The Halloween Apocalypse

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297a – "The Halloween Apocalypse"
Doctor Who episode
Directed byJamie Magnus Stone
Written byChris Chibnall
Script editor
  • Caroline Buckley
  • Rebecca Roughan
Produced byNikki Wilson
Executive producer(s)
  • Chris Chibnall
  • Matt Strevens
  • Nikki Wilson
Music bySegun Akinola
SeriesSeries 13
Running time1st of 6-part story, 50 minutes
First broadcast31 October 2021 (2021-10-31)
← Preceded by
"Revolution of the Daleks"
Followed by →
"War of the Sontarans"
List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"The Halloween Apocalypse", prefixed frequently with either "Chapter One" or "Flux",[1][2] is the premiere episode of the thirteenth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, and the first part of the six-episode serial known collectively as Doctor Who: Flux. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 31 October 2021. It was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall, and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.

The episode stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan, and John Bishop as new companion Dan Lewis. The episode features the return of the Sontarans and Weeping Angels.


The Doctor and Yaz are in pursuit of Karvanista, one of the dog-like Lupari species, for reasons unclear to Yaz. They escape from his capture and follow him to Earth in the TARDIS. En route, the Doctor experiences a psychic vision of Swarm, a mysterious being, escaping from its millennia-long imprisonment by the Time Lord Division.

In present day Liverpool, Dan Lewis arranges a date with museum worker Diane before attending a shift at the soup kitchen and heading home. Karvanista breaks into his house and transports him onto his Lupari ship. The Doctor and Yaz arrive after Dan's abduction, investigating his house and discovering what appears to be a Lupari invasion fleet approaching Earth. They escape just before Dan's house is collapsed by a trap set by Karvanista. They then briefly encounter Claire, a woman who claims to have met the Doctor in the latter's future. Departing, the Doctor and Yaz are confused by the appearance of a second doorway in the TARDIS' console room. Claire is subsequently captured by a Weeping Angel.

On Karvanista’s ship, Yaz rescues Dan while the Doctor confronts Karvanista over his connection to the Division. Karvanista reveals that the Lupari are in fact saving humanity from Earth’s imminent destruction by the Flux, an unknown entity that defies all laws of space and time and consumes everything in its path. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan escape the ship and return to the TARDIS (where another doorway has appeared) to investigate the Flux.

Meanwhile, the Flux causes Vinder, the sole crew member of a remote outpost in deep space, to evacuate his position. It also catches the attention of the Sontarans, who relish the prospect of destruction it poses. Swarm attacks a base in the Arctic Circle, killing one of its two crew members and reviving his "sister" Azure from the other. Azure later lures Diane into a derelict house.

The TARDIS takes the group to an area of space where they observe the Flux from a distance. The Doctor experiences another vision of Swarm, who claims an old association with her. The Flux then accelerates its attack on Earth, before the Lupari fleet can rescue its population. The Doctor has Karvanista form a defensive shield with the other Lupari ships, protecting Earth from the Flux. However, the TARDIS is unable to transport behind the shield. The TARDIS' three doorways fly open as the Flux approaches.



"The Halloween Apocalypse" was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall.[3] The story featured the return of the Doctor's recurring aliens, the Sontarans and the Weeping Angels.[4]


The series is the third to feature Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.[5] Mandip Gill also returns as Yasmin Khan.[6] John Bishop joined the cast for the series as Dan Lewis.[7] Guest actors within the episode include Annabel Scholey, Rochenda Sandall, Sam Spruell, Craige Els, Steve Oram, Nadia Albina, and Jonathan Watson.[4][8]


Jamie Magnus Stone, who directed four episodes of the previous series, directed the first block, which comprised the first, second and fourth episodes of the series.[9] Filming was originally set to begin in September 2020,[10] but eventually commenced in November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on television.[11]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)77%[2]
Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)6.8/10[2]
Review scores
Evening Standard[12]
Radio Times[13]
The A.V. ClubB[14]
The Independent[15]
The Telegraph[16]


"The Halloween Apocalypse" aired on 31 October 2021.[1] The episode serves as the first part of a six-part story, entitled Flux.[17][18] In the United States the episode aired on BBC America at the same time as its broadcast on BBC One.[19] An "extended cut" of the episode aired on BBC America later that day featuring an additional two minutes of content that had been edited out of the initial broadcast to allow for television advertisements.[20]


"The Halloween Apocalypse" was watched by 4.43 million viewers overnight and a 26.9% share,[21] making it the second most watched programme for the night in the United Kingdom.[22] The episode received an Audience Appreciation Index score of 76.[23] Within seven days the total number of viewers rose to 5.81 million ranking as the ninth most viewed program for the week.[24] The original BBC America broadcast of the episode was watched live by 339,000 viewers, while its later evening broadcast was seen by 277,000.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 77% of 13 critics gave the episode a positive review, and an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's consensus reads, "Setting a crowded table for this season of Doctor Who, 'The Halloween Apocalypse' is an ambitious opener that should leave fans feeling optimistic."[2]


  1. ^ a b "Series 13, Ep. 1/6 - Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Chibnall Has Written All of Series 13 Solo (Bar One Episode), Confirms Directors". Doctor Who TV. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (15 October 2021). "'Doctor Who: Flux' Releases First-Look Trailer For 13th Season, Spotlighting Guest Actors And Monsters". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  5. ^ 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 23 January 2020.
  6. ^ 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 1 December 2020.
  7. ^ Foster, Chuck (1 January 2021). "New companion for Series 13". Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Doctor Who reveals more series 13 cast including another Line of Duty star". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  9. ^ Laford, Andrea (9 August 2021). "Doctor Who Series 13 and 2022 specials: directors and casting news". CultBox. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  10. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (16 February 2020). "Doctor Who series 13 to begin filming in autumn 2020". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall confirms three episodes cut from next series". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  12. ^ Nicholson, Tom (31 October 2021). "Doctor Who review - A promising start to Jodie Whittaker's closing run".
  13. ^ "Doctor Who - The Halloween Apocalypse review: Chris Chibnall turns up the heat for a fast, fun-packed opener". Radio Times.
  14. ^ "Doctor Who returns with a new experiment in serialized storytelling". The A.V. Club.
  15. ^ "John Bishop is the shining light in Doctor Who's chaotic series 13 opener – review". The Independent. 31 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022.
  16. ^ Hogan, Michael (31 October 2021). "Doctor Who: Flux, episode 1 review: Whittaker's long goodbye has begun and it was bafflingly hectic". The Telegraph – via
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Mellor, Louisa (9 October 2021). "Doctor Who Series 13 is Titled 'Flux' and Starts On Halloween". Den of Geek. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  19. ^ Cooper, Matt (31 October 2021). "What to watch on TV: 'Doctor Who,' 'Narcos: Mexico,' the World Series and more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  20. ^ Jacobs, Meredith (31 October 2021). "How to Watch the 'Doctor Who: Flux' Premiere on BBC America This Weekend". TV Insider. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  21. ^ Marcus (1 November 2020). "The Halloween Apocalypse - Overnight Viewing Figures". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  23. ^ Foster, Chuck (2 November 2021). "The Halloween Apocalypse - Appreciation Index". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  25. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (2 November 2021). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Sunday 10.31.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals UPDATED". ShowbuzzDaily. Retrieved 8 November 2021.

External links[edit]