Transcript for Flux: Once, Upon Time (S13E03) (A Wibbly Wobbly Minisode!)
Chapter Three of FLUX has arrived, and in typical Wibbly Wobbly fashion, Lucia and Talia attempt to unpack everything that happened in ONCE, UPON TIME! Talia loves the Ravagers despite their best efforts, Lucia throws away her standards for a heartstring pulling Vinder backstory, and we stan Bel!
Lucia Kelly: Hello and welcome to The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Talia Franks: I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and I want to reign in Hell.
Lucia Kelly: And I’m Lucia Kelly, expert and applied analysis, and love is the only mission, idiot.
Talia Franks: And we’re here today for a Wibbly Wobbly minisode!
Lucia Kelly: Today we’re talking about Flux chapter three: Once, Upon Time, which aired on the 14th of November, 2021, it was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Azhur Saleem.
Talia Franks: Reminder that time isn’t a straight line. It can twist into any shape and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, the audiodramas, or even fan theories and articles.
Lucia Kelly: With that out of the way, does everything have to be a discussion? Go on. In.
Talia Franks: I’ll have you know that everything does have to be a discussion, thank you very much.
Lucia Kelly: I mean that’s why that’s why we’re here. (Lucia laughs) Everything is discussion. And we’re going to discuss it in depth.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And also the Doctor should just talk to Yaz.
Lucia Kelly: Oh my God.
Talia Franks: Yaz deserves to know.
Lucia Kelly: Dan deserves to know honestly, like, I’m sorry.
Talia Franks: Dan deserves nothing.
Lucia Kelly: Alright.
Lucia Kelly: The IMDB synopsis for this episode is: The Doctor and her companions are scattered throughout time and their own lives. Only the Doctor can find them with the Mouri’s help. Meanwhile, the Ravagers, Swarm and Azure, have captured all of Time in their Passengers, and the Doctor must convince the Mouri to help her release the hostages, without understanding the cause of it all.
Talia Franks: Okay, this is the one everyone is lost in the sauce. Sorry. I mean, lost in the time stream. And we end up wanting to sue Chris Chibnall for emotional damages.
Lucia Kelly: I am, I am. I am this close. I am this close, Talia to just booking a flight to the UK (Talia laughs) and just demanding answers. What the heck? (Lucia whines laughter)
Talia Franks: Demand an audience with Chris Chibnall.
Lucia Kelly: What are you doing? (Talia laughs) What’s the scope here? What’s the plan? What’s going on? Also. How, how D, how dare, how dare he introduce love lost, time scattered, like tragedy, like lovers in tragedy. Like what the, with an unborn kid?! (Talia laughs) With an unborn kid Chris Chibnall, how dare you? How dare you?
Talia Franks: Can we just talk about how badass Bel is that took down an entire Cybermen squadron while pregnant.
Lucia Kelly: She’s so badass, she’s so cool. I love her so much.
Talia Franks: And and then she read that cyberman for complete filth.
Lucia Kelly: There is a reason there is a reason and that it was her quote that I took for today. She’s the best. She’s so cool.
Talia Franks: There’s also a reason that I took Swarm’s quote, which is, I don’t like to stan villain. Like he, (Lucia laughs) like he and Azure are like the worst, but they also got style. They got flair. They, they got, they got swagger. I, I appreciate it.
Lucia Kelly: It is undeniable. They just, the way that, like, can you imagine being in those suits, it would just change the way you walk.
Talia Franks: Mhmm. And also I’ve got to say, I like this Swarm specifically, the other Swarm (Lucia laughs) that we saw the other Swarm that we saw, like in the past, like he ain’t it. Also, Ruth doctor is back! Oh my God!
Lucia Kelly: I know! It was so exciting. Oh my gosh. This scene where it’s constantly switching between Thirteenth Doctor and Ruth Doctor, I had chills. I had chills. They both did so well. It was so well acted.
Lucia Kelly: I just it’s everything I could’ve ever asked for.
Talia Franks: Yeah, it’s so great. Especially because it embodies the fact that the Doctor is always the Doctor, like no matter which Doctor it is, like, there’s something about the Doctor that’s just intrinsically the same. Mhmm. And also I was really, I was really fascinated by the idea that the Doctor always has companions.
Talia Franks: Like the Doctor is always the leader. Um. And I was really curious about the two people that Yaz and Vinder were. Cause we know that Dan was, um, Kavanista, but who was Yaz and Vinder?
Lucia Kelly: Right. I, I have a sneaking suspicion or maybe, maybe it’s more of a hope. I have sneaking hope that maybe. Vinder was Vinder, like that that’s actually standard.
Lucia Kelly: That Vinder is Vinder in the, like, I mean, what really going to be living up to our, our title this episode, because time was wibbly wobbly. It was all over the place.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I mean, I was also hoping that Vinder was Vinder. Like, I just love Vinder with my whole heart.
Talia Franks: Why did they leave homeboy on a deserted planet by himself? Like they didn’t even give him some rations? Like give him some food, like leave him a tent.
Lucia Kelly: I, I understand that we need to leave him behind because we can’t keep him for the whole season because like he’s only signed up for so many episodes, but like, that ending made no sense you would not do that. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: You would not do that. Ever, not once
Talia Franks: You would absolutely not do that, that is not okay.
Lucia Kelly: Also, like, I don’t know. I feel like the doctor would like either make sure that they found Bel together. Or be like, She’s clearly not here, bro. Like come with us and explore the universe with us together. And we’ll find her.
Lucia Kelly: If she
Talia Franks: invited fucking Dan Lewis, why did she not invite Vinder? Like dafuq.
Lucia Kelly: It’s because Jacob Anderson is booked and busy and like was not available. That’s why. Okay. It’s because he’s too good. It’s because they, they managed to get a stunning actor with a stunning character and we’re like, Ooh, we can’t actually fulfill what we have promised. That’s why.
Talia Franks: They can’t afford him.
Lucia Kelly: They can’t afford him. He’s too good for them. You know, he knows his value. That’s what’s happened. Okay? That’s why.
Lucia Kelly: Let’s talk about this episode. It’s going to be hard. This episode was all over the place. I adored it, but that’s me. Like I understand that as a standalone episode, structurally, like everything about it is pretty garbage. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I get like, like I get that, (Talia laughs again) but all of the tiny little vignettes were so good and entertaining and just exactly what I want out of a story that I did not care. So.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I, I thought, you know, I thought it was great. I thought it was a romp. I was having a good time. I don’t even care that structurally it might not have been as coherent an episode. I was along for a ride like, Nicole on TARBIS was saying like, this is just how my mind works. Like, this is just how, um, This is just how I roll. This is just how, like, I, this is how I think. And so I really enjoyed all the moving parts and everything going on.
Talia Franks: I thought it was so cool how the Doctor was in multiple places at once and was navigating multiple things at once, because I was like, because the Doctor can sort of split herself into multiple people and be in multiple timelines. And I loved how she was just like, sort of splicing herself into different places.
Talia Franks: Also, what is going on with the Angels? Also, the like and the Daleks came back and the cyber men were back and I just, there’s so much.
Lucia Kelly: The Angel stuff was so good this episode. Oh, the, the way this entire episode was directed was gorgeous. Very, very different from Jamie Magnus Stone. It’s a very different visual language, but it worked really well. I’m particularly interested by the fact that the doctor’s POV was so, kind of blurred and like there was an element of unreality to it almost. But, and like the title cards and everything.
Talia Franks: The title cards were giving me Star Wars.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. And also, the fact that they weren’t quite, um,
Talia Franks: A lot of this episode was giving me Star Wars. Bel’s scenes felt, were very Star Wars to me.
Talia Franks: Like, it was very like the Shooty Shooty, the blasters.
Talia Franks: I also was thinking about this episode, who was that woman that just showed up at the end and was reading the doctor for filth, again. Also, I think the Doctor wants to know more about her past, but she does not need to treat Yaz like this. She like is not okay.
Lucia Kelly: It’s not. Yeah, no. There is so many, the Doctor is falling fast and, uh, it’s not good. Yaz is going to snap at one point. Like I’m waiting for it.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: Yaz just gonna be like, cause it was, I was thinking about it as I was thinking about the previous two episodes as well.
Lucia Kelly: The Doctor seems to be in this strange position where I don’t like rule one rule one is often, define your relationship.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: And I don’t think that the Doctor has done that. Like not, not only not had that conversation, but like internally, I don’t think she’s figured that out yet about what. It’s very interesting that like, thinking back to how we’ve been watching, Nine and Ten, like Nine and Ten are both very like, Uh, they’re almost clingy with their companions,
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: Right?
Lucia Kelly: Like that they are all up in that space. And
Talia Franks: Rose
Lucia Kelly: there’s, (Lucia stifles laughter) there’s very little boundary. Right. Um, and, and very little boundary setting, which we have talked about ad nauseum about the problems that causes. (Lucia laughs) But, the Thirteenth Doctor seems to be like, kind of the opposite of that. She set these very clear boundaries sort of internally, but hasn’t defined them.
Lucia Kelly: So there are all these sort of like when she interrupted Yaz by saying like, well haven’t I taken you to all these amazing places? It’s like, yeah, but like, are you friends or are you a tour guide? Right? Like there’s. You are simultaneously demanding a different relationship while pulling away from that same relationship.
Lucia Kelly: So like,
Talia Franks: Mhmm. Yeah. And I think the other thing that’s in this is definitely building on a lot of character work that was done in the first two seasons. And I feel like. I feel like people give season 11 and season 12, a lot of crap, (Talia laughs) but they did do a lot to build up the Doctor and do a like, Yaz didn’t have. Yaz did not.
Talia Franks: Yaz was not done, Yaz was done dirty by seasons 11 and 12. But I still feel like she was built up in seasons 11 and 12 to this point. And I feel like the progression of. Thirteen and Yaz’s relationship to this point is something that has been building. Like Thirteen has always been someone who’s been super open while being super closed off.
Talia Franks: Like she didn’t even tell her companions that she was a Time Lord. She didn’t even say that she didn’t even say the words Time Lord, or the words Gallifrey until the beginning of season 12. Like until the end of the second episode of season 12, she did not tell them nothing. Like she’s been so closed off.
Talia Franks: So like she’s basically been putting on a front this entire time, and we’re finally starting to see that crack open. And I am fascinated as we’re starting to see the Doctor crack open. Because she’s had this hard shell on her this entire time, and now it’s finally breaking through and we can see what’s underneath.
Talia Franks: And I’m just so excited for that.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I, I I’ve been seeing like particularly early on, I saw a lot of criticism of how. People would not. Oh goodness. Um, people were not a fan of how the Doctor’s like sort of chirpy personality because they were associating it with the fact that it was the first woman Doctor.
Lucia Kelly: And they’re like, how come we’ve gone back to this like, “we’re all friends we’re all family” when it’s a woman and all this kind of bullshit. Without like, taking it that next step further of like. The fact that we have now gotten to this point where we are seeing how much like that is such a, this whole arc is such a good exploration of the different layers that fem presenting people have to put on in order to just be perceived (Talia mhmms) and be taken seriously and to be recognized as a person. So, the fact that the first layer of the Doctor we see is this very chirpy, happy bubbly person. And then the further we get on and the more strain she’s under, the more we’re seeing all of the different layers, like that’s not cheap writing, that’s doing the work. (Talia makes lots of affirmational noises)
Lucia Kelly: That is exactly what you should be writing. The first female Doctor as.
Talia Franks: Mhmm. Definitely.
Lucia Kelly: But we are very, very nearly out of time. So I just want to very briefly mention, uh, Vinder knew what a TARDIS was!
Talia Franks: Yup.
Lucia Kelly: So, ah,
Lucia Kelly: ah, (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: He knew how to TARDIS was.
Lucia Kelly: He knew what a TARDIS was.
Talia Franks: He looked in and he was like, is this a TARDIS?
Lucia Kelly: That was his first question.
Talia Franks: He didn’t yeah, he didn’t say, is it bigger on the inside? He said, is this a TARDIS? That was his first question. That was the first thing he said.
Lucia Kelly: Well, his, his very first question, his very first question was “Whaaaaaat?” With the most excited little, like kid in a candy store, pilot in the best ship in the universe, like grin.
Lucia Kelly: Which,
Talia Franks: And he’s like, “can I, can I pilot it?” And Yaz is like “No”
Lucia Kelly: I hope they let him I hope that just once just let him!
Talia Franks: It’s just a little bit, just a little bit,
Lucia Kelly: Just a little a little bit. It needs to be piloted by at least six people.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: You’ve only got four in there.
Talia Franks: Dan can do shit. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I was struck by the fact that we got competent Dan, in this episode,
Talia Franks: We don’t have time to talk about Dan.
Lucia Kelly: I would like to see more. That is all I’m going to say.
Talia Franks: I would like to see less. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Come on, let’s talk about the fabulous foul or funky.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. Um, I mean, fabulous.
Talia Franks: Yeah, fabulous.
Lucia Kelly: It’s fabulous. I don’t care.
Talia Franks: It’s so good. It’s so good.
Lucia Kelly: This is a feel good, fabulous. This is, this is, this is the, this is the trashy romance novel that you give five stars because you were glowing at the end of it. Like, it doesn’t matter that none of it made sense.
Lucia Kelly: It doesn’t matter that the structure was garbage. It doesn’t matter that the sentences were like all over the place. You felt good watching it. It was a five-star experience (Lucia and Talia laugh) and therefore it is fabulous.
Talia Franks: This has been the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Lucia Kelly: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
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Lucia Kelly: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net And full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts
Talia Franks: If you’d like to get in touch, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucia Kelly: Please rate and review us on apple podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Talia Franks: Special thanks to our editor Owen Elphick, who has been a vital member of the Wibbly Wobbly team.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now. Catch you in the time vortex!