Mon
May 23 2011 3:15pm

Doctor Who S6, Ep 5: “The Rebel Flesh”

OMG, it’s so strange. I meant to download this week’s episode of Doctor Who, but I accidentally downloaded an episode of Battlestar Galactica instead. What’s weird is that it was an episode I’d never seen before, when I thought I’d watched the entire series!

It must have been some kind of weird standalone episode, because Boomer kept calling herself Jennifer, and Helo kept calling himself Rory. All I know is that Boomer came out of the resurrection tub, and Admiral Adama (who, for some reason, kept calling himself the Doctor) was suddenly supportive of the Cylons and wanting to help them.

Which is totally why I saw the fact that Adama wasn’t really Adama at all coming! After all, the real Adama would never try to ally himself with skin-jobs!

OK, so maybe I saw the Doctor Who episode, “The Rebel Flesh,” after all. But you must admit, the similarities between this episode and BSG are striking.

In any case, the actual story involves Team TARDIS crash landing on a planet that’s home to a monastery that’s actually a factory that contains a concoction called the Flesh, a compound that can copy any living organism. As a harsh solar storm approaches that could destroy the planet, the Doctor discovers that the contractors they find walking around in the factory are actually copies of the original people, who are harnessed into racks, seemingly asleep and supposedly controlling the copies “like a forklift.” Things get complicated fast when the solar storm hits and suddenly, originals are missing and “gangers” (short for doppelgangers) are revolting against their creators in a fight for survival. The human originals fight back, Rory fights for one of the gangers to Amy’s confusion, and all the while, the Doctor seems to know more about this technology than he lets on.

“The Rebel Flesh” was a solid episode, though the similarities to BSG kind of lessened it for me; not because I don’t like BSG, but because it’s been done. However, the theme of whether artificial life/intelligence is actually human is addressed here a bit differently than in BSG. It’s actually more Caprica. Usually, the discussion is about the artificial life being human—“they’re just like us.” Here, the Doctor brings up the point that, “We are all...jellyeggs, sitting in goo.” It’s not about them being like us, it’s about us being like them. Humanity is a miracle, yes, but at its foundation it’s nothing but “goo,” much in the same way as Zoe Graystone reduced human consciousness to things compiled from computer databases, like receipts, medical records, and favorite books. To me, this is a very interesting stance for the Doctor to take. He doesn’t play favorites when it comes to solving problems, even with his beloved human race, and he is willing to see things from the ganger point of view.

However, this could have more to do with the fact that the Doctor seemed to know something about this technology from the get-go. He keeps mentioning the fact that the Flesh technology is still “early,” and after touching the Flesh in the vat and feeling it scan him, he returns to the vat on his own, sonic-ing it with his screwdriver, and it forms a mouth that says “Trust me” much like the Doctor does. Trying to figure out what the Doctor is up to is going to be the most fun thing about this two-parter, because he’s clearly setting all of this up to accomplish something.

My question is, does it have anything to do with the Doctor who dies in “The Impossible Astronaut?” Is the Doctor we see die the actual Doctor, or is it Ganger Doctor? Hmmm...

This episode’s other strong suit is its handling of Rory. For the first time, we have an episode that truly allows him to shine, independent of Amy. Rory has swiftly become my favorite companion, but this episode was the first time I actually thought that if anything happened to Amy, and she were no longer on the show....I wouldn’t really mind. His bond with Jennifer was wonderful to watch, because it allowed Rory to be the emotional heart of the episode, and also allowed him to act in his capacity as a nurse without announcing “I’m a nurse!” Also, Ganger Jennifer’s crush on Rory allows us to see him in a different light—as someone who might be *gasp* desirable to other people! For so long, Rory’s been treated as the schlub who “lucked out” when he landed Amy. Ganger Jennifer’s declaration that “Amy is a lucky girl” (and Rory’s un-self-conscious “Yeah, she is.”) speaks for all of us. Rory is just as much of a catch as Amy is. Depending on who you ask, he’s more of one. It was thrilling to watch him shush Amy when she tried to second-guess his support of Jennifer. We get to see the other side of their relationship. It isn’t all about Amy leading Rory around by the nose. He is, and always has been, his own man. If he lets Amy take the lead sometimes, it’s when he genuinely believes, deep down, that she’s right, even if he’s too afraid to act. He is also someone who knows that choosing one’s battles is more important than winning for its own sake. Amy doesn’t make that distinction, and it’s one of the many reasons why she needs Rory.

Lastly, I just want to shout out the opening scene, which made the TARDIS feel like a home. Having music playing and having Amy and Rory playing darts was a wonderful addition that made the control room of the TARDIS feel like a warm, liveable place.

Sadly, the US won’t be getting Part 2 of this arc for two weeks due to Memorial Day weekend. For those of you in the UK who’ll now be an episode ahead for the rest of the series, enjoy! I’m sure plenty of U.S. Whovians will be watching Part 2 by any means necessary. I won’t be (because I actually have patience and can wait a week, despite my geeky enthusiasm), so there will be no review of Doctor Who next Monday. However, there might be a Me-penned article about Doctor Who to take its place. It might be a new Moffat’s Women column. It might be an article about Doctor Who and gender/transgender issues. It might be both! Come back next week and find out!

Doctor Who resumes broadcasting on BBC America in the US on Saturday, June 4th at 9PM ET. “It’s insane. And it’s about to get insanerer.”


Teresa Jusino believes that Amy is a lucky girl. She can be seen as the teen geek in the current Bordertown book trailer. Her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on websites like ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! 2012 will see Teresa’s work in two upcoming sci-fi anthologies. Get Twitterpated with Teresa, or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.

41 comments
narmitaj
1. narmitaj
Jennifer’s declaration that “Amy is a lucky girl” (and Rory’s un-self-conscious “Yeah, she is.”) -

I didn't find that unselfconscious - I thought Rory was kind of sighing, as if to say "I know Amy's a lucky girl, and you, who I've only just met, think so too, but Amy doesn't - or anyway, always gives the impression she doesn't".
narmitaj
2. Pendard
I can't help wondering what the Doctor knows about the use of the Flesh in the future -- because he knows SOMETHING! Is it turned into a slave race? Is it used by humans to copy themselves into immortality?

Once it's well known that the Flesh can become alive, independent of its operator, the possibilities for the use and abuse of this kind of technology are endless. By the time the second episode is over, I wonder if we'll have stopped comparing this to Battlestar Galactica and started comparing it to the ethical dilemmas of Dollhouse.
Nick Rogers
3. BookGoblin
I'd love to read a review of Episode 5, but as iTunes hasn't put it up for season pass purchasers (or anyone else for that matter) I am yet to watch it.

The disadvantage to cutting the Cable TV connection is a distinct lack of control over the "when" aspect of new television episodes.
Steven Halter
5. stevenhalter
The question of :

does it have anything to do with the Doctor who dies in “The Impossible Astronaut?” Is the Doctor we see die the actual Doctor, or is it Ganger Doctor?


occured to me also. That would certainly explain things. A couple of thinhgs that could support this (or something like it):
1) Dead Doctor in “The Impossible Astronaut” does not have a Tardis or at least does not leave a tardis around that we know of.
2) Dead Doctor demands that he be burned after death. Could be to get rid of the "Flesh."
narmitaj
6. ChaosOnion
Possible Spoilers if you have not been following along this season.

Well...I guess we know who/what got killed in "The Impossible Astronaut."
Sky Thibedeau
7. SkylarkThibedeau
Could it be the Original Doctor in the Astronaut suit too? No. Never Mind. The Doctor would not use violence. It's Future River maybe? Maybe the Doctor River is in a relationship with is a Ganger Doctor? Ah the wild contorsions of Space/Time
narmitaj
8. JCHicks
It hadn't dawned on me until reading this recap that the dead Doctor might be a ganger. Good call. We'll probably have to wait until after the summer break to find out.
narmitaj
9. sofrina
we already know who was in the astronaut suit.

i was expecting this flesh to tie in to cassandra, the last human, who was nothing but a piece of sentient skin. i thought this might be the tech behind her going from normal human being to that freak on a stretcher millennia in the future.
narmitaj
10. Pendard
@BookGoblin (#3): Yeah, that iTunes thing is annoying! They've always put the episodes on sale in the Music Store early Sunday morning and here we are, almost the end of Monday, and they haven't put it up or given any explanation. Amazon.com sells it too, so I bought it there to watch it. But then I couldn't download that video onto my Mac -- it's only compatable with PCs. I had to watch it online, on Amazon's site. In the end, I'll probably buy it again once iTunes makes it available. I only wasted $2, so there's very little harm done, but I'm definitely kind of annoyed with them.
Nick Rogers
11. BookGoblin
@Pendard (#10):

I'm not as angry as a lot of the apple support forum posters, I understand a mistake on a weekend and all that...and I don't think the season pass specifies a time when it will be up. That being said, a lot of us with Season Passes have emailed and gotten no response.

Admittedly, by my count they're only about 36 hours late as I write this, but ignoring the mistake and radio silence would be a totally different deal as the hours tick by. I'm resisting the siren lure of Amazon for the moment, but I will admit this has made me pause in my plan to purchase an appleTV. I might be better off with a Roku player, and that's a major change of heart for an apple addict like myself.

It's one thing to drop the ball with an episode of Cougar Town, it's something else to fall behind with a geek oriented show like Doctor Who. Early adopters of new revenue streams (like buying your season pass instead of paying for Comcast) aren't exactly a patient group of people, and Doctor Who has been a goldmine for season passes this year. Ignoring a problem with the delivery of your fourth most popular TV series is just reputation suicide, and Apple isn't known for making PR mistakes...so I hope this gets sorted out soon.
Jenny Thrash
12. Sihaya
“The Rebel Flesh” was a solid episode, though the similarities to BSG kind of lessened it for me; not because I don’t like BSG, but because it’s been done. "

Actually I never thought opf BSG, but I did think about Autons, then the classic Tom Baker episode "Seeds of Doom" and finally Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
narmitaj
13. cranscape
It felt very old school to me for some reason. I liked how Rory had his own story for once. Like he picked up his own companion. Doctor > Amy > Rory > Jennifer

The Doctor seemed to know what these Gangers might eventually be or something about them from the future. Maybe they will turn out to be something we know well. Concidering the solar flairs and earth's timeline (ark in space anyone) they might have some important role to play in that.
narmitaj
14. cranscape
I thought it very Frankenstein myself. Electricity brought them to life after all.
narmitaj
15. tatere
i had such a different reaction to this episode, i wonder if maybe you did see a lost BSG...

i kept thinking, "ah, remember last week, when the plot didn't depend on people acting like idiots? good times, good times."

think of how much more interesting it would have been to have the people deal with their newly independent duplicates. we got a touch of that with the fellow remembering when his son was born. but no, we have to have yet again Humans Kill Everything Strange (But Are Still The Good Guys Somehow).

those suits remind me of Sontarans. i'm expecting something like that ultimately.
Makarra
16. Makarra
Definitely didn't see BSG with this--Avatar? Yes. Body Snatchers? Yes. But not BSG. There's a bit of a connection now that you point it out but...

The Doctor gives every evidence of knowing exactly what's going on, which is interesting.

As for the Ganger behavior? They have memories of being referred to as tools and moss and so on, by the people they remember being. And Jennifer (as opposed to Gjennifer) did point out that she was screaming in pain and so on. So! I don't see the Gangers or the Humans, given other instances in the show history (and human history), as being particularly surprising in their reactions to the situation.

As for the Sontaran references, good call--those suits DO look like those!

Oh, elsewhere, I saw a reference to the Dr telling Amy to breathe. Did I miss this?
Stephanie Padilla
17. DN10
Well, I really hope it doesn't turn out that dead Doctor is a clone,
since I suspected that the moment he died. Seems a bit obvious, no?

I do, however, think (well, hope) that these two episodes may be setting up that the Amy the Doctor rescued from the Silence in The Day of the Moon is going to turn out to be a clone, and that the real Amy is still being held captive by the Silence. In one of the trailers, the Doctor does tell Amy, "Wherever you are, however far, however hard, we will find you." It would be an interesting twist, anyways!
Ursula L
18. Ursula
I really liked how Rory's empathy with the Gangers, and with Jennifer in particular, ties in to his memory of being a Nestine duplicate.

Rory was a Ganger, a duplicate of a person with all of that person's memories, but without full control of his body. He fought, and lost, control of his body, killing the woman he loved in the process. And he had two thousand years to think about what he was, and the implications of being a duplicate of a person.

So Rory is not only in a place, mentally, where he feels a nursely impulse to care for the Gangers. He's also in a place where he empathizes with the Gangers, and to mentor them in what it means to be a duplicate of a person and a person in your own right.
S Barlow
19. Lizzibabe
My question is, does it have anything to do with the Doctor who dies in “The Impossible Astronaut?” Is the Doctor we see die the actual Doctor, or is it Ganger Doctor? Hmmm...

No. The Flesh cannot mimic a time-lord regeneration. I won't accept that. If Moff cheats death like that I will be very dissapoint.
Ursula L
20. Ursula
Is anyone else unhappy with the treatment of Amy's on-and-off pregnancy?

Pregnancy is something women experience. Yet we're getting no indication of this pregnancy from Amy's perspective.

Amy thought she was pregnant, and told the Doctor. Three-plus months later, she told the Doctor she wasn't pregnant after all. The Doctor does a scan, and it flashes between pregnant and not-pregnant.

But by that point, Amy should be at least four months pregnant. She should be feeling symptoms. She should be noticing changes in her body. She should be aware of changes in her menstrual cycle. Rory should be noticing changes in her body.

Flashing between pregnant and not-pregnant might be plausible during the first month or two of pregnancy. But the farther along the pregnancy progresses, the less this makes sense. Is she going to have a belly flashing between big and not-big in an episode or two?

The premise of the phantom pregnancy privileges a medical scanner over a woman's experience of her own body. In doing so, it looses touch with the reality of pregnancy.
JOhn Johnson
21. smileyman
I thought it was pretty obvious that the Gangers were the forerunners of the Nestene, and through them the Autons.
Jenny Thrash
22. Sihaya
Ursula @#20: Naw. As a woman, I'm used to being a Doctor Who fan and I've got no problems with it. :) Heck, I think the fact that Amy and we are clueless is, well, our first clue.
Ursula L
23. Ursula
I don't think that the Gangers are a forerunner to the Autons and the Nestine. The Gangers are flesh, while the Nestine/Autons are plastic. They seem to be biologically quite different, even if a Ganger and a Nestine duplicate are ethically a similar problem.
Makarra
24. Makarra
@20 - Ursula: As a woman, who has a child and everything, the handling of the pregnancy so far doesn't bother me. I am seeing this as more of a 'somewhere Amy is pregnant and Sexy the Tardis can pick this up' (somewhere with an eyepatch woman, perhaps?). However, she is NOT currently pregnant in this current reality (thus the negative). Which means things are turning very timey-whimy-spacey-wacey indeed!

Also, reality of pregnancy in a show where time is rewritten all the time? Can't really be too bothered by that.
Teresa Jusino
25. TeresaJusino
Ursula @18 - I love this, and am glad you brought it up. This completely makes sense, and adds a layer to what he's going through. I'm ashamed I didn't mention it myself. Though w/regard to @20, I'm not bothered by that, only because of 1) timey-wimeyness and 2) it's amazing how often women can a) not realize they're pregnant b) not want to acknowledge being pregnant or c) feel the need to "soldier on" and not be a bother when they are pregnant. Not every woman reacts the same way to being pregnant, and maybe the reason we're not seeing anything is because Amy isn't showing anything. Perhaps in a future episode, we'll see that Amy is constantly deflecting the issue with Rory/hiding morning sickness/etc.

Also, she could just NOT be pregnant. :) The scanner going back and forth is for our benefit, after all, to keep us thinking that the little girl in "Day of the Moon" is Amy's daughter and is somehow a Time Lady. But that could just as easily NOT be true, and she could be something else entirely. Wouldn't surprise me on a show like this.

Lizzibabe @19 - if the Flesh can mimic all biological functions, as well as clothes, why couldn't it replicate biological functions like regeneration? ESPECIALLY with The Doctor going in to "help it along." But also, this could tie in to the possibility that The Doctor we saw die in "The Impossible Astronaut" was actually the Ganger Doctor. River says that the Doctor got shot "before he could regenerate", but what if he never could?

(though, someone who has it saved look back at that scene and remind me...when he's first shot, do we see that gold regeneration stuff start coming from his hands? I forget)

DN10 @17 - well, just because something is obvious doesn't mean it's a bad thing. I mean, having The Doctor die in episode one of the season...it's impossible not to know that SOMETHING is up. Whether it's a clone, or a robot, or some kind of a weird time thing...you know it's going to be resolved, and The Doctor is going to remain. :) Doesn't make the ride any less fun.

That said, I like where you're going! Yes, we NEED to get to Silver Eye, pronto. The suspense with that is KILLING me.
Ursula L
26. Ursula
Teresa - regarding the pregnancy - Amy might be ignoring a pregnancy, or not aware of a pregnancy, or not pregnant. The problem is, the Doctor isn't talking to her, isn't recognizing her as the person who has the most direct experience of any pregnancy.

The TARDIS scanner isn't clear about whether Amy is pregnant or not. There might be something timey-whimy going on. But it may also be that the TARDIS isn't particularly suited to diagnosing human pregnancy. (Why should it be? It's isn't designed/didn't evolve to deal with humans.)

The Doctor has one piece of information - that the TARDIS can't determine whether or not Amy is pregnant.

But there is other information that would help figure out the situation. What has Amy's cycle been like for the past few months, from her perspective? When she was in linear time, being chased around by Canton? When she was in the TARDIS, traveling through time? Has she noticed any other physical changes associated with pregnancy? Has Rory, her husband who loves her, pays close attention to her, and who has medical training, noticed anything? Have Amy and Rory been trying to have a child, or have they been using birth control, and if so, what type of birth control, and would it be affected by their time-traveling? (Such as birth control pills being needed to be taken at the same time every day, but that being difficult because time travel confuses one's sense of what time of day it is.) What would a proper, physical, gynecological exam of Amy by a trained midwife or ob/gyn show?

It's the stupid sitcom problem of there being a straightforward issue that is allowed to grow out of control because people jump to conclusions and don't talk to each other or ask the most basic questions.

Waiting and wondering is a pretty dangerous course for the Doctor to choose. Physically, it might not be a huge deal for a woman to switch between being not-pregnant and a few weeks pregnant. But by this point, Amy, if pregnant, must be at least four months pregnant, if not more. (Figure one month pregnant when she tells the Doctor she's pregnant at the end of episode one, then three months of being chased about by CED3 between episodes 1 and 2, before she tells the Doctor she wasn't pregnant. Plus all the events of the subsequent episodes.)

Physically, there are a lot of differences between being not-pregnant and four months pregnant, in terms of hormones and other physical changes in one's body. What does it do to Amy, physically, to be in an ambiguous state between not-pregnant and four-months-pregnant, and how much worse will it get when it is six, seven or eight months pregnant? Between in-labor-on-the-verge-of-giving-birth and not-pregnant?

There is clearly an issue about whether or not Amy is pregnant that is a fairly important plot point. But by limiting it to the Doctor looking at the TARDIS scanner and not saying anything, rather than creating suspense, they're merely making the Doctor look foolish and having the Doctor treat Amy like a child or lab rat rather than an adult human facing a life-changing problem that she needs to know about and deal with.
Jenny Thrash
27. Sihaya
Ursula @#26 - Well, I think that there is a strong possibility that Amy is conscious and dreaming somewhere for a few reasons. One is the nature of dreaming while pregnant. Dreaming that you're talking to your adult or adolescent child is a pretty common one (one that I've had), and so is simply dreaming, most of the time, that you're not pregnant. If Amy is sleeping, then the Doctor is probably treating her like a sleepwalker. Since reality may alter the moment he tells her she's dreaming, or since saying, "Amy wake up!" may cause the whole universe as he's aware of it to go *pop* like a soap bubble, he's trying to find out *if* he should inform her, and *what* he should inform her. I'll put it this way - if leaving Amy uninformed is an error, it's one he can always take back. If informing her is wrong, though, then he can't fix it once it's done.

But I will buy into your notion that it all gets a bit sitcommy. Amy is seeing things, and she's not telling anyone. She and Rory know a secret that they're not telling the Doctor. River knows a million things that she tells no one, though she gets to generally say, "Spoilers," and the Doctor knows that something may or may not be up with Amy, but he's not talking, and the audience all knows that at some point in the season, everyone will discover that everyone else is holding out, and the Doctor will say, "Of course, how could I be so dense!" or "Humans, you're all so arrogant," before he fixes everything or tells some poor s.o.b. that he's sorry, or both. The show does have a formula, and it does follow the TV tropes. I just love it anyway.
Michael Poteet
28. MikePoteet
If the Doctor who dies in "Impossible Astronaut" was (is? will be?) the Ganger Doctor, that would invalidate Canton's statement, "That is most definitely the Doctor, and he is most definitely dead." Not saying this can't be the case; but Canton's line is one piece of evidence to the contrary that I have not seen dealt with yet online. Canton's whole story seems unfinished, actually -- the Doctor "invited him to his wake" as one of his four most trusted BFFs ever simply because of the events of the season premiere? I think there must be more to it than that, even if neither Sheppard nor Shepard get to come back.
Steven Halter
29. stevenhalter
MikePoteet@28:Of course Canton could be mistaken or lying. Yes, it does seem odd that Canton gets a blue envelope. There must be quite a bit more story there.
There are pleanty of other possibilities. If dead Doctor is flesh, then since it could be an old flesh duplicate it could in a sense really be the Doctor.
Or, flesh may have nothing to do with it and it is some sort of timey-whimey thing.
Makarra
30. Makarra
Ursula @ 26 - I agree that things are getting rather contrived but....well. Having just finished a rewatch of most of the Tennet ones, this is not a new trend in Dr. Who. Which does not, admittedly, forgive the practice. I just cannot get wound up about it.

Now, that said, there's a few things that can factor in--it is, frankly, easy to miss/dismiss being pregnant (seriously--I didn't realize till almost 3 months along I was it can happen) and people do that all the time. But that's both a cop out and silly. The Doctor, I think, doesn't trust Amy and her motivations, I personally think. Stemming from the "Impossible Astronaut", he has questioned her being under duress and being forced by someone to not tell him what's going on--and perhaps, despite her 'fish fingers and custard' promise, this is influencing his thoughts on the matter.

Or maybe they're just being lazy writers!
Ursula L
31. Ursula
Some of the secrets being kept make sense. The Doctor not talking to Amy about her pregnancy strikes me as being a different kind of secret than the other secrets being kept.

River keeps "spoilers" from the Doctor because it seems to be an agreement that she and the future Doctor made about how they'd interact. It respects their relationship, by allowing each of them to experience each encounter on their own terms, without second-guessing if they are doing the things they were told they would do. River is honest about her secrets - when the Doctor asks a question she can't answer, she says "Spoilers" letting him know that she's keeping a secret according to their agreement. The Doctor is also staring to keep "spoilers" from River, not talking about things she hasn't experienced yet. She isn't pushing the issue and asking questions, but a future younger version of herself might.

River, Rory and Amy are keeping the secret of the Doctor's death from the Doctor because they're concerned about creating a paradox, based on what River says he's taught her about how these things work. Rory and Amy seem to trust River on this issue, or at least enough to err on the side of caution. I'm not sure if they're right to trust River on this matter, but as Rory pointed out, the last time the Doctor was interacting with his past, the universe did blow up. They've been honest that they're keeping a secret, with Amy swearing on fish fingers and custard that they need his help and can't tell him why.

I'm not sure if Amy is remembering eye-patch lady, or if she is forgotten, like the Silence. If she is forgetting, Amy doesn't have her red-dot recorder in her hand any more, and has no good way of telling herself what she needs to remember. What she is seeing is something that she's only caught a glimpse of three times, that promptly disappears, and that she's seen at times when she's not really focusing on it - when she's looking for the Silence in the orphanage, when she's woken from a sound sleep on the ship, and when she's worried about Rory and the Gangers. It's the "corner of your eye" phenomenon, where you think you've seen something, but can't be sure.

With the pregnancy, on the other hand, the Doctor has been repeatedly and deliberately checking the scanner and examining Amy, medically, without her knowledge or consent. He's been doing so at times when he could easily talk to her about what he's doing, when they're all on the TARDIS and not busy with anything else. And he's keeping this secret from her knowing that she's aware of the possibility of the pregnancy and concerned that their adventures and travels might affect the safety of any pregnancy she might have. And the Doctor is not telling Amy that he's keeping a secret from her, in the way that River says "Spoilers" to be clear that she knows something but can't say. We have no evidence that he's keeping a secret because there is a danger to telling Amy that he's worried about her, in the way that Amy, Rory and River are afraid that telling the Doctor about his death will cause a dangerous paradox.

The Doctor has already talked to both Amy and Rory about the possibility of Amy being pregnant and what effect their traveling might have. Keeping this secret, now, makes little sense, except as a petty revenge because he knows that Amy, Rory and River are keeping something from him because they're concerned about spoilers and paradox.
Ben H
32. dripgrind
As a transwoman, I'm disgusted at the patriarchal attitudes on display as a team of male writers repeatedly probe Amy's body without even asking her consent. It's a form of rape IMO. What if the TARDIS scan has deadly side-effects like the medical-industrial complex's sonograms and vaccines?

Unless they devote the majority of the next episode to Amy's visit to a gynaecologist, I will be forced to stop watching this show.
Michael Ikeda
33. mikeda
Ursula@31

My thought is that the Doctor isn't thinking that he's keeping a secret from Amy. He's wondering if she's keeping (another) secret from him. And if she is, why she is.
narmitaj
34. Chiddler
Everyone is missing the obvious.

The Doctor decided to go and check out the Flesh factory after looking at Amy's on/off pregnancy test. Why? because the Amy in the TARDIS is a ganger avatar, operated from a harness a long way away by the real, kidnapped Amy, who has no idea she's even been taken. Amy's real body is pregnant, the copy isn't, but they are both Amy because a single consciousness 'drives' both.
Jenny Thrash
35. Sihaya
Hmm, maybe. BTW - Kudos to Doctor Who this season - I think they're finally going to explain the elusive definition of the phrase "kind of pregnant."
Ursula L
36. Ursula
Mikeda @ 33:

I can see the Doctor thinking that the phantom pregnancy might be related to the secrets Amy is keeping. She told him he had to follow the instructions to go to the Silence adventure, and he couldn't ask why. And she told him about the pregnancy as part of that adventure.

So the Doctor may feel bound not to ask questions, because Amy swore to him on fish fingers and custard that he couldn't, but the boundaries on just what he couldn't ask questions about aren't well defined, since such definition would probably give away some of the information that needs to be kept private.
narmitaj
37. Nenya
Thanks for bringing up Amy's pregnancy and the scans, Ursula. To me it smacks less of him not taking her seriously because she's a woman than of him not taking her seriously because he's a Time Lord Who Knows Better Than Everyone and she's just a human. It still has Unfortunate Implications, though.

I also had the thought about the Flesh perhaps being an early version of the Nestene/Autons. It's a good point that the latter were said to be plastic, not flesh, though. Hmm. I definitely feel Rory's bond with Jennifer is about shared experiences, though, and I really love that. (Though I am so incredibly sick of the love triangle or whatever it's meant to be with the Doctor/Amy/Rory. Honestly, writers? I'm bored. Either give us a 3-way or knock it off. So while I quite like Amy being the leader in their relationship, and them being "the Ponds", it was kind of nice to see Rory being the one to get a little attention. Even though I don't think the thing with Jennifer is necessarily romantic in nature. And I actually heard Rory's "Yeah, she is," as more of a "I like you, but I'm married" than anything else.)

Had not thought about future dead Doctor being a Ganger. I don't WANT the Doctor to be permanently dead, but at the same time it feels like a cop-out if he's not actually original!him. Anyway, I guess we will see, and I can't wait!
Andrés David Aparicio Alonso
38. adapar
The Flesh is present in "New Earth" and they are also alone and confused.
Jenny Thrash
39. Sihaya
adapar@#38: I thought they called those clones? But you may ne right. You know, I thought they looked like Cassandra, but I'm sorry I let the thought pass unheeded. It didn't even occur to me that Cassandra was Flesh, thus explaining her fashionable shapeshifting and her line in "The End of the World," that begins, "When I was a little boy..." If it's a retcon then it's a neat one that slots rather well into place. Cassandra may well believe she's more human than any other Earthling because the Flesh still maintains copies of the genomes of early humans, before they evolved a million ways from Sunday.
narmitaj
40. The Doctor
This kind of analysis is all a bit underwhelming. As Hitchcock always said, "It's only a movie." Relax, enjoy the show, and quit debating what is or isn't. All the answers will eventually be revealed, and if they aren't, well, then we can all cry foul, but it won't change a thing....

By the way, DW is nothing like BSG. Unless everything sci-fi is derivative. God forbid. ;-)
narmitaj
41. Johnny Burrows
Greetings fellow Whovians (though in the classic series days, we were called 'Who-ites' - according - if memory serves - to either the Doctor Who Technical Manual or one of the annual albums).

I too thought the Doctor who died was the flesh / ganger version and I was just Google-ing to see if anyone else had the same idea which led is what led me to this page.

At the first moment Doctor (11) began to regenerate, I wondered why his nose appeared so strange since that had not been the case with either Eccleston or Tennant during their regeneration sequences. When I saw the Rebel Flesh story, I saw the same nose on ganger-Doc so it certainly does seem a big clue just as there was the musical clue during the Storm Cage kiss between River and the Doctor that the girl in 1969 regenerating was River - since the music played for both scenes was the same. (I'm a singer-songwriter, I notice these things).

Come the end of the flesh story, the Doctor told his ganger that the latter could survive the disaster which the story left off with so it makes sense that the ganger-Doc could return.

The oddities I see though are first, that if it is the ganger-Doc, then is it he who encountered 'Jim the fish' with River or does there remain a telepathic link with the Doctor for him to know or does there exist some other communication between the two Timelords and second, how did ganger-Doc manage to time-travel to 1969 - and why? Also, ganger-Doc would have to hitch a ride in the TARDIS if he was to stabilise like the other gangers, so if he is not stable like they are, how is it he began to regenerate like a fully fledged Timelord would instead of simply dying like any other ganger would?

I too was glad to see Rory in that new light. The only other bit of gritty acting he's had to do was when he was aged and dark and feeling betrayed by Amy (if indeed that was really Rory and not just a mental trick played on Amy). Hmmm... Could Rory have been replaced too during that separation? If so, it would be a great way to have River found guilty of killing, 'the best man ever knew.' I hope real Rory doesn't die AGAIN as he's really grown on me and the poor chap's had more than his fair share of deaths already.

Am SO hanging out for the remainder of the series! I think Matt Smith is doing a brilliant job. I was so sure he would when he was revealed as the actor to take over the role, like Moffatt, I was instantly taken by his hair and long, spindly fingers and those soulful eyes. Tom Baker may always be 'my' Doctor but Matt Smith is the first to rival him in my humble opinion.

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