Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E05 – The Rebel Flesh

In the fifth episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who, a solar tsunami sends the TARDIS to Earth during the 22nd Century, where a group of humans have found a method to use matter to “program” living humans, and then everything is either really confusing or really creepy. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Well, that was fucking weird, wasn’t it?

First off, it must be said that I was so incredibly excited to see Marshall Lancaster’s face in a Doctor Who episode and then, just minutes later, see Matthew Graham’s name attached to the writing credit. Not too long ago, I decided to binge through Life On Mars along with my friend Jessica, who had seen the show many times and knew I’d enjoy. Actually, hell, this is how awesome of a friend she is: She made sure that I watched the original episodes as they aired so that they included the proper songs that were initially intended to air, instead of the newer version that replaces many of the songs. (THIS MATTERS, FYI, IF YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH THIS SHOW.)

Now, I’m not setting this up as some sort of piece about how much I loved Life on Mars and how much I was disappointed by this episode, as that’s not the case at all. But I am still about confused about how I feel in general. However, after sleeping on the story, I think I’m able to express what I’m feeling about “The Rebel Flesh” a lot better than the incoherent thoughts that ran through my brain all night. It’s important that I bring up Life on Mars, too, as it relates to this episode (and probably the next one) a lot more than people might think.

I’m not going to discuss any of the details or even the premise on Life On Mars because the surprise and shock that comes from learning even the most basic ideas about the show are so wonderful that I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else. (Please, please, please do not ruin it for anyone else in the comments, either. If you’d like to discuss the show, start off your comment with LIFE ON MARS SPOILERS BELOW so that you can warn those that will inevitably start watching this series because IT IS A REQUIREMENT TO LIFE. Thanks!) I did want to say that what saved this episode for being an eerie but ultimately listless episode was Matthew Graham’s injection of morality (and how it relates to our perceptions of reality and identity) into the script.

For a show that is about a man who can travel through space and time, sometimes I feel like the Doctor spends too much time on Earth, but it was nice that this time, it was well enough into the future that it all felt like a show about time travel. In addition to that, the cold open is just flat-out disorienting, and the way that information unfolded throughout “The Rebel Flesh” gave the story an odd, disconcerting pace and tension. I simply could not understand why no one was upset that someone just got dropped into a tub of acid, as Jimmy was far more upset that they lost an acid suit than the fact that Buzzer just died. What.

The concept of “The Rebel Flesh” is an interesting one indeed, as I initially believed two things would be revealed:

  1. At first, I thought this would be an episode about clones, and it’s not. By definition, they’re not technically clones, are they?
  2. I then guessed that the liquid matter stuff would be revealed as the Nestene Consciousness, which we hadn’t seen since “Rose” and that would have been exciting.

I was wrong about a lot of my guesses, and the dynamic of this particular story got really fucking weird incredibly fast. As the Doctor, Amy, and Rory land on this particular little island that’s housing all that acid, it seemed pretty clear that the issue that this episode would focus on would have more to do with the solar tsunami than anything else. Well, that changed as soon as Amy realized they were standing in a room with doubles of the very people that they were talking to. That’s interesting to me because I did not expect any of these people to be so aware of what was going on. I thought the “copying” would have been this malicious thing, done against the will of those in the harnesses, except YEAH. NOT RIGHT AT ALL.

I told you this was going to be strange, didn’t I?

It’s not that unfamiliar of a theme for Doctor Who, in hindsight, of humans using technology that they barely understand and certainly cannot completely control. We’ve seen it plenty of times before. (My brain immediately goes to “42” as an example and, while I love Matt Smith forever and ever, it doesn’t make me miss David Tennant just a little bit.) We’ve also seen the idea of a civil war, too. (“The Doctor’s Daughter,” for one.) So I don’t want this review to paint “The Rebel Flesh” as some ~unique special snowflake~ of an episode that is perfect and does nothing wrong and is better than “The Doctor’s Wife” (IMPOSSIBLE FOREVER oh god I watched it for the FIFTH TIME on Saturday what is my life). This is territory we’ve seen before, but Matthew Graham does a few things here that make this such a strange and different episode than what we’ve seen before.



Part of that is due to a few things. First, the “almost people,” as the Doctor refers to them, can move their bodies in ways we can’t. I thought Jennifer’s scene in the bathroom with Rory was a bit too over the top for my tastes (and yes, her head with an extended neck was way too weird), but the concept still felt so eerie to me. Seriously, she could extend her neck like Stretch Armstrong. I kind of don’t want to see what else they can do.

On top of that, a lot of the tension and fear comes from the fact that until the end, you literally cannot tell the difference between a Ganger and their original. I’ll bring up the concept of identity in a bit, but that is a terrifying idea to me. How do you know who you’re talking to? How can you trust a person? This is used beautifully a few times. For example, the first time when you realize there are other people in that castle (when the Dusty Springfield song starts playing in another room) is sufficiently horrifying. Then the Doctor does that brilliant thing with the heated plated and Cleaves and UGH THAT IS SO FUCKING CREEPY.

But there’s another aspect to this scene that must be discussed. WE WILL GET TO IT, WHOVIANS!


Sorry, they’re not. They are the most confusing villains I’ve ever seen because, by their very nature, they are not villains and they are not really antagonists. If Matthew Graham had written this episode and not included the crucial detail that the original people had transferred their entire memories and experiences and thoughts, I absolutely would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. That detail is pivotal to how this episode starts off with a bunch of familiar tropes and then dismantles them all. And then everything is so confusing and uncomfortable.


Finally! Right???? I love that, despite making a few mistakes with the Jennifer ganger the second time, he takes the same side as the Doctor, but entirely independent of the Doctor. We’ve seen Rory’s constant reluctance to get involved, and I think it’s not said enough that his strong moral center is what keeps him so grounded. His interactions with Jennifer are a sign that he feels something about the way the gangers are being spoken about is inherently wrong, that these are not people who are “experiments” or “mistakes,” as Real Cleaves refers to them near the end of the episode.

How that affects Amy and Rory is interesting, too, as Amy’s body language suggests that she’s not as certain as he is about what is the right thing to do in this situation. I think that Amy represents what a lot of us felt for the most part, that this incident is massively confusing, that some bits and pieces of what either side is doing are most certainly not moral actions, yet the whole idea of legitimate copies of people just makes our brains hurt. I hope that Graham’s not setting up Amy and Rory to choose opposite sides, though, because NOOOOOOOOOOO thank you.


And that is meant entirely as a compliment.

Utilizing the scene I referenced earlier, the Doctor is the first to purport the idea that the Gangers are not to be feared, that these are not mere clones or baseless copies of humans. The liquid flesh, that vat of programmable matter, is producing real humans, with real experiences and thoughts and desires and that to destroy them is to kill another human being. As I said before, that small detail makes all the difference to the story. Without it, it’s an episode we’ve seen before, at least in terms of archetypes and narratives that have already been told.

This relates directly to Life On Mars, which, at heart, is a show about identity and our perception of it. In “The Rebel Flesh,” there’s a deep philosophical question running throughout the plotting and twists and dramatic turns: Are the gangers real people? If they have a fully-formed identity, even if it is identical to that of the orignal source it was copied from, does that make them a person, too? If so, then how the hell do the two of those exist alongside each other?

What I’m drawn to in this story is the fact that I can not discern even the slightest answer from the question posed to us. I feel that Cleaves was wrong to kill ganger Buzzer, and the Doctor was correct to assert that she essentially just ruined everything for all of the “humans.” But at the same time, I feel just as conflicted as Amy does here: If we accept the gangers as real people, then how the hell can they coexist?

Ganger Jimmy’s recollection of his son’s birth is just another twist in an already-complicated situation, and it’s that scene that made me realize what sort of story that Matthew Graham had given us. Both Ganger Jimmy and Real Jimmy had genuine memories of their son, yet there’s only one son. It’s not as simple as sending the “real” Jimmy home and allowing the Ganger to live on the island. Emotionally, that would have the same effect as if they switched places: one of the men would feel heartbroken and trapped.

Even at the end, Graham totally fucks with the Doctor’s certainty, as the Doctor was the most adamant about reaching some sort of agreement between the two groups. Now, how I missed the fact that the Doctor had touched the liquid flesh and that the flesh had said, “Trust me,” before the final reveal is beyond me, but I was genuinely surprised that a Ganger Doctor appeared, and then, in hindsight, realized that I had to be the worst television-watcher ever not to catch the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS SIGNS.

Still, the point stands: How the hell is the Doctor going to continue to maintain his position if there’s also another Doctor that is probably very much a living Time Lord as well?

I’m confused. And I have to say that that is a very refreshing feeling.


  • So, including “Journey’s End,” this will now be the second time that there are two of the same Doctor in one episode, right? Has this happened in any other way before? (You can answer that.)
  • Dear all future Doctor Who writers: Stop having the Doctor climb to the top of a tower during a storm. Seriously, please ban that concept from all future episodes.
  • Does anything count as Rory nearly dying in this episode? I’ll accept any stretch of logic just to insist that Rory dies in every episode ever.
  • So I wasn’t bothered by Muse appearing in the cold open, but then I remembered that they have a song whose intro sounds just like the show’s theme. Is it just me or does that one song totally sound like the Doctor Who theme? (I don’t know the name of the song, as I don’t own that Muse record.)
  • So, science nerds, do most types of acid actually operate in the manner shown here? I can’t remember ten years ago when I took Chemistry and we spoke about acidic compounds at length, but I seem to remember that acid didn’t actually eat away matter in the way it is shown here. PLEASE EDUCATE. omg acidsplain this to me.
  • who the fuck is that woman with the eyepatch. I just feel like Moffat is just teasing us for some sadistic joy at this point.
  • “For want of a better word: Ow.” I love you forever, Rory.
  • Sorry, must do this: CHRIS SKELTON <3<3<3<3<3<3
  • Ok, so this is one of those episodes that I liked in my own nerdy way, but I honestly don’t feel like I should defend it to anyone. Like….if every comment below this was like, “MEH WASTE OF AN EPISODE” or “YAWN,” I wouldn’t try to convince anyone otherwise.
  • “My mom’s a massive fan of Dusty Springfield.” “Who isn’t?”
  • Ok, so…can the TARDIS not be eaten by acid, but the Doctor’s shoes can? I suppose this isn’t that important, because it does give us the wonderfully awkward moment when the Gangers and the original people are in the same room and the Doctor insists on asking if anyone has a size ten shoe for him to wear. Bless.
  • Why does Dicken keep sneezing?
  • “I thought I was going to die.” “Welcome to my world.” Are the writers far more aware of Rory’s constant dying than we give them credit for???

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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343 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E05 – The Rebel Flesh

  1. xpanasonicyouthx says:


    Apparently WordPress resorted to an earlier draft? HATE

    oh god someone please tell me they totally noticed why Rory would relate to Jennifer.

    • keepthepunkrock says:


    • Meg says:

      I did! And they better discuss that more in the next episode. PLEASE MOFF. PLEASE.

    • Aimee says:

      I DID!!

    • Nomie says:

      Yes! I think a number of people mentioned it during the liveblog.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Oooh, the cracks are back? 😛

    • ShayzGirl says:

      Totally did. Made me love Rory even more.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      I didn't until I read the comments on the liveblog post.

    • tehrevel says:

      Because he was plastic for about 2000 years? Also because he's a very nice young man

      • Eric says:


        I noticed too, actually.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I like reason #2 more? I mean he seriously is like the nicest young man on all of television right now

          god i could write a billion words about how much i am rory pond

          • trash_addict says:

            Even though he wasn't *killed* this episode the whole time I was just thinking 'Moff can we please stop killing Rory/putting him in peril because really I have grown rather fond of him'.

            • Stuart says:

              I think this episode was like the episode of South Park where kenny keeps climbing up ladders above shark tanks and walking out into traffic and things and then climbing back down perfectly safely and making it to the other side of the street just fine and stuff.

              I think the writers were very deliberately putting Rory in all kinds of peril knowing that everyone watching would be "oh geez, here we go again, this is where Rory dies…"

              Just to fuck with us.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      I thought it was odd you hadn't mentioned it.

      Yes, I noticed – and appreciated them not feeling they had to be explicit about it (of course that could change next week).

    • doesntsparkle says:

      That was my favorite part of the episode. It's great that it was subtle and they let the audience figure it out for ourselves. It was like the opposite of the Star Whale/Doctor metaphor from last season.

    • psycicflower says:

      Chiming in with everyone else but yes, I noticed too. Love you Rory.

    • hernana says:

      I think they couldn't mention Rory's time as a Nestene duplicate outright because there's going to be a dramatic! reveal! next episode, and mentioning the Nestene conciousness this early would ruin it.

      But that was some beautifully subtle acting from Rory there.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        Yes! Arthur Dravil is a really good actor, even if he losing a lot of credit to Matt Smith.

    • Karen says:

      Because he was an Auton for 2000 years.

      Also because he is Rory and thus FABULOUS.

    • Burnie says:

      Definitely did! I didn't understand how the Doctor FORGOT about Rory (again), but that's probably just me.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Yes!! Being an Auton for 2000 years would give him some sympathy towards people who just climbed out of a vat.

    • Claire says:

      BECAUSE HE WAS MADE OF PLASTIC FOR 2000 YEARS and omg just thinking about that made me depressed all over again :'c

  2. arctic_hare says:

    Thoughts I recorded while watching:


    – A guy in what looks like a weird spacesuit is named… Buzz? TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

    – What. The. Fuck.

    please be better than Fear Her please be better than Fear Her please be better than Fear Her

    – Muse?! o_O Uh, could this be giving me something better to associate that particular song with than the vampire baseball scene in the Twilight movie (before you ask, people, OF COURSE I SAW IT WITH THE RIFFTRAX ON. Only way I could've stomached it. I mean, I have a pretty good tolerance for bad movies from years of watching MST3k, but there's only so much I can take, and Twilight unriffed runs screaming over that line)? I mean, okay, it already is, by virtue of NOT BEING TWILIGHT, but it's still jarring. I like the band, sure, but it's WEIRD hearing them here.

    – Is that a snowglobe? That he keeps in his pocket? Love you, Eleven. <3

    – Can't resist poking everything you see, can you, Doctor?



    – "Welcome to my world." LOL RORY BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL.

    – A house of cards HMMM HOW SYMBOLIC.

    – wtf ew


    – lol what. She couldn't feel how hot it was… now I'm flashing back to a scene in Tales of Symphonia.


    – well, Rory would know what it feels like to feel real but not really be the "real" one. Though in this particular case, I'd lean towards using the word "original" over "real".

    – yeah no I'm not waiting two weeks. Less than legal methods it is.

    Overall, I enjoyed it, WE CAN BE THE ODD PEOPLE OUT TOGETHER, MARK. <3 Because I found interesting for the same reasons you did.

    • Stephen_M says:

      See my problem with this episode is… I haven't made it past the bathroom scene yet owing to the serious "The Thing but with moral ambiguity" vibe being incredibly disturbing! But up to this point I'm with you and Mark. Very very interesting though it must be said incredibly dark for Saturday evening telly.

    • empath_eia says:

      I also had the same flashback to Tales of Symphonia, and then spent a few minutes thinking about how I would make a crossover work if I decided to write one before realizing that was a bit insane.

    • giishu says:

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets vampire baseball flashbacks with that Muse tune.

      Don't get me wrong, I find vampire baseball very entertaining just because how stupid the idea is (SO IS THERE VAMPIRE HOCKEY IN CANADA?! SURELY THERE MUST BE! SKATING VAMPIRES! WOO!). It's just a bit odd to find that in my Doctor Who.

      And I liked this episode too. (:

    • widerspruch says:

      OMG I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE XD That bit with the hot thing was so like what happened to Colette.

    • Hyatt says:

      Yay other people flashed back to ToS (except the Doctor didn't draw it out as long as Lloyd).

      Also flashed back to DS9 (Gangers look an awful lot like Odo) and Futurama ("Now now, perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.")

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      I avoid the Twilight association very simply; there is a very good Avatar; The Last Airbender music video with Super Massive Black Hole as the music, and now I think it as merely a part of ATLA.

      (If you want to search it, its called 'Avatar in seven simple rules')

    • trash_addict says:


      I do my own Rifftrax.

      But that song is unfortunately ruined forever.

    • Jacinta says:

      I also could not stomach Twilight without the Rifftrax. Once, I was on an airplane for 14 hours and it was available to watch, and I tried, and I found staring into space a better use of my time.

    • rumantic says:

      I'm really insulted to hear that Twilight used that Muse song in the film. HOW DARE THEY AGREE TO THAT? >:(

      But it's redeemed by being used in Doctor Who I guess. 🙂

      I liked this episode too. It was standard-level (ie "Good") Who, to me. I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to part two.

      • notemily says:


        I assume they, like the rest of us, enjoy having money.

        I kind of love how obviously they hate the whole Twilight thing though. Hordes of Twilight fans showing up at their performances…

  3. Randomcheeses says:

    Hmm. Interesting. When I first watched this episode I found it a bit underwhelming, but now I'm tempted to go back and rewatch it.

  4. Dragonsong12 says:

    Man yeah, I don't have much to say on this one – I don't think I'll really be able to judge it until I see the second half, because depending on how it goes, I could look back on this and think it's terrible (to me) or awesome (to me).

    All I can really say with certainty is that i spent the whole episode trying to guess how Rory would "die". I have a terrible feeling he's going to end up a ganger…but…would that be bad?…or wasn't he already?….or….or…yeah. Confused.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I guess I should preface this with THEORIES ABOUND even though it's crack, but ganger Jennifer was holding his hand a lot. Can there be a transference of personality even after the gangers have one? Maybe if they're in their more plastic, gooey state?

    • majere616 says:

      Jennifer will kill Rory in the next episode, calling it now.

  5. Sparkie says:

    This from the writer who gave us Fear Her…huh.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      This from the writer who gave us Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, more like.

      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        Yes. Fear Her does show it's last-minuteness and lack of budget quite a lot.

        And I'll still defend lots of bits of Fear Her as being really good. Lose the abuse storyline and get an actor to play the commentator and it would have been pretty good, if slight and still cheesy.

      • Eric says:

        Also Bonekickers. 😛

        But true, he’s not all bad.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          Oh god, flashbacks to watching that show.

          I had just about wiped it from my memory. 😛

    • who_cares86 says:

      According to a recent interview. Fear Her was meant for the kids. Yeah right even if that's the case that's no excuse for Rose and the Doctor to be completely unlikeable in it.

      • arctic_hare says:

        OH REALLY NOW. If that's true, it makes me really side-eye Graham pretty hard. Look, I'm sure LOM and A2A are good shows, but I hate the mindset that implies: that children's entertainment should be condescending to them, simplistic, cheesy, etc. It's why I want to smack the people I've seen wondering if this series of DW has been too dark/complex for kids to handle.

        • Tauriel_ says:

          Fear Her was also a very rushed writing job with crappy budget. Combine that with a "for kids" mindset and you see the result.

          I'm sure it wouldn't have been that awful if it was a properly written episode with a decent budget.

          But it's really unfair towards Graham when some people "HATE HIM FOREVER AND EVER" just because of one crappy episode.

          • arctic_hare says:

            The specific kind of "for kids" mindset at work there is what bugs me, though. I'm not even a kid, nor do I have kids or plan to, but it nevertheless irritates the crap out me that so many adults don't give children enough credit for what they can actually handle.

            • Tauriel_ says:

              Oh, I totally agree with you there. I hate it when children's books/films/TV shows are being condescending towards kids and assume that kids are stupid.

            • Elexus Calcearius says:

              Very much agree. Furthermore, if you tell an adult that you enjoy something that's "for kids" (anything from an actual 'child' book or show to an entire media, yes I'm looking at you, animation) they look down on you. It isn't like when you like one thing another person likes, and you agree to disagree. They actively judge your enjoyment of it.

            • Minish says:


              I actually wrote an essay for my English class about how much I hated how children's television treated their viewers like morons.

        • who_cares86 says:

          Apparently kids did like it though. [shrug]

        • maccyAkaMatthew says:

          Here's the interview, for context:

          So it looks like the intention was to provide some light relief before the finale. How anyone thought that child abuse would be a good fit with that escapes me, but I don't think there was anything inherently wrong about the idea of doing a "playground romp" at that point in the series.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Doing something lighter before the finale isn't a bad idea at all; it just needs to be a good episode. Like The Lodger. 😀

      • Karen says:

        Wait. What? The Doctor and Rose being adorable is the only thing that makes "Fear Her" watchable!

        • arctic_hare says:

          Not everyone has the same reaction to such things, though; I remember with the show Pushing Daisies, I thought so much of it in terms of dialogue, characters, moments, etc. was incredibly adorable, but I've seen criticisms that the show was overly "cutesy" and "twee". Like everything else, ymmv.

          • who_cares86 says:

            They're way out of character in that episode, just way too silly in it.

            • arctic_hare says:

              Yeah, I found them annoying in it too.

            • Kyle says:

              They were pretty silly with Queen Victoria, I thought.

              • who_cares86 says:

                Rose and 10 were always somewhat silly. But in Fear Her they were silly to the point where you can't take them seriously anymore.

              • arctic_hare says:

                They were awful in that episode, just so disrespectful and flippant towards what was going on. People are dying all around them, people are losing their loved ones, and their biggest concern is some inane bet/in-joke about the Queen? Bad form.

    • ffyona says:

      I don't want to sound snippy, but can't we just review this episode on its own merits? I'm probably just touchy because I'm a huge fan of his (Life on Maaaaaaaaaars) but I worry that people might judge this episode too harshly because of Fear Her.

      I mean, if someone thinks the Rebel Flesh is crap, that's cool, but at least let it be crap through its own lack of virtue. If that makes sense…

      • Sparkie says:

        I agree with you! My comment was saying that I was pleasantly surprised such a good episode was written by the same person as Fear Her. I was unaware he had written Life on Mars which I've heard is good, but never seen.

        • ffyona says:

          Oh I'm so sorry, I totally misinterpreted you. My bad.

          Life on Mars is awesome, totes recommended.

          • Sparkie says:

            Yeah, I need to watch it at some point, maybe when exams are over and I have limitless freetime!

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              Well, for the record, I am not shy about my "Fear Her" hate, yet I WORSHIP LIFE ON MARS and I rather enjoyed this episode!

              I actually did not at all remember that Graham wrote "Fear Her."

              • maccyAkaMatthew says:

                The Doctor scans Matthew Graham using the TARDIS "good writer" diagnostic and it flickers between "yes" and "no".

                You should try Bonekickers sometimes, its terrible but hilariously so (and suprisingly watchable for something that isn't very good).

                My, probably unfair and inaccurate, theory is that Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharaoh have their writing techniques shaped by writing for EastEnders and having to solve problems quickly often with a melodramatic flourish at the expense of something more considered. With something like EastEnders with its open ended structure and clear rootedness in the everyday this is less of a problem than at the high concept end of drama. If you set up a child abuse narrative like in Fear Her in East Enders even if you did it badly, it can still play out over many weeks and be redeemed. In Doctor Who you're never going to have more than 90 minutes to make it work.

                The template for the "mystery of the week" part of Life on Mars is The Sweeney and so the storytelling is pretty amenable to the direct approach (I'm going to call it "hack writing" but I don't mean that in derogatory way that it's usually used). That leaves a nice space for the ongoing mystery which where the alchemy happens. In Bonekickersa fairly similar approach, but without a familiar police procedural anchoring it, topples the whole project into absurdity. Which goes to show how fine the judgements are in these things.

                Also, Life on Mars did spend years in development, which takes me back to my suspicion of a habit of getting to an adequate story solution and sticking there rather than going back to the beginning. Maybe the success of Life on Mars has removed some useful pressure.

                Still, I think this one works well, at least so far.

                And just thinking aloud here. I like to niggle around the idea of how good writers can still produce bad stuff. There's an arrogant wannabe writer assumption that TV is full of bad writers and its all terribly unfair. My suspicion is that most of the people writing for TV are pretty talented and have demonstrated this in any number of unmade scripts, but that actually doing it is much harder than it looks.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  Yeah, even the best writers can still produce literary turds from time to time; and some writers are just wildly inconsistent.

            • Elexus Calcearius says:

              Finished my exams yesterday. It is a marvelous feeling. I urge you to continue, it will end soon!

  6. awildmiri says:

    Pffft, the writers are totally aware of the tropes they use. Moffat especially is all up in fandom and what fandom thinks – where's that picture of his twitter, where someone said "Will you stop killing Rory every week?? It's making me seriously worry for the fate of his character!" and he just said "No. Good." or something. The Moff is well aware.

    As for this episode, I always try to withhold judgement of a two-parter until the second part, so all I will say is: I love the What Measure Is A Non-Human trope, the Unstable/Unfinished Gangers were made of Uncanny Valley and pure creepy and I love it in a masochistic way, and also they looked kind of like Voldemort's kids.

  7. George says:

    I get the feeling there is something a lot deeper going on here, the way the Doctor acted sometimes made it seem like he almost meant to land there and it has something to do with Amy. I dunno, maybe I'm reading too much into it…

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      I don't know whether it has to do with Amy but the Doctor saying that "Almost People are coming" (or words to that effect) pretty strongly suggests he knew about the flesh and the gangers before arriving.

      • avada says:

        almost people makes me think of amys schroedinger baby. almost baby. they will call her maybe baby.

    • bradycardia says:

      No, I agree with you. There was definitely the suggestion that arriving here was intentional on his part.

  8. Shay_Guy says:

    There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one!

    Huh. Never seen that here before.

    in hindsight, realized that I had to be the worst television-watcher ever not to catch the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS SIGNS.

    Hey, it's part of the attraction here. 🙂

    Has this happened in any other way before?

    "The Impossible Astronaut"?

    Honestly, I enjoyed this episode less than "The Curse of the Black Spot." Seemed like a bit too much idiot-ball for my taste. The moral dilemmas? Can't see myself responding the same way, especially with the amount of science fiction I've read. "Wait, so there's really two of me now? …Huh. Weird. Could be problematic." And then once we were out of danger, the two of us would call our lawyer to figure things out, assuming we had one.

    Did give the line "Oh, that is just so typically me," though.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      And of course my comment ends up being #19. 😛 More thoughts:

      Here's hoping "The Almost People" is a bit meatier. I've heard not-so-good things about "The Hungry Earth," but "Cold Blood" had that ending.

      CompSci student that I am, I think I'd call human!me "me[0]" and ganger!me "me[1]".

    • Shiyiya says:

      Did give the line "Oh, that is just so typically me," though.

      I loved that line.

  9. who_cares86 says:

    "Dear all future Doctor Who writers: Stop having the Doctor climb to the top of a tower during a storm. Seriously, please ban that concept from all future episodes."

    This. Seriously it never looks convincing. Still credit has to be given for the Doctor to try and save the day (and fail) at the start of the episode rather than the end.

    Sadly there really isn't much to say about this episode. It exists, it's done well but it's been done before, the second Doctor does throw a spanner in the works for next week (or two weeks from now if you're american/canadian) so that's interesting.

    <img src=""&gt;

    And just because I love this image too much to only post it once:

    <img src=""&gt;

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Oh, I wasn't the only person totally having 'they're Changelings!' reactions to their makeup then? Hooray! 😀

      • who_cares86 says:

        I never really noticed either comparison. The voldemort thing came up pretty soon but only heard the Odo comparison later. Speaking about Odo. DEEP SPACE NINE: BEST TREK EVER.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          Y/Y/Y/Y (hopeless fangirl)

          The makeup especially reminded me of the bits in that show where he'd get all oozy looking. Or well, as established, I'm a hopeless DS9 fangirl so maybe I'll just draw comparisons to it on the flimsiest of reasons, hah.

      • Katarina says:

        One of my immediate reactions was "Oh, good, this could bring an excellent angle to a DW/DS9 crossover!"

    • Patrick721 says:

      Oh god Luna would be the best companion ever. MOFFAT, PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN. I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO PAY JKR.

      Make it so!

    • Openattheclose says:

      That's my dream TARDIS team right there. And Donna.

  10. Tauriel_ says:

    Mark, two questions:

    1. Are you ever going to post reviews of LOM? At least one review of the whole show… I know you've seen it and liked it, but I really enjoy your reviews, and I'm sure others would enjoy reading your thoughts on LOM, too. Pretty please? *makes puppy eyes*

    2. Have you seen Ashes to Ashes (sequel to LOM, containing Gene Hunt & co.)? Are you planning to watch it? 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Ashes to Ashes is FLAW FREE SHOW. Guh. I love it more than LoM. Alex Drake is just such a wonderful character. Mark really should watch it if he hasn't already.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Alex irritated me a LOT during her first series. For some reason, she reminded me of those self-insert Mary Sue characters from bad fanfiction who end up in a fictional world of their choice and strut around like a bunch of smug know-it-alls.

        But her character developed really well in Series 2 and especially 3 (except her hair. I HATE her Series 3 hair!), so I'm quite fond of her now. 🙂 But not as much as Sam Tyler, obviously! XD Because John Simm, duh…

    • Inseriousity. says:

      I was going to ask if he'd watched Ashes to Ashes as well! There's probably hundreds more posts asking the same thing but I actually read the comments first for once 😛

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I will watch Ashes to Ashes WHEN I HAVE TIME. oh god that is usually never BUT I WILL GET AROUND TO IT.

      I might throw some 'Life On Mars' love on my Tumblr!

  11. Meaghan says:

    I figured that Rory defending the Gangers was because of his 2000 years of being plastic. He understood that even though The Flesh is different, buy still human is from that.

    I do think this was really creepy and getting through to the weekend is going to be tough.

    And seriously, Mark; how did you miss the “Trust me…?”. Hehehehehehe…

    • Stuart says:

      I actually had assumed that the Doctor was already a ganger from the moment he woke up after the storm. I was slightly surprised and disappointed when the "trust me" voice happened, because it revealed there wasn't a Doctor ganger *yet* and that meant the writers were doing something much less expectation-subverty…

  12. NB2000 says:

    This episode…I dunno, I guess I'm in the "Nothing can follow The Doctor's Wife, NOTHING!" crowd. It wasn't a bad episode, I just didn't feel all that gripped by it. Rewatching didn't really help, besides me noticing a lot of minor details that don't make much sense (at least not to me, I'll get back to this in my self reply). I'm perfectly willing to rethink my position on this episode depending on how the second half turns out though.

    I'll admit the cold open wasn't as weird and confusing for me because I already knew some of the basics of the plot although it was fun to watch my friends freak out about why everyone was so chill about Buzzer's death (yes I'm awful like that). In a similar note I did giggle inappropriately at the Doctor's "'ee by by gum" line because I remembered how many people were confused by that line when it showed up in the trailers.

    I thought Jennifer’s scene in the bathroom with Rory was a bit too over the top for my tastes (and yes, her head with an extended neck was way too weird)

    The extended neck, and the brief flash from regular Jennifer to the Ganger face and back, felt a bit much. The lump of Flesh that fell into the sink on the other hand was really freaky. The Ganger prostethics in general were really good. The smootheness of the skin areas and the cracked eyes were really freaky.

    • NB2000 says:

      As I said, there's a lot of minor details that bugged me. a lot of them relating to the whole Ganger system. For instance: WHY isn't there some sort of lid on the big vat of Flesh? I'm assuming that stuff isn't cheap so having it out in the open like that seems incredibly risky. Besides the possibility of someone wandering along and sticking his hand in it (Doctor please say you've learned not to do that now!) what happens if someone knocks over the vat or drops something into it?

      The fact that the entire crew were operating their Gangers at the same time…surely you should have someone outside the system just in case there's a problem and you need to pull everyone else out? And wouldn't it be a good idea to have some sort of security around that room so people can't just wander in and out like Team TARDIS do? Am I overthinking a fictional system? Why yes I am.

      • Inseriousity. says:

        I've only watched it once but I'm sure they did lift a lid off (or it lifted off itself with some special computer button no-one can see :P) the vat of flesh the first time the doctor sees it. I imagine with ALL THE THINGS GOING ON, they didn't put it back on? 🙂

    • Eric says:

      The extended-neck thing was very Beetlejuice.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Yay, I'm not the only one who thought of that movie! 😀

      • NB2000 says:

        THAT'S what it was. I knew it reminded me of something but I was having a hard time placing where I knew it from.

    • NB2000 says:

      Okay one more minor point…well three, and then I'll stop. As creepy and cool as the Acid Suits looked (someone pointed out that they look a bit like cockroaches) I couldn't help but think the segmented visors were impractical. Yes they look interesting being lifted up and down but surely the overlapping sections must be difficult to see out of.

      I mentioned it in the Liveblog, I'm going to bring it up again: ENOUGH WITH THE PLAID AMY! Every. Freaking. Episode. Look I like plaid shirts as much as the next person but it's starting to feel like Amy has no other clothes with her.

      Ponds, I love you, but the TARDIS is not your living room! I know it was probably meant to be fun and homey but, coming after last week it just felt kind of disrespectful to me. She's a living being can you not leave clothes hanging everywhere?

      Okay I realise this is starting to outdo my Journey's End comment for complaints. I did genuinely like parts of it, although I kind of think the Confidential episode overshadowed it a little (Charlie the Badger! Why is this cast so cute?!). I cannot wait to see what happens with Ganger!Doctor, besides Matt having fun playing two versions of himself.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        Hhmmm, funny, I took them making the TARDIS more homey to actually show that they were bonding more with the TARDIS, like they were more comfortable. Kind of like how when you're in a distant friend's or relatives place you tip toe around their house, being really polite, but when its someone you're close with you flop on the sofas.

    • psycicflower says:

      Your first paragraph basically sums up how I feel about the episode, even after rewatching it as well. I really hope the second part changes my mind.

  13. Chels says:

    THEORY! but only a minor one!

    Is it possible that the programmable matter is not the Nestene Conciousness, but the START of the Autons?

    seeing as RTD Autons seem mildly different from Moffat Autons

    I’m not familiar with Old!Who do I don’t know…
    but since it can replicate real memories and emotions, etc. then is this where the Auton!Romans and Auton!Rory came from?

    • mkjcaylor says:

      I like this theory it is neat!

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      In Old Who and New the recurring idea is that the Nestene Consciousness can animate plastic – and with a human to maintain the copy (pre-Moffat) or, somehow, the memories (Moffat) can make an exact replica.

      It's still plastic, though, and it needs a Nestene to animate it (although Moffat stretches that a long way with Auton Rory – I think he throws some handwaving in there).

      So the Nestene is an alien and the Autons just its animated plastic slaves. Their origin is simply in the plastic forms that the Nestene animates. It seems unlikely that the flesh has any connection with Autons.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Thank you for this wonderful explanation.

      • Burnie says:

        So were the Sontarans using Nestene tech when they cloned Martha? Because the setup was nearly identical.

        • maccyAkaMatthew says:

          On a physical level there seem to be three separate ideas:

          Plastic – Autons
          "The Flesh" – Gangers (and "The Flesh" duplicates everything: including clothes and brain structure right down to memory, so an exact chemical copy of all matter associated with a person)
          Clones (ie genetically identical grown bodies) – Sontarans

          In the Nestene and Sontaran way of creating duplicates there's a controlling influence that takes the memories from the original and feeds them into the copy, while still controlling the will of the copy. In the Sontaran case this seems to be some gadgetry (Martha has a device attached to her head). With the Nestenes, it seems to be linked to the ability of the Consciousness to use thought control to read the mind of the original and manipulate the plastic of the copy, rather than an explicitly technological solution (we don't see any tech in Rose or Spearhead from Space). In both cases, the copying method is completely different and my hunch is that the method of transferring the memories and personality is different as well.

  14. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    My reaction to this was similar to yours, I really like it so far, mainly because of its oddness. A lot will depend on the next episode, though.

    Also, I don't especially care about stuff like really obvious cliffhangers or bad special effects.

    Off the top of my head, there are duplicate Doctors, of sorts, in Meglos and The Android Invasion. Also, he's a dead ringer for humans in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and The Enemy of the World (there's probably a convoluted fan theory to be made about all the Time Lords that look like someone else in the series). He also briefly sees himself from the future in a Pertwee story, but I can't remember which one (might be The Ambassadors of Death). Nothing like this, though.

    Incidentally, Mark, what are you going to do next week? Stick with the UK schedule and end up a week ahead of the US or take a week off, with maybe a classic story to fill the gap? Whichever you decide, it won't make a huge difference as the summer break comes along after episode seven, anyway.

  15. arctic_hare says:

    BTW, Mark, don't know if you've heard or not, but part two isn't on next week, they're delaying it a week in the US because of Memorial Day weekend.

    • pandalilies says:

      Last year's split broadcasting made it so hard to avoid spoilers.
      (Wasn't it a two week delay from brit to american showing?)
      I'm really worried because of this new delay. 🙁

    • Dragonsong12 says:

      So….would that mean an extra Avatar review?…or a Classic Who….or would Mark actually get to take some time off? (which I'd accept too, poor guy, entertaining us all the time…though I wouldn't mind if he gave us something either.)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:




      • arctic_hare says:




        • psycicflower says:

          There is something oddly pleasing to me about Americans pirating tv shows given how often I've had to do it over the years to stay on top of shows. Curse you international broadcast delays!

          • FlameRaven says:

            Honestly, I watch more British TV than American shows these days. o_O Doctor Who, Torchwood, Top Gear and now Sherlock… I think the only American show I'm following is Game of Thrones, and maaaaybe True Blood when it comes back, but I'm still not sure how I feel about what they did in Season 3.

          • FlameRaven says:

            Also, I would totally buy all the Doctor Who DVDs if they weren't like $50 a set. That's way too steep for 13 episodes. Maybe if the Confidentials came with them…

            • WingedFlight says:

              I thought the confidentials DID come with them, and that's why the price was so high. At least, all the sets I have seen included the confidential episodes, and the only set that I own (S5) has confidentials as well.

              • Chaneen says:

                They do all have the Confidentials, but they're the cut down versions, so instead of being ~45 mins an episode, they're all probably half that. IDK for sure how long they are, as I've never watched ones on the DVDs, but they're definitely chopped up.

                • WingedFlight says:


                  Up until right now, I just assumed all the Confidential eps for last season were only 30 min long because that's what it is on the dvd. But that makes So. Much. Sense that it had been chopped up. lol thanks 🙂

            • FLRP says:

              IF you get the same stuff on the US DVD's as we get on the Australian box sets, it's worth the $$$. There's a nice whack of special features, + Confidential cut-downs.

        • Elexus Calcearius says:


      • Tauriel_ says:

        THAT'S THE SPIRIT! 😀

  16. Aimee says:


    I don't know if anyone else has said this I totally think that the two universes pressed together in ep 3 is present throughout this series, and that Amy and Rory are both up against their counterparts, who are pregnant, and dead, respectively. That explains both the not-pregnancy and the constant death? I don't know.

    Also, did anyone else go "OOOOH DOCTOR WHO DIES IN THE IMPOSSIBLE ASTRONAUT!" the moment it became clear we were going to get a Ganger Doctor?

    • pandalilies says:

      WOAH. I really like this theory, and it gives me a reason to like the third episode (other than drunk/swooning rory). 😀

      • Aimee says:

        Yeah it's all I can think about when I watch these episodes at this point. It would also explain the random appearances of the lady with the eyepatch.. whenever the two universes are pressed together particularly or when she is in a half-asleep/dreaming state in one or the other. But her other self is definitely with a midwife, who I believe is the lady with the eyepatch. She says really midwifey things.

        In ep 2. the lady says "I think she's only dreaming"—perhaps her other universe dopple was dreaming of her?

        In ep 3… she sees the lady when sleeping/coming out of sleep.

        I can't really explain the one in this week's episode though. So maybe the sleeping/dreaming part of my theory is just crap.

        • attack womb says:

          o.O ? Midwifey things? Firstly, if eyepatch lady IS a midwife, I will be seriously overjoyed, because that is pretty kickass (and also my next halloween costume). But secondly, I haven't heard her say anything I would consider midwife-y – and I say that with some authority as I've been a midwife for 6 years. In those six years, I have not once, not ever, said anything remotely like "I think she's only dreaming". Have I missed any other actions/dialogue that makes her midwife-y or is this just some random theory that people have gotten attached to? (not that i dislike it as a theory, of course, because, y'know – represent!)

          • attack womb says:

            hmmm…. upon re-reading your comment, it seems the quote and the statement about saying midwife-y things are unrelated…. my bad. though i am still curious where the midwife theory got started……

    • nanceoir says:

      Oooooh, I really, really like the dual universe theory. It opens up a lot of really fun ideas.

    • nextboy1 says:

      ooh like like like!


      I love the idea that Rory's deaths could be more than just a joke, and it would be very Charlie Pace in how "no matter what, you're gonna die" DESMOND HUME FTW!!!

      • Aimee says:

        I will be honest. I think Rory is going to die at the end of this year and Amy will leave because of it—I truly believe both Arthur and Karen are leaving the show. 🙁

    • empath_eia says:

      I didn't, but now I wish I had because that's a bit brilliant and very possibly what's going to happen. I mean, "that was the Doctor and he is most certainly dead," but he's making the argument here about how the Gangers aren't just copies, so… if he has a ganger, then it is also the Doctor, and can most certainly die as the Doctor. *_*

    • ffyona says:

      Yes! Yes yes yes.


      I posted this over on Mark Spoils and I will repost it for your perusal:

      For my money, duality is the big over-arching theme of this season. This might have been said here before so I do apologise if that's the case.

      Amy is pregnant and not-pregnant. Rory is Auton and not Auton. The Doctor has died but he has not died yet. Someone is looking at Amy from another world. They accessed another world onboard the Black Pearl. Everything is happening in pairs, as if two worlds are colliding. And now the Doctor has a Ganger.

      So I reckon… the two worlds of Amy's Choice were not just hallucinations. They may have been representations of the Doctor's dark side but they were also real. They had to choose between a world in which Amy was pregnant and Rory was dead and a world where they were all fine and not pregnant. Now, Amy's kind of pregnant and Rory keeps dying, over and over.

      I think when Amy brought back the world in the Big Bang, her memories of Amy's Choice meant that that alternative world was also brought into being. They can't co-exist, so the two realities are bashing into each other.

      See also: the extra Tardis.

      Of course, none of this explains River or the little girl or the astronaut or the silence… but the Doctor who got shot (if he's not the Doctor!Ganger, could be the Doctor from Amy's alternate universe.

      • Aimee says:

        Yes! I CAN SEE THIS. It fits in with my ideas perfectly as well.

        • ffyona says:

          Ok, I'm still THEORIES ABOUNDING (I love doing that). This just occurred to me.

          I'm kind of assuming that Doctor who dies in Impossible Astronaut is the Ganger, because that makes obvious sense. However… Something that struck me about that episode is that the Doctor drinks some red wine and if I remember, doesn't like it. But we saw him drink some red wine in The Lodger and he didn't like it then either. I thought it was odd at the time, and meant that he wasn't the real Doctor (otherwise he would have remembered he didn't like it).

          But it also means that it can't, surely, be his Ganger. The Ganger would have all the Doctor's memories and would know not to drink the wine. Whereas a Doctor from an alternate universe who hadn't had the experience of The Lodger (say, ooh, a Doctor brought back from Amy's Choice) wouldn't know about the wine.

          Ok, I just reread that and it doesn't seem to make much sense. I hope you get what I mean, slightly. I should really sleep now.

          • rumantic says:

            I noticed him drinking the wine in The Lodger too. I watched TIA/DOTM before seeing any of series 5, so it was immediately obvious. However if you look at the tardis-wiki site, there are several references to him drinking wine. Although all of these except TL can be discounted as being in a different body then.

            Or it could just be that it's been 200 years and he's forgotten. But you know. "A coincidence is never just a coincidence. Unless you're busy. Then it's just a -" Oh, wait.

      • nextboy1 says:

        Love this connection to Amy's Choice, if they pull off something like this then Moffat wins everything

      • lunylucy says:

        ilu for calling it the Black Pearl xD

      • breesquared says:

        Amy's Choice was never an actual world, though. It was always just a dream. The pollen is described to induce a dream state — it's explained in the episode so I don't think there's room for theory. I don't think they'd explicitly state one thing then say it was a lie/trick.

      • Shiyiya says:

        Extra TARDIS?

    • breesquared says:

      Rory's not dead in another universe imo.
      IF the crack never existed, the Doctor wouldn't have stopped to dig around in it, which means they would've gone straight into the TARDIS and Rory would have never been shot.

      • Shiyiya says:

        But if there were never cracks, he wouldn't have fixed the crack in Amelia Pond's wall and why would she ever have trusted him?

        Man, trying to retcon is HARD.

  17. monkeybutter says:

    Yeah, I have no idea where this story is going, but I am curious. That's the problem with two-parters! There's a definite philosophical and spiritual undertone about the value of life, and what constitutes life, and while watching, I was reminded of the phrase "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." I can't fully explain why, but it seems to fit with this episode. The gangers want to be real, they feel real, but their bodies aren't quite cooperating.

    I didn't really find the gangers creepy. They reminded me of Voldemort, and Jennifer's stretchiness reminded me of Mister Fantastic, which in turn reminded me of Professor Impossible, and I just couldn't take it seriously. That's not to say I hate it, though! I just think I need to see the whole thing before I can understand it and judge it.

    Oh, and I liked the Roryness of the episode. I don't want he and Amy to be divided by this, but Rory really understands what it's like to find out that he's not really real, that his memories aren't his, and to not have control over his body, to devastating effect.

  18. pandalilies says:

    That link is beautiful and perfect. 😀

  19. shoroko says:

    Mmm I guess "Uprising" sounds a bit like the DW theme? But it's not exactly party music. My only problem with "Supermassive Black Hole" is that they used it in the baseball sequence in Twilight. Which I thought was the most hilarious part of that movie so I don't really mind.

    And I guess I figured the TARDIS is special technology Time Lordy-ness, whereas the Doctor's shoes are just random shoes he stole from some random person, so it didn't bother me that the one would be more affected by the psuedoscientific acid than the other. If anything the big fake science thing that got me was, what, these things were struck by lightning and only then separately sentient? The sudden shock of electricity = life always makes me roll my eyes a little.

    And yes! Rory can relate to someone whose humanity is being denied because they are kind of vaguely plastic-y! I guess the question I'd ask is while Rory waited 2000 years for the woman he loved to prove his humanity, should the Gangers really have to do that? I mean, should they have to "prove" themselves worthy to not be summarily killed off when convenient? There was really only one of Rory and he was only really interested in protecting Amy; it's a lot more problematic when two are competing for one identity, and I think the Ganger Doctor may further establish that in the next episode.

    • leighzzz31 says:

      My only problem with "Supermassive Black Hole" is that they used it in the baseball sequence in Twilight.
      I now have a love/hate relationship with Supermassive Blackhole because of that. Why do you ruin all the things ever, Twilight? (But that scene is totally hilarious otherwise, you're right!)

    • Lariren says:

      I was surprised no one mentioned the name of the song before. Because a song called "Supermassive Black Hole" in a Doctor Who episode makes me wonder about things.

    • t09yavorski says:

      It wasn't exactly normal lightning though. It was solar lightning. But that trick is overused.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      Yeah, Uprising is the one that sounds vaguely like the Doctor Who theme. I would totally play it at a party, though, because I am a huge Muse nerd.

  20. ShayzGirl says:

    I just watched this episode. No seriously. I was without internet until today and even after the tech guy came to fix it, I had to fiddle with it on my own, before I could get the video to load so I could watch the show. And my brain still sort of hurts and is confused. But I agree with a lot of what you said, Mark.
    And I totally, right off the bat, picked up why Rory would relate to Jennifer. He was a plastic duplicate for 2000 years.

    A few things I'd like to share:
    1. Since I was without internet this week, I only really had the twitter updates that go to my phone. One of them belonged to Arthur Darvill. While everyone else was tweeting, "end of the world this, end of the world that" Arthur tweeted "About to go and watch some tv with my nan." (source) and it brightened my day.
    2. There's this awesome video of the Doctor Who theme, with Tesla coils, and Adam Savage from the Mythbusters cage dancing!
    Tried to embed the video, but it didn't work. Link instead:

    That's all I've got. Off to finish watching Confidential.

    Oh, wait, third thing:
    For those who live in America and watch BBC America, with the episode not airing next week because of the holiday (which isn't actually until what? Monday? (pretty sure it's Monday because that's my mom's birthday and she's usually had her birthday off cos of the holiday)) I do live in the States, but my cable provider doesn't have BBC America, so I have to watch the show online anyway. Here is where I get my video links from. (if this isn't allowed, I will edit the post and remove the link).

    P.S. Okay, for anyone who hasn't yet watched DW Confidential for this episode, or if you have, you really should see this video. It will explain a bit more about Matt's badger named Charlie. haha.

  21. pandalilies says:

    This whole episode seemed too formulaic for me. I'm waiting for pt 2 before I have any firm opinion.

    I will say that all this rory character development makes me SO happy and the line "a lot can go wrong in an hour" will stick with me forever. 😀

  22. ffyona says:

    Also in ABOUNDING THEORIES, I feel like this huge, constant focus on Amy could be a red herring. If Rory was to break away from the group or have some big role to play, it would be a great bait and switch after all the Amy theorising that's been encouraged.

  23. jennywildcat says:

    I will be perfectly, 100% honest – I did not enjoy this episode on the first viewing. I was so confused by a lot of things. And it wasn't the fun kind of BRAIN ASPLODEY confusion and freak-out when I watched "The Impossible Astronaut." This was more that I didn't even care what was going on. My dad called me when I was right in the middle of the episode and asked me to get something for him. I paused the episode for about 15 minutes and found what my dad needed – and I didn't even care that he had interrupted me (I usually get really upset when people interrupt me in the middle of Doctor Who, but not this time).

    Granted, I watched it again and I found things to like about it. I love that they gave Rory more things to do in this story. He is so cute with Ganger!Jennifer! Not in the sense of shipping, mind you – but just that he knows what it's like to not be "real" from his time as Auton!Roman!Rory. However, it was really jarring for me not to really enjoy an episode of Doctor Who on the first viewing. But I guess I'm not going to completely love every single one.

  24. doesntsparkle says:

    I did enjoy this episode, but there is one thing that bothers me about this series that I need to get off my chest. Where the hell are Amy's parents? They came back from the crack void for about five minutes, and now there MIA. I would like to see how the TARDIS crew interacts with them, especially Amy.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Moffat is ignoring them and rightfully so. In the old days you never saw the family of the companion not ever. Well perhaps in their debut episode.

      • mkjcaylor says:

        I'm definitely more of a fan of visiting and interacting with a companion's family, so I'm missing it this season as well. I'm personally very glad that they did this in seasons 1-4!

      • Tauriel_ says:


    • Shay_Guy says:

      They're in 2011 Leadworth, presumably. Amy and Rory were living in their own place and now they're traveling with the Doctor; why do Amy's parents need to be involved?

      • doesntsparkle says:

        The fact that she was an orphan was a huge of her character last year. It explained her deep abandonment issues and her attachment to the Doctor. Now, she's presumably had a normal life with her parents. I wonder how that changed her life.

  25. fakehepburn says:

    "Does anything count as Rory nearly dying in this episode? I’ll accept any stretch of logic just to insist that Rory dies in every episode ever."


  26. Aimee says:

    Maybe the acid melts The Flesh though…

  27. kartikeya200 says:


    There some really really odd things that struck me about this episode that didn't seem to have much to do (yet anyway) with the plot, and in rewatching it they only stand out more, so HERE GOES.

    The Doctor clearly knows more than he's letting on about this stuff. He knew about the 'almost people' before they showed up. He's talking about 'early versions of the technology' and at one point apparently mentions that it's alien because the others call him on it.

    Further, he is hyper-focused on Amy at specific points of this episode where it seems really strange and/or unexplained. For example, the part where Amy and one of the workers asks him what he knows that he's not telling them about the Flesh, and the Doctor stares at Amy for what feels like a million billion years.

    So here's my crazy not-remotely-going-to-turn-out-this-way theory:

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Amy is a duplicate, probably a more sophisticated version of this Flesh stuff, and she has been since they rescued her from the Silence. Real!Amy is still somewhere, maybe in a harness? I DON'T EVEN KNOW GUYS, and the eyepatch lady is someone checking in on her occasionally, and maybe duplicate!Amy is just like these Gangers were prior to the convenient plot sun-lightning, being controlled by her real self wherever her real self is, except SHE HAS NO IDEA anything is up except for the occasional eyepatch lady mindfuck. And this is how she can be pregnant and not according to the TARDIS. Real!Amy is pregnant, duplicate!Amy is not, but the psychic link or whatever actually connects the two is getting the TARDIS all super confused. And the Doctor's figured at least some of it out.

      Hahaha, my theory has so many holes, guys, I know. That's just the thing that sprung into my brain on watching this episode.

      • Aimee says:

        I like this. I had a theory that there are two universes pressed together and the two Amys in each universe are dreaming about each other's situations. I can see your theory also. It makes the pregnant/not pregnant thing work.. but I don't know if I buy that the TARDIS is confused by that psychic link… because it was scanning her midsection.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          The other possibility RE: TARDIS confusion about the pregnancy that popped into my head is it's less the link between the two and more, well…CAN flesh!people get pregnant? They apparently have internal organs, but would a pregnancy even work? If Amy was duplicated while pregnant, duplicate!Amy may have some, err, weird complications in that regard.

          • Aimee says:

            I think, since the flesh people duplicate at the molecular level.. they probably CAN get pregnant. HOW is the question?

          • Aimee says:

            Another possibility of the flesh aspect of things is that it's the DNA of the Doctor that has impregnated Amy — after all Time Lord cells are difficult to get a hold of, so it's entirely possible the Doctor's cells have been duplicated with flesh and manipulated to impregnate Amy who is not necessarily the duplicated one? 😮

      • FlameRaven says:

        I like this idea. I know that the plot of this two-parter must have SOMETHING to do with the rest of the show, because we're too late in the season for it not to be so.

        I've also heard a summary of episode 7 that would seem to play into your ideas about the real!Amy still being out there. It's interesting to think about, anyway.

      • I REALLY like this theory, and it seems like it could gel with some vague teasers that were given for the next episode, and if I remember one of the items in the Brilliant Book list of spoilers and fake spoilers that came out earlier this year!

      • Weston says:

        Have we seen Amy get injured since Day of the Moon? Anything physical – if she displayed little or no pain reaction, it could be an indicator.

        Maybe on the pirate episode.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          The only thing I can think of is that her finger was pricked when everyone decided to go with the Siren in the pirate episode. She was knocked unconscious like everyone else during the solar lightning storm thing this episode.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Oh, and I ended up rewatching Day of the Moon over the weekend (my sister hadn't seen it yet) and that whole scene with Amy in the children's room with the Silents on the ceiling is shot very very strangely. The door closes (and we don't see who closed it, but presumably one of the Silence) and then she tries to get out, and it's locked, and so's the window, and she ends up with all those marks on her face and then she looks up and sees all the (sleeping?) Silents. And then she walks out of the room, and there's a Silent behind her, unnoticed. After this is when eyepatch lady randomly shows up for the first time.

      So…why was the door locked and then unlocked a few minutes later? Why all the strange jump-cuts in this scene? And if the Silence were going to kidnap Amy, why did they spend all that time waiting for her to walk down the hall and see eyepatch lady and the photos and the girl in the space suit and really, all of those scenes are incredibly weird and still don't make sense.

      • Shiyiya says:

        The jump cuts were because it was doing some of her perspective forgetting seeing the Silence? (Really I kind of wish they'd done all of it like that. So much creepier if we couldn't describe the Silence either.)

        And I'm pretty sure the ceiling Silence were sleeping until she ran into whatever it was on the floor with a clang.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          Yeah, this was what I figured. I suspect though, my wildly random theory aside, that something more happened in that room than what we see. (I mean, more than Amy obviously saw the Silents a number of times and marked up her face).

          I'm just stuck on the locked door. Why'd they lock it? Why'd they then, seemingly right away, unlock it? So many questions.

          • Shiyiya says:

            Yeah, that was kind of random. Seemed a bit gratuitous horror movie.

            • kartikeya200 says:

              Hah, maybe that was the point. The Silents were just fucking around 'cause they could. (I mean, why else are so many of them just hanging out in doorways/bars/women's bathrooms?)

              • Claire says:

                Well I know why they might hang out in women's bathrooms.. NO, BAD CLAIRE. *shoes dirty thoughts away*

  28. knut_knut says:

    Waiting for the second part before I form a solid opinion other than SO FUCKING CREEPY!!! And it reminded me a bit of the episode with the Sontarans (the acid suits looked a bit like them and the whole cloning thing even though this wasn't technically cloning). USELESS COMMENT IS USELESS

  29. Aimee says:

    Life on Mars is the best.

    My theory is that Rory is totally going to die related to/because of the angst you mentioned & that Amy won't be able to continue after this. This will be the end of these companions and we'll get a new one next year.

    • ffyona says:

      I think you're right but I wish you weren't. I suppose two series is probably about right for a companion or set of companions? I would much rather they stayed forever but as long as we get Matt for a bit longer I'll be fine.

  30. t09yavorski says:

    So I have a ~*THEORY ABOUND*~. And it seems like a big theory in my head so I am gonna start with one word and see if anyone else noticed as well before I say my thoughts about it.


    • burritosaurus says:


      When I was watching on Saturday, I was a little over-excited about the goo, and my boyfriend asked if we'd ever seen it before, and the most obvious description I could come up with was "Remember the Sontaran episode and the goo and the fake Martha? I think this might be that."

      • t09yavorski says:

        The first thing I noticed was in the cold open. I saw the workers coming down the hall in the acid suits and I thought they were Sontarans. And then later their noses/lack of

    • leighzzz31 says:

      I thought this too! Martha's clone came to mind. And their suits looked vaguely Sontaran-like.

    • nextboy1 says:

      I can definitely see this. Cloney goop AND similair suits, maybe this is really an origin story, which is why the Doctor seems to know more than he lets on

      • burritosaurus says:

        That would be very very cool. I wonder if the Sontarans are coming back….I think I would like that.

    • Claire says:

      *SPIT TAKE*


  31. FlameRaven says:

    This felt like a lot of buildup to me, so I'm waiting to see the second half before I decide. I suspect the Doctor knows way more about what's happening here than anybody else, and that will probably prove crucial for part 2.

    However, one thing I noticed that I haven't seen brought up— has no one really seen how much this episode is a Frankenstein setup with extra spacey-wacey? I mean, seriously, they even had a freaking lightning storm/"solar tsunami" kick off the whole conflict. Questions of identity? Of creating life and what rights that life gets? It's completely the plot of Frankenstein with modern concerns mixed in. Which is a big part of the reason I'm not discounting this two-parter even though "The Rebel Flesh" was kind of boring.

  32. leighzzz31 says:

    LIFE ON MARS! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT SHOW FOR EVER AND EVER! Damn it, Mark, now I want to watch it all over again and I've already watched it once this year! *gets out her beloved DVDs*

    As for this episode: I keep saying this but my expectations were low because of the epicness that preceded (MY THIEF!MY THIEEEEEF!) so I was completely satisfied! I actually really enjoyed it.

    The story's moral ambiguity and creepiness were enough to keep my undivided attention and the fact that Rory's role was more prominent made it all the more interesting. And I love how subtle Matthew Graham was about why Rory had such an affinity for Jennifer Ganger. Also, the Doctor was really acting strange throughout the episode. What do you know that we don't, Doctor, hmm? Plus, Doctor Ganger. I knew it was coming but I actually shivered when I heard the "Trust me, I'm the Doctor" line.

    All in all, I can't wait for next week's revelations. (One of which I fully expect to be Rory dying somehow. I think I might be disappointed if he doesn't. Oh, Moffat, what have you done to me?)

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    • tehrevel says:

      After Rory called a petrol can some gasoline in the first episode I'm suprised they didn't say fish and fries or something. That one line was the worst thing ever.

      • Plummy says:

        In the US we still call it fish and chips! As a kid I always expected to get potato chips (crisps) and was always pleasantly surprised when I got fries (chips).

      • Tauriel_ says:

        That was the TARDIS translating English into American. 😉

    • hernana says:

      I love how much Amy is kicking Rory's arse at darts in that gif

    • VicarPants says:


  33. Alexia says:

    The Song your talking about is Uprising!!
    The absolute first thing I said when I heard was : "OMG OMG OMG, Its just like Doctor Who's Theme song/Intro!"

  34. empath_eia says:

    When the Doctor said something about the Flesh he was looking at being the "early stages of the technology" or whatever, did anything else think of the first episode of S2, with the Matrix-style tower of little prisons for "the flesh" and all the diseases? The cat nurses didn't seem too concerned about the fate of their sad boily cure factories. I wonder why~

  35. Sparkie says:

    Well isn't he a sick individual! Seriously! *shudders*

    Also, I hope you looked that up and didn't just know about it!

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      The Acid Bath Murderer is part of the British public consciousness, so I knew about it vaguely. I had to look it up to check the details, though.

      • ffyona says:

        Haha you're right, I remember reading about the Acid Bath guy. *shudders*

        Now I think about it, it seems like there's a fair portion of our public consciousness devoted to grisly murders.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          um pretty much the best comment thread ever today? ILU ALL.

          • ffyona says:

            No comment thread is complete without acid bath murders. Fact.

            That shit made me scared of bathtubs. As did a certain episode of Jonathan Creek, if anyone remembers it…

          • Jay says:

            Want the grossest acid bath murder OF ALL TIME? Watch Breaking Bad.

        • darth_eowyn says:

          Anyone else here watch Bones? Their version of the acid bath disposal method was probably the grossest corpse that's been on that show. Which is saying a lot.

          • psycicflower says:

            Thank you! I was trying to figure out where I'd seen an acid bath murder before since I wasn't familiar with the link maccyAkaMatthew posted and it was Bones.

          • accioetoile says:

            that's what I think of when I think of acid baths! (not that I think of acid baths all that much…)

        • majere616 says:

          That is because we as a species are hardwired to obsess over what we view as aberrant behaviors. The more jarring the divergence the more we fixate on it, and whats more jarring then gruesome and methodical acts of murder?

  36. psycicflower says:

    I love that website. It is a thing of beauty.

  37. nextboy1 says:

    I actually really liked this episode, it was much better than the usual mid season 2-parter standard, although I will reserve complete judgement until next week (sorry America, genuinely).


    Lots of theories about Amy being a duplicate, so when was the switch? What if THIS explains why Amy and Rory were at home at the start of the season? They were already duplicates, their real selves currently captured, perhaps by The Silence, for the whole crazy Timehead baby experiments, hence the dual pregnant/not pregnant and also the constant Rory death, the other version of him having died.

    Not forgetting that I don't think we've seen the last of the cracks and we're yet to learn why the TARDIS was exploding, and Moffat has some sort of gargantuan plan on the go.

    THEORY 2:

    Ganger!Doctor is not only who we see die at the start of the series, but also the voice of "Silence Will Fall" who blows up the TARDIS last season. Love the multiple tenses there

  38. FuTeffla says:

    Okay, firstly, I am ridiculously excite that you have seen Life On Mars because I <3 LoM FOREVER.

    I was a little 'meh' over this episode. I didn't hate it but I didn't like it nearly as much as some of my friends did (which led to an epic but amicable Dr Who war when I found out that one of these friends didn't like The Doctor's Wife. BLASPHEMY) perhaps because the What Measure Is A Non-Human trope is one I've been overdosed on in recent months. I also didn't feel that the writing was particularly special which is weird because… Life On Mars.

    It was an excellently sinister episode though. And yay for more Rory!

  39. carma_bee says:

    First I want to say that I love Life on Mars too. If you ever watch Ashes to Ashes, you’ll have to mention what you thought of it, Mark. Oh and everyone else should watch both of them! 😀

    I've seen a lot of hate for the episode, but I didn't find it that bad. Not amazing, but not terrible. I think part of the reason people don't like it is because it came after The Doctor's Wife. It's hard to come after an episode like that. It's the same with The Curse of the Black Spot. It came after a pretty awesome two parter, it's no surprise it would be a bit of a let-down. And it’s a two-parter, so I’m going to try to wait until the second part to totally decide how I feel.

    I thought it was interesting how it seemed like the Doctor had an experience with the ganger stuff before, or something similar, and how he was so interested in the stuff. I really want to know what’s going on there.

    I liked how Rory was able to empathize with Jennifer because of his time as an auton. He knows where she’s coming from, he knows about the confusion of feeling like you are yourself but physically not being yourself. I really like when they bring up his time as an auton, it’s really interesting. I hope it happens more.

    The twisty heads were creepy as hell, my god. I don’t think I’ve ever been creeped out as much as I was when Jennifer’s head came out of the bathroom door and twisted around. It reminded me of Uzumaki a bit, which creeped me the hell out also.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    About Eye Patch Lady, I really hope she has a bigger focus in a future episode. After a few episodes of her peeking out of small windows, it's still interesting and weird, but it's starting to lose its impact on me. I think there needs to just be something new with her to enhance the intrigue or something, to take it up a notch. It can't just be her peeking through windows until we find out exactly what's going on. I'd love for the Doctor to find out something, or for Amy to see something else, maybe more than her head, I don't know.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    And Rory didn’t die this episode, that’s always good. Though it almost happened twice. Funny how I have such strong feelings he won’t stay dead, I still get horrible feelings when something happens to him.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    And I have to mention the wonderful parts of the Confidential where Matt played with his badger puppet. I loved that so much.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • Shamu says:

      I agree the stretchy neck thing was pretty weird! This is what immediately came to my mind:

    • giishu says:


      Why does Matt have a badger puppet?

      I mean, obviously because it's awesome and everyone should have a badger puppet, but is there a reason beyond that? (:

    • carma_bee says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen people complain about Moffat just shoehorning things in, and usually I don’t agree when it’s about series 5, but it’s why I think we need a Big Thing soon for this series. Like when the crack showed up in Flesh and Stone and it was more than just ‘oh look there it is’ at the end of an episode. I liked that it came up and had a bigger part in an episode.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      I am a complete wimp when it comes to scary/freaky stuff, especially jump scares, so no lie, when her head came twisting out of that hole I not only leaned back from my laptop, I nearly fell off my computer chair.

      The only one to witness this lack of dignity was my puppy. She gave me a very so disappoint look.

    • leighzzz31 says:

      I'd have to agree about Eye Patch Lady. It feels overly random whenever it's thrown into an episode. I just hope it gets resolved sooner rather than later.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Look, I don't want be ~overstepping my bounds~ or anything, but would you mind avoiding the use of words like "lame" in the future? Ableist language is something to be discouraged here, mods shouldn't be endorsing it through their own use of it.

    • Avit says:

      …I realized I missed Eyepatch Lady's appearance in this ep. When was it, if I may ask?

      • lastyearswishes says:

        It was around the middle of the episode, I think, when Rory wondered off and Amy was looking around for him.

    • lastyearswishes says:

      The badger thing officially makes Eleven (and by extension Matt) a Hufflepuff.

  40. arctic_hare says:

    so I don’t know why he fails so hard at family sci-fi.

    I feel the opposite, I liked this episode a lot more than Fear Her, but if I had to guess about this, I'd say that it's because some writers just cannot write children's/family entertainment well, no matter if they're good at other age groups. Why? Because a lot of adults think that entertainment aimed at younger age groups means cheesy, corny, shying away from darker topics, simplistic, etc. They don't think kids can handle as much as they actually can.

  41. giishu says:

    That could have done with a "theories abound" warning… ):

  42. Shay_Guy says:

    Bit annoying how the only relevant JS in the source is on another page. But I like how the function is called tardis_doesnt_knows().

  43. Mark says:

    A word in your shell-like, pal: we need Mark Watches Ashes to Ashes SO BADLY.

    Also, I had no idea Marshall Lancaster was in this, so as soon as he appeared I just yelled "CHRIS!! CHRIS!!" at the TV. 😀

  44. Why would Living Flesh replicate clothing?


    (Although it does give a new meaning to the phrase, "Wow, this shirt holds so many memories…")

    • ffyona says:

      Heehee! Because…..


      Amy is actually a Ganger and that bloody checked shirt is actually part of her ~living flesh~ and she can never take it off without dying because it is her ~living flesh~. They do it so we can ~tell which ones they are on account of their repetitive fashion choices~.

      Also, that's why it's so plaid, it's full of memories.

    • Shiyiya says:

      And since their clothes are Flesh too, why the hell don't they go weird when their skin does? (ANSWER: Because they just wanted an easy way to tell them apart when they wanted it to be obvious which were gangers! What is logic?)

    • VicarPants says:

      Because it's a family program and they didn't have running-time to waste digging out clothing and convenient camera angles for half a dozen naked people? Also they need to be able to be easily confused with their originals. >_>

  45. Sadie says:

    "So, including “Journey’s End,” this will now be the second time that there are two of the same Doctor in one episode, right? Has this happened in any other way before? (You can answer that.)"

    There was the Future!Doctor who appeared at the top of the stairs in the museum in The Big Bang, and, before "dying", briefly conversed with his few-minutes-passed-self. A small duplication, I grant you, but it still happened.

  46. Karen says:

    Deleted and reposted to add in theories warning.

    This was not a good episode. Unsurprisingly, it was written by Matthew Graham, the man who wrote “Fear Her”- which is not to say that I don’t enjoy “Fear Her”. I do. But I enjoy it because of how adorable the Doctor and Rose are, in spite of the insipid plot. This episode did not have the Doctor and Rose being presh to distract me from how lame this plot was. (The writer for this episode also created Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes and the episodes he wrote for THOSE shows were brilliant so I don’t know why he fails so hard at family sci-fi.)

    Hands down the best part of the episode and the only thing that made it watchable was Rory. RORY CONTINES TO BE FIRECE AND FABULOUS AND FLAWLESS. BEST MEMBER OF THIS TEAM TARDIS, NO QUESTION. Yeah, he might not be brave in the reckless “let’s run towards danger!” kind of way, but he is courageous when it matters- he will tackle an unstable person who is threatening people with electrocution in order to save them. And his empathy towards the clones (which makes sense considering he spent 2000 years as an Auton- don’t know why the script didn’t come out and say it though) was lovely to see. Rory is so kind and compassionate and caring. I love him. <3

    Another highlight for me was seeing DI Chris Skelton! ILU CHRIS. I WANT TO SEE YOU DO THE ROBOT AGAIN. Speaking of LoM/A2A, to show how good of a writer Matthew Graham CAN be, the Ashes to Ashes finale remains one of my favorite hours of TV. I cried like a baby.

    But really, this episode was so boring because all of the plot “twists” were incredibly obvious and telegraphed from a mile away. The name of the episode is “The REBEL Flesh”, so it was obvious from the word go that the flesh would rebel and there would be a clone vs original dynamic. We saw the Doctor getting “scanned” by the flesh early on in the episode, and it was spotlighted, so obviously there was going to be a ganger!Doctor. And then when the Doctor was like “the flesh will be disoriented etc etc”, I figured out right from the start that Jennifer was a clone. And since everything was so obvious, there was no suspense. I was just sitting around waiting for the characters to figure out the things I’d figured out half an hour ago. And thus, boredom.


    Also, ganger!Doctor is totally the Doctor who died in The Impossible Astronaut. Calling it now.

    Ugh. We have another week of this? Some crazy shit had better happen or I am declaring this two-parter to be the Silurian episodes of series 6.

  47. lattemama says:

    I have a memory of a Ten and Martha episode where Martha's cloned using something that reminded me of the Flesh. Can't recall the episode, but I want to say it involved Sontarans? Anybody?


    I liked this episode and I love reading everyone's theories .. some are very similar to mine.

    I also like the idea of Ganger!Doctor being the one killed in The Impossible Astronaut. But I feel like it's too obvious for a Moffat twist so I'll wait a bit and see what happens.

    • VicarPants says:

      In the first shots of the episode with the shadows of the helmets on the suits, I thought the people WERE Sontarans…

    • lastyearswishes says:

      Can't recall the episode, but I want to say it involved Sontarans? Anybody?
      That was 4×04: The Sontaran Stratagem/4×05: The Poison Sky if I remember correctly. 🙂

    • Caty B says:

      That's exactly how I feel about he Ganger!Doctor theory. As soon as the Doctor was like "I think it's scanning me!" The theory popped in my head and I was all "RAY OF HOPE! I NEED NOT FRET!" buuut then I realized the Moffatt likes to cause brains to explode world wide and that I should never get comfortable.

  48. Sunshowers says:


    LOL LOL J/K. It was alright! Quite tense and claustrophobic … which I don't really mean in a bad way. Creepy is good! I just kind of wish there'd been more of the usual humour to balance things out. Something seemed off, either the pacing or the banter between the characters or … whatever. Maybe it's just me.

    But please tell me I wasn't the only one who nearly snort tea up their nose when one of the Gangers (Cleaves' I think?) had that outburst and charged out of the room going WAAGGHHHHHHHHH lol omg.

    Also, THEORIES ABOUND: my guess is the sneezing guy will die and his Ganger will end up taking his place. Didn't they scan Team Tardis for viruses or something when they first arrived?

  49. Minish says:

    I thought this episode was Hungry Earth-ish, but still engaging. Maybe… The Hungry Earth done right. It didn't have me on the edge of my seat, but I enjoyed watching it.

    Also, Uncanny Valley is always a good place to pull from for scare factor. Anything that should look human but isn't quite there… *shiver*

    • who_cares86 says:

      During Fires of Pompeii Steven Moffat told his kids they might find the monster somewhat scary.

      Their response:

      Pyrovile: "No dad that's not scary that's cool."
      The high-priestess who's been turned to rock. "That's scary."

      • Minish says:

        I once went into an arcade that had a Smiler-like automated arm wrestling machine…

        …I spent the whole day worried it was following me.

    • Shiyiya says:

      The gangers weren't bothering me at all…. until ganger!Doctor turned up. SO CREEPY D:

  50. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Hmmm, not a bad episode…the first part of a two parter can sometimes be a little tricky because it's all set-up. Still, I pretty much enjoyed it. It was solid.
    I'm kind of damning it with faint praise here, but really, what can you say? There were some interesting themes and characters but nothing really jumped out at me. I am cautiously excited for the next part because of the whole ganger!doctor thing, but this episode felt like a really long set up to that moment, tbh.

    I think my problem was that it was very…dingy. Is that the right word? I don't mean dark in an exciting, tense or freaky kind of way, it was just very…grey. This dank, dripping monastery and morose characters shuffling around in overalls. Even the Doctor's trademark fast-talking and leaping around couldn't liven it up. There were a couple of action scenes I guess, but it seemed kind of bogged down in atmosphere.

    I don't know, I didn't dislike it. But I think I'll enjoy the second half more, once things really kick off. 🙂
    And in the interest of livening things up a bit…

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  51. fantasylover120 says:

    After the previous 4 awesome eps, this one was a bit of a let down. But I'm reserving judgement till I've seen the second part because for all we know this is leading up to something really awesome (that hopefully doesn't include Rory dying for upteenth time).

  52. Shiyiya says:

    Presumably the who solar tsunami thing.

    ETA: For why the detector thing was malfunctioning, I mean.

  53. Elexus Calcearius says:

    The Rebel Flesh, aka ‘Doctor Two’.

    What I suspect will happen with this episode is that it will gain a lot of comparisons with the Hungry Earth/ Cold Blood two-parter, and I definitely agree that this is probably earned. Once again we have a story set on Earth about moral conflict and prejudice leading to violence with a contained group of people (right down to the characters of Ambrose versus Miranda, but I’ll get to them later). I do think that this is a better episode, or at least one I enjoyed more, and I’ll explain why.

    Firstly, I really like the philosophical musings in this one, even though the whole ‘flesh coming alive and wanting rights’ thing was fairly predictable. I’m a philosophy student, and I really enjoy considering the whole “what makes a consciousness” debate. Some of the terminology the Doctor used in this episode confused me. He continually mentioned the gangers having souls. The philo student in me kept wishing he’d explain exactly what this meant. Does this mean that the Doctor believes in an immaterial soul? Or was he simply using the term as a short term for a self-conscious individual who deserves rights? It doesn’t really matter, just something that interests me on a personal level. That’s actually something I feel about the theme overall; something that interests me but which doesn’t really matter, since I think you’ll agree that its highly unlikely that we’ll ever be in the situation where we have to debate the personhood of exact duplicates of humans. While I saw some people criticise the moral of Hungry Earth two-parter as being too obvious, I quite liked it because of how applicable it is to the real world. (Of course, you could argue that the personhood debate will become more important with the rise of Artificial Intelligence and some of the debates going on now about whether to give dolphins personhood and basic rights similar to those of humans.)


    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      The characters of this episode were, on the whole, fun. It was good to see Rory taking a bit more confidence in himself, and being called ‘the kind one’ by Jennifer. He’s becoming braver and more willing to stand up-for himself. I also really like the link into why he would sympathise with the gangers’ plight about being only copies. However, considering how uneasy Amy is with the idea (and the light flirting he was having with Jennifer) I hope this isn’t going to lead to tension in the couple’s relationship.

      Besides Jennifer, I had a lot of trouble really distinguishing the personalities of the co-workers, except for Miranda. At least, I believe that’s her name, but to be clear I mean the lady in charge. While on one hand I like her take-charge attitude, the rest of me is completely annoyed by her. A solar storms is coming in and she refuses to shut down work. Her factory is a mess, and there’s really no excuse for letting acid getting all over the place. And of course, she is so damn prejudiced, and has absolutely no remorse for killing that poor ganger. I didn’t like Ambrose- I felt she was an idiot, risking an inter-species war out of fear for her son in a way that would help no-one, but at least she had an excuse. Having your son, husband and father all kidnapped or mortally wounded would be enough to screw with anyone’s thought processes. I cannot say that for Miranda; the only thing that was motivating her actions was prejudice and an obvious deficiency in philosophy in her education.

      I really liked the atmosphere of this episode. The mist and old ruins was very cool, and it gave a very ethereal, creepy sense to it. Everything seemed like a mish-mash, taking place in the future but also feeling very much like the past. Many of the costumes added to that feeling. The acid suits made me think of Sontaran Gladiators. I do have a question though, possibly because I just wasn’t paying enough attention- what was the point of those spear things, besides looking cool?

      The dialogue of this episode was strange. On one hand, it had a lot of really good on-liners or pieces. Things like “I thought I was going to die” “Welcome to my world” or the Doctor’s “I never thought I’d have to say that again.” Really clever stuff. But overall it felt rather…forced? Stilted? I can’t quite place my hand on what seemed off about it, it just did. I hear that some of the lines came from the Doctor’s Wife, so maybe it was partly caused by fusing together two writers with different styles, but I don’t know.

      And finally; the Ganger Doctor!

      Yes! A big part of me suspected that Rory would get a ganger, so that the ganger could die and we’d have our Rory Death Quota, and I’m still expecting that to happen next week. But after the Doctor touched the flesh, I figured this would happen, and I’m ecstatic. Two Doctors in any episode will always equal awesome! The scenes with Handy were great, in part due to Tennant and Tate’s fantastic chemistry (Handy and GangDoc should start a club, btw) and I can’t wait to see how the two Doctor’s interact.

      That being said, I really hope that the GangDoc doesn’t die next episode. Or go evil. That would be too painful to watch, seeing him turning against the original people. A part of me suspects that if neither of these things happens he’ll be slated to die in “The Impossible Astronaut” (or maybe the original Doctor will die and GangDoc will take his place, either) but that might be too obvious. I don’t know guys, I have so many questions, and with only two episodes left before the mid-season split I’m wondering how many are going to be left hanging until the fall.

      I’ll end this comments with a funny personal fail. I’d heard the name of this episode in advance, and seen it many times, by my dyslexia kicked in, and I continually read it as ‘the Rebel Fish’. I was honestly having trouble taking it seriously. I had this hilarious picture in my head of gold-fish taking up arms. Then I realised the actual name, and not only did it makes fifteen times more sense, it also became a far cooler title. XD

  54. majere616 says:

    Fedoras are cool.

  55. Hotaru_hime says:

    Pretty much the second the Doctor said it was a primitive form of alien technology (or something like that) I literally screamed, "OH MY GOD THE NESTENE OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOD."
    Yay Rory!! But seriously, to say that they're not to run off and then to run off with her anyway… Bless you, Rory, you're such a good man. WE SHOULD ALL HAVE A RORY.
    The TARDIS! Poor thing, after vocalizing how annoying everything the Doctor puts her through she gets sucked into the ground. Honestly, she'll never get a break.
    The Doctor's shoes!! Someone tell me I wasn't the only one thinking of Paul McGann when Eleven said his feet were wide?

  56. I have no problem with the ability of Living Flesh to replicate clothing. Although I guess I should, really, given the difference between the chemical composition of clothing versus the chemical composition of the human body. So much of clothing is synthetic.

    But there is no good reason that touching the flesh with your flesh would download your DNA, your memories, and what you are wearing. And even if you handwave it to say, oh, your clothes are touching your skin, so they come along for the ride, THIS DOES NOT EXPLAIN HOW IT CAN REPLICATE SHOES.

    • Shiyiya says:

      Maybe it's your ~memory~ of your clothing? Yeah I don't know.

      …I wonder if ganger!Doctor still has shoes?

    • breesquared says:

      Touching it doesn't transfer memories, I don't think; connecting to it via harness and controlling it with your mind/nervous system does.

      Still no excuse about the clothing though.

      • Shiyiya says:

        If touching the flesh doesn't transfer memories, where did the ganger!Doctor come from? I think the harnesses are just a more controlled way of doing it.

  57. canyonoflight says:

    I burst into laughter when Jennifer's head stretched forth in the bathroom. It was too ridiculous.

    Eye-Patch Lady, who are you?


    Maybe the Doctor that dies in The Impossible Astronaut is the Ganger!Doctor? A girl can hope, okay?

    • ldwy says:

      YES YES YES I HOPE. It's an interesting theory at least. I can't remember…how definite was it that it was definitely future doctor? And does the amount of future line up with how far in the future this episode is? Or something like that? I'm not sure anything makes sense, but it's a great theory.

  58. Jaxx_zombie says:

    ….could the gangers be like the diseased people from that episode?!


    This episode was meh and I didn't really like it as much as I could have. The only part I liked was the ganger doctor. This is a very weak follow up to "The Doctor's Wife" and does not deserve my attention or time.

    I just thought of a really lame joke:

    "I think we have ourselves a clone war!"

  59. SusanBones says:

    Theories abound:

    At first I thought that this was a stand alone episode that didn't move us closer to solving any mysteries from the season opener. But after watching it a few times, I think there are a few things going on here.I think the Doctor went to this island to make a duplicate of himself.

    1. The Doctor had something that he wanted to do without Amy and Rory, and planned to leave them someplace so they could get some fish and chips. The solar flare changed that plan.
    2. Cleaves said that the existence of the doppelganers wasn't exactly a secret.
    3. At the end of the Big Bang, after Rory tells the Doctor that he just saved all of time and space and he deserves a day off, the Doctor said that someone drew the Tardis to this place and time and blew her up. "And the silence is still out there". That proves that he knew about the Silence for a long time before the Impossible Astronaut.
    4. The Doctor said that the mixture they were using was alien technology.
    5. Why in the world would the Doctor stick his hand in the mixture? I think he went to that island to make a copy of himself and that copy is what we see getting killed on the beach in Utah.

    • ldwy says:

      Such a cool theory, and much more well thought out than I would have been! Especially the toss-away line from Cleves about the technology not being secret. I had assumed that the Doctor wanting to do something alone must have to do with Amy's Schroedinger's pregnancy….but then there's the point that his desired trip alone never gets referred back to…? Maybe part two will clear this up. Or maybe like you suggest it's more linked to the long arc than we'd guess initially!
      I love being in real time because I think theorizing is so fun! But it's damn hard to wait a week between eps.

  60. agrinningfool says:

    Something I think Mark and everyone would enjoy.

    Ever hear of Arc Attack? And their Musical Tesla Coils?

  61. always amy says:

    Five minutes in and I thought I knew how they were going to kill Rory this week.
    and then they didn't. And now that is disturbing.

  62. Reddi says:

    I really loved this ep as it deals with a lot of stuff good classic sci fi deals with (the nature of personhood and where will our tech lead us?)

    I have TONS of speculation based on this episode.
    It was freaking creepy, I fully agree.

    I think there is far more to this ep than it seems on first viewing (or second or third… I'm up to fourth).

    and most importantly: Rory is awesomeness.

  63. Reddi says:

    No, the real Rory was back when the universe was re-set. He never died, because in the new timeline he'd not travelled with the doctor, and Amy had been raised by her parents. But both had vestiges of memories from another timeline they were in. So Rory is REAL, but he's got memories of the timeline in which he died and memories of the timeline in which he was an auton.

  64. Michelle says:

    Chemistry major must acidsplain.

    Acids can't normally "melt" human flesh. At most, they would just dehydrate all the cells. From there, the heat created from that process would burn anything left. It would have to be a very strong acid to do that quickly. 100% sulfuric acid would probably do it. However, why not go bigger and use a superacid like fluoroantimonic acid? It's about 20 quadrillion times stronger than pure sulfuric acid. It can make flesh boil and melt, and it will kill a person in a matter of seconds, not only because of the actual acid, but the toxic hydrogen fluoride gas that it produces.

    Sorry, I find superacids fascinating. (:

    • ldwy says:

      Cool to know that there could be real science in the vat, and not pure fiction. 🙂 I was bio myself, so I wasn't sure.

    • firelizardkimi says:

      I am so glad there was a good explanation here in the comments. As a bio major who spent half of my college career as a chemistry TA, the whole acid thing was SUPER INTRIGUING, especially because acids freak me out. I had never heard of superacids and just went to look up the one you mentioned. I WILL NEVER TOUCH IT. EVER.

      Anyway, thank you for the explanation!

  65. Charli says:

    Right! I kept saying to my husband that wouldn't Rory be the best nurse ever and wouldn't you just be happy to have him treat you and comfort you. I think this is what made him so strong in this episode–he;s often left bewildered and a bit confused by the crazy stuff he and Amy now see on a daily basis, but the heart of his story here was finding a moral certainty and then just being there for someone who was frightened and confused.
    Love him.

  66. Jacinta says:

    Does anything count as Rory nearly dying in this episode?
    It's a two-parter, so we've got time *rolls eyes*
    I'm hoping there's a genuine reason he keeps dying rather than a running writers' joke.

    At least Rory actually commented on the fact that he dies all the time 😀 I thought that was hilarious.

  67. @amyalices says:

    I was going to comment properly and then I got distracted by SPAM EVERYWHERE.

    Ugh, anyway – this episode was pretty slow, but I am generally positive about the direction it is taking! I do hope they won't go the obvious route, especially with Rory and Amy – no fighting for my Ponds! – but I think various other possibilities for the next episode are very exciting.

  68. Not going to lie, I get why others liked the episode, but I felt like the entire plot was so predictable that it bored me to tears. I was just left deflated, because I expected a lot more creativity from Moffat.
    Gee, clones being used to do jobs we deem too dangerous for humans, *that's* never been done before…. especially in Blade Runner, The Island, and about a hundred other examples in Science Fiction.

  69. lastyearswishes says:

    So I don't know if anyone here has theories about Eye Patch Lady yet but I've heard that people are saying that this season is all or at least partially in Amy's head. This is based on the few lines Eye Patch Lady has (namely the obvious "No, I think she's just dreaming" from Day of the Moon); maybe she's ~observing~ Amy or something. If this is the case, it could explain why Rory keeps dying (or almost-dying) because if it's in Amy's head (say, in a nightmare) and she's afraid to lose him, then it could be playing out various situations of her losing him (or almost-losing him) in her head. Does that make any sense lol Sometimes I fail at explaining myself.

    It's possible that this scenario is too obvious and therefore not valid but whatever~

  70. ldwy says:

    So late to the party 🙁 The quick version.

    Rory I love you. I LOVE YOU.
    I am forever alone and I just want a Rory. Always so steady and caring and sweet.

    This episode was a little over the top…but whatever. It was creepy enough to not be ridiculous.

    I also couldn't help thinking of the Nestene consciousness!

    Ganger Doctor:

    First of all, when we were hearing "trust me" in that weird voice, I was thinking, oh, the Flesh is trying to make a Ganger Doctor, but something is going wrong because Time Lord physiology is ~different and special~
    But then he was a normal Ganger.

    So now I ask, if Ganger Doctor is a full on Time Lord, can he regenerate? And I didn't even think of the fact that this is twice in one season we've seen two Doctors. Maybe I didn't think of it because in the first episode they didn't interact and the Doctor isn't even aware of it. In that way, it immediately made me think of Journey's End from series 4, where 10 is confronted with an almost exactly the same version of himself.

    Maybe the "force field" "bubble of safety" (I know none of these are even remotely the right words) thing that can extend out the Tardis' door and keep you safe while letting you look at outer space must be involved in keeping the Tardis safe from acid. How are they going to get it out of that hole, though. Even without corrosive acid involved, the sucking power of mud is quite huge.

    I think the authors are totally aware of Rory's constant dying.

    Who are you eyepatch lady?!

  71. ldwy says:

    So late to the party 🙁 The quick version.

    Rory I love you. I LOVE YOU.
    I am forever alone and I just want a Rory. Always so steady and caring and sweet.

    This episode was a little over the top…but whatever. It was creepy enough to not be ridiculous.

    I also couldn't help thinking of the Nestene consciousness!

    Is the Doctor sensing something with a snowglobe? Great! but what?

    Ganger Doctor:

    First of all, when we were hearing "trust me" in that weird voice, I was thinking, oh, the Flesh is trying to make a Ganger Doctor, but something is going wrong because Time Lord physiology is ~different and special~
    But then he was a normal Ganger.

    So now I ask, if Ganger Doctor is a full on Time Lord, can he regenerate? And I didn't even think of the fact that this is twice in one season we've seen two Doctors. Maybe I didn't think of it because in the first episode they didn't interact and the Doctor isn't even aware of it. In that way, it immediately made me think of Journey's End from series 4, where 10 is confronted with an almost exactly the same version of himself.

    Maybe the "force field" "bubble of safety" (I know none of these are even remotely the right words) thing that can extend out the Tardis' door and keep you safe while letting you look at outer space must be involved in keeping the Tardis safe from acid. How are they going to get it out of that hole, though. Even without corrosive acid involved, the sucking power of mud is quite huge.

    I think the authors are totally aware of Rory's constant dying.

    Who are you eyepatch lady?!

  72. kartikeya200 says:

    Actually, I've had a bit of time to think about it (lots of driving people back and forth today, too much time to think), and it now makes a whole lot more sense to me that they did it this way.

    Consider: the reason real!Cleaves is the one to jump straight to 'kill 'em all' is because she's the one most dismissive of the Gangers being alive. She sees them as a mistake to 'clean up', as the Doctor puts it, and she's not really killing living people, she's just 'decommissioning' defective hardware. Ganger!Cleaves adds on a bit more, noting that 'we always have to take charge, even when we don't know what we're doing'.

    But Ganger!Cleaves obviously doesn't have this motivation. She knows that both sets of people here are alive, she knows she's a Ganger, and she knows that her other half just killed someone every bit as alive as she herself is, and on top of that, one of her crew. She goes far enough to ensure that her 'side' has the advantage, because she's not keen on dying, but she has no real reason to push for violence.

  73. kartikeya200 says:

    Jen, on the other hand. Listen to her monologue to Rory, about remembering when she was a child and scared, and how she imagined a 'stronger Jennifer' who would take charge and lead her home. And then afterwards, when Rory asks if she's feeling alright now, she says 'I'm stronger now'. Jennifer is scared, and most definitely the most scared of any of the Gangers. She just saw the other side (and the one who was real!Jennifer's leader at that) casually murder someone she has, again, real memories of being friends with and working with, and refer to it as being 'decommissioned'. She's terrified, overwhelmed, and has jumped to the not unreasonable conclusion that the only way to survive is to kill the other lot first.

  74. Thiamalonee says:

    Why does Dicken keep sneezing?

    Theories Abound! (Do we say that if it's just for the next ep?)

    I totally forgot about this until you mentioned it. I feel like this could be a set up for a War of the Worlds ending… but all the Theories Abound! make me feel like such a conclusion would be a waste.

  75. attack womb says:

    ah, i missed that bit. i do say that frequently, in fact! but if it involves twilight sleep, i will really be very pissed off. in fact, i'm already pissed at how often the doctor invades amy's personal privacy by doing a total body scan. ew. if i found out one of my male friends was secretly monitoring whether or not i was pregnant, i'd be so beyond creeped out!

    • rumantic says:

      Haha! Yes, that's so true! I think he means well though. After the whole time-head conversation he probably doesn't want to freak her out. But still, it's been several weeks now, surely he should have talked to her about it?

      I wish I had that time-head gif to post now.

  76. Ashley says:

    Not my fave, reminded me of Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. But I should wait for episode 2 for a complete story opinion. Liked the dialogue and Rory, though!

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  78. feanna says:

    I guess my complete apathy at the lack of reaction to the disolving in acid thing means I watch/read to much SciFi? I mean, I was totally all: OK, so he's a robot/something like that and will get a new body right? or something similar? I simply went along with the other characters reactions and assumed we'd get an explanation later on (and probably pretty soon, obvious set up that it was).

    Also, on the too much SciFi front: I have definitely though about what I'd do if there were suddenly two of me (clone/alternate universe/forgotten twin/whatever) and while some things (like Uni) might be a problem (though we might be able to fake something?) we're sharing everything else. And if she were a Ganger (or something like that) she'd even already be aware of this conclusion, nice! (Also, for some reason I sympathise with the Gangers to a point, where I feel uncomfortable whenever somebody calls the templates the Real-xxx. As Jennifer said: She IS Jennifer, not the unreal-Jennifer, though at this point with some extra flexibility.)

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  100. notemily says:

    If they have a fully-formed identity, even if it is identical to that of the orignal source it was copied from, does that make them a person, too?

    It's funny to me to go back and see this, after we've been through two seasons of Battlestar Galactica.

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