Monday, May 30, 2011

Doctor Who : Double Episode Review

The Rebel Flesh (Part 1) & The Almost People (Part 2)

The Tardis lands outside an old convent. The Doctor and his crew discover that it's a factory pumping out lethal acid. To deal with the danger of this, the five workers have something called Gangers - exact duplicates made out of programmable organic material. When the Doctor investigates, he finds out that this flesh is actually alive and because of an electrical storm (what else?) the Gangers become self-aware, with all the memories and emotions that come with it. Fighting for the right to exist, they wage a war against their human originators.

This two part episode was very much based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and the often recurring sci-fi subject of human cloning. Again, not a particularly original idea but I think it was executed well. Showing the different reactions of the various Gangers and humans was an effective way of weighing up the possibilities of the situation. Do the Gangers have the same rights as the 'originals' or are they just monsters?

Having Amy confuse the two Doctors showed that the duplicates are essentially the same person, just as Jennifer's Ganger explains to Rory. I like that Rory went out to do what he thought was right, finally standing up to Amy and the Doctor. It's just a shame that his efforts proved futile as he was tricked by Ganger Jennifer, making him seem like a bit of a loser once again. I hope that he gets to man-up at some point.

Most of the acting was a bit bland, and the only crew member I particularly liked was Cleaves. Her disdain towards her Ganger seemed realistic and understandable, while most of the crew wanted a peaceful solution, she felt threatened and saw the Gangers as a mistake. If you discovered a duplicate of yourself wouldn't you at least feel that the copy was a bit of an imposter? Only really alive for an hour, but acting like they've lived your life, felt all your emotions and shared all of your experiences? It felt a lot more like a normal reaction to me than the Doctor's instant acceptance of his doppelganger. I know he has a great sense of identity but the "great, there's two of me!" response was pompous and annoying.

Buzzer was alright, but underused. He was mostly just a bit of cannon fodder. Jimmy was obviously just there for the sob story, not that it wasn't sweet that all he amounted to was a Dad. I liked Jennifer at first, but her overacted cuteness got a bit much, although showed that she was the right choice for the one to go psychotic in the end. And then there's one crew member I keep forgetting. They obviously should have put more effort into developing the personalities of the crew, and then perhaps Whatsisname might have had a chance to shine.

But no matter how good the story was, it's all forgotten at the end of part 2. What a cliffhanger! How come Amy was flesh all along, and since when has she been in that chamber? Who or what got her pregnant, and just who is the Eye-Patch Lady. It all seems very intriguing. So far this series, it has definitely been the ongoing story-arc that has kept me interested. I can't wait to find out what happens next week!

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