I want so much to love everything about Doctor Who, I was as optimistic as possible after last week’s let down in “The Rebel Flesh” that this week “The Almost People” would pick up the pieces and spin the story into something great. I was once again let down. At least this story actually picked up on some of the seasonal clues we’ve been following albeit at the last minute. I was glad to finally be offered a direction and a link back to the AMAZING two part season opener “The Impossible Astronaut” and “The Day of the Moon”.
Telling a story of the creation of sentient life is no easy task. The story of the resistance of the enslaved creatures and the humans that created them is a complex tale and felt rushed and confused over the two episodes given over the past couple weeks.
Not all was lost in “The Almost People”, there were some really fantastic comedic notes hit perfectly by Matt Smith playing opposite himself, as the cocky cool Doctor these moments were hilarious and spot on for eleven’s personality. Matt Smith gave us a treat interpreting several Doctors’ past in his wacky transformation scene. I can’t help but think that this episode could have risen to a much higher level of wacky hilarity instead of a strange confused morality take had the two Doctors been allowed to play off each other for a greater portion of the story.
There are so many levels between understanding what the creatures are, if they are human, and if so how have they grown and how do they develop separately from their human creators. Last week I brought the comparison of Battlestar Galactica, a show that managed to connect to these themes so powerfully and quickly, but it took BSG 4 years to wrestle with the questions, and to understand each side of the story.
These two weeks of Doctor Who rushed through these ideas and then tied a neat bow on the end of it by ensuring that no one had a double and used “science” to make the existing gangers into real people. Now what was the message again? Did the Doctor swap shoes with his ganger; let’s call him Smith, to prove the ganger’s humanity or to test it? My guess is that this test failed leading him to zap ganger Amy into a pile of goo.
So this episode’s saving grace was that it tied into the season’s overarching plotline about Amy and her Schrödinger’s pregnancy. To it’s detriment was how it went about it. There must have been a more cohesive way to explore the Flesh people while tying it into the main plot.
“The Almost People” reached out to the themes of the oppressed underclass. Jenny is angry, she wants to fight for the rights of gangers to be free. She is the violent side of revolt; she goes off the rails murdering her human counterpart eventually morphing into an unrecognizable monster that is nowhere near human, what she initially set out to be accepted as. As in all Doctor Who tales we learn that violence is not the answer (although sometimes an unfortunate necessity).
Jenny uses manipulation to get Rory on her side. I hated this part of the story, it made so little sense and seemed to undo so much of the character building of Rory who had finally seemed content and part of the team. He got the girl, and in “The Doctor’s Wife” I thought we had wrapped up the whole jealousy thing. Even allowing for a bonding session between Rory and the Doctor. The fact that they had Rory just jump to Jenny’s side abandoning his wife came right out of left field.
gangerJimmy was the opposite side of this, he wanted to live in peace, he saw his son and realized that his thoughts were that it was his son, but he knew that he was really Jimmy’s son. They are not the same person, although when Jimmy was tragically killed by acid, gangerJimmy now made fully human by The Doctor was able to step into the role of father. That left a very uneasy feeling in my stomach, so many mixed messages about these goo people, plus Doctor Who (show) continues with its daddy issues.
“The Rebel Flesh” & “The Almost People” felt like taking the long road to what appears to be a very promising destination leading up to the mid-season finale “A Good Man Goes to War”.
Early in the episode a bewildered Amy Pond spills the beans to The Doctor (who she thought was the DoppelDoctor) that she had received an invitation to, and witnessed the Doctor’s death. His reaction was visceral, Amy was breaking the rules, provoking the Doctor, no wonder she didn’t trust him after that.
I so glad to see this secret come to light, Amy has had qualms with keeping it under wraps since it happened. Since The Doctor’s death in the season premiere his imminent death has held a shadow over the season. Towards the episode’s end the Doctor made a point of saying to DoppelDoctor that his molecular structure could survive the acid. This brings new possibilities into play, if there’s another Doctor out there, which one was in the space suit?
“The Rebel Flesh” & “The Almost People” felt like taking the long road to what appears to be a very promising destination leading up to the mid-season finale “A Good Man Goes to War”. Since this week’s outing was kind enough to give us some really meaty seasonal stuff I’m skipping the point form “Seasonal Arc Watch” section this week and will discuss it properly. Yay for progress!
Early in the episode a bewildered Amy Pond spills the beans to The Doctor (who she thought was the doppelDoctor) that she had received an invitation to, and witnessed the Doctor’s death. His reaction was visceral, Amy was breaking the rules, provoking the Doctor, no wonder she didn’t trust him after that.
I so glad to see this secret come to light, Amy has had qualms with keeping it under wraps since it happened. Since The Doctor’s death in the season premiere his imminent death has held a shadow over the season. Towards the episode’s end the Doctor made a point of saying to doppelDoctor that his molecular structure could survive the acid. This brings new possibilities into play, if there’s another Doctor out there, which one was in the space suit?
Amy has been secretive about the eye-patch lady until this now. When she tells the Doctor it’s in his head, he knows. Little did we know but this was a hint of foreshadowing of what The Doctor already knew, or was piecing together, where to find the real Amy Pond.
The Doctor says that they’re all connected through the goo, now that The Doctor has his own ganger he can connect to doppelAmy, allowing him to see into her and connect to the eye-patch lady. Did the Doctor know what he was doing when he slipped his hand into the goo in “The Rebel Flesh’? Was this all part of his plan to save Amy? Finally a sense of interconnectedness! Although I still feel as though I’m grasping at straws to weave all these bits together. I hope that next week will provide answers to all these questions.
Breath Pond, Remember to Breath
Another ominous note throughout this episode, a reminder to Amy to breath. That little glimpse of Amy, alone and pregnant being held captive in an unknown location, with stark surroundings and the eye-patch lady by her side was absolutely terrifying. How long has our Amy been missing? Where is she now?
I was going to drop you off for fish and chips but then there was stuff….
Amy insisted on staying. I get that The Doctor didn’t want to tell Amy that she wasn’t really… her, until he had a better understanding of the situation. The poor Doctor is overwhelmed, once again his friends are in danger. We’re going to see the angst, anger and power of the Doctor next week.
We’re going to find you
Notes & Quotes:
- Matt Smith playing off himself as the Doctor. For Eleven who is never shy to point out how cool he is this was a perfect opportunity to play his cocky self:
You know, I’m starting to get a sense of just how impressive it is to hang out with me.
- What’s cool this week: Bow ties are cool and always will be
- The Doctor(s) on the TARDIS:
Tough old thing
Tough old sexy thing
- When Jenny said I have a plan it just gave me a case of the cylon giggles. Seriously, that phrase will never be the same
- In fact if you have a better plan I can take you to a planet where everyone is all ears
- You’re twice the man I thought you were
Okay folks, that was an interesting kind of set up. How much of this do you think the Doctor planned? How long has Amy been missing and how long did he know? Perhaps all our questions will be answered in “A Good Man Goes to War”, but I have a feeling it will just spawn more. What are we watching here, Lost?
Cheers for now,