The Halloween Apocalypse (TV story)

From Tardis Wiki, the free Doctor Who reference

The Halloween Apocalypse, prefixed with Chapter One in the title sequence, was the opening episode of series 13 of Doctor Who. It formed the first chapter of the six-part serial Doctor Who: Flux.

This chapter introduced the Flux, a universe-breaking force which is bound for Earth, as well as Swarm, a figure from the Doctor's past, who escapes his confinement and frees his sister Azure from her earthly life. Dan Lewis also makes his first appearance, and the Doctor is revealed to have been pursuing Karvanista, the last living member of the Division, the order which erased her memories of having been the Timeless Child.


Halloween, 2021. A storm approaches. Something tears through space and time, undoing everything it touches. Who is the man who escapes his shackles? What about Dan has got his captor's attention? Why have the Angels come? And what will remain of the Earth when this night is done?


Hanging upside-down from a gravity bar in handcuffs and foot locks above an ocean of acid, the Doctor tells a hologram of her captor, Karvanista, that he has not beaten her and Yaz. Karvanista denies this and informs them that if they do not die by the acid in 79 seconds, either his Kill Disks or the nearby supernova will get them, then vanishes and leaves to what he describes as "the final hours of planet Earth". Yaz is annoyed at the Doctor for repeatedly getting them into trouble, but they escape by grabbing onto the gravity bar like a trapeze when it drops them and holding on when it breaks in half. Despite their voice-activated handcuffs refusing to release, they spot the TARDIS lying sideways nearby, bounce off a trampoline inside the doors, and safely on a mattress. As their handcuffs finally release, they remember Karvanista's words and leave to go to Earth.

In Liverpool, 1820, inside a tunnel, Joseph Williamson tells another man how more workers are needed for his job. Outside, James Stonehouse berates Williamson on the irrelevance of what he is doing. Williamson, however, claims that he has a reason, but refuses to explain why he is preparing for the "cataclysmic", saying that anyone he tells would go mad.

In Liverpool, 2021, a man named Dan Lewis leads a group of visitors around the Museum of Liverpool, telling them about how great the city is. He is interrupted and escorted out by Diane, who tells him that he needs to stop pretending to be a tour guide because he could be permanently banned from the museum. He protests that he is making people happy, and they clarify where they will meet up for Halloween drinks.

A burst of sparks comes from the TARDIS console and the Doctor and Yaz wonder why it is not taking them to Earth. Before they can ponder this, the Doctor experiences a vision. Seeing a planetoid on the Burnished Rage battleground, the Doctor watches two people, En Sentac and K-Toscs, checking if a prisoner called Swarm is still contained, as he has been since the dawn of the universe. Swarm awakes and taunts them before easily breaking free and killing them both, visibly renewing himself as he does so. He turns around and tells the Doctor "trick or treat". Shaken, the Doctor comes to as Yaz alerts her to a black liquid seemingly leaking from the TARDIS. She scans it with her sonic screwdriver and pretends that everything is fine. She sets the dateline for 31 October.

In Liverpool, Dan emerges from Jenning Street Food Bank and gives a box of food and some sweets to two people dressed in Halloween costumes. Inside, his co-worker Wilma offers to make up a box of food for him but he declines. Something dashes behind him as they talk but he does not see it. It scans them both as they lock up.

Arriving at his house on 37 Granger Street, Dan gives the last of his sweets to three small children who knock on his door. However, he refuses to give any to a man holding a carton of eggs who also knocks on his door. Going back inside, Dan finds no food in his refrigerator or cupboard and regrets his decision to turn down his food. As he does so, Karvanista breaks down Dan's door, revealing that is a canine Lupar. Dan simply believes him to be a dangerous Halloween prankster and threatens to call the police, and as Karvanista's efforts to hypnotise him fail, he captures him in an energy cage.

The Doctor and Yaz arrive in the middle of the street and after following a trace leading to Dan's house, they discover his door open. Finding the traces of Karvanista's stun cube, the Doctor uses a laptop to then discover that Karvanista is leaving while there is a fleet of seven billion Lupari waiting to invade Earth. The laptop then glows red as the Doctor realises it was a trap set for them, and they quickly run out as the house shrinks behind them, leaving next door's bathroom exposed.

Meanwhile, in the Arctic, two people called Jón and Anna go about their daily lives in a research station. They are alerted to something and discover a glowing device floating in the garage, both of which they seem to recognise. Anna simply smashes it and walks off.

Dan awakens in an electrified cage on Karvanista's ship. He briefly protests and threatens Karvanista with being reported for kidnapping until he is shown the view of the depths of space outside. Upon asking what is so special about him to warrant being kidnapped, Karvanista explains that he is totally irrelevant, threatens to kill him if he keeps talking, and storms out.

Back in Liverpool, the Doctor and Yaz ponder Karvanista's motives when a stranger comes up to them and introduces herself as Claire. She explains that she was surprised to see them as she knows them from their future, but seems to doubt herself. After the Doctor gets a signal from the Lupari, however, she rushes off with Yaz, with Claire reassuring her that they will see each other soon. When they go back into the TARDIS, the Doctor and Yaz realise that they have entered on the opposite side of the room. With Yaz co-piloting, they try to head towards the fleet but the TARDIS stalls until hit with a hammer. The Doctor performs a quick system check on the TARDIS and her mind, leading Yaz berates her for still not telling her everything. The TARDIS then gets hit and they realise that Karvanista has temporal residue around his ship and they have to force their way in.

Back on Earth, Claire is leaving to enter her house, but she finds a Weeping Angel behind her. She already knows not to blink and tries to pull out her keys and get into the house, but fails just as she sets foot inside the door and gets sent backwards in time.

On Observation Outpost Rose, far away in the universe, Observation Officer Inston-Vee Vinder makes his 21,754th status report. He remarks that nothing has changed, as per every previous report, but admits it the sight of space is unimaginably beautiful and he is grateful to see it. He then ends his reports with his usual request to his superiors - "go to hell". As he says that, his system reports an error and he notices problems in the planets of the Thoribus Trifecta. Watching a vast dark cloud expanding across space, it instantly disintegrates Thoribus Minor on impact and Vinder makes an emergency status update to save himself.

In the Arctic Circle, it is night time and Jón and Anna are asleep. However, they are awoken when Swarm appears in their bedroom, and as Jón goes to turn the bedside light on, he disintegrates just like En Sentac and K-Toscs did. Waking up, Anna questions why she is thinking 'thank you', and the touch of Swarm turns her into a creature of his species, named Azure - his sister.

The TARDIS lands on Karvanista's ship, with the Doctor quickly disabling the security systems before she sets off to find him, tasking Yaz with rescuing Dan. As Karvanista reports back to his command so he can re-join the battalion, the Doctor steps in and sonics his ship's systems and weapons to render them inactive. She warns him that the Lupari invasion of Earth is off and that he will tell her about the Division. Meanwhile, Yaz discovers Dan and sets to work on his cage's nine booby traps. Although he is initially wary of her, including her relationship with Sheffield, she successfully disables the cage and lets him out.

On the bridge, the Doctor reveals that Karvanista is the only known living Division operative left and has been tracking him down for answers, but she is distracted by a nearby alert. He explains that the entire Lupari race is on species recall, bonded to humanity as guardians to rescue them in the ultimate crisis; the Doctor realises too late that he is rescuing Dan, albeit grudgingly, instead of kidnapping him. The Lupari are retrieving humanity to save them from the Flux: a universe-destroying force that has already begun.

Meanwhile, Vinder desperately struggles against the effects of the Flux as it tears through the local planets with ease. With his outpost only minutes away from meeting the same fate, Vinder takes the advice of his system and does what he describes as the unthinkable - leaving his post, ejecting his observation pod from the outpost.

Karvanista explains to the Doctor that his ship hit a time disturbance at the head of the battalion, leading him to land on Earth early. Although he is proud that their ships can seemingly withstand the Flux, the Doctor believes that the humans will not be pleased, but she is interrupted by the loud arrival of Dan, with Yaz in tow. Angry at his human being stolen, the ship's systems power back up and Karvanista shoots energy shots out of his axe towards the travellers as they escape to the TARDIS. However, they emerge from a new third set of doors implanted in the floor and Dan sarcastically jokes that he is well versed in dimensional transcendentalism. The Doctor returns his miniaturised house to him and wonders who else knows about the Flux.

On a spaceship thirty trillion lightyears away, Sontaran Commander Ritskaw speaks to a hologram of Psychic Surveyor Kragar about their mission. Kragar states that after analysing psychic waves, he is pleased to confirm that the Flux is coming and will bring suffering on a universal scale. The prospect excites both of them.

The TARDIS materialises on the outskirts of the solar system and the Doctor, Yaz, and Dan see nothing apart from distant stars. As the Cloister Bell rings, she experiences a vision of the planets being destroyed, explaining she can feel it all. As Yaz asks her if she can stop it, the Doctor is interrupted by another psychic contact from Swarm. Speaking to her directly, he claims that the two of them used to be old enemies and that "they were so efficient" of wiping her memories of him. He taunts her and leaves. Back in reality, the group race into the TARDIS as the Flux comes for them and the Doctor is forced to hammer the console again to make it take off, planning to lure it to Earth, much to Yaz and Dan's shock. The Doctor calls Karvanista and tells him of the situation, worrying him that they do not have enough time to rescue the humans.

Elsewhere, in Liverpool, Diane is still waiting for Dan to arrive for their evening drinks. She hears the voice of Azure luring her to a nearby house and she begins walking towards it against her will. Despite her cries, the doors fly open with a blinding light and she finds herself inside, being faced down by the alien figure.

The Doctor tells Karvanista she has one plan to survive the Flux and orders the Lupari ships into formation. They eventually finish, encasing the Earth in its entirety, shielding it from the Flux. Karvanista orders the Doctor behind the battalion wall, but she finds that the TARDIS cannot escape its pull. Although Dan assumes they are safe, all three pairs of doors swing open, allowing the Flux in. The Doctor tries "one last throw of the dice" and hammers a hole in the control console, subjecting the Flux to pure vortex energy... to no effect at all. As Vinder, Claire, Williamson, Diane, Karvanista, the Weeping Angel, Ritskaw, Swarm, and Azure all face up to their own situations, the Doctor stares in horror as the Flux fast approaches the defenceless TARDIS, truly believing it to be the end of the universe.


Uncredited cast[[edit]]


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.





Foods and beverages[[edit]]

  • Dan works at a food bank.
  • Wilma offers Dan soup, which he later regrets declining.
  • Kev, the man attempting to trick-or-treat from Dan, is holding a carton of eggs.



Story notes[[edit]]


  • Unusually for Doctor Who, the title for this story arc, Doctor Who: Flux, is used in place of the regular Doctor Who logo. This was previously done with series 3 of Torchwood, headlined Torchwood: Miracle Day, though this was an animation involving the chapter name as well, like "Day One".
  • Though the title sequence gives this episode as Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse, other sources have differed on the prefix, naming this episode Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse instead.
  • This episode marked the first time a new BBC logo was used on screen since 2005. The new BBC logo was incorporated into the title sequence and the end credits.



  • Overnights: 4.43 million[2]
  • Consolidated: 5.79 million[3]

Filming locations[[edit]]

to be added


to be added

Production errors[[edit]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

to be added


Home video releases[[edit]]

DVD and Blu-ray release[[edit]]

  • The Halloween Apocalypse was released, together with the five other episodes of Doctor Who: Flux, on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1/A on 15 February 2022, in region 2/B on 24 January 2022 and in region 4/B on 16 March 2022.

Digital releases[[edit]]

  • In the United Kingdom, this story is available on BBC iPlayer.

External links[[edit]]


  1. Sontaran Commander Ritskaw has been misspelled as "Riskaw" in the end credits of the following episode, War of the Sontarans, but episodic events confirms this is the same character from this episode.