I know, Amy. I know. Me, too.
Apologies for not getting this review up yesterday. I was kept from doing so because, among other things, seeing the episode made my brain explode, and I had trouble scooping it back into my skull. I’m fine now.
“The Almost People” was the second part of the ganger story started in the previous episode, “The Rebel Flesh.” At first, it seemed like a mediocre episode. I was watching it, and the story was all right, but it wasn’t doing anything spectacular for me. That is, until the last five minutes wherein I realized that the entire two-part story was one long lead-up to figuring out what was the matter with Amy.
And something is very much the matter!
“The Almost People” begins with the Ganger Doctor wrapping himself around The Doctor’s more complex physiology and memories, and the Doctor insisting that his ganger be allowed to help the humans. The gangers, under the fierce leadership of Ganger Jennifer, decide that the only way to ensure their survival is to revolt against the humans—not just here, but all gangers in every place in the world where they exist. The humans, meanwhile, devise a plan where they reach out to the mainland and send for help to pick them up, while leaving the gangers behind to be destroyed along with the facility. The gangers trap them, however, through the misguided but well-intentioned help of Rory, who is opposed to the way the gangers are discarded, but doesn’t realize that Ganger Jennifer has killed Human Jennifer until it’s too late.
Eventually, Ganger Jennifer goes completely insane, while the other gangers help the humans, realizing that they don’t want to be a part of a revolution. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that while Amy was sure that she knew “her” Doctor, and was at first suspicious, then begrudgingly accepting of Ganger Doctor, the Doctors had switched their tell-tale shoes, so the one that she’d been defending as the “real” Doctor was actually the ganger the entire time. And as the one surviving human and one of the surviving gangers are brought home to tell the world of the injustice done to gangers, you think that the reveal of the real Doctor was the only twist ending there could be.
Because the entire reason for the Doctor having gone to this monastery in the first place, the reason why he knew so much about the gangers, and the reason why the TARDIS has been having trouble figuring out if Amy is pregnant is because Amy isn’t human.
SHE’S BEEN A GANGER THE ENTIRE SEASON!
This episode is yet another two-parter that works better when you watch it all at once, or at least in quick succession, which just makes me upset that BBC America aired them two weeks apart! After all, any self-respecting Whovian would find a way to watch/DVR it, Memorial Day or no Memorial day! I’m sure many did.
In any case, on their own, “The Rebel Flesh” and “The Almost People” are okay episodes. Solid, but not particularly great. Watched together, they become an amazing, intricate set-up not just of the future of this season, but of context for everything we’ve watched before. Writer Matthew Graham has done an excellent job constructing this very important piece in the Series 6 puzzle, and most of it hung on Matt Smith’s wonderful performance. Going back and watching his face, knowing what he knows, it’s clear what nuanced, specific choices he was making in every moment (in addition to his fabulous Tom Baker impression).
And now, we are left with delicious questions! How long has Amy been pregnant in a creepy white tube? My guess is that she’s been a ganger since “Day of the Moon,” when she first started seeing Silver Eye, and when we know that Team TARDIS spent a 3 month stint in Utah that we don’t know much about. Whose baby is it? I would guess (and hope, and pray) it’s Rory’s, but as Amy was told that she would “bring the Silence,” it could be up in the air! Who put her in the tube and attached her to a ganger? Again, the Silence are a prime suspect, but what does Silver Eye have to do with it? Is she in charge, or is she working for someone else?
“The Almost People” ended with the most unnecessary To. Be. Continued. ever! Yes, we KNOW there’s more story here, and I, for one, can’t wait to watch!
Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 9PM ET on BBC America.
Teresa Jusino wouldn’t mind being locked in a TARDIS with two Doctors. 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.