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13 June 2011 @ 05:37 pm
The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People  
It's interesting what a different some decent direction can make. On a story level The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People is as riddled with absurdity as was The Curse of the Black Spot and contains a good deal of running down corridors to very little point and yet it succeeded in holding my attention over twice the length of that rather sorry tale of pirates and mermaids.

Of course the two-parter had the benefit of having a fairly clear theme to explore and even, occasionally, exploring it in an interesting fashion - the issue of two people both considering themselves equally married and equally a father to the same people was a novel and more nuanced approach to the issue of artificial people than you often see in adventure serials. It was hampered by a set of characters who were either total non-entities (there was one guy I hadn't even realised existed until the cliffhanger at the end of part 1) or who seemed to radically change their minds and personalities at the drop of the hat (particularly the commander's sudden switch from extremist to peacemaker but also, to a lesser extent, Jennifer's transformation from timid non-entity to rampaging psychopath and Rory's rather odd acceptance of Jennifer's apparent murder of her ganger). But it also, unforgivably, failed to take a clear line on whether the flesh was sentient without the intervention of random solar flare events. This failure made the Doctor's destruction of the ganger Amy at the end of the episode appear totally morally at odds with everything that had gone before.

However, these failures aside, it managed to be gripping and atmospheric. There were some nice creepy visuals, and enough pace that even though there was an awful lot of running down corridors I didn't really begrudge the fact. It wasn't a great episode of Doctor Who but I have a lot more time for it than Curse.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/45268.html.