Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 6- The Almost People

It’s not easy being a clone. You have to do all the difficult and messy work, you don’t get any thanks and the ‘real’ version of you gets invited to all the parties.

I should know: for years now all four of me have been chained to a desk in a giant web-based television review factory, regularly beaten by TV Pixies. It’s no life at all. Still, it’s not all bad: sometimes the powers that be give us a day off to get our brains emptied: they fill up with Jamie Oliver side projects quite quickly.

But enough about me…’The Almost People’ was a solid and entertaining conclusion to a thought provoking two parter. Although a tad uneven in places, the concept of a ‘Ganger Doctor’ was a great one and largely made up for any flaws. Unlike the Day of the Moon- which left a tantalising three month gap between episodes- the action kicked off exactly where it left off the week before: locked in a room with a vat of flesh and two time lords.

Because, you know, you can never have enough Matt Smiths, even if he does have a face like a melted cliff.

In a pleasing nod to continuity the Eleventh Doc’s clone churned out a mean Tom Baker impression, mumbling a quote about jelly babies as the Doctor’s previous incarnations ‘burned’ through him. Though I couldn’t help wish they’d been a bit more postmodern and had him come out with: ‘Britain,Britain,Britain…’

Or possibly: ‘Of course, that’s not the real Prime Minister, it’s that guy from Buffy.’

But is the cloned Doctor ‘real’? Amy thinks not. In fact, she’s quite racist about it. If the gangers were immigrants, she’d definitely be in the 22nd century version of the BNP. She won’t even let the new Doctor call her ‘Pond’, a bit harsh given that she’s also a fleshy fake.

Yes, after several weeks spent wondering why Amy keeps doubling over like the winner of a vindaloo-eating competition, we finally learnt what the heck has been going on with her: she’s a ganger too. The ‘real’ Amy has been remotely controlling another version of herself, effectively teleconferencing in to her own life. For the duration of the series she’s been held- unknowing- in a bland, white tube in some as-yet-unnamed part of the Universe (possibly Wigan) getting steadily more pregnant.

Although a horrific reveal for her, to be honest it’s not that bad an idea. We could all do with a spare body that we could leave at work to avoid the commute and dial into at 9am. Or maybe a couple of spares: I’d leave at least one at Alton Towers…and another at the pub.

The Ganger-Amy reveal made for a very exciting conclusion; however it’s possibly a little too cataclysmic to tack on to the end of a relatively crowded story. The rest of the episode paled in comparison to the thrilling ending, which is rather unfair as the ‘Almost People’ was a solid, traditional chunk of Doctor Who action. The discovery that the ‘real’ Doctor had been the new one all along was poignant and Amy’s farewell to the ganger Doc was tear-jerking stuff: ‘you’re twice the man I thought you were’.  Aw, bless.

The use of the holographic telephone call to Jimmy’s son to jerk a degree of compassion into the rebelling clones was equally affecting, and the death of the kid’s ‘original’ dad was a poignant- if predictable- twist.

However, it would have been far more entertaining to keep him alive and end up with both Jimmies sharing parenting duties: particularly if they’d have had a ‘two months later’ scene at a school open day:

Kid: “I’ve got two dads!”

Teacher: “Oh, right? That’s lovely. So your dads are gay?”

Kid: “No, they’re the same dad. They were caught in a solar tsunami and my original dad’s replicant was imbued with his consciousness, rendering him ‘alive’ in an ethical and moral sense.”

Teacher: “….sorry. I don’t think there’s space on the form for that.”

Next week: Rory the Roman embarks on a quest to save Amy from the eyepatch lady. Let’s hope he doesn’t die. Again.

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About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

6 Responses to Doctor Who: Series 6, Episode 6- The Almost People

  1. GreatBigBadger says:

    Did it worry you at all that having held a torch for the rights of gangers all the way through the episode, the Doc was quite happy to zap the clone Amy with his sonic screwdriver (which is rapidly needing a new name, since it hasn’t seen a screw in years). And why was Rory happy to leave his wife to the whims of a maniac alien, either ‘real’ or flesh (we only have his word that he’d swapped shoes)?

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I did wonder about that myself, but I think she was a non-conscious ganger- like the ones at the beginning who were just conduits for the consciousness of the people in the harnesses. Or possibly not. It’s hard to follow, this Doctor Who malarkey. I’ve no idea how kids manage it.

      • Mads says:

        Yeah. Cos, like, what’s the point in them shutting down an acid factory based on all the ‘WHY???????!!!!!!!???!’ eyes (as they call them in Newcastle) if actually it’s only the caught-in-a-storm gangers that are ethically not to be killed? He totally didn’t give a monkeys about killing Amy at all… So was that murder or not murder? I don’t understand. God, Doctor Who is hard work sometimes.

  2. GreatBigBadger says:

    Not sure consciousness is the point. What about the big pile of used gangers suffering in the corridor in the castle? That was meant to be REALLY BAD and they weren’t conscious. It’s a bit like animal experimentation, isn’t it. The animals are necessarily conscious of themselves, but it doesn’t give humans a right to use them as we see fit.

  3. GreatBigBadger says:

    That should have been ‘aren’t’, not ‘are’, of course.

  4. Mads says:

    Yeah, that was pretty darn unfriendly of them. Doesn’t make much sense leaving them to dribble in a corridor when there’s all that acid to swim about in, like… Though I imagine the paperwork would be somewhat prohibitive.

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