Doctor Who’s New Year Special Can Fix TWO Major Flux Problems

Can an upcoming New Year's Day special address two big problems created by Doctor Who: Flux's ending? Two divisive seasons and the hugely controversial Timeless Child retcon meant Chris Chibnall's Doctor Who was already under the microscope heading into season 13, a.k.a. Doctor Who: Flux. Though the 6-part narrative was typically full of highs (the Sontaran and Weeping Angel episodes) and lows (a needlessly chaotic premiere), it was the ending that audiences reacted most negatively to. Confusing enough to warrant an official BBC explainer video where Chibnall literally talks through the whole fluxing plot, Doctor Who's season 13 finale came riddled with plot holes, unresolved storylines, and weird inconsistencies.

Fortunately, viewers won't be waiting long for the continuation. After Doctor Who: Flux concluded in early December 2021, the now-traditional New Year's Day special episode is coming to kick off 2022's festivities. Titled "Eve of the Daleks," the story takes place on modern-day Earth and features Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor alongside current companions Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop). They'll be joined by special guests Aisling Bea, Adjani Salmon, and Pauline McLynn in a time loop adventure that, for the third consecutive year, features Daleks as the main enemy.

Related: Doctor Who: Flux Nails The Show's Oldest Companion Insult

Chris Chibnall's insistence on turning Doctor Who's Daleks into festive regulars is odd, but their presence in 2022's New Year's special can fix two major issues left by the Flux. One Doctor Who season 13 finale gripe was how the Thirteenth Doctor effectively committed genocide against the Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans without any acknowledgement that her actions were murderous (as we've seen before with the War Doctor and Time Lord Victorious). The Doctor has killed many times, sure, but violence should never be her nature, and Doctor Who: Flux's super-happy ending felt jarring to those still semi-horrified at the death toll. The second big Flux wrinkle is how The Doctor's actions don't save the universe. Most galaxies have already been destroyed by the Flux, and the Thirteenth Doctor's climactic solution does nothing to restore those lost... despite everyone celebrating as if it totally did.

"Eve of the Daleks" can address both problems - beginning with the genocide. Thirteen's destructive resolution can't be undone, but The Doctor can at least show the burden of her actions. According to Chris Chibnall, the New Year's Day special introduces Executioner Daleks, intent on killing The Doctor "in payment for what has been done to the Daleks at the end of the previous series." If the Daleks are motivated by revenge over Doctor Who: Flux's finale massacre, that means Whittaker's Doctor might be forced to face her guilt. How does The Doctor justify wiping out three separate species to these Executioner Daleks? And even if she plays the "I had no choice" card, Thirteen can at least show the New Year's Daleks a semblance of remorse or guilt, similar to when The Doctor (supposedly) destroyed the Daleks during the Time War.

Admitting triple genocide just might have been overkill would represent a solid first step, but Doctor Who's "Eve of the Daleks" can also resolve the other big elephant in the TARDIS. The manic rush of Doctor Who: Flux's final act perhaps left no time to discuss the universe's fate, and whether the Flux damage could be undone. Responsibility falls to "Eve of the Daleks" to have someone ask The Doctor how many galaxies are left standing, whether she can actually do anything about it, and if not, whether she thinks season 13's ending jubilation might've been a tad overzealous under the circumstances. The Doctor must either admit to her failures, or declare her intention to restore the destroyed planets - whatever it takes.

Doctor Who Christmas and New Year specials rarely deal with meaty canon unless a regeneration is afoot, meaning viewers shouldn't expect any major answers or reveals so early in 2022. But addressing two points that even Doctor Who's video explainer glossed over should sit at the very top of Thirteen's to-do list.

More: Flux Hurt Doctor Who Even More Than The Timeless Child



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