TV Recap: Doctor Who – The Almost People

Season 6, Episode 6

By Edwin Davies

September 3, 2012

Two doctors are better than one.

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One thing I liked, but wasn't really entirely sure of, was the fact that The Doctor and The Doctor-Ganger tricked Amy into thinking that they were each other. On the one hand, it was thematically apt that the question of what it means to be human should be pushed to the very extreme by having Amy treat The Doctor - her Doctor - differently because she thought he was a Ganger, and it has ramifications for the series arc which I'll get to later, but it seemed like a weird thing for The Doctor to do. It felt like he was trying to teach her a lesson, and even though the explanation given made sense, it also seemed a little too on the nose. Not as on the nose as the scene in which the Jennifer-Ganger gives voice to the theme of the episode by saying, "Who is the real monster?" but it was pretty on the nose nonetheless.

In its final act, the episode revolved around a series of noble sacrifices which sought to blur the lines between Gangers and humans; Jimmy dies when he is hit by acid, then says that his Ganger can take his place and raise his son, Human Buzzer closes a door to stop the mutated Jennifer-Ganger killing everyone, but can only do so by trapping himself on the wrong side of the door, and both the Cleaver-Ganger and Doctor-Ganger choose to die to save everyone else. They give a very real cathartic release after all the more intellectual pondering of the rest of the story, and give weight to what The Doctor says as he leaves the survivors at a hearing about the misuse of The Flesh. "People are good. In their bones, truly good." It's a message that Doctor Who as a series repeats over and over in one form or another, the idea that humanity as a species has the capacity for great and beautiful things, and I always find it very resonant. Here, it felt especially well earned.

Rating: 9/10



--Finally, an explanation for the Window Lady! So, the reason Amy's been seeing glimpses of her is that the Amy we've been following since the start of the season was really a Ganger, and the real, very pregnant Amy has been held by the Window Lady. Next week should be very exciting.

--So, was The Doctor that Amy talked to about seeing The Doctor die The Doctor, or the Doctor-Ganger? Since we don't know exactly when they switched to trick Amy, that means that either she hasn't told him that she saw him die, or she has. I don't think that scene between them was included idly, so I think it will come back later on.

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