The Radio Times logo

Chris Chibnall teases “cataclysmic events” and a big mystery in Doctor Who: Flux’s opening episode

“We’re starting at the level you’d normally see in a finale,” the departing showrunner says.

Doctor Who
Published: Friday, 15th October 2021 at 10:30 am

It’s fair to say the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on Doctor Who series 13, with the episode count reduced and the new story reimagined as an ongoing serial to help factor in filming restrictions.


“We’ve been able to do all the things we normally do in terms of character interactions,” showrunner Chris Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine. “But behind the scenes it’s been incredibly difficult for everyone. Everybody’s had to reimagine their job. We’ve had to reimagine what the show is, and how you make it.”

Still, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, with the newly serialised storytelling now pitched as a major draw for the upcoming series. And according to Chibnall the pace is frantic from the start, with the opening episode delivering an unusually epic adventure for a premiere.

“We’re starting at the level you’d normally see in a finale, with cataclysmic events,” Chibnall says.

“It’s a very different type of opening episode. In fact it’s hard to think of one that’s similar in the show’s history.”

Apparently the first episode will also trigger a series of questions fans will be pondering throughout the Doctor Who: Flux storyline, with answers scattered across the weeks of storytelling.

“Episode one is the opening to a big mystery. It’s fast-paced, it’s exciting and it’s full of questions,” Chibnall says.

Doctor Who

“There are multiple new characters, multiple mysteries and more than one antagonist. It sets up the mysteries that we’re going to spend the next few weeks exploring. This is the biggest story we’ve ever told.”

Altogether, then, the changes forced by COVID might not be the worst thing that could have happened to Doctor Who series 13. Or at the very least, they come with a silver lining.

“I reached a point when I thought to myself, ‘Well then, this is exciting…’” Chibnall says.

“The shape of the stories became slightly different as a result of [the restrictions]. It was an interesting thing to do, and a lot of fabulous things came out of it.”

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale now


Doctor Who series 13 begins on BBC One on Sunday 31st October. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


Sponsored content