10 Best Episodes To Watch Before Doctor Who: Flux

Sadye Matula

Doctor Who’s 13th series has been the source of much speculation by fans, with many viewers excited for what’s in store. The show’s latest run of episodes is entitled “Flux”, and is set to begin airing on October 31st. With promotion having been ramped up on the Doctor’s upcoming adventures, more […]

Doctor Who’s 13th series has been the source of much speculation by fans, with many viewers excited for what’s in store. The show’s latest run of episodes is entitled “Flux”, and is set to begin airing on October 31st. With promotion having been ramped up on the Doctor’s upcoming adventures, more information has been revealed as to what audiences can expect.

RELATED: 10 Possible Doctor Who Series 13 Hints Found In The Lonely Assassins

The show’s recent Series 13 teaser features Jodie Whittaker sending a distress call in the TARDIS, with her companions Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis. The Doctor warns that the Sontarans, Weeping Angels, and Ravagers are coming, whilst Yaz and Dan try to steady her ship. It’s a teaser that suggests audiences may want to revisit some of the Time Lord’s past adventures, as they may prove vital to Series 13’s narrative.


10 The Time Warrior

The Third Doctor, Sarah and a Sontaran fight in The Time Warrior

Writer Robert Holmes is responsible for some of the show’s greatest monsters, but one of his most iconic creations is the Sontarans. Debuting in 1973/4’s “The Time Warrior”, their first story sees the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith encountering Commander Linx in the Middle Ages.

“The Time Warrior” establishes many of the monsters’ defining traits. The serial firmly defines the Sontarans’ war-mongering nature, as well as their more ruthless tendencies. Alongside this, the narrative establishes key aspects from the monsters’ mythology, such as the Sontaran scout ships and probic vent, which have featured heavily in their return appearances. It’s a thrilling adventure that paves the groundwork for the Sontarans’ appearance in “Flux.”

9 Blink

Considered one of Doctor Who‘s scariest episodes, “Blink” is one of the new series’ most important episodes. Written by Steven Moffat, the story introduces viewers to the Weeping Angels. Sally Sparrow encounters these stone statues after uncovering a series of mysterious messages at Wester Drumlins.

“Blink” is essential viewing before “Flux” airs. Moffat’s terrifying plot defines the rules that the Weeping Angels operate by, such as their inability to move when observed. Their unique method of attack, which sees them sending their victims back in time and feeding off the resulting paradox, sees the Tenth Doctor and Martha fall foul of the Angels themselves, in one of the show’s most unsettling stories yet.

8 Demons Of The Punjab

The Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz in Demons Of The Punjab

Returning in “Flux” is the current Doctor’s companion, Yasmin Khan. Played by Mandip Gill, Yaz is one of this Doctor’s closest allies. One of her most defining stories is “Demons Of The Punjab”, which involves the Doctor taking Yaz and her friends Graham and Ryan back to the Indian Partition.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker Is The Best Doctor (& 5 Things Her Predecessors Did Better)

The episode features an excellent in-depth exploration of Yasmin’s character, as the narrative takes viewers on a journey through her personal history. Meeting her grandmother as a young woman helps uncover new aspects of Yaz’s family history, and allows viewers to form a deeper emotional connection with the Time Lord’s greatest friend.

7 The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Airing as part of Matt Smith’s first series as the Doctor, “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang” is widely believed by fans to be one of Doctor Who‘s best finales. The conclusion to the 2005 reboot’s fifth series involves many of the Time Lord’s greatest enemies teaming up to imprison their foe within the Pandorica, as they believe the Doctor to be responsible for the Cracks In Time.

This truly epic adventure offers clear inspiration for “Flux’s” central narrative.  Series 13’s teaser suggests “enemies from across the universe” may be working together once again, which sounds eerily close to “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang’s” narrative. The Series 5 finale’s monster alliance also features the Sontarans, suggesting that “Flux” may borrow some similar themes from this spectacular two-part story.

6 The Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone

Amy trying to walk through a group of Weeping Angels in The Maze Of The Dead in Doctor Who

With a monster as popular as the Weeping Angels, it is perhaps inevitable that one day they will return. Their second appearance comes courtesy of original Angels writer Steven Moffat, within the 2005 revival’s fifth series. “The Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone” this time sees the Eleventh Doctor encountering the stone statues with his companion Amy, and is widely considered to be one of the best two-part Doctor Who stories.

This greatly unsettling sequel is not only one of Moffat’s finest writing contributions, but it also fleshes the Angels’ mythology considerably, which makes it essential viewing before “Flux” airs. The two-parter gives the stone statues a series of horrific new abilities, such as how they can manifest in images and communicate through dead individuals.  These angels also possess a more sadistic streak, breaking the necks of their victims rather than merely displacing them through time.

5 The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

The Tenth Doctor, Donna, Martha and a Sontaran in The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

The Russell T. Davies era is known for its modern redesigns of classic series monsters, but one of its most iconic is the Sontarans. For “The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky”, writer Helen Raynor adapted these beloved potato creatures for the Twenty-First Century. Its narrative concerns the Sontarans’ attempts to wipe out humanity with poisonous gas, dispersed through the deadly ATMOS systems.

RELATED: 9 Best Things Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker Has Done

This fun action-packed tale is the perfect showcase for a modern Sontaran story. Raynor’s screenplay gives the Sontarans a greater degree of personality with their patriotic chants about their homeworld, while also expanding considerably on their capabilities. These Sontarans now possess the technology to create human clones, which is an ability likely to appear when this alien menace returns for “Flux.”

4 Revolution of the Daleks

Doctor-Who-Revolution-of-the-Daleks-Poster

Doctor Who’s most recent episode may also turn out to be one of the most relevant for Series 13. “Revolution of the Daleks” throws the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends into the middle of a Dalek Civil War, sparked by the creation of the Defence Drone Daleks. With a runtime of 75 minutes, it’s one of the Chibnall era’s longest episodes to date.

With “Flux” likely to pick up from the end of “Revolution of the Daleks”, this thrilling installment could prove an ideal episode for viewers to revisit. The story’s emotional ending establishes Series 13’s status quo nicely, with Graham and Ryan’s exits leaving the Doctor and Yaz alone to travel the universe, whilst a brief scene establishes John Bishop’s casting as new companion Dan Lewis.

3 Planet Of The Ood

First introduced in “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit”, the Ood are one of the Russell T. Davies era’s most iconic creations. These extraterrestrial servants have featured throughout the new series, but their greatest episode to date is arguably “Planet Of The Ood.” This story sees the Tenth Doctor and Donna uncovering the shady goings-on of Ood Operations on the Ood Sphere.

RELATED: 10 Ways Chris Chibnall Is Doctor Who’s Best Showrunner

This story may provide essential viewing for the upcoming run of episodes, with the Ood confirmed to be returning in “Flux.” The narrative presents a more sympathetic viewpoint on the aliens, portraying them as unwilling slaves who are forced to serve their human masters due to Ood Operations CEO Halpen’s cruel actions. It’s an emotional installment with some of the show’s most shocking sequences to date.

2 The Angels Take Manhattan

The Doctor, Amy and Rory in The Angels Take Manhattan

Considered one of the best Eleventh Doctor episodes according to IMDb, “The Angels Take Manhattan” is a particularly noteworthy Weeping Angels episode. This installment not only writes out the Doctor’s companions Amy and Rory, but it also introduces new variations of the stone angels that could appear in the upcoming series.

The emotionally charged adventure introduces audiences to some of the scariest Weeping Angels around. The Cherubs make a particularly lasting impression with their creepy giggles. Meanwhile, the Statue Of Liberty Weeping Angel’s terrifying presence looms over the story’s climax, as Amy and Rory try to escape the stone angels in 1930s New York.

1 Ascension Of The Cybermen/The Timeless Children

The cast of Doctor Who in Ascension of the Cybermen

Chibnall’s Doctor Who has proven groundbreaking in many ways, but perhaps its most innovative story is “Ascension of The Cybermen/The Timeless Children”. Series 12’s finale sees the Doctor learn some shocking truths about her past while trying to stop the combined might of the Master, Ashad, and his Cyber army, the latter of which is confirmed to be returning in “Flux.”

This jaw-dropping two-parter reveals some surprising new details about the Doctor, which could prove important in “Flux.”  The supposed Time Lord has since been confirmed to have regenerated many times before her first on-screen incarnation, with the character having now originated from an unknown planet. With fans having spotted the “Seal Of Rassilon” in officially released photos from the upcoming series, and Gallifrey playing a big part in the “Timeless Child” cover-up, it seems likely that “Flux” will further explore these shocking revelations.

NEXT: 10 Doctor Who Villains Who Should Return In Series 13

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