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Doctor Who 6×05-06 “The Rebel Flesh”/”The Almost People” Review


Since series six features an overarching plot about trying to change a fixed point in time, I figured it would be best to take a look back at these episodes by picking a moment from each episode that I would like to change.

To be fair, I’ll also choose a moment from each episode that I wouldn’t change for any reason whatsoever, even if some nefarious character was holding a gun to my future nonexistent spawn’s head.

6.05-06 The Rebel Flesh & The Almost People

What I Would Change: Ugh

Much like the Silurian two-parter last series, I lumped these two episodes together because I find them enormously crappy. There just isn’t enough story or emotional involvement of the main characters (outside of a final twist) to justify this many episodes being spent in that damn castle.

I think the major issue that I have with these episodes is the way they try to handle the social message at their core. It’s all about proving that these Flesh people are exactly the same as their original copies, but by the end of the episode I didn’t really agree. There is enough evidence presented on both sides of the argument (the ARE people, they AREN’T people) that it just seems to end up in a murky gray area, instead of really choosing a side and answering the question.

Even though this is the case, the episode stills shoves a happy ending onto you. It just doesn’t feel genuine to me. The way the Flesh seemed connected earlier makes me think they’re all going to revolt in a decade hive-mind style anyway.

What I Wouldn’t Change: The Doctor’s Emotional Manipulation

Still, this episode is a great example of just how dark the Doctor can go. Instead of putting the cards on the table in regards to what he thinks is going down with Amy, he keeps it internal until the last possible moment, at which point he dissolves Amy’s Flesh copy and wakes her up in alien captivity in a spaceship far, far away.

There’s something so cold about this reveal. The Doctor has never seemed more like a detached scientist than he does in these episodes, what with the way he treats the Flesh like his own personal experiment. It’s crazy, but awesome. And there’s just enough foreshadowing to let you know there’s something dark about the Doctor’s motivations for visiting the castle.