As befitting its title, Doctor Who: Flux has had its ups and downs so far, but chances are the highlight of the show’s abbreviated 13th season will be Jo Martin, who came back as the Fugitive Doctor in last night’s episode, “Once, Upon Time.” We’ll take any screentime we can get of her, even if it’s just this fun video looking behind the scenes of her appearance.
The Fugitive Doctor’s return wasn’t a simple matter of her just showing up, of course; this is Doctor Who, after all. Instead, the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) threw herself and her companions into a Time Storm to protect them from the Swarm. As a result, the Thirteenth Doctor gets projected back into one of her previous incarnations — not one of the main 12, but one that happened before the Time Lords mind-wiped her. Specifically, she learns as she glances at herself in the mirror, she’s in the body of and the past lived by the Fugitive Doctor, whom Thirteen met so memorably last season.
Look, if you haven’t watched the episode, it gets explained a bit better in the video (but not a ton). Martin, Whittaker, and new star John Bishop (who plays Dan) also talk about the conflicting personalities of the two Doctors, the new power dynamic between the two, and Whittaker’s challenge of playing both incarnations herself. Honestly, the best bit is the Doctors and the episode’s director Azhur Saleem discussing the scene where the characters see each other in the mirror and have a discussion, which was initially going to be done with very complex special effects until the cameraperson explained they could just use a regular mirror.
Man, if Martin doesn’t come back as the Fugitive Doctor at some point, it’s going to be a bummer. She’s so good! Maybe she doesn’t need to spend more time in the remaining three episodes of Flux, but hopefully once-and-future Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies can find a place for her. Actually, Davies has already said Who needs to be a giant franchise incorporating multiple shows. I’d watch the adventure of the Fugitive Doctor in a heartbeat.