Sunday, May 22, 2011

Doctor Who S6 E5 "The Rebel Flesh"

This episode, written by Matthew Graham, is the first of season 6's second two-parter.

A solar tsunami forces The Doctor to land the TARDIS at a medieval monastery, but in the 22nd century. The monastery has been converted into an acid factory. What makes this operation interesting is how the staff go about their jobs. Instead of doing things personally, they use doppelgangers, which they claim are more acurately referred to as "gangers." The gangers are composed of fully programmable organic matter called "The Flesh." The Flesh begins as liquid and then solidifies into the form of the host human.

A complication caused by the solar storm that got The Doctor, Amy and Rory there in the first place causes the gangers to go rogue, resulting in a lot of problems. The gangers have all of the memories and feelings as their original human counterparts. Because of these feelings, the gangers are confused and angry, striking back against their creators.

This episode is almost a modern adaption of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, using the same theme of human's creation of life in their image turning against them. Although I do have to say that the use of Flesh, while a bit gross, is less morbid than Frankenstein's monster's patchwork skin.  It is quite interesting though, to think about the position that the gangers have been put in. What would you do if you had all of the memories and feelings of a human, but were told that you weren't real; weren't worth keeping alive? It also calls to mind the attitudes of racists and anyone with an irrational prejudice.

 Returning in this episode are The Doctor's psychic paper, which we haven't seen in a while; Rory getting in trouble as usual, and Mysterious Eye Patch Lady. Also, the TARDIS still can't figure out if Amy is pregnant or not, which is very frustrating. We still don't know who River Song is, and in this episode there were no apparent clues.

The ending of "The Rebel Flesh" is quite interesting, and I won't give anything away, but it's a great twist that has me begging for the second part!

*Fun fact: The music playing in the background when Amy and Rory are playing darts is "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse, which most people recognize as the "baseball song" from Twilight!

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