Television: Doctor Who and the Almost People

"Doctor Who: The Almost People"As the solar storm rages, Jennifer, a Ganger driven mad by the memories of being “decommissioned”, is seeking revenge. She can remember every excruciating second of every “execution” and is determined that the humans will pay. And she isn’t just talking war; she’s talking revolution. As the crumbling factory fills with toxic fumes and drips lethal acid, the “Originals” wait desperately for the shuttle from the Mainland to rescue them. But Jennifer has other ideas. Can the Doctor convince the terrified factory workers to embrace their own humanity and work together with their Gangers to overcome a monster of their own making?

Wow.

That was my first reaction after watching The Almost People. Wow. I mean, how else would you react when you find out that so-and-so wasn’t who you thought they were?

Now, truth be told, while I really liked last week’s episode The Rebel Flesh, it didn’t quite live up to the excitement I felt after watching The Doctor’s Wife. So coming into The Almost People, I was more or less without any expectations. And that was a good thing, now that I’ve seen the episode.

I’m not saying that because I think the episode was bad. Far from it. I think this episode was brilliant. It’s still not up to par with Blink, or The Doctor’s Wife, and I have to admit the spoilers/speculations I’ve read did manage to snuff out the flames of excitement rather quickly. But hey, the episode was still amazingly written and plotted.

Though, I’m having a bit of a problem with the fact that the emotional weight of the two-parter rested with the guest characters. I mean, it’s well done, but I just don’t care about these characters as I do about the Doctor and about Amy and Rory. Sure they did get into precarious situations, but nothing so life-or-death that made me scoot to the edge of my seat hoping that they’d turn out okay. So there’s no physical endangerment to draw me in either.

And, honestly, unlike The Rebel Flesh, which had me pretty much glued to the screen, I was able to do other things while watching The Almost People.

So I guess what really made me go ‘wow!’ at the beginning of this post was the revelations in the end. The same revelations that were (a little) spoiled for me because I read people’s speculations. And now, while typing this post, I’m already rethinking my view on the episode. Did I really think it was brilliant? Or did my multi-tasking fool me into thinking I saw a great hour of television?

Next week, Doctor Who airs its mid-series finale–which means, my Doctor Who Sundays will also be taking a break after that episode. And because it’s the mid-series finale, I might not make a post about the episode until the following Monday, when I’ve fully digested everything that has happened in the first seven episodes of Doctor Who Series 6.

2 thoughts on “Television: Doctor Who and the Almost People

  1. I dig these Jace. I did feel bad that Rebel Flesh had the near impossible task of living up to The Doctor’s Wife, but the Almost People certainly made the two parter cap off nicely. I agree it’s not Blink/TDW worthy, but I guess those eps from a stand-alone perspective were great, but didn’t add much to the overall Series story. The Almost People did a great job of adding to overall Series story, and an even crazier job of setting up the mid-season finale. That was indeed a stunning conclusion and what makes it worse is that it’s NOT the finale. Moffat’s got something planned which will make the mid-season break unbearable.

    Isn’t it also weird that this was the episode where everyone BUT Rory dies?

    • That’s true, Blink and TDW didn’t have the additional responsibility of carrying a series-arc.

      Maybe I’m a bit perplexed as to how I much I actually like The Almost People because it sets up next week’s episode too nicely–and that’s why I’m having trouble taking this is as a capper for the doppelganger two-parter. Because it doesn’t feel like it a capper even though it is.

      And now that you’ve mentioned it, I am loving the fact that everyone BUT Rory dies in these two episodes! Hurrah for Rory!

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