ood attempts to slow down the Flux.

In the Passenger, Vinder and Diane disrupt its internal systems and escape into another unknown environment.

Yaz, Dan, Jericho, and Williamson take out the Sontaran vanguard with lightning from a tunnel door before traveling to 2021 through another. They meet Kate Stewart who is leading a resistance against the invasion. The Doctor bargains for Claire and Jericho to help them find the final Flux event's coordinates. She takes her TARDIS from Kate.

The Doctor crashes Bel's ship into the Sontaran command headquarters. They are stopped by a force field, captured, and placed on a Sontaran ship. Karvanista reveals that during the Doctor's time in the Division, he was her companion. He cannot say more about it, under threat of a Division poison implant in his brain. The Sontarans remove the Doctor and inform Karvanista of the Lupari's extinction.

The Doctor piloting the TARDIS frees her copy from the Grand Serpent's torture device and aims it at him.

Bel downloads Sontaran transmissions offering alliance with the Cybermen and Daleks, a ruse to sacrifice them to the Flux while the Lupari shield ensconces the Sontarans. Claire escapes the ship. Jericho cannot. The Doctor rescues Vinder and Diane, and reforms the Lupari shield behind the Sontarans, leaving the Flux to consume the Sontarans, Daleks and Cybermen, as well as Jericho. The Doctor uses the Passenger, a repository of endless matter, to absorb the Flux.

Azure and Swarm bring the Doctor to Atropos to sacrifice her to Time, but since the Flux failed to free Time, Time destroys them. Time lets the Doctor go but warns of her end before reunifying her. In the tunnels, Kate and Vinder maroon the Serpent on a small asteroid through a door. Vinder and Bel decide to travel with Karvanista. Dan invites Diane on a date, but Diane refuses. The Doctor invites Dan to join her and Yaz on their travels. She deposits her fob watch deep into the TARDIS interior.

Production

Development

"The Vanquishers" was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall.[1]

Casting

The series is the third to feature Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor,[2] and Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan,[3] with John Bishop having joined the cast for the series as Daniel Lewis.[4]

Filming

Azhur Saleem directed the second block, which comprised the third, fifth, and sixth episodes of the series.[5]

Broadcast and reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)40%[6]
Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)5/10[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
The A.V. ClubB-[7]
Radio Times[8]
The Independent[9]
The Telegraph[10]

Broadcast

"The Vanquishers" aired on 5 December 2021.[11] The episode serves as the final part of a six-part story, entitled Flux.[12][13] In the United States the episode aired on BBC America.[14]

Ratings

The episode was watched by 3.58 million viewers overnight.[15] The seven day consolidated rating counting all views across all platforms within seven days of broadcast was 4.64 million. The episode was the sixth highest rated programme on BBC1 for the week, and the 26th highest programme across all channels for the week.[16]

Critical reception

Martin Belam of The Guardian called The Vanquishers "a decent episode that ended what was the best, most consistent season of the Whittaker era."[17] Louise Griffin for the Metro gave the episode three stars out of five, describing it as "a finale that’s enjoyable but [which] feels like it’s frantically trying to tie up loose ends as efficiently as possible."[18] Isobel Lewis for The Independent also gave the episode three stars out of five, writing that "Flux has revelled in its own confusion, but while some bits in the middle feel like a hazy blur (the less said about episode three, the better), the pay-off is largely satisfying."[19] Patrick Mulkern of the Radio Times gave the episode four stars out of five, describing the story as having "resolved satisfyingly" in an episode in which "everything but the kitchen sink, the dog basket and the loo brush was being chucked into the mix."[20]

References

  1. ^ "Chibnall Has Written All of Series 13 Solo (Bar One Episode), Confirms Directors". Doctor Who TV. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  2. ^ Collis, Clark (22 January 2020). "Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker will play time traveler for at least one more season". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. ^ Cremona, Patrick (30 November 2020). "Doctor Who: Mandip Gill says there's "more to come" for Yaz and her mental health storyline". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  4. ^ Foster, Chuck (1 January 2021). "New companion for Series 13". DoctorWhoNews.net. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  5. ^ Laford, Andrea (9 August 2021). "Doctor Who Series 13 and 2022 specials: directors and casting news". CultBox. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Doctor Who: Flux, Episode 6". Rotten Tomatoes.
  7. ^ Siede, Caroline (6 December 2021). "Doctor Who's Flux finale falls flat". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  8. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (5 December 2021). "Doctor Who – The Vanquishers review: Flux draws to a satisfying, if frenetic, conclusion". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  9. ^ Lewis, Isobel (5 December 2021). "Doctor Who review, 'The Vanquishers': Series finale is more funny than terrifying as Jodie Whittaker fights for the universe". The Independent. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  10. ^ Hogan, Michael (5 December 2021). "Doctor Who, episode 6 review: Flux ended less with a bang, more with a sequence of small squelches". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  11. ^ "The Vanquishers". BBC. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  12. ^ Haring, Bruce (9 October 2021). "'Doctor Who: Flux' Unveils Season 13 Trailer, Promises New Villains For Jodie Whittaker Finale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  13. ^ Mellor, Louisa (9 October 2021). "Doctor Who Series 13 is Titled 'Flux' and Starts On Halloween". Den of Geek. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  14. ^ Misra, Sulagna (5 December 2021). "Doctor Who: Flux comes to its fiery conclusion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  15. ^ Marcus (6 December 2021). "Ratings Latest". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  16. ^ Marcus (13 December 2021). "Series 13 Ratings". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Doctor Who recap: Flux chapter six – The Vanquishers". The Guardian. 5 December 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Doctor Who Flux: The Vanquishers review". Metro. 5 December 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Doctor Who review, 'The Vanquishers'". The Independent. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who – The Vanquishers review". Radio Times. 5 December 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2022.