Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Review of Doctor Who's 6x06: "The Almost People"

Written by Matthew Graham
Directed by Julian Simpson

Ganger Amy: “Doctor, I’m frightened. I’m properly, properly scared.”
The Doctor: “Don’t be, hold on. We’re coming for you, I swear. Whatever happens, however hard, however far, we will find you.”

In retrospect, I really should’ve seen the last three minutes of this episode coming a mile off. I mean, certain clues had been there – TARDIS’s inability to detect the pregnancy, Eye Patch Lady’s constant appearances and even the bits of xenophobia that our Amy might not have displayed but damn, that’s how you do a cliff hanger.

I take it that at some point in between or during “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day Of The Moon”, the real Amy was snatched and replaced with a Ganger version but how and when? I’d ask why but I assume it’s something to do with the baby she’s about to give birth to, given the interest that Eye Patch Lady displayed at the end.

In terms of game changing stuff, it’s certainly daring enough for Moffat and company to attempt and I’m curious to know that if Gangers can remember every experience of their human selves, does that mean Amy remembers every adventure her Ganger has had with the Doctor and Rory for the last while too?

More to the point, where the hell is Amy being kept as well and what exactly will her baby bring forth? I’d like to say the child could possibly be ordinary and that the trailer for the next episode was just alluding to something emotional but I have a feeling that physically, Amy’s baby is going to be a threat of some kind or can at least be utilised as one.

Also in terms of the ‘who’s the daddy?’ bit, I’m not playing this game. I don’t for one second believe that anyone else except Rory can be the father but at the same time, I don’t believe the baby is completely human or unaffected by time travel either. Am I grasping at straws? Probably but until next Saturday, I’ll keep a hold of them.

It certainly took a lot for Rory to let go of his wife long enough for the Doctor to expose that she was a Ganger. Given the amount of ethics there has been about keeping the Gangers, the Doctor certainly ended the Ganger version of Amy rather quickly but seeing as our Amy was keeping the Ganger version going, it was only a matter of time before she became goo once again.

As for the rest of the story itself, I complained about the first part suffering from being plodding and the second part has the same ailment as well, though not nearly as bad. The scenes with Doctor and his Ganger were certainly some of the best we’ve had but I don’t think anyone was going to say no to the prospect of two Matt Smiths for the price of one.

I found it interesting that Ganger Amy had all these prejudices for the Ganger version of the Doctor but it was more interesting to see how the Doctor seemed a little freely in accepting his other self with ease. I suppose it was also handy that the use of two Doctors was also a means in helping with cutting the signal out between Amy and her own duplicate as well.

As for the stuff with Ganger Jennifer, I was kind of disappointed that she went fully evil, especially when the rest of the Gangers were beginning to come around. Sarah Smart played it well enough but I guess Jennifer’s turn was going to end up becoming a means of thinning the human and Ganger herd in this story.

The human versions of Buzzer, Dicken and Jimmy all managed to meet their end at the hands of Ganger Jennifer and even the Ganger versions of Cleaves and the Doctor ended up dying after managing to stop Jennifer all together. I guess it felt a little too clean, even down to Original Cleaves being given a cure for her blood clot and making peace with Ganger Dicken while Ganger Jimmy went home for Adam’s birthday.

As for Rory, losing Amy aside, this was sadly an episode where his compassion nearly resulted in disaster thanks to Jennifer’s mind games but if the trailers for the mid-season finale are anything to go by, he’s going to be kicking all levels of butt next week. Now this is a side to Rory that should be interesting to see.

Also in “The Almost People”

The original title for this episode was meant to be “Gangers” but there’s something more unsettling about the title it ended up with.

Ganger Doctor: “So, what do we do now, Doctor?”
The Doctor: “Well, time to get cracking, Doctor.”

Ganger Doctor managed to invoke aspects of his first, third, fourth and tenth incarnations. There are voice cameos from Tom Baker and David Tennant in this one.

Ganger Amy: “Doctor, you said earlier to breathe.”
The Doctor: “Very important, Pond, breathe.”
Ganger Amy: “Yeah, well I’m struggling to.”

Ganger Jennifer’s monstrous transformation might have looked naff but the disposed Gangers and the wall of eyes were nicely creepy.

Ganger Cleaves: “Revolution? Look, I just, I just want to be left to live in peace, Jen.”
Ganger Jennifer: “They will melt you. Have you become so human you’ve forgotten the truth?”

The Doctor: “Sure you’re not prejudiced?”
Ganger Amy: “Nice try but I know, okay? We’ve been through too much. You’re my Doctor, end of.”

At one point in this story, the Doctors swapped shoes and it took me a while to click about his plan in regards to Amy.

Ganger Dicken: “You don’t look good.”
Ganger Cleaves: “Monsters never do. I’m fine, I remember medics doing tests.”

The Doctor: “The eyes have it.”
Ganger Amy: “Why are they here?”
The Doctor: “To accuse – us.”

The company the humans and Gangers worked for was called Morpeth Jetsan and Cleaves used the code of ‘bad boy’. A friend of mine thinks it might mean something else.

Ganger Cleaves: “Look at you, Jen, you’re a sweet kid. Look at you now – stuff of nightmares. I don’t want my world populated by monsters.”

Ganger Amy: “I never thought it was possible.”
Ganger Doctor: “What?”
Ganger Amy: “You’re twice the man I thought you were.”
Ganger Doctor: “Push Amy, but only when she tells you.”

It seems that we have lost our first person in the new era of this show. Piers Wenger has left the series and BBC for Film Four. Good luck, Piers.

Eye Patch Lady (to Amy): “Well dear, you’re ready to pop, aren’t you? Little one’s on it’s way. Here it comes. Push.”

Chronology: Well, Amy’s been pregnant for nine months but we don’t know how many of them she’s been in captivity.

The curse of plodding along aside and not doing anything too original with the clone vs. human debate, “The Almost People” is definitely a much stronger and engaging episode and with those last three minutes, definitely somewhat hard to forget too.

Rating: 8 out of 10


Guada GN said...

I really liked it.
The disposed gangers were something sad and I love Cleaves, her two selves.
I thought that the Doctor had no problem melting this Ganger cause it wasn´t a free ganger, it was animated by Amy, who thought that she was there with them at all, never for a moment knew that she was in a coma somewhere else, been used as a incubator for a child they want to use as a weapon.
Im sure the baby´s Rory´s. But Im sure the baby is not normal - to say it some way - also. I mean, Ten tells to Martha in some episode, that people that have travel trough time is different that regular people. So, how much more different can be a kid conceived while traveling through time? If played well, it can boggled the mind. :)
I really enjoyed this ep. It´s true, all the clues where there, it should have been fairly obvious, but yeah, I didn´t see it coming. And I think your friend might have a point with the company, after all, its the company that manufacture gangers, it has to be involved in Amy being replaced by one.
Rory kicking ass is one of my favourite things ever, Im gonna love next ep - till it´s over and we wait till september. Im gonna hate it so much after that :)
See ya.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Yeah, Martha was somewhat different in Torchwood, her body had been affected by time travel and undobtedly, both Amy and Rory are too along with their baby.

It wasn't my favourite episode but it definitely had a wonderful cliffhanger and it'll be interesting to see what this week's episode gives us until September.