War of the Sontarans

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297b – "War of the Sontarans"
Doctor Who episode
Cast
Others
Production
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 time2nd of 6-part story, 59 minutes
First broadcast7 November 2021 (2021-11-07)
Chronology
← Preceded by
"The Halloween Apocalypse"
Followed by →
"Once, Upon Time"
List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"War of the Sontarans", prefixed frequently with either "Chapter Two" or "Flux", is the second 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 7 November 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, alongside Mandip Gill and John Bishop as her companions, Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis, respectively.

Plot[edit]

The Doctor, Dan, and Yaz are transported to Sevastopol during the Crimean War, where they all briefly meet Mary Seacole before Yaz and Dan are transported away through time. The Doctor is unable to enter her TARDIS to track and find them. Remaining in Sevastopol, the Doctor realizes the British opponents during the war are now the Sontarans, with all traces of China and Russia replaced with Sontar. Tricking a scout into granting parley with his general, the Doctor discovers that seconds prior to the Lupari shielding Earth from the Flux in the previous episode, the Sontarans took advantage of the Flux and rewrote human history to feed their species’ hunger for battle.

Yaz materializes in the Temple of Atropos on the planet Time, where she briefly encounters Joseph Williamson before befriending Vinder. They are both recruited as repairers of the temple’s mainframe. Swarm and Azure arrive to take control of the temple and use its power for themselves.

Dan is transported back to Liverpool, where he finds a world overtaken by the Sontarans. Saved from a Sontaran unit by his parents, he learns a three-minute blackout caused by the Lupari shield allowed the Sontaran fleet to land first at the Liverpool docks, where they established a base of operations. Dan sneaks onto one of the Sontaran ships and contacts the Doctor who tasks him with ending the Sontaran offensive in 2021.

Dan is discovered by the Sontarans but is saved by Karvanista. The pair destroy the primary fleet by ramming their captured vessel into the shipyard and evacuating at the last moment, resetting the timeline. Poisoning the supply system of the Sontarans in Crimea, the Doctor cripples their offensive, forcing them to retreat, but the British general Logan bombs their vessels as revenge for massacring his troops. The Doctor regains access to the TARDIS to collect Dan and find Yaz.

The TARDIS malfunctions and forces the Doctor and Dan into the temple, through which all temporal energy must pass. The death of the Mouri gatekeepers and ruin of the temple has resulted in the Flux phenomena, and now seeking to control time for himself, Swarm has imprisoned Yaz and Vinder as replacement bodies for the Mouri. Knowing the power unleashed will kill Yaz, the Doctor begs Swarm not to activate the temple, but he ignores her and takes control.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

"War of the Sontarans" was written by showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall.[1]

Casting[edit]

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 Dan Lewis.[4]

Filming[edit]

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.[5]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)100%[6]
Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)7.3/10[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
Radio Times[7]
The A.V. ClubB[8]
The Independent[9]
The Telegraph[10]

Broadcast[edit]

"War of the Sontarans" aired on 7 November 2021.[11] The episode serves as the second part of a six-part story, entitled Flux.[12][13] In the United States the episode aired on BBC America on the same date, where it returned to its regular timeslot following an earlier broadcast the preceding week for the premiere episode.[14][15]

Ratings[edit]

Overnight the episode was seen by 3.96 million viewers.[16] The consolidated viewing figure across all platforms for those who watched the show within seven days of broadcast was 5.10 million viewers. This made it the 13th most viewed programme on all UK TV for the week and the 4th most viewed on BBC1.[17][18] The episode received an Audience Appreciation Index score of 77.[19]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of seven critics gave the episode a positive review, and an average rating of 7.3/10.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chibnall Has Written All of Series 13 Solo (Bar One Episode), Confirms Directors". Doctor Who TV. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 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 23 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 1 December 2020.
  4. ^ Foster, Chuck (1 January 2021). "New companion for Series 13". DoctorWhoNews.net. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  5. ^ Laford, Andrea (9 August 2021). "Doctor Who Series 13 and 2022 specials: directors and casting news". CultBox. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Flux: War of the Sontarans". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  7. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (7 November 2021). "Doctor Who – War of the Sontarans review: The potato-heads are still SpudULike not SpudULoathe and much of this hour-long conflict falls flat". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Doctor Who wages a multi-front war as its Flux miniseries continues". The A.V. Club. 8 November 2021.
  9. ^ Lewis, Isobel (7 November 2021). "Doctor Who review, 'War of the Sontarans': Too many threads are pulled at once in confusing episode 2". The Independent. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  10. ^ Hogan, Michael (7 November 2021). "Doctor Who: Flux, episode 2, review: Chibnall's heroic charge may be too late". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Series 13, Ep. 1/6 - Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 20 October 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 9 October 2021.
  14. ^ Laford, Andrea (2 November 2021). "Doctor Who: Flux – 'War of the Sontarans' trailer and image breakdown". Cultbox. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  15. ^ Cooper, Matt (31 October 2021). "What to watch on TV: 'Doctor Who,' 'Narcos: Mexico,' the World Series and more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  16. ^ Marcus (8 November 2020). "War of the Sontarans - Overnight Viewing Figures". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  17. ^ Marcus (15 November 2020). "Ratings Update". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Most viewed programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  19. ^ Foster, Chuck (9 November 2021). "War of the Sontarans - Appreciation Index". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  20. ^ Doctor Who: Flux, Episode 2, retrieved 15 November 2021

External links[edit]