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In the first episode of Doctor Who Flux, the Halloween Apocalypse, one of the plot threads introduced is the Arctic Circle. In these scenes a man and a woman receive a warning signal that they ignore, and then swarm appears, killing the man and revealing the woman as Azure, the sister of Swarm.

My questions are, who gave them the warning signal, did the woman know she was Azure (or did she believe she was human) and what is the man’s connection to everything?

This was the main part that didn’t make much sense to me on rewatch and wanted to know if there was an explanation.

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  • From that description, it sounds like the man's role is to die to show the power and ruthlessness of Swarm. See the Worf Effect (TVTropes warning)
    – Separatrix
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 9:40
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    Mr. Man: “Do you expect me to provide exposition about my purpose in this episode?” Swarm: “No Mr. Man, I expect you to die!” Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 12:59

2 Answers 2

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The details of this setup are not explained, but left for the viewer to piece together.

What is apparent is that both 'Jon' and 'Anna' (Azure) are aware that they are living in hiding of something. Both seem to be aware of what the beeping of the warning device means. When they see the mini flying saucer in their garage, neither seem surprised by the alien tech. They both understand who is sending the message.

JON: What do we do?
ANNA: I don't know.
JON: Can we ignore it?
ANNA: They promised this would never happen.
JON: Except in the gravest of emergencies.

Later, when Swarm arrives, 'Anna' seems to have her previous memories and identity restored, just before she turns back into Azure:

ANNA: Why is this thought in my mind?
SWARM: What thought?
ANNA: Thank you.

We know that Swarm was imprisoned by Division, so it is logical to conclude that Azure was hidden on Earth by Division, also. The arrangement of Azure living on Earth as a human with her memories erased and with a companion is so strikingly similar to the situation where the Fugitive Doctor was hiding from Division under the identity 'Ruth Clayton' that it also seems logical to believe that other details may be similar too - that perhaps Azure had her memory and personality (and physical appearance) replaced to conceal her identity, but perhaps her companion was more aware of the truth and assigned to protect her. Although The Fugitive Doctor was hiding from Division while Azure was hidden by them, we do know that both The Doctor and Lee Clayton had Division training so may have employed similar methods in hiding.

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Nothing is explicit but we can make some plausible inferences:

  • The signal was automatically triggered either when Swarm broke confinement or when the Flux was activated.
  • They were not aware of the true nature of the signal (Swarm is coming and/or Universe is ending). It seemed like they were expecting it, but did not want to do whatever it was they had been told to do.
  • It appears that neither were aware of Azure's true identity either, particularly from her reactions immediately before and after.

What we don't know is whether the man was a regular human or a Time Lord or other Division agent. Nor how long they've been there, whether the woman would age and die as a regular human, nor why she got a "lighter" sentence.

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