Last week it was time machines made human and the king of all dreams and stories and Michael Sheen and bubble universes and other good and fun stuff on Doctor Who. This week we take a step back and go a little more gothic with dark castles in the future and lightning strikes and doppelgangers and “The Rebel Flesh” brought to life!
17 things about tonight’s episode of Doctor Who…
1. There’s a Supermassive Black Hole on the TARDIS!
2. Tonight’s episode was a bit… so so, I guess? I mean, not terrible, with some interesting concepts, but I just didn’t feel like I was watching something classic and lovely. Similar, as far as two parters would go, would perhaps be last year’s Silurian episodes, I think. Although it might turn itself around in the second part… An example of a good filler two parter on Doctor Who, for me, would be probably “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit.”
3. Doctor Who likes things that are impossible, that’s for sure.
4. Castles! Clones and/or shapeshifters! Old scary monasteries and darkness and weird mysteries that should just not be poked at and pondered by humans, who may be the real monsters themselves… I like it. There’s a little bit of a Frankenstein flair to this episode… Like I said, interesting concepts. Also… The Thing, maybe? And Solaris, sorta.
I never saw more than YouTube clips of the original British Life On Mars, or its sequel, Ashes To Ashes, but I’ve always heard it praised, and Matthew Graham’s writing especially. His script here wasn’t terrible, not really, and so far feels better than his previous effort, “Fear Her,” which he had to write in a pinch during the second season when Stephen Fry fell through on his writing commitment to the show.
5. Solar Tsunamis! That’s just goddamn fun to say. Say it five times fast, then a couple of more times.
6. The pacing of this episode was a bit of a problem, I think. It just didn’t grab you, and then if it did, it didn’t keep you. The episode came up a bit reaching on the level of “moody” and “atmospheric” that I think it would’ve needed to survive…
In fact, the more I think about it, it really feels like they did smash “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit” together with “The Hungry Earth“/”Cold Blood” and mashed them together. Two sides warring. The doctor pleading with peace. A new life form. Sharing and caring. Isolated away from others, trapped in the darkness, focusing on the guest stars, and ehhh…
7. By a bit of that logic, I wonder if that means that Rory will have to die again?
8. I kept waiting for Amy to hit him with a dart in the opening scene in the TARDIS. I mean, I like Rory and all, don’t get me wrong, but he seems like the kind of guy who should be getting hit in the balls with a football or something every other episode.
9. And, ugh, once the Doctor touched that goo, besides the copious hints of a some shadowy monstrous figure whispering “Trust me!” you just knew that the Doctor would have to face off with his fleshy (Doppel)Ganger.
But, oooh, does the Doctor know more about the future of “The Flesh?” He does refer to them as “primitive technology,” and evades questions about what he may already know about them, yes? Is this one of those episodes where he finds himself stuck at the crossroads of time, having to reinforce an event that he already knows must happen? What does the future hold for the Gangers that the Doctor already knows about? And is he trying to fight/change that future?
11. I really want to see the Ganger Doctor fighting the real Doctor. Who doesn’t want an evil twin? Of course, that can only end one way: With you having to wrestle your evil twin to death while your friends look on, unsure of which of you is the real you and which is the fake…
Kill us both, Spock!
12. It was nice of them to give Rory a very human moment, and let him connect with someone who feels real, as far as being human goes, but isn’t quite. After spending two millenniums as plastic, you’d expect the man to have a little empathy. And it was nice watching him do something other than feel left out when the Doctor and Amy are off having fun/adventures/sexy flirtatious hijinks.
And Sarah Smart was really good as the woman who is no longer human but still remembers being human. Some interesting moral quandaries and questions there and if there’s anything that science fiction loves devouring, it’s moral quandaries. And questions. And Sarah Smart, I always thought, was good in Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander series, though criminally wasted. Nice to see Mark Bonnar too, whom I thought was decent in a show called Paradox that just didn’t get nearly enough respect out there. I’m surprised that Amy didn’t bond with him since she seems to bond with every Scottish person that she meets.
Coming soon: Meredith Vieira, the Silurians, Winston Churchill, the Romans, and the Cybermen!
14. I keep hearing rumors that Rory is going to be evil or do something slightly evil this season…
Is it possible that he still has naughty evil programming in his head from when he was an Auton? And is he actually human now? How does all that work, that stuff from “The Big Bang,” with the Doctor restarting the universe and Amy wishing everyone/everything she loves back into existence? Seems to be like there would be some wiggle room there for plotline nastiness to be throw in as the season progresses.
15. After next week’s “The Almost People,” we have the big mid-season finale, “A Good Man Goes To War.” Should be exciting. The released synopsis for it says something about Amy being kidnapped and Rory and the Doctor racing around the universe gathering allies and calling it old debts to rescue her. And that River Song has to prepare herself to escape from prison and that the time for her to reveal her big, crazy secret is fast approaching.
16. Also, Amy is still Shrodinger’s Preggers!
17. Also, I love Dusty Springfield.
Just know that before you say anything bad about her, well, then you better be bringing a fight with you.