Doctor Who's Season 13 Premiere Revealed A Terrifying New Enemy, And We Have Some Big Questions

Swarm gazing at The Doctor in his telepathic link
(Image credit: BBC America )

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Doctor Who: Flux premiere titled “The Halloween Apocalypse.” Read at your own risk!

Doctor Who: Flux promised to be a massive event with significant stakes, and the series certainly lived up to that hype with the Season 13 premiere. Viewers learned the titular Flux is a space “hurricane” of sorts, capable of erasing all in its path from existence. The season opener also introduced this season’s terrifying big bad, Swarm, and we have a lot of questions about the mastermind behind this catastrophic event that The Doctor admittedly never saw coming. 

According to Swarm, Jodie Whittaker's Doctor should know everything about him already. They’ve apparently been fierce rivals for ages, and fought each other across space and time. Swarm did note that someone erased The Doctor’s memory, and that claim felt to me like more of a means to mock her than anything. Swarm ended their encounter by pointing out his memories of their past battles will give him a grand advantage, as he knows her every move. Which makes me wonder...

Could The Doctor Have Met Her Match With Swarm?

Swarm has the energy of a villain similar to The Master, and the Flux’s destruction thus far solidified him as the greatest threat Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor ever faced, hands down. Still, I think Doctor Who fans know better than to count out The Doctor in just about any situation. Even so, there’s something interesting about the fact Swarm’s already managed to wipe the Doctor’s memory and managed to construct the Flux without her knowing. And that's just to set up everything he'll probably do to her in Season 13. Will this challenge be too much to overcome?

Does Swarm Originate From The Same Species As The Doctor?

One curious thing I noticed — and note that I'm saying take this with a hefty grain of salt — is that Swarm appeared to be regenerated when we first met him. So he’s obviously capable of time-travel, can regenerate, and can even create a telepathic link with The Doctor. Time Lords can communicate telepathically, so is it possible this alien that looks like a glamorous space zombie (which I love) is somehow as much of a Time Lord as The Doctor?

Will Doctor Who: Flux Address Season 12's Big Reveals? 

Unless there was some super-subtle Timeless Child messaging in the premiere, Doctor Who: Flux featured zero references to the earth-shattering reveals from Season 12. We didn’t see Jo Martin’s Doctor, or The Master, for that matter. We know that Season 13 will be dedicated to one massive event that, so far, is really entertaining and exhilarating, but I do wonder if we’ll get those loose ends to Thirteen's storyline tied up down the stretch. Perhaps that’s what the specials in 2022 will center around? As mentioned, it's possible Swarm is tied into all of that, though I couldn't begin to speculate how. If so, we’ll find out in time, I’m assuming!

Doctor Who's Season 13 global premiere was a strange one time-wise, but U.S. viewers can expect to see it back in primetime on BBC America on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET for future episodes. I can’t wait to see how The Doctor gets out of this adventure and to see if her companions will even survive long enough to meet the next one.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.