The Rebel Flesh/ The Almost People
By Matthew Graham
"Don't be. Hold on. We're coming for you. I swear it. Whatever happens, however hard, however far, we will find you."
When I heard the news that Matthew Graham was writing an episode for Doctor Who a two parter in fact I was eager to see this story by the Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes creator and writer but then
my memory recalled back to the David Tennant episode Fear Her and then I was a bit hesitant on seeing the Rebel Flesh. So far after watching part one my fears were succumbed by an excellent episode. So far this season Steven Moffat has crafted a season with dark and scarier episodes with a lot of weird stuff thrown in. I tend to like those episodes the scarier the better.
Matthew Graham has delivered your typical old school Doctor Who episode where there is a sentient race that wants to continue existing and will stop at nothing to get it including killing the humans. But this one is slightly different as it is a race of clones that get sentient from a cosmic storm accident that makes the clones permanent. That's when things get really intense and pretty scary as the clones are now out and about and want to make the humans disappear.
I really liked this story as it was pretty easy to follow and like I mentioned already it had the feel of an old style Doctor Who story. The effects were pretty good as there was some good scenery of the castle with some nice CGI effects of the storm wreaking havoc in the sky. It was good to see that Rory actually had something worthwhile to do besides getting killed. So far this season his character seemed to be regulated to 2nd fiddle. So it was good to see him be the main companion and see Amy be regulated to the bullpen.
This part of the story was pretty well done but there is still the second part of the story to go and well it kind of doesn’t hold up. The Rebel Flesh did have a pretty cool cliffhanger. How many of you were shaking your head in amazement at what was revealed as the doppelganger of The Doctor was revealed.
The second part of this two part story is The Almost People and unfortunately it won't be remembered for its good storytelling or character development or the weird looking CGI creature that one of the Gangers turns into. No unfortunately it will be remembered for what happens in the final 5 minutes.
Now I really enjoyed The Almost People but not as much as the Rebel Flesh. I thought the Almost People kind of dragged on in parts. Yes I thought it was good to see the Gangers struggle with their new found humanity but thought a lot of that went on a bit too long. Still it was an important part of the story that needed telling and would also determine how things got resolved.
The best part of The Almost People was watching the two Doctors interact with each other. These scenes were actually pretty funny and helped break up the scary scenes in The Almost People. You actually get to see how good of an actor Matt Smith really is when you see the Ganger Doctor having mental problems trying to cope with being a Time lord duplicate. Keep your ears open for Tom Bakers voice at this part. Most notably when Amy goes out to help him and the Ganger Doctor, or is it, just snaps due to being able to hear the Fleshes thoughts. The Almost People truly is one of Matt Smith's best performances to date.
Arthur Darvill's Rory finally gets to do a lot more than just die and be resurrected. Rory for one gets to do some adventuring for himself and we get a hint of what type of character he is. Since he is a nurse we learn that Rory is on the side of the Gangers and wants them to live and not be melted. Especially when he sees the Ganger rejects dump pile. Imagine seeing a whole pile of Ganger Flesh in a big pile with eyes staring at you. My son found that scene pretty scary.
I was pretty much enjoying this story as it has continued on with the scary and creepy and spooky elements that have been the norm of this season so far. I liked the old fashion Doctor Who aspect of it as it is that familiar Doctor Who theme of humans oppressing its workforce and not seeing that it is sentient and it's up to the Doctor to set them free. But what was kind of silly was when the Jennifer Ganger all of a sudden morphed into a flesh creature or something. Just like in the Rebel Flesh when she was able to make her neck stretch out and attack Rory this time she morphed into this killing super creature. I thought the creature looked pretty lame and wished that they came up with something better.
Now for the part that the fans were talking about at least until A Good Man Goes To War. Well it appears that in the linking part of the episode that leads into next week’s episode is that Amy is not actually Amy but in fact she was a Ganger. The real Amy is most definitely pregnant and about to deliver a baby in some sort of prison with the eye patch lady looking on from behind the door.
What a good cliff hanger one that I was not expecting at all. It is a credit to Karen Gillan acting ability to see the turmoil in her Gangers final moments before the Doctor melts her.
Back in 2011 the speculation was going crazy as to when was Amy taken away from the Doctor but my guess was when the Silence kidnapped her back in Day of the Moon. But who knows at the time it was fun speculating on it until we found out in A Good Man Goes to War.
Grade B -