The TARDIS gets caught in a solar tsunami which sends the ship crashing to an island on 22nd century Earth. The Doctor, Amy and Rory discover a ruined monastery on the island manned by a small crew of humans who possess a special kind of “flesh” that allows them to create worker clones called Gangers. When the solar tsunami hits and knocks everyone unconscious, things get a little weird. When the group reawakens, hours have passed. The Gangers are loose and now self aware. As the line between what it means to be human blurs, animosities build to a boiling point and war seems inevitable.
What started out as an ok episode of Doctor Who, with Muse’s Supermassive Black Hole playing in the TARDIS which was awesome, got itself together to become a very intriguing episode and a strong follow up to last weeks TARDIS personified episode.
The Gangers are an interesting creation in the Doctor Who universe. While watching them piece together what they believed to be their lives and their memories, I couldn’t help but think that their little quest was very similar to that of the Replicants in Blade Runner (how many times did I bring up “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” in my head during this one hour alone, I will never know). That being said, it wasn’t a bad story. In fact, I like stories with creatures learning what it is to be human even when they are not so. Watching the Gangers eventually interact with their…controllers? Pilots? Let’s just call them Originals, was nicely staged and it was cool to see them start to warm up to each other. And then Cleaves came along and started a war, honestly I can’t wait to see her get hers next week. Cleaves character is such a nuisance that it is hard to feel any sympathy for her. Heck even her Ganger was a better make than the Original, which was pretty funny I thought.
But of all the Gangers and characters in general in this episode, poor Jennifer is the one who stands out most. She is the first one who we get a lot of insight to and watching her become scared and sad as the truth is doled out to her by Rory was very touching and sad. And yes, another Blade Runner reference, it is very reminiscent of when Deckard tells Rachel that her memories are not her own, but implants from a little girl. Getting back to Doctor Who, Jen’s sad story arc gave Rory another week to shine in the spotlight. Seeing as how Amy pretty much relies on The Doctor all the time, Rory decided to stick his neck out for Jen (though she stuck hers out a lot farther when she tried to bite his head off, pretty cool.) It was a nice change to see Amy and Rory on different sides of the struggle and see Rory play the protector. Amy was clearly jealous, but it should be noted that even though Jen clearly fancies Rory, he is still Amy’s man, “Amy is a lucky woman”, Jen says to him, to which Rory can only reply dumbfounded, “yea…”
When the civil war, I guess you could call it that (The Gangers are fighting themselves after all), broke out, the climax was set for something big. And it only got bigger when we found out that the Flesh had created a Ganger of The Doctor after he touched it. A Ganger with the memories of a 900 plus year old Time Lord; now that is a truly stunning cliffhanger right there and I can’t wait to see how they resolve it. Oh and creepy eye patch lady showed up again, what the hell or who the hell is she? Only two weeks to go till the big game changing mid season break, maybe we will find out then.
Next Week-Gangers vs. Originals and Doctor vs. Doctor (and I’m sure more Blade Runner comparisons to come.)