War of the Sontarans (TV story)

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War of the Sontarans, prefixed with Chapter Two in the title sequence, was the second episode of series 13 of Doctor Who. It formed the second chapter of the six-part serial Doctor Who: Flux.

This chapter introduced the Temple of Atropos on the planet Time. The end of the episode saw Dan Lewis officially invited into the TARDIS by the Doctor, following his introduction in the preceding episode. This marked an end to Yasmin Khan's largely unwritten solo travels with the Thirteenth Doctor.


Thrown back into the Crimean War, the Doctor finds the Light Division are about to enter senseless battle with... an army of Sontarans?

Yaz and Dan are pulled away from her, and each find their task will be restoring Time. The Sontarans are ready for eternal conquest, and in the Temple of Atropos, the enemy has arrived to take it all.


The Thirteenth Doctor wakes, alone, on a barren wasteland, looking up at a giant, dilapidated house. She is then shaken back to reality; a field of marsh, surrounded by dead soldiers and spent artillery. Yaz and Dan then reappear, having also blacked out when the Flux cloud hit the TARDIS. The Doctor deduces they are on Earth just as a woman approaches them from the fog, calling them thieves. She confirms herself as Mary Seacole and the Doctor deduces that they are near Sevastopol in 1855, in the middle of the Crimean War. Seacole hears enemy soldiers returning and the four of them hide. When the Doctor asks how many Russians the British are fighting, Seacole disclaims her as a Sontaran commander, riding a horse, emerges with his troop.

Elsewhere, deep inside a large stone temple, Vinder wakes up from his encounter with the Flux and is quickly met by a floating diamond-shaped talking object called a Priest Triangle, who desperately asks him if he can repair something and leads him further in. In the inner chamber, Vinder is taken aback by the six plinths, on which humanoid figures appear when he walks close by, two of them flickering. The triangle explains how "the Mouri must never be compromised."

Seacole leads the Doctor's group to the safety of an army camp and introduces them to her British Hotel. As Yaz wonders if history is somehow being rewritten, Dan starts glowing blue and he quickly vanishes, followed by Yaz. The Doctor promises to get them back and considers their disappearances a side-effect of the collision of the Flux and vortex energy. She runs back to the TARDIS, hearing the Cloister Bell ring, but despite her panicked efforts, cannot find the door on any of its four sides. Upon hearing the Sontarans return, she runs back to the British Hotel.

Meanwhile, Dan rematerialises to find himself on Granger Street, Liverpool in 2021, just outside where his house should be. As he apologises to his neighbours for the disturbance, they shoot him worried glances, and he looks down the street to see a Sontaran flagship, followed by two Sontarans hunting him down for breaching their curfew. Dan narrowly escapes down an alleyway only for his mother, Eileen, and father, Neville, to appear and knock them out. They are both surprised to see each other.

Yaz awakens inside the same temple that Vinder appeared in and quickly meets up with Joseph Williamson, who is equally confused on how he could have appeared there from 1820. He explains that the building keeps shifting and leaves to retrace his steps. Suddenly, another Priest Triangle appears before Yaz, also asking if she can repair. Glancing down at the letters "WWTDD" on her hand, she agrees to help.

The Doctor enters the British Hotel and is welcomed by Seacole again, alongside a British soldier, Lieutenant General Logan of the Light Division, who is busy planning his advance against the Sontarans. He ignores her cries to avoid conflict at all costs and insists that the Sontarans have always been on Earth; the Doctor reconfirms this by finding Sontar on a nearby map in the place of Russia and China. However, Seacole and Logan vaguely recognise the name 'Russia' and the Doctor concludes that the changes to time must have been relatively recent. However, Logan continues to dismiss her help and Seacole leads her away on her nursing rounds.

As Seacole discusses her calling of tending to the victims of war, she leads the Doctor behind a curtain to see one of her patients - a Sontaran foot soldier named Svild. Despite his strong yells, he is captured after being hit by a cannonball, which the Doctor taunts him for. He asserts his right to silence under the Shadow Proclamation but changes his mind upon being told that the Doctor is nearby. She frees him under the promise that he will relay this information to his commander, allowing her to meet up with him on her signal, and he leaves under a shower of threats.

The Doctor and Seacole follow Svild across the battlefield as the sun sets and they watch him seemingly disappear. The Doctor uncovers the Sontaran camp's camouflage shield and on the other side of it, at the top of a rock face, a whole fleet of ships is being protected by hundreds of Sontarans. The Doctor tasks Seacole with keeping watch of the camp overnight and note any weaknesses.

Meanwhile, Svild passes on the Doctor's message to his commander, Skaak. Despite Skaak being impressed with the receipt of this information, he considers Svild a disgrace to the Sontaran effort and grants him "the mercy of immediate execution", disintegrating him.

As Dan hides in a car with his parents, they explain that the Sontarans arrived just after he disappeared two days previously, following the Three Minute Eclipse that was caused by the Lupari ships' shield. According to Eileen and Neville, millions of Sontaran ships have appeared worldwide, but they arrived six hours early in Liverpool, allowing the residents to learn their key weaknesses. As Dan's parents lead him to Liverpool Docks, where the fleet first appeared, Dan chooses to invade their ranks alone, armed with the wok that Neville used to knock a Sontaran out earlier.

In the temple, Yaz and Vinder meet each other and discuss their similar situations, learning they are in the Temple of Atropos, which Vinder does not believe. A triangle explains they are on the planet of Time and the Mouri, the people found in the centre of the room, harness and control all of time in the universe, but two of them have been broken. The triangle insists that time is evil, and it must be prevented from escaping by the Mouri.

In Liverpool Docks, Dan sneaks his way towards the base of the ships but is forced to hide behind some shipping crates as Commander Ritskaw leads three innocent people in front of a firing squad due to spying against Sontar. They are executed and exclaim that their Temporal Offensive is nearly ready, deeply worrying Dan, who continues to evade capture.

In Sebastopol the next morning, the Doctor uses her sonic screwdriver, to alert Skaak that it is time to parlay. The two meet on either side of a wide, empty battlefield, separated by the morning mist, and the Doctor reveals that she is who he has been searching for. Skaak admits that their Flux strategy did not foresee her, revealing that although they did not create the Flux, they did take advantage of the Lupari shield to slip onto Earth undetected. The Doctor gives Skaak the chance to leave alive if they do not fight the British, but Logan appears and points a gun at her head, telling a soldier to escort her away before the battle. As several hundred members of each army charge and fire at each other, the humans are massacred. The Doctor uses Venusian aikido on the soldier to knock him out for six hours and she makes her escape. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, Dan begins to film the situation on his phone as he climbs up a crane to find a way onto one of the ships.

The Temple of Atropos gains more visitors in the form of Swarm, Azure, and a tall and silent black-clad figure called a Passenger form. They are met by another Priest Triangle, who Azure promptly destroys with a touch of her hand, calling her power stronger than before.

With Logan continuing to advance his men despite the overwhelming odds, the Doctor meets up with Seacole, still watching the Sontaran camp. She explains that it is deserted, and the two decide to enter one of the ships. The Doctor quickly uses a pocketed catapult to knock out a guard in one hit and looks at a computer bank. As she does, she sees Dan, who is doing the exact same thing in 2021 Liverpool. The two share progress updates, allowing the Doctor to realise that the Sontarans are building in 2021 to plan an attack across time, starting with the Crimean War. As the Doctor tells Dan to do whatever he can to stop the timeship fleet from taking off, they are interrupted by Ritskaw and hang up, leaving Dan feeling lost. He quickly distracts and defeats a Sontaran but finds himself cornered by four more.

Inside the temple, Yaz and Vinder are interrupted by Swarm, Azure, and the Passenger, and Swarm taunts Yaz by his knowledge of her, including the letters on her hand, standing for "what would the Doctor do?", as well as Vinder. He tries shooting Swarm and Azure, but they simply teleport around the room before they can get hit. They force Yaz and Vinder to activate the proximity of the Mouri, and as the second Priest Triangle protests their presence, Azure destroys it as well. Swarm immediately kills a third Mouri, causing the rest to scream in pain. Elsewhere, as Dan prepares to face execution at the hands of Ritskaw and his troops, they are defeated by the sudden appearance of Karvanista who arrives to reluctantly rescue Dan.

Back at the British Hotel, the Doctor and Seacole comment on the hundreds of dead soldiers before Logan arrives in distress, having played dead to avoid capture. That night, the Doctor details an action plan. Realising from Seacole that the Sontarans need to rest for 7.5 minutes every 27 hours so they can refill their suits' protective gases in their ships, and that the next refill will be happening in 38 minutes, the trio leaves with some surviving soldiers to help drain the ships' supplies. As they get to work, but Skaak in the Crimea and Ritskaw in Liverpool are furious.

Karvanista explains to Dan how he interrupted his and the Doctor's transmissions to learn their plan and quickly launches the Sontaran ship. Meanwhile, back on the battlefield, the Doctor meets up with Skaak again and forces him to "make a strategic withdrawal". Karvanista's plan is to ram the remaining ships, creating a temporal explosion that will destroy the rest. Despite being cornered by yet more Sontarans, they escape down a waste tube to land in the docklands just seconds before the ship crashes, destroying all the others in a giant blue time implosion resulting in all evidence of the Sontaran invasion being erased.

In the Crimea, the Sontarans begin to evacuate, but Logan has other plans and lights a fuse leading to the ships. The group run for their lives as the ships explode, infuriating the Doctor as they were already leaving. However, she hears the TARDIS in the distance, and leaves in disgust to find her friends. The door finally materialises on one of its sides. She lands in Liverpool in front of a wet Dan and Karvanista, leading Dan to choose to travel with her. Karvanista promises that the Lupari will protect Earth but warns that the universe is in a bad state. Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is shocked by the sudden appearance of strange cobweb-like structures sprouting out of the walls, but she does not have much time to investigate before they are hijacked.

The TARDIS lands in the Temple of Atropos and Swarm leads them to find Yaz. As he clicks his fingers, the Mouri reappear, with Yaz and Vinder taking the place of two of them, visibly distressed. Swarm warns that they will be killed if the Doctor tries to rescue them, and Azure counts down from five before Swarm claims that "the full force of time will blast through them" when he clicks again. As the Doctor begs him to stop and explain what he wants, he refuses, and clicks his fingers in Yaz's face.


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.






Food and beverages[[edit]]



Story notes[[edit]]

The Charge of the Light Brigade[[edit]]


"Masked Ravager Guards" from the original cut


  • Though the title sequence gives this episode as Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans, other sources have differed on the prefix, naming this episode Flux: War of the Sontarans instead.
  • For the endboard, the old BBC Studios logo was used instead of the new one which was used in the previous episode The Halloween Apocalypse.



  • Overnights: 3.96 million[10]
  • Consolidated: 5.10 million[11]

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.
  • The subtitles provided by BBC One and BBC America erroneously spell Linx's name as "Lynx".
  • The end credits, as well as the 52 minute mark of the subtitles, and the officially listed iPlayer website credits, misspell Ritskaw's name as "Riskaw".


Home video releases[[edit]]

DVD and Blu-ray release[[edit]]

  • War of the Sontarans 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]]