Doctor Who: Flux – We Hope This Bel and Vinder Theory Isn’t True

Not just one hero, but two. The father of Bel’s child is Jacob Anderson’s Vinder, whose moral backbone and willingness to risk himself for others was established in this episode. Vinder’s “timestorm” experience took him back to the key moment of his recruitment as Guardian of the Grand Serpent (a self-regarding, self-tanned, unstatesmanlike leader who calls people ‘losers’ and surrounds himself with gold, played by Craig Parkinson). When the great snake used a political negotiation to secretly demand the murder of his enemy’s family, Vinder blew the whistle, and was sent to a remote outpost as punishment. Though resentful of his treatment, he didn’t become embittered by the experience. A romantic soul, Vinder continued to revel in the beauty of the universe despite his enforced exile.

Two heroic flying aces in love, separated but seeking each other across the universe is a part of Doctor Who: Flux that anybody can enjoy. Bel and Vinder’s is a simple story that provides a recognisable scale for a gigantic concept like the end of the universe, in a way that used to regularly happen when Russell T. Davies was showrunner. It’s small, accessible and meaningful, unlike the vast complicated tangle of everything else going on this series. All of which would be undermined if a new fan theory is proven true. Major speculation ahead. You’ve been warned.

A few elements of Bel and Vinder’s story are being interpreted to support a theory that they will turn out to be the Doctor’s parents. The couple’s unborn baby, some theorise, will somehow be the child discovered long ago by Gallifreyan space traveller Tecteun, who, as we learned in the Series 12 finale ‘The Timeless Children’ used the child as the genetic template for the regenerating Time Lords.

What’s the evidence? 1) Bel saying to herself/Tigmi “Wonder if he looks different?” after watching Vinder’s holographic message for the umpteenth time, prompting some to think that their people might regenerate and change appearance. 2) Vinder calls his last pre-The Flux report no. 21,754, which, if the reports are daily, would mean he’d been on Outpost Rose for 54 years. And even if he has to report 10 times a day, that would mean he’d have been there alone for over five years, which would make Bel’s still-not-showing pregnancy either a record breaker or extremely alien. Unless, that is… countless potential sci-fi options. 3) Something zapped Vinder to the Temple of Atropos after he evacuated Outpost Rose, which means that he, like Joseph Williamson, must be of special significance to whatever’s happening. 4) When Bel watched the Time Force particles destroy a pair of survivors, she said that she some days she feels like “they want to stop me from getting to you”. If The Flux is all about the Doctor – and it seems to be – then perhaps whoever sent it is trying to remove her from existence, wipe out The Timeless Child and everything that followed. Sounds like something the Master might do, perhaps? But then the child has already been conceived at this stage, so separating the parents now is a bit like closing the stable door after the genetic regeneration material has bolted…

It’s clearly not a perfect theory, and with any luck, it will remain just that. Because right now, there’s something refreshingly pure about Bel and Vinder’s story. If they turn out to be yet more cogs in this complicated machinery, replaying a tune from the Amy/Rory/Melody/River playbook with a Timeless Child twist, it will undermine the blessedly straightforward heroism the characters currently offer. Not everything in the universe has to be about the Doctor, surely?

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