It’s time to talk about SURVIVORS OF THE FLUX! We take a deep dive into emotional trauma, clarify our opinions on Dan, get tangled up in story threads, talk about the Doctor as an immigrant, and get hyped up about the Thasmin of it all.
Lucia Kelly: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast!
Talia Franks: I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and I’ll take any gossip you have.
Lucia Kelly: And I’m Lucia Kelly expert at applied analysis, and I won’t be told, it’s a defining trait.
Talia Franks: And we’re here today for a Wibbly Wobbly Minisode!
Lucia Kelly: Today, we’re talking about Flux Chapter Five: Survivors of the Flux, which aired on the 28th 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 audio dramas, or even fan theories and articles.
Lucia Kelly: With that out of the way that huge monolith doesn’t look foreboding at all, so let’s get into the TARDIS!
Talia Franks: Content winning for this episode, we’re going to do a deep dive into abuse and the cycles of gaslighting and just want you to be aware, keep yourself safe. Before we dive into talking about that.
Talia Franks: IMDB synopsis says: As the forces of evil mass, the Doctor, Yaz and Dan face perilous journeys and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their quest for survival.
Lucia Kelly: Our synopsis is that this episode is so jam packed with story threads. They are as tangled and messy as Talia’s sleep schedule. Oh my, I thought we’d seen the worst of the structure issues with Once, Upon Time. But at least with Once, Upon Time, I was like, the vignettes worked as separate little things. It did not work in this episode. It was so messy. It was so all over the place.
Talia Franks: Yeah. This episode was, this episode was a hot mess. Oh my goodness. I just, it was all over the place.
Talia Franks: I was just like, what is going on here? Because it was just like zip, zip, zip, zip, zip from plot line to plot line from plot line. And I was just getting like whiplash. And I was just like, what is really going on here? Because I’m, there’s just so much. And I feel like we have so little time, with anyone that
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm
Talia Franks: I didn’t fully understand anything. (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. It was also like,
Talia Franks: what I did understand is that Yaz is the most competent of anyone. And I feel and I said this in my Twitter live tweet, which if you’ve been missing my Twitter live sweets, I live tweet every episode at 8:00 PM Eastern, when they BBC America airing goes, so just watch out for that.
Talia Franks: I’m doing it for all future episodes. (Talia laughs while saying um)
Lucia Kelly: They’re very fun, you should definitely read them. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. But one of the things that I said was that I feel like Yaz is really achieving her final form as a Doctor stand in with her own companions because
Lucia Kelly: Right?
Talia Franks: Yeah, cause she’s got Dan and Jericho now, she’s got her own little crew and she’s clearly the most competent of any of them.
Lucia Kelly: Right?
Lucia Kelly: I, (Lucia makes a noise of disgruntlement) I don’t feel good about the fact that Jericho was kind of brought back down to this kind of bumbling professor kind of character. Also, also just want to flag, where was Peggy? Peggy’s gone. (Lucia laughs) They were in charge of a child. I was promised family fics. She was a child in need of therapy and a good family, a good foster family that the universe landed in her lap.
Lucia Kelly: And somehow they were like, oh, we can’t afford that child actor. Or like, we can’t be bothered with that child actor now. I’m sorry. There was a child. Did you forget? (Talia and Lucia both laugh)
Talia Franks: I think it’s probably just that they couldn’t afford to age her up three years.
Lucia Kelly: Do you know what it is? Cause that Vicar also got sent back. So now she’s she and the Vicar are together in the little village and like they’re going to come. (Lucia makes a sad noise) I just,
Lucia Kelly: also, the writing in this episode was like, subpar. Like it was, so many repeated lines, so much repeated dialogue. It was so unnecessary.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Chibnall, you’ve done better. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Chibnall wrote Broadchurch, he has done better.
Lucia Kelly: Right? Every time I watch an episode like this, which is so chaotic, so messy, so much unnecessary dialogue, the amount of I, can’t remember whether I heard this in the podcast or read it somewhere as criticism, but ever since I heard it or read it or consumed it into my brain, I have not been able to stop thinking about it.
Lucia Kelly: And it’s that Chibnall writes stage directions into his dialogue and it’s so unnecessary, and I’m like you’re so right. So much of the dialogue. Is stage direction. You don’t need, it’s a visual media. My man. Like, (Lucia starts laughing as she speaks) you don’t need to tell us, what we are seeing. (Transition wobbles)
Talia Franks: So if we’re gonna, if we’re gonna break it down and follow each episode arc, I think one of the best things about this episode is again, Yaz getting her own getting her own little team. And I thought that she and Dan and Jericho really had, I feel like I didn’t see enough them. I want that Big Finish, please. And also Yaz, being so cavalier about getting rid of a body,
Lucia Kelly: Right? Like,
Talia Franks: And it’s, ma’am how many bodies have you had to get rid of?
Lucia Kelly: She was she’s well, she’s on a mission because she’s been, she’s been watching that the hologram knows how many times?
Talia Franks: And I, I, I did, I did like Dan, and, and how he was like, why do I have to be the stowaway? The thing is the thing about Dan is. Like I don’t dislike him.
Talia Franks: I dislike what he represents and I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to dislike Dan on principle. Like I don’t begrudge people for standing by their principles and disliking the fact that there’s yet another white man on the TARDIS. It makes sense to me to dislike the fact that we constantly always have to be having a white man centered.
Talia Franks: For example, even in a lot of the promotional pictures that I’ve seen, of their little team you see like either Dan at the forefront or Jericho at the forefront, when, like I said, Yaz is the most competent. Yaz is the one who’s actually leading things. And yet, and yet, although I do really love that like promotional image that I’ve seen in that we use on our cover for this episode of Yaz, with the litte, with the,
Lucia Kelly: The McGuffin? The little clay pot?
Talia Franks: Yeah. Although I will say there’s a little error in one of the promotional images where you can see a crew person with a walkie-talkie which is very hilarious. And also I forget if that person is actually visible in the episode, but definitely visible in one of the promotional images.
Talia Franks: And also there are lit candles in that place that they go into, which means someone was there recently enough to light candles that are still burning.
Lucia Kelly: Right?
Talia Franks: Yes, I know they were going for an aesthetic, but someone was there recently enough to like candles. And also when they like are in Constantinople, who was like, Like old women that they were shuffling out when there was the dynamite. I’m just like, anyway, I just have a lot of questions about who is aiding them on all these tasks, where are they getting all their money?
Talia Franks: Also, why did no one, why is no one raising the question that Yaz is a woman of color in the 19 hundreds? Like in the, like in the 19. Like in, in the 19 odds, what is that year, what is that decade called?
Lucia Kelly: It’s one plus. Of like that whole, I don’t know, pre-war, um, but yeah, I, I have such a mixed up feeling about, the discount, Indiana Jones, adventures part of the, of the episodes because the colonialism and exoticism of the east though ah, it made me so uncomfortable and just. There was a lot of the mysticism of the east. And let’s, I’m like, do not get me wrong. I adored the guru. And I think that was an excellent reversal of tropes, especially given so much of that section of the episode was steeped in those same tropes.
Lucia Kelly: But there was just so much of it that left me uncomfy (Lucia laughs) that I was just like, ugh,
Talia Franks: Yes, but I am very glad that modern Doctor Who acknowledged Mexico.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, honestly.
Talia Franks: Mexico is a place! That exists! Oh wow! Look! South America! Although actually, Mexico is technically North America. Hmm. That’s something that a lot of people don’t acknowledge. Mexico is in North America. North America is Canada, the United States, Mexico.
Talia Franks: A lot of people don’t want to acknowledge, but Mexico is North America.
Talia Franks: There’s North America, Central America, South America. Mexico is North America. Just also it’s all one continent. It’s connected well actually no, the Panama, the Panama canal, divides it a little bit. But it was all one continent there’s like
Lucia Kelly: yeah no, humans did that,
Talia Franks: it’s
Lucia Kelly: not meant to be there.
Talia Franks: It’s like the Americas is all one continent.
Talia Franks: Like dividing North America, Central America, South America is artificial. But if you want to divide it, Mexico is in North America. Just so you know, just so all just so all you people who like don’t pay attention to geography know, or don’t want to pay attention to geography know, Mexico is in North America.
Talia Franks: Sorry. I needed to get on my little soapbox. My little, my little geography soapbox.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, I just
Lucia Kelly: I dunno, I feel like, I feel like that covers all of it. Like I just, I loved it. It was very fun, seeing them all in period costume and going to all these different places, but Also also again, just the writing of explaining the ex the exposition in this episode, it was particularly bad in that section of we have to do this in order to do this we’ve this is the first time we’re talking about this on the way up the mountain clearly.
Lucia Kelly: No, we’re not, no, you’re not. No you’re not. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: You’ve been together for three years. You’ve talked about a lot of things in those three years.
Lucia Kelly: Including I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But if Dan is not convinced, given the limited time he has had with the Doctor, the speed run this man is having as a companion. I mean Jericho and Dan have got to assume that the Doctor and Yaz are dating, right?
Lucia Kelly: Because the way that Dan, the way that Dan came in like, clearly he knew exactly what Yaz has been Yaz has been doing. Clearly this is a habit that she’s formed. Jericho exunts. (Talia and Lucia laugh) Quick smart. He’s I I’m, I’m a 1960s, man, I’m not all about that yet. Dan sits down with Yaz, and it’s I’m sorry that his two friends and one of them is helping the other with all that love stuff.
Lucia Kelly: That was a friend, comforting someone through a romantic relationship.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: That shit was coded all the way through.
Talia Franks: Yup.
Lucia Kelly: And the message, the way that they finished each other’s sentences! They know exact, they know each other!
Talia Franks: Yeah. I, I think a lot of the reason I have now grown to appreciate Dan as a character, even though I dislike him as a concept is because he and Yaz now have that bond and connection from knowing each other for three years, because, that’s definitely a genuine friendship right there.
Talia Franks: And I was saying at the beginning of at the beginning of this Flux journey that we’re on that in my head cannon, I no longer thought of Yaz as being 19. But Yaz as genuinely, no longer 19
Lucia Kelly: We love that
Talia Franks: because she traveled with the Doctor, so if you add it all up, she and Graham and Ryan traveled with the Doctor for I’m guessing like six months to a year. So like she was 20, then the Doctor left them on earth for 10 months. So she was like probably 21 at that point. And then she and the Doctor traveled together alone,
Lucia Kelly: For an independent in determinant amount of time.
Lucia Kelly: We don’t know that’s that that’s our time. We can choose exactly how long that is,
Talia Franks: but it was long enough for Yaz to learn how to pilot the TARDIS, long enough for Yaz to decide to quit her job.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm
Talia Franks: I’m guessing at least another year. So I’m guessing at the beginning of Flux, Yaz was at least 22.
Talia Franks: If not 23, now it’s been an additional three years. Yaz is I’m ballparking 25, 26 at this point? So like it is now canonical, that Yaz is mid to late twenties.
Lucia Kelly: Love that we’ve moved the I love that we’ve moved the Doctor’s love interests up a decade. That’s progress I feel like. We’re out of the teenage years, finally.
Talia Franks: I mean, technically. I don’t ship the Doctor and Martha, but if we had Martha was, was like, I think mid twenties, at least. Or at least I think she was like, like early mid twenties.
Lucia Kelly: We were never meant to ship Martha,
Talia Franks: We were never meant to ship Martha and Ten, but if we had, uh,
Lucia Kelly: Nevermind that if Ten had actually given her a chance, they could have been a match.
Lucia Kelly: Like I can see it. I can see the vision. I can see what Martha was seeing. It could have worked. Ten was just being too much of a little bitch, baby. Like (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: Ten is such a little bitch, baby. Honestly, I don’t like Ten. I can’t wait until the main season is done with Ten, Ten is my least favorite Doctor. I’m sorry. I know that’s controversial.
Lucia Kelly: It’s okay. We all know how much you love David Tennant. So it evens out.
Talia Franks: Love David Tennant. I do love David Tennant.
Lucia Kelly: All right. We’re off topic. Let’s move on to the next story. Do you want to tackle Tecteun or, oh, also, wait before we move on, from misadventures in Mesopotamia. I do want to very briefly say I’m so happy that Mr. Liverpool finally has someone to talk to, and doesn’t, he has someone who like he trusts and not consider him crazy.
Talia Franks: Oh my God. But. Yeah, but also another moment of connection with Dan and Jez, where where she was like, “oh my God, you’re from Liverpool? I never noticed” that was definitely two friends teasing each other about.
Talia Franks: Like I could definitely, it was definitely like the same vibe as like someone saying to me like, “oh, Talia, you like Doctor who? I never knew.” Like definitely the same vibe
Lucia Kelly: This I do. I do need to inform everyone, this does mean I’m talking to all the, scriptwriters a Big Finish that needs to be at least one Liverpool joke in every single production of that adventure time. (Talia snickers)
Lucia Kelly: At least one, between one and three. It’s a requirement now I’m sorry. All other scripts will be rejected.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I can’t wait for this Big Finish to happen. Like it either needs to be a Big Finish or a book, ideally both.
Lucia Kelly: Yup, yup. (Transition wobbles)
Talia Franks: So just to quickly talk about Bel and Kavanista and Vinder and Di. I when Bel and Vinder barely missed each other,
Lucia Kelly: I, oh my, I nearly threw something at the TV, Chibnall, how could you, that’s just, “hyperdrive someone needed to get out of here in a hurry.” Sir. Sir. Sir. Sir.
Talia Franks: I could not also, also when Vinder got snatched up in Passenger, I was so mad that I tried to write, fuck you, Chris Chibnall
Talia Franks: no, but I accidentally wrote, fuck you, Chris Chipotle.
Lucia Kelly: I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that it did seem, that that was his plan. That did seem like he wanted to, he did want to get in the Passenger in order to kind of figure it out. But I was like, so not only do they miss each other by inches, you are now putting Vinder in the Passenger.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I do like that it means that Vinder and Di are interacting, which means that Di is going to have a bigger part because I was very worried and, this is something that they were talking about on Queer Archive. And I feel like I cite them all the time that it
Lucia Kelly: It’s just free advertising because they deserve it because every single one of our listeners, if you are, if you are listening to us, you should be listening to Queer Archives.
Talia Franks: Yeah, but they were talking about how, if Di only exists to be someone who is a victim and is just like basically bait and only exists someone to fight for, then that’s not good representation.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm. Doesn’t look like it though! Di was ready to throw down. I’m so ready.
Talia Franks: I’m so ready. Also she was like, I’m from Liverpool
Lucia Kelly: That’s how you know she and Dan are meant to be together, they can’t shut up about Liverpool. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. And I feel like the other the other thing that I really appreciate about the Bel and Vinder storyline is how it’s now starting to like intertwine again with
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm
Talia Franks: Bel and Kavanista getting together, I really wished that I’d seen more of their fight because Bel fighting people, but I feel like, one of them was going to end up dead if they’d ended up, they’d fought
Talia Franks: Right
Talia Franks: for much longer and it would’ve been Kavanista and I did, (Lucia laughs) and I do like the doggo. So I would have been sad because, that’s the other love of Dan’s life.
Lucia Kelly: Oh God, don’t remind me.
Talia Franks: I’ve said even even if you don’t ship Danvanista, you have to know that they have a connection. I’m sorry, but I don’t want anything bad to happen to Kavanista, he’s great. (Transition wobbles)
Talia Franks: God, the Sontarans are back. I do not care for these potato heads. Like, why, they keep turning up like a bad penny? I don’t want them.
Lucia Kelly: Well, it was, it was, it was, it was, everyone was turning up. We’ve got Ood, we’ve got the Daleks and Cybermen back next week. There was another creature, I believe in the next time that I can’t remember who it was exactly. Someone
Talia Franks: And the Grand Serpent his back. And I,
Lucia Kelly: I know
Talia Franks: don’t care for him also, the fact that the fact that UNIT had Thirteen’s TARDIS in the basement the whole time that Three was trying to fix his TARDIS. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: Oh that’s golden. Oh, that’s golden. I want fics. I want, I want, so, there were a lot of really cute little fly by references to classic who during that whole bit, which I adored and appreciated. But, oh my gosh. That’d be so funny. Can you imagine, can you imagine Three finding Thirteen’s TARDIS and being like…
Talia Franks: Dafuq?
Lucia Kelly: Dafuq? I know this ain’t mine. I notice that’s not mine.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: It’s not that one.
Talia Franks: Also, where are all the other Doctors during this?
Talia Franks: This feels like it should be a multi-Doctor story. (Talia laughs) But also the other thing that was striking me, um, about this episode and that stood out to me is Kate is back. And the thing I love about Kate being back is that it explains why UNIT disappeared because in in the 2019 Resolution new year special, Thirteen goes looking for UNIT to help out with the Dalek situation and UNIT is completely gone. It’s disappeared. She can’t find it. So, but it makes sense because in 2017, the Grand Serpent dissolves UNIT. Obviously he doesn’t truly dissolve it um because he’s able to use UNIT resources to to, help the Sontarans.
Talia Franks: But he makes it go so underground and he takes it over. So Kate goes dark. I’m assuming that Osgood also goes dark later. So
Lucia Kelly: At least we get a mention of her. Hopefully we’ll see her next episode
Talia Franks: Yeah, I’m hopeful we’ll see her next episode or see both of them.
Lucia Kelly: Hmmm.
Talia Franks: Oh, (Talia gives a deep sigh) just wait until we get to those Zygon episode. I fucking hate that episode.
Talia Franks: I have someone in mind for who would be a good guest, but I don’t want to make them watch it again. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Uh, anyway, the Zygon episode. Fucking don’t get me started. Anyway, the point is I’m glad Kate’s back. I’m glad that it explains why UNIT was gone in 2019. And also why Kate is disappeared in Thirteen’s era. I’m also, I liked the little nod at the like 1970s versus 1980s dating controversy of how apparently the Grand Serpent was like messing with the records. And that’s why it doesn’t make sense. (Lucia laughs) Um.
Talia Franks: But anyway, moving along, we haven’t even gotten to the Doctor’s arch. Right? It’s Doctor Who.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Okay. So, Tecteun, classic textbook, abusive parent. Like that is, that is exact, oh, it made me so mad. (Lucia sighs)
Talia Franks: Yeah, I
Lucia Kelly: They did it perfectly, but like in a way, that, like I hate it, but because they did it so well.
Talia Franks: Yeah. When Tecteun and the Doctor were having that throwdown argument, I was just like, this is everything that I wanted, but it’s too short. (Lucia laughs) When the Doctor and Tecteun, were having that fight and the Doctor was like, “you had no right to do this to me.”
Lucia Kelly: It was just all the bullshit of it, right? Nevermind that, nevermind. Everyone’s pet theory that, Bel and Vinder probably just left her there for five minutes so that they could go get some snacks, but like, (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Talia Franks: So Doctor says “you took something that didn’t belong to you.”
Talia Franks: Tecteun says “I rescued you, would you prefer to have been left?” The Doctor says “you assume you don’t know,” like “you denied me my life” and Tecteun is like, “I gave you life. But, you think you could have been something else, someone else,” and the Doctor is like “maybe I’ll never know.”
Talia Franks: And like it’s like
Lucia Kelly: Jodie Whittaker’s face when she delivered that line,
Talia Franks: it’s, just
Lucia Kelly: ahhhh
Talia Franks: Tecteun is being like, she’s being like classic, gaslighting horrible. Like it’s just it’s masterful, honestly, because, so Tecteun genuinely believes that she’s doing what’s best. And the Doctor is the way that the Doctor is so devastated and like yearning for this life that she never had. Is, and just for the possibilities that she was denied is just it’s honestly heartbreaking.
Talia Franks: And I feel like this is what the River storyline could have been, but so much better, because it’s child being denied their family and denied their birthright and like being taken. But actually done well.
Lucia Kelly: And that is what comes from writing from character rather than writing for mystery, right? Like when yes, the writing in this episode was a mess. Not that part though. And because that’s where, that’s where Chibnall shines, right? When you’re doing deep character work, particularly trauma based character work.
Lucia Kelly: He knows what he’s about. And so the River was always only ever seen as a mystery, as an object as this shiny little toy for the Doctor. And for and for Moffatt can I just say. As well, like she was never given the space to actually be, to actually make sense in any way, shape, or form. Mhmm. Whereas. Chibnall writing this Doctor as this person who like, and just the way that this parallels to so many real life patterns in abuse, even, even down to memory loss, right?
Lucia Kelly: Like one of the first things that a lot of people in, emotionally traumatic circumstances report is memory loss. And the fact that they’ve worked that in as a Sci-Fi thing is just top tier. But I also really adore how I particularly love how Chibnall writes Tecteun. Because it, so often abusers are seen as actively malicious or like they’re doing it on purpose or sadistic in some way.
Lucia Kelly: It, it makes more sense narratively and it makes more sense to our human brain to make some sort of sense out of the chaos in a way that like, makes narrative sense, but it doesn’t leave space for the thousands of abuse stories, which people live through every day, which is where the abuser doesn’t know that they’re an abuser.
Lucia Kelly: So often people do not realize the impact that they have on others and, or what they’re doing. And the fact that Tecteun is written, from that perspective and especially kind of quite literally one step away from reality, right? Like she is, she’s grown so in love with this idea and this concept of the Division, that it’s just completely warped her sense of reality to the point where she doesn’t see what she’s doing as morally reprehensible and actually sees morality as a flaw is just (Lucia makes a kissing noise) chef’s kiss. Excellent. I love everything that’s happening here.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And also it’s a white woman doing this, like it’s embodying the white savior stereotype. Particularly when we think about the fact that the primary Division Doctor that we see as a Black woman because even though Jodie Whittaker is also white. If you go back to the Timeless Children episode, you will see that all of the children that Tecteun experimented on. I think, I think almost all of them were children of color. Like
Lucia Kelly: And the original child at the wormhole was also a child of color.
Talia Franks: Yeah. She was a little Black girl.
Talia Franks: And I’m not, not sure how intentional it was. I’m not sure how many people are going to get that. But I think it’s it makes it a lot more prevalent. I also just I love the Timeless Children arc in general. I know so many people who hate it and I find it so interesting (Talia sighs) and not at all surprising that the fact that so many people hate it. Because one of the things that I saw on Twitter was someone was so upset by the time the children arc.
Talia Franks: And it’s actually really funny because the phrasing made it sound like Chris Chibnall was born and raised on Gallifrey, but what they were trying to say was the Doctor was born and raised on Gallifrey.
Talia Franks: I was like, Chris Chibnall was born on Gallifrey? A bunch of people on Twitter were making fun of it. But basically the point is, is people and it wasn’t just this one person I’ve seen other people upset about this too, that people are very upset that the Doctor, even when the Doctor was the Doctor was still raised on Gallifrey, the Doctors memories, because they still don’t have their memories back, are still of being a Time Lord are still of being Gallifreyan. Like, culturally, that’s what the Doctor is. But people are upset that the Doctor is now an immigrant, that the Doctor is no longer, and so people are very upset that the Doctor is no longer a white man belonging to this like prestigious institution.
Talia Franks: And I want, I just think people should just sit with that for a moment. Just sit with the fact that they’re not comfortable with the fact that the Doctor is no longer someone who comes from because previously the Doctor was a white man who came from a place of privilege, that went to a bunch of places and saved people all the time. So previously the Doctor was very much that sort of white savior, stereotype, like that is, previously the Doctor could be interpreted as that the Doctor was like a godlike figure. That was the Doctor.
Talia Franks: And that’s the Doctor that a lot of people love, but now the Doctor is no longer that. The Doctor instead has been put in the position of being marginalized, of being the person who is no longer centered. And they don’t like that.
Lucia Kelly: Yes. I also think it’s very interesting because another criticism that I’ve seen. Is, which is like tangential, but related is that people are saying because the Fugitive Doctor, and I think we can assume now the Fugitive Doctor fits in before the first Doctor, like everything from the first Doctor onwards seems to be post Division.
Lucia Kelly: Is that, and because the Fugitive Doctor is characterized as this very take charge firecracker that this idea of undoing character development? Because the first Doctor is notoriously cold and calculated and learns to love humanity through his granddaughter and his companions and people were arguing like if the Fugitive Doctor is already this firecracker and then you remove the Doctor’s memories and then they go to this cold calculated figure. And then the end goal is back to this, back to the firecracker, then that’s not a narrative arc? Which makes no sense to me, because again, we are talking about learning to process and live and grow and heal from having abuse and trauma in your past. One of, and again, one of the key things in that is the fact that healing is not progressive and that you will revert back to initial spaces where you felt safe or in control, which for the Doctor would be, akin to the personality that was safe with Tecteun, right? Which would be this same cold calculated person. So the fact that like you vacillate between these two arcs and eventually ended up with firecracker, which seems to be where the Doctor lives naturally without that abusive influence
Lucia Kelly: is like, that’s exactly how you should write it. And it frustrates me that people don’t see that.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And it honestly makes a lot of sense for the Doctor to progress like that because that’s what healing often looks like is like you said, vacillating from one place to another, it’s often cyclical.
Talia Franks: And also the Doctor had all their memories removed so they basically had all of that character work undone. And they had to relearn it. Like it’s very much like what happened to Donna. She lost all of her memories and then lost all of her character growth.
Talia Franks: And then. Had to relearn all of that. It’s if you want to go back to the, like the OG person that so many people love RTD, when he removed all of Donna’s memories and Wilf goes, “she was so much better with you.” So she had all that character growth that got unlearned and now she would have to relearn how to be that person.
Talia Franks: So yeah, the Doctor learned how to be like, a Firecracker person like you were saying, but they reverted and then it took them so many regenerations to become that, to become that person again. So I’m just saying,
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm. And the fact that the Doctor continuously uh, moves slowly but surely towards their true self is proof of the strength of character.
Lucia Kelly: Right? It’s about. It’s about and also when I say safe, I mean that quite literally, it’s not about whether that, the shell that you create is actually good or healthy for you. It’s what will cause me the least amount of pain.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: Right? What will not hurt me? So, which is why a common response to abuse is to isolate yourself.
Lucia Kelly: Literally figuratively, emotionally, to just remove yourself from that pain, which again is something that, which is a consistent character trait throughout all Doctors, right? Like it’s just.
Talia Franks: Mhmm.
Lucia Kelly: This is entirely up my alley. I could talk about it for hours, but we weren’t because we’re running out of time.
Talia Franks: So, to circle back to the actual episode, because we just spent a lot of time talking things unrelated to the episode How was the actual episode was a fabulous, funky, or foul? What do we think of the actual episode? Not just the individual pieces. Cause I feel like the individual pieces, the episode were good.
Talia Franks: I liked the individual pieces, but the episode itself was kind of a, kind of a mess. Kind of a mess.
Lucia Kelly: Kind of a mess. I would put this again firmly in the funky category, which upsets me deeply, but like it’s such a mix of good and the bad. There’s no, if we could just, it feels, it feels very much like three episodes that don’t quite mesh that we’re just thrown all together.
Lucia Kelly: If we could have one whole episode of adventures in Mesopotamia, if we could have one whole episode of I’m going to start calling them the misfit crew, because everyone’s scattered all over the place. So that’s Bel, Vinder, Kavanista, Di, they’re the misfit crew. Could have one episode of misfit crew, I would adore that. If we could have one episode of just diving deep into the Doctor’s backstory, I would adore that.
Lucia Kelly: But like all of them together, it’s like making a cake with like caramel and cheese. What are you doing? There’s too much going on here.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Also we didn’t even get to Azure and Swarm, but we don’t have time for that.
Lucia Kelly: You’ll just have to wait five years and then we’ll go in depth again. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Thank you for listening to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Talia Franks: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
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Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now, catch you in the Time Vortex!