Doctor Who Episode 6.5 Review: A Tale of Two Doctors and a New Race

by Mo Fathelbab on May 22, 2011 · 30 comments

in Doctor Who

It’s hard to review the first of a two-part episode when most of it was mainly setup. Unlike the one-two punch of the Doctor Who Season Six premiere, “The Rebel Flesh” takes its time to introduce the guest starring characters The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill) come into contact with, and put the wheels of the plot in motion. We get a sense of what’s going on but the real story doesn’t happen until the last act. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad thing. After all, we now have TWO DOCTORS!

Reminiscent of the Steven Moffat-penned two-parter “Silence in The Library”/”Forest of The Dead” from Season Four, most of “The Rebel Flesh” (and from the looks of it, the concluding “The Almost People”) takes place in one location. This time, it’s in an Earthly castle on some island that’s cut off from the rest of civilization in the 22nd Century. The complex, as it turns out, also doubles as an acid-producing facility where a handful of people not only work but also live. The acid, though, is so corrosive that the expert workers need to make disposable clones of themselves, known as Gangers — which retain all of their extensive knowledge of chemistry through remote control — just to go near the stuff.

Question #1: Did you all see that the cool opening shot of the workers in their protective body suits? Did anyone, even for a slight moment, thought “Sontarans!” to themselves? Was that a foreshadowing of things to come?

Anyway, The Doctor –- who is still trying to figure out if Amy’s pregnant –- and the gang hit a solar storm and the TARDIS crash-lands outside the creepy island castle. When Rory hears a Dusty Springfield song playing from the inside, they begin their investigation. (Seasons Five and Six has pretty much been one 45-minute Scooby-Doo episode after another.) The Doctor bluffs his way in by convincing the workers — and their leader, Cleaves (Raquel Cassidy) — that he and his companions are from the meteorological society. She takes them on a tour of the facility and there, he sees the vat of white goo that creates the Gangers called The Flesh. He’s fascinated with it, and it seems to be fascinated with him as well (almost sucking his hand in).

Question #2: Don’t Sontarans reproduce through cloning? And in an almost-similar fashion?

In the meantime, the solar storm is getting worse. The Doctor offers to transport all of the workers to safety in the TARDIS but Cleaves refuses, believing that help will arrive from the mainland. Undeterred, The Doctor climbs up the castle’s solar-powered generator to disconnect it when a solar lightening strikes, knocking him and everyone else out cold. When they come to, they think they’ve been unconscious of a few minutes. Turns out, it was an entire hour.

During that hour, The Gangers — having become sentient thanks to the solar storm; and without human help — had gone through all of the workers’ personal items back in the main hall of the castle. As The Doctor notes, they’re confirming their memories. The Gangers have become the workers. Everyone is on guard.

One of the workers, Jennifer (Sarah Smart), isn’t feeling too well and Rory escorts her to the restroom for protection. There, to Rory’s determent, she reveals herself to be a Ganger, though she can’t stabilize. Rory runs and hides.

Back in the main hall, The Doctor discovers that Cleaves herself is a Ganger who also can’t stabilize. All she wants is to be left alone and not to be used as something as disposable as a tissue. The workers, though, have a different idea, so she escapes.

Amy, worried that Rory’s been gone too long, goes looking for him. In a dark corridor, Amy sees a flash of the Creepy Eye-Patch Lady. In the meantime, The Doctor returns to the TARDIS to see that the acid has caused a sinkhole that it’s sinking into. Things are getting downright weird for our heroes.

After some time, Rory stumbles upon Ganger Jennifer again, who now weeps of past memories. To her, she is Jennifer, no matter where she came from. This touches Rory and he makes it his quest to take her back to The Doctor who would keep her safe from the others. (And from the looks of it, it seems that Rory has taken a shine to Ganger Jennifer.)

In the meantime, The Doctor runs into the rest of The Gangers and convinces them to meet and talk with the original workers, to get them to work together to leave the island. The Gangers, The Originals, The Doctor, and the reunited Amy and Rory gather in the main hall. When the peace talks seem to have reached its intended goal, Original Cleaves, who has been missing since the solar lightening strike, arrives with an electrical cattle prod and Tases a Ganger to death.

Question #3: Didn’t Sontarans use spears that Tases the living hell out of beings in the Season Four episodes “The Sontaran Stratagem”/”The Poison Sky”?

Ganger Jennifer escapes. Rory goes after her but it’s too late. Original Cleaves’ assassination of a Ganger was a declaration of war. It’s “us vs. them” time. The Doctor, Amy, and The Originals can only do one thing and that is hiding in safest place in the castle: the chapel. There, they hear a voice. A voice that annoys and frightens The Doctor. He demands that the being attached to the voice show itself. It does. It’s The Ganger Doctor, in a pretty neat, through somewhat telegraphed cliffhanger. But it still left me with a couple of more questions:

Question #4: Are we witnessing the birth of the Sontaran race?

Question #5: Should we start making bets that The Ganger Doctor was the one who was shot and killed in “The Impossible Astronaut” and not our beloved Doctor?

Look, I know I’m harping on this Sontaran thing. It’s my theory and nothing else. I’m not privy to whatever showrunner Moffat or writer Matthew Graham (Life on Mars) have planned in these two episodes. I’m just having a little nerd-fun, as well as you all should. Please post your own theories in the Comments section below.

And speaking of the two episodes: since it’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. next week, “The Almost People”, won’t air on Saturday, June 4th. Make sure you mark that on your calendars.

{ 30 comments }

Rose Brown May 23, 2011 at 2:47 am

THANK YOU!!! I’m so glad someone else was obsessing over Sontarans throughout this entire episode! (Although I hadn’t thought of it being the birth of the race-I love that idea though!)

Also, I just need to add: am I the only person who thought one of the workers was sneezing quite a bit? Once or twice and it’s for comedic effect…but when the same character sneezes like, four times in one episode, it has to be important, right?

Marto May 23, 2011 at 6:09 am

I caught the part about the sneezes, and yes i thought sontaran when we first saw the three suited up gangers. but then i started thinking autons for some reason, even though they are plastic – hence rory wanting to help them. I still believe he may be part plastic from last years finale 

Kyle Valenzuela May 30, 2011 at 5:14 am

I wasn’t feeling this arc, but I loved the Doctor’s Wife. Best episode of the season thus far.

matz crorkz November 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

UpUSVI You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

simplifyfinance November 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

I truly appreciate this blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

Computer Tech Support Crofton MD November 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm

You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the subject and found most guys will approve with your site.

simplifyfinance November 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Hello there, I discovered your website by means of Google while looking for a comparable topic, your web site got here up, it seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

robot vacuum cleaner November 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Major thanks for the blog article. Really Great.

thailand buddhism chiang mai November 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Im obliged for the article post. Great.

dating tips November 30, 2014 at 1:26 am

Thanks so much for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

iraqi dinar November 30, 2014 at 3:56 am

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Indiegogo Campaign boost November 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

wow, awesome blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

jabong coupons November 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Whoa, often a really good amount of write which i’ve discover operating in drawn out while. Do besides that check out this area.

learning how to dive in kenya December 1, 2014 at 7:47 am

I really liked your blog post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

Simplify Finance car leasing December 1, 2014 at 8:04 am

Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

motorsports December 1, 2014 at 9:24 am

Enjoyed every bit of your blog post.Really thank you! Great.

home loan for December 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Really thank you!

malaysia home loan December 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm

I appreciate you sharing this article post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

pemutih wajah halal berpom December 2, 2014 at 4:31 am

Fantastic blog.Really thank you! Keep writing.

life insurance December 2, 2014 at 5:33 am

Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

Safe forex investment December 2, 2014 at 11:46 am

I really like and appreciate your blog article.Much thanks again.

seguidores e compartilhamento no Facebook December 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I simply could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the usual information a person provide in your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently to check up on new posts

technology December 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Really enjoyed this post. Really Great.

como criar um blog December 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

It’s hard to find knowledgeable folks on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you’re speaking about! Thanks

Gheata Carbonica December 3, 2014 at 5:50 am

I just could not leave your website before suggesting that I actually loved the usual information an individual supply on your visitors? Is going to be again often in order to inspect new posts

bad credit personal loans December 3, 2014 at 7:58 am

Major thankies for the article post.Thanks Again.

scrypt miner December 3, 2014 at 8:09 am

Hey, thanks for the article.Really thank you! Really Great.

new launch condo December 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

working for no need to study December 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange contract between us!

reference December 4, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I just want to mention I’m very new to blogging and honestly enjoyed your web-site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your website . You definitely come with good well written articles. Bless you for revealing your webpage.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: