The Halloween Apocalypse

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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

The Halloween Apocalypse

Serial Code

Series 13

First Transmitted

31 October 2021

Final Ratings

5.79m

BLU RAY RELEASE

Blu-Ray

DVD RELEASE

DVD

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CAST

Regular Cast

Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin)

Guest Cast

John Bishop (Dan Lewis), Craige Els (Karvanista), Joseph Williamson (Steve Oram), Nadia Albina (Diane Curtis), Sam Spruell (Swarm), Jacob Anderson (Vinder), Annabel Scholey (Claire), Jonathan Watson (Ritskaw), Dan Starkey (Kragar), Charlie Oscar (K-Toscs), Richard Tate (Wilder), Sarah Amankwah (En Sentac), Matthew Needham (Old Swarm), John May (Kev), Gunnar Cauthery (Jón), Paul Leonard (James Stonehouse), Heather Bleasdale (Wilma), Rochenda Sandall (Azure/Anna), Barbara Fadden (Weeping Angel)

CREW

Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Jamie Magnus Stone
Produced by Nikki Wilson, Matt Strevens, Chris Chibnall

sypnosis

On Halloween, all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. From the Arctic Circle to deep space, an ancient evil is breaking free. And in present-day Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis is about to change forever. Why is The Doctor on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista? And what is the Flux?

plot

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.

REFERENCES

Locations

Karvanista has trapped The Doctor and Yaz on a planet with an acid ocean, which was about to be engulfed by a giant red star.
Yaz and the Doctor were “top of the class” in a high-gravity circus workshop on Trapezium 7.
Dan gives an unofficial tour around the Museum of Liverpool, where his friend Diane works.
The Museum has an exhibition on the Williamson Tunnels, which were being created around 1820 by Joseph Williamson.
Dan lives in Anfield number 37, Liverpool, close to the football stadium.
Dan arranges to meet Diane at the corner of Lark Lane.
According to The Doctor, her and Yaz have landed in the Klopp era.
Jón and Anna live in a isolated house in the Arctic Circle.
Inston-Vee Vinder is stationed at Observation Outpost Rose to observe the space in the Thoribus Section. As the Flux approaches he zooms in on the Thoribus Trifecta, seeing Thoribus Minor get destroyed.
Yaz tells Dan she used to be a police officer for Hallamshire Police.
Dan believes that Sheffield is “too close” to Leeds.
Yaz tells Dan not to diss Yorkshire again.
Vinder is from Kasto-Winfer-Foxfell.
Karvanista’s ship hit a time disturbance which sent him hours ahead of his species on their way to Earth.

Individuals

A Foreman reminds Williamson that James Stonehouse is due shortly.
When Diane tells Dan he’s not official at the Museum, he calls himself “Official Scouse”.
Diane warns Dan that Alan may ban him permanently.
Swarm uses psychic connection to show himself to The Doctor and shows her both his encounter with En Sentac and K-Toscs on the Burnished Rage battleground, how he escapes, and later confronts The Doctor herself in a mindscape.
Karvanista introduces himself to Dan as “Vanquisher of the Thousand Civilisations”.
Karvanista attempts and fails at a mind trick on Dan.
Karvanista is angered by Dan talking about his mother.
According to The Doctor, she has seen the Barcelona match 9 times and suggest to Yaz they take on a game. She also claims to have been a ball boy for Trent once.
Dan and his football team plays in shirts sponsored by Standard Chartered.
The Doctor mentions Ryan and Graham.
Vinder is a the Commander and Observation Officer at Observation Outpost Rose.
The Doctor asks Karvanista about the Division.
Azure forces Diane inside a withered down house on Lark Lane.

Species

Karvanista is a Lupar, and the species-bonded paired guardian to “[his] human”, Dan Lewis.
Claire is zapped back in time by a Weeping Angel.

Foods and beverages

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

Halloween

Halloween is on 31 October.
Dan gets trick-or-treaters at his house.
Dan initially believes Karvanista is wearing a Halloween costume.

Technology

The Doctor and Yaz are footlocked to a gravity bar.
Kill Disks are set up by Karvanista to kill The Doctor and Yaz.
The Doctor has accidentally blown up Karvanista’s droid guards with Nitro-9.
The Doctor and Yaz are handcuffed with voice activated cuffs set to respond to The Doctor’s earlier Scottish accent. The Doctor tried both her twelfth incarnation’s voice and her seventh incarnation’s voice.
Karvanista own a special energy weapon called a scythe that can blast energy.
Karvanista used a stun cube on Dan to kidnap him.
Karvanista used a special laptop to set a trap for The Doctor. When activated it miniaturised Dan’s house via a compressor blast.
Karvanista has an electrified holding pen on his ship.
Karvanista’s ship is covered in temporal residue.
The Doctor does an MOT check on her mind.
The Survival Battalion of Lupari ships are built to withstand the Flux.
Jón and Anna finds a warning device in their garage.
The system of Observation Outpost Rose warns Vinder of the Flux.
The Doctor uses leftover Hopper virus to deactivate the security on Karvanista’s ship.
Karvanista is on Species Recall.
Yaz mentions the TARDIS’ protective air bubble.
The TARDIS Cloister Bell sounds off as the Flux appear.
The Doctor uses her hammer to knock a hole in the TARDIS control console unleash Vortex energy on the Flux.

STORY NOTES

Elements in The Halloween Apocalypse were teased in Welcome to the TARDIS… and The Flux is Coming….
The start of this episode offers a brief glimpse at the dynamics of Yasmin Khan’s solo travels with the Thirteenth Doctor. In the interim period, the short story Black Powder, the first chapter of the comic The Forest Bride, the framing device to Knock Knock, Who’s There, and the two webcasts A message from Yaz and A Message from The Doctor also featured this pairing.
This was the first Doctor Who television story to be set on Halloween, and the first “Halloween special”. Doctor Who has historically had several Christmas specials and New Year specials, and even one Easter special, but this was a first for the televised DWU.
Relatedly, The Halloween Apocalypse is set on the same day it was broadcast: 31 October 2021. This makes it one of only five episodes in the revived series to do so. The other four instances were The Big Bang for 22 June 2010, The Impossible Astronaut for 22 April 2011, part one of The End of Time for 25 December 2009, and Resolution for 1 January 2019.
When trying to release herself from the vocally locked handcuffs, The Doctor claims that her failure to open them might be to do with the fact that she was Scottish when she set them up, and proceeds to attempt a Scottish accent. According to the subtitles, she first tries to copy the voice of the Twelfth Doctor and then the Seventh Doctor.
The transmission of the episode was dedicated to the memory of Doctor Who’s former Foley artist Julie Atkinson, who passed away on 28 July 2021.[2]
The beginning of this episode marks the first time in a televised story that the TARDIS has an all-female crew.
The Cloister Bell sounds different now. Rather than the previous sound created by striking a gong underwater, it is now a crashing sound. That version was last used in 2015’s Under the Lake.
The Flux threat acts similar to antimatter from the DC comics, where the 1980s event Crisis on Infinite Earths had an antimatter wave destroy multiple universes. Flux tears apart anything it comes across at a molecular level, making it similar to the effects of Davros’ Reality bomb from 2008’s The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.

CONTINUITY

The Doctor mentions Nitro-9, an explosive invented by Ace. (Dragonfire)
The Doctor is interested in learning more about the Division. She previously learned of her past lives as the Timeless Child on Gallifrey, and knows these memories were taken from her by this organisation. (The Timeless Children)
The guns owned by En Sentac and K-Toscs are the same model as that owned by Gat, a member of the Division previously met by the Thirteenth Doctor. (Fugitive of the Judoon)
After regenerating, Swarm declares that he has been “renewed”, (The Power of the Daleks) “at last”. (The Keeper of Traken)
The Doctor mentions having attended numerous Liverpool F.C. football matches. (Something Inside)
The Doctor uses leftover hopper virus particles to help deactivate parts of Karvanista’s ship. (Orphan 55)
The Cloister Bell sounds as the Flux approaches. The Doctor explains this means the TARDIS is in imminent danger. (Logopolis etc)
The Doctor smashes part of the TARDIS in order to release vortex energy, implicitly from the heart of the TARDIS, as a last resort. (Boom Town, The Parting of the Ways)
The Doctor expresses a long-standing interest in the end of the universe. (The Great War; Utopia, Listen) The Eighth Doctor once managed to visit a different meaning of the end of the universe, particularly where it ends in space where he faced another orange gas like enemy in the Eminence. (Time’s Horizon)
Yaz has been taught how to operate the TARDIS. The Doctor previously taught Polly Wright and Ben Jackson, (The Outliers) Zoe Heriot, (Daughter of the Gods) Adric and Nyssa, (The Star Men) and Ace. (You Are The Doctor) Melanie Bush taught herself to pilot the TARDIS. (The Quantum Possibility Engine) The Doctor also taught Donna Noble some of the basics. (The Sontaran Stratagem) The Tenth Doctor also briefly assisted a range of former companions to help fly the planet Earth back home after the Daleks moved it. (Journey’s End)
The Doctor mentions Ryan and Graham’s departure. (Revolution of the Daleks)
pon meeting Dan, The Doctor says, “Nice to meet you, Dan. Run for your life.” This echoes the Ninth Doctor’s words to Rose Tyler when they first met. (Rose)

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