SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who–“The Almost People” Review (Spoilers) and Speculation About “A Good Man Goes To War”

Doctor Who The Almost People

The Almost People aired in the U.K. this weekend but BBC America decided not to show this week’s episode of Doctor Who because of the Memorial Day holiday. Between those who watched on BBC and those who found other ways to download the episode, I assume that a substantial proportion of fans have now seen it. Warning, there are major spoilers here for those who plan to watch on BBC America next week.

The second part of this two-part story was better than last week’s episode, The Rebel Flesh (reviewed here). The story took advantage of the set-up in the first episode, although this might have worked better if they could have had an extended full hour episode to tell a slightly condensed version of the story in a single sitting. The fight against the Gangers and ultimate conclusion made a good story, but far from a great one. Plot wise, the high point was Jennifer’s deception of Rory with a second Ganger, which I had already anticipated. The best parts of the episode involved the Doctor’s Ganger, and of course the final couple of minutes (video below).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isnaYwhcuL8&feature=player_embedded

Steven Moffat has added so much to the series with references back to the early years of Doctor Who. The Ganger of the Doctor was amusing as it went through the previous regenerations of the Doctor. This included the third Doctor (originally played by Jon Pertwee) saying, “”reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.” While Pertwee became known for this phrase, he had actually only said it once.

The conclusion progressed the story arc involving the Schroedinger’s pregnancy in Amy, but I suspect that other events of this week’s story are also important to the entire season. The episode ended with learning that the Amy who has been with the Doctor is a Ganger while Amy is actually having a baby. As most already predicted, the woman with the eye patch was involved with the delivery. Seeing the Doctor “kill” the Ganger (or actually sever the link) now gives Karen Gillan two scenes this season in which she appeared to die. Rory retains his lead in overall appearances of getting killed.

Doctor Who A Good Man Goes To War Amy Pond River Song

One question is when the switch took place. It might have been when the Silence held Amy captive, but I suspect it was sooner as there had already been a scene showing the woman in the eye patch earlier in the episode. It could have happened during the gap we did not see between The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. With the Doctor saying Amy had been gone for a long time, the switch could have occurred even earlier, such as before Amy came out of the Pandorica in The Big Bang. Adding to my suspicion that the events of last season play into this, including the unexplained source for the destruction of the universe, are the promotional pictures for next  week’s episode in which Rory again appears Roman (such as above). The episode also contains multiple old enemies, as were seen in The Pandorica Opens.

This might suggest that Amy was impregnated by someone or something other than her husband. If Rory is the father, my suspicion is that it did not happen  before their wedding. After all, this is technically billed as a  children’s show. If the baby is the child seen at the end of Day of the Moon, the father might be a Time Lord, unless living in the Tardis was the cause.  This also raises a question of whether the picture of Amy holding a baby in the orphanage  in Day of the Moon was the real Amy or a Ganger.

Ever since The Rebel Flesh, there has been speculation that the “future” version of the Doctor who was killed is really a Ganger. That would certainly solve the problem of having more regenerations before the Doctor dies, regardless of whether it is in two hundred years or much further in the future. I became more convinced of this possibility after both watching The Almost People and going back to the Doctor’s death scene in The Impossible Astronaut. For a few seconds, the Doctor’s face reminded me of the faces of the Gangers before they fully established human form–something which would not have meant anything to viewers at the time the show first aired.

Events in The Almost People add further to this possibility. Having a Ganger of Amy which was present for some time makes it more likely that other Gangers  could be present in other episodes. The Doctor was concerned in The Almost People with finding out whether a Ganger of himself could fool others, also suggesting he had a plan involving another use of a Ganger.

Next week, in A Good Man Goes To War, we  presumably will see the birth of Amy’s child, and it is rumored that River Song’s identity will be revealed at the end of the episode. It has long been suspected that there is a connection between Amy Pond and River Song beyond having a body of water in each of their names. One possibility is that River might be Amy’s daughter.  Promotional material for the upcoming episode  reports (another possible spoiler) that Amy will have a daughter named Melody. Perhaps River Song is the daughter of Melody Pond, using both music and water in the names, if not Amy’s daughter.

The trailer for A Good Man Goes to War:

The prequel to A Good Man Goes to War:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiB3SdlQ6sI&feature=player_embedded

Update: A Good Man Goes to War is reviewed here.

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