We’re counting down to a different regeneration on Physician Who, though precisely who will substitute Jodie Whittaker to develop into the Fourteenth Physician stays a tightly guarded secret. (No, it is not Tom Holland.) However the BBC this weekend dropped a teaser for Legend of the Sea Devils, one in every of three particular episodes airing this 12 months to mark Whittaker’s ultimate days because the Thirteenth Physician.
As beforehand reported, the lately concluded thirteenth season was notably impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (That is the thirteenth season because the franchise restarted in 2005, not the thirteenth season because the present debuted the day after the Kennedy assassination). As an alternative of the same old 13 episodes, S13 solely deliberate for eight due to the pandemic. Finally, showrunner Chris Chibnall determined to chop the season down to simply six episodes, with an entire narrative arc relatively than the episodic construction that has been extra typical of the collection. (The choice just isn’t unprecedented, nevertheless. The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 was additionally one full narrative.)
Collectively, the six-episode arc was given the subtitle Flux. In it, the Physician and her companions encountered a universe-ending anomaly intent on killing the Physician. The crew additionally confronted a smorgasbord of basic Whovian alien races: the Ood, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, and the Weeping Angels. Whereas some critics discovered the narrative arc complicated—nearly inevitable when the Weeping Angels are concerned—and the finale disappointing, it was typically a stable season.
Conspicuously absent from Flux had been the Daleks, however that is as a result of Chibnall was saving them for the primary vacation particular, Eve of the Daleks, which aired on New Yr’s Day. The particular launched a brand new form of Dalek, the Dalek Executioners, who sought revenge on the Physician for her actions within the S13 finale. The Physician and her companions Yaz and Dan had been caught in a time loop, due to a TARDIS reset (essential to restore the TARDIS from injury incurred from the Flux). Each time the loop reset, it will shorten by one minute and was destined to break down completely at midnight.
Legend of the Sea Devils, compared, is a basic Physician Who interval story. In it, our heroic Time Lord encounters a well-known personage from the previous—on this case, a infamous pirate queen in Nineteenth-century China named Zheng Yi Sao, aka Madame Ching. Born in 1775, historians speculate that Madame Ching could have began out as a prostitute or madame on a floating brothel.
Her life modified perpetually in 1801 when she married the infamous pirate Zheng Yi, who hailed from a protracted household of pirates. Madame Ching proved to be a worthwhile asset, utilizing her diplomatic expertise to assist her husband consolidate the assorted pirate fleets right into a unfastened confederation. Every fleet had its personal distinctive flag colour (crimson, black, blue, white, yellow, and purple), and Zheng Yi took command of the biggest Purple Flag Fleet.
When Zheng Yi died in November 1807 at age 42—he fell overboard throughout a gale, which appears an ignominious finish for a pirate—Madame Ching took over your entire confederation. She had the help of Zheng Yi’s nephew in addition to his adopted son, Zhang Bao. (“Adopted” is not fairly correct; the boy was kidnapped from his household at 15 and compelled into piracy. It appears to have been a typical follow.) Whereas Bao took over his father’s command of the Purple Flag Fleet, he clearly wasn’t the boss. Historic information point out that Bao obeyed his stepmother’s orders and “consulted her on all issues earlier than appearing.” The 2 had been additionally romantically concerned.
Many battles and far pillaging adopted, however the mounting opposition from the Qing Chinese language authorities, the East India Firm, and the Portuguese Empire—all of whom suffered important losses to the pirate confederation—finally grew to become too highly effective. This occurred because the pirate confederation was exhibiting cracks in solidarity: the chief of the Black Flag Fleet, Guo Podai, overtly fought Bao in late 1808 and surrendered to Chinese language authorities shortly thereafter.