"Time Loop?" "Time Loop." "Groundhog Day."

I have to confess that I haven't been able to motivate myself to watch Doctor Who: Flux beyond The Halloween Apocalypse. No, I don't think the show is too "woke" (what does that even mean, for God's sake?), and no, I do very much think that Jodie Whitaker has done a wonderful job as the thirteenth Doctor. I do, however, feel that she has been let down by the quality of the storytelling. That and the unfortunate propensity to film things dark and to muffle the dialogue with the crash! bang! of frenzied action makes some of the episodes hard to watch, and it looked to be the case with Flux.

But I'm still a fan. I know this because I watched Eve of the Daleks, earlier this week, and I loved it. Indeed, the show won me over entirely with the exchange in the title, spoken between the principals, their third time into the time loop. All credit to John Bishop here: his delivery of that one line made me an instant fan of his character, and I'd only seen him in The Halloween Apocalypse.

I doubt the episode is going to survive an application of fridge logic. I strongly suspect that the characters were in each time loop for far longer than the eight, seven, six, and so on minutes of each loop, and a lot of stuff gets handwaved, but the whole episode felt right, primarily keeping the stakes easy to understand and manage, and allowing the actors (shout out to guests Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon for their fully-fleshed-out portrayals of Sarah and Nick) and I was hooked. If all of the stories of Chibnall's era could have been like this, I'd be feeling a lot better about this program. As it was, Eve of the Daleks shows that there's still quite a bit of life in the old girl after all.

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