Doctor Who: Flux: What Is Swarm and Azure’s Plan?

The Temple of Atropos

The siblings’ next move was arriving at the Temple of Atropos (likely inspired by the Greek goddess of the same name, which roughly translates to “inflexible or unchanging”. Atropos was the one of the three Fates or Moirai responsible for ensuring that people followed the lives they were destined. She was in charge of the death side of things). As well as the power of telepathic communication and ash-ifying things with a single touch, the Ravagers also have the ability to teleport. They appeared to arrive directly inside the Temple without a ship, and once there, zapped cockily from place to place, avoiding Vinder’s fire. (Vinder didn’t think to turn his gun on their companion, Passenger, who may not have shared their teleportation power, but was admittedly a 7 feet tall goth Skeletor, so not someone you’d want to provoke.)

Swarm tells us that whatever heinous scheme originally landed him in space prison at the dawn of time started right there at the Temple of Atropos. Millennia ago (though as the Spatial-Temporal readings on Planet Time are an impossible zero according to the Doctor’s Sonic, perhaps millennia ago means last Tuesday, or twenty minutes from now) he and Azure attempted to mess with the Mouri, who seem to be the universe’s plumbing system for time. When all’s well, it flows through them and runs in the right direction. When all isn’t well, it gets backed up and starts spurting out in unexpected places.

The Flux and the Malfunctioning TARDIS

The Flux is currently sweeping the universe disintegrating things, “disobeying every law of time and space, disrupting every particle it comes into contact with”. That’s what’s responsible for the damage to the Temple and the Mouri, say the Priest Triangles, which has caused time to run wild. That’s what’s been playing havoc with the TARDIS which sort of… eats time to get around, making it swap its doors about, erupt in slimy crystalline growths and sound its wild-catastrophes-only Cloister Bell.

Swarm and Azure are laughing their heads off at all this. For some reason, they want time to flow around the universe uncontrollably and not through neat Mouri pipes. What we don’t yet know is their relationship is to the Flux. Did Swarm cause the Flux, or did the Flux turn up and somehow give Swarm the power to break free of containment and embark on this scheme? When Azure turns the lovely chippy priest triangle to ash in ‘War of the Sontarans’, she tells Swarm that “it” is stronger this time. Does she mean their power? What is its source? Who is the Passenger? What is Planet Time? And what was all that about time being evil and seeking its own? So many questions.

Plus one more: what is behind Yaz and Vinder and Joseph Williamson etc. being zapped to the Temple of Atropos to perform repairs? As well as Swarm, Azure and the Flux, there seems to be a power trying to combat the end of the universe through the Doctor and her companions. Intrigue! Time will tell, and with just four episodes left to unravel all these mysteries, it had better get a wriggle on.

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