Doctor Who, “The Rebel Flesh” (6.05)

The Doctor meets another Doctor. Reluctantly… Wait. Have we been here before? Read the review after the jump…

“Oh great. You see, that is so typically me.” – Cleaves’ ganger

How’s the Doctor?

Seriously? He decides to touch the living flesh thing? Clearly, something was going to go wrong and it certainly did. Now we have a Doctor ganger! But that twist is going to be explored in the next episode.

As for the genuine article, it seems as if the Doctor knows more about the Flesh than he’s willing to tell. Often that means his knowledge is from the future. I’m willing to bet what happens here or at least what will happen to the Flesh is tied to Humanity’s future. I say its some kind of time-locked event that the Doctor is either trying desperately to have happen or trying desperately to avoid.

How’s Rory?

Finally! Rory get’s a good episode. He ends up being pretty much the only person on the Doctor’s “The gangers are people like us” train. Despite getting attacked by Jen’s ganger, he befriends her and decides to protect her. He even stops Cleaves from causing any more trouble with the zapping device. And even more so, he risks his life to run off and find Jen (I believe the original one, this time. It gets hard to keep track after a while). This is the kind of Rory I want! It’s a shame, however, that Amy seems to do little in the episode.

How’s the Story?

What a clever, clever idea: a carbon copy who becomes sentient and believes they have all the right to life as the real thing. I will applaud that interesting concept and will be interested in seeing how that gets pushed ahead, especially now that the Doctor needs to deal with a ganger of his own.

I found the action a bit slow to start in this episode with a lot of set up and explaining of how things work. That said, it wasn’t as bad as last season’s non-Moffat written part 1 of two-parter “The Hungry Earth.” Its issues with setting up action were much more chronic. Plus, this episode has the advantage of being inherently more psychological than action-oriented, since it dealt with the troubles of suddenly remembering a life you never lived.

Other things:

  • I do believe that was Muse playing in the TARDIS at the start of the episode. Nice choice!
  • Slot-in-Wall-One-Eyed-Lady returned… and did nothing. Not much at all, really, on the series’ mysteries. I’m going to need to wait for the mid-series finale, aren’t I?
  • Those acid suits look real flimsy. I can get why they only let the gangers do the dangerous work.

In Conclusion

This episode lacks the heart of the last two and the sheer shock of the first two. Admittedly, it is a two-part story and the setup convinces me that good stuff might be coming and might enhance this story as a whole. Still, this episode wasn’t bad but it could have been better. At least Rory finally became a capable member of Team TARDIS once again.


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