troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Recap: Doctor Who S32 E6 "The Almost People"
Me and Mr. Smith

"I have a plan and it'll destroy them all."
Ganger Jennifer

Written by Matthew Graham.
Continued from the last episode, and all-out war is going on between the human crew and their rogue Gangers, both of which fear the other group too much to stay rational. As the solar storm rages, Jennifer, a Ganger driven mad by the unnatural memories of being "decommissioned" over and over, is seeking revenge. 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.

The Doctors tell Amy to breathe.

The Doctor's own Ganger has some initial glitches. But the Doctor calms him down and, as usual, effortlessly teams up with himself. He tells Amy that they can still be told apart because the original Doctor's shoes dissolved last episode, and he's wearing different ones now.

It turns out that the factory is full of discarded bits and pieces of Flesh... still fully conscious.

Amy is very freaked out by seeing the Doctor's Ganger. She treats it coldly and pretty much stops just short of "generated anomaly". The Doctor keeps asking her why, and she explains that the friendship she has with the Doctor can't suddenly be directed towards his Ganger, regardless of whether or not they have the exact same feelings and memories.

Amy sees the eye-patch woman again, and finally decides to tell the Doctor about it. He brushes her off. When the Doctor's Ganger takes her aside, she freaks out and asks him if he can die. Because she may have seen that. And the real Doctor invited her to come see it. The Ganger takes in that information, but is distracted when his innate psychic Time Lord powers pick up the screams of the decaying discarded Flesh. He heads back to confer with the Doctor, and hesitantly agrees to keep his distance from the main crew as a safety precaution.

Rory teams up with Jennifer, and is tricked by her to trap Amy, the Doctor and the remaining crew. Jennifer turns out to have had two Gangers, and the real her is long since dead.

Jennifer's remaining Ganger morphs into a freakish long-limbed monster. Eventually, the factory is about to be blown up, and the Doctor reveals to Amy that he's not the Doctor at all. He's the Ganger — and has been all along. They switched shoes to see how Amy would respond to them. The Doctor's Ganger sacrifices himself while the Doctor, Amy and Rory escape. The two remaining Gangers are dropped off safely, together with the last living human crew member. They decide to let the world know what happened, together.

Back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor explains his reasoning for the switcheroo. And why he told Amy to "breathe" earlier. She's going into labour. Or rather, her very pregnant actual self is. Because Amy was kidnapped even before America, and has unknowingly spent months experiencing all her adventures through a Flesh body. The Doctor knew all along, because the Flesh has never been able to fool him. He just needed to know more about it before taking action: how it feels, how it works and how it can judge.

And as the Doctor dissolves the Flesh of Amy's Ganger, telling Rory to be very brave, we cut to where Amy really is: on a bed, giving birth. And the eye-patch woman who Amy keeps seeing through doors and walls is staring at her, real this time, happy that the baby is about to be born. Amy screams.


Tropes:

  • Arc Words: Arc Person again — Eye-Patch Lady.
  • And I Must Scream: The partially melted down Gangers. Rotting but fully alive and conscious.
  • Artistic License - Medicine: Cleaves has a blood clot in her brain, giving her headaches. In real life we have a word for a blood clot in the brain: a stroke. They do a bit more than headaches.
  • Batman Gambit: By the Doctor, as usual.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The TARDIS, crashing through the ceiling once the acid around her has dissolved the ground she was standing on.
  • Body Horror: The rotting Gangers — partially melted but still conscious. And eyes in one of the walls, made of more living Flesh.
  • Broken Aesop: The episode ends with a Fantastic Aesop that the gangers (remote controlled bodies) should be treated as just as human as the originals they're copies of. This is after a ganger jumps off the slippery slope, creates another ganger just to kill it so that it can kill more humans, and goes Ax-Crazy and tries to kill everyone. Counts as an inversion too. It follows the "Gangers are people too" Aesop through to its logical conclusion — just like humans, some are bad, some good, and some in between. The villain ball passes between human and ganger over the course of the story and by the end, the survivors are a mixed group of gangers and humans working together to escape from the aforementioned Ax-Crazy.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • "It's chokey gas!"
    • "All right, show me the scanney-trackey screen!"
  • Captain Obvious: There is a massive cracking sound. Amy: "Something just cracked; I heard it!" REALLY?
  • Cloning Blues: Subverted. While the Gangers question their humanity and their originals don't trust them, the Doctor considers the originals and their Gangers to be literally "the same person twice". In fact he sees his Ganger as himself and deserving of full respect. He's vindicated when it turns out he and his ganger switched places near the beginning of the episode, in order to be sure they were the same.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Ganger-Doctor quotes his First, Third, Fourth and Tenth incarnations while trying to stabilise himself. At one point he even offers people a jelly baby in Tom Baker's voice.
    • Later, he calls himself John Smith, his most common alias over the series. More specifically, it was his name the last time he was "only almost the Doctor".
    • Both Doctors refer to the TARDIS as "Sexy".
    • The Doctor calls Rory "Roranicus", just like Amy did.
    • Amy waking up in a small coffin-like space, like in "The Hungry Earth".
  • Cute and Psycho: It's been suggested the original Jennifer was one as it would explain why her Ganger flipped so quickly.
  • Debate and Switch: Since the season opener, Team TARDIS has been wondering whether to tell the Doctor that he's going to die and risk some sort of paradox. During this episode, Amy accidentally tells him, thinking she was speaking to Ganger Doctor.
  • Distressed Dude: After Rory unwittingly helps Ganger Jen with her plans, she drags him away after trapping the other team.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Amy is a Ganger and has been all through this series; human Amy has been locked in a cell the entire time meaning somewhere along the way, human Amy has been swapped for a Ganger who has been travelling with the Doctor the whole time. Since the Ganger functions as a remote body to the real Amy, that means that human Amy experienced all this series' preceding adventures while not in her real body.
  • Face-Heel Turn: The Doctor pretends to do this, making the Gangers think he's on their side (mostly by freaking Rory the hell out) until he has an out to "trick them into humanity".
  • Fantastic Racism: Cleaves towards gangers in general. Amy demonstrates repeated prejudice and anger towards the one she thinks is the Ganger Doctor.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The Doctor and his Ganger.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Amy, in this episode, is worried she and Rory are growing apart, and doesn't like being separated from him. Turns out they've been apart all along.
    • During the first conversation between the Doctor and his Ganger, one asks about Cybermats. Guess what's returning later in the series?
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Parodied a bit by the Doctor: RORY POND RORANICUS PONDICUS!
  • Genre Blindness: How many hints did second Flesh Jennifer give Rory that she wasn't exactly on his side? But she had to flat out tell him for him to catch on.
  • Genre Savvy: Like many viewers, Amy immediately realizes that the death of the Doctor she witnessed in "The Impossible Astronaut" could have been the Ganger Doctor being killed instead.]] The Doctor is understandably rather cross with her for jumping to this conclusion.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Ganger Jenny completely loses it thanks to all her memories of being "decommissioned".
  • Heel Realization:
    • The Doctor gambits the Gangers into this to quit their plans and save the humans, having the Ganger version of Jimmy contact their son (and thus realize he is basically killing his son's father). Only Ganger Jennifer fails to undergo this, coming to see "humanity" as a weakness.
    • The Doctor also gambits one onto Amy, by pulling a Twin Switch with the Ganger Doctor she is reviled by.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: All over the place. Final list includes human Jimmy, human Dicken, Ganger Cleaves and the Ganger Doctor.
  • Hive Mind: The two Doctors manage to act as if they were still occupying the same skull. Which, in a way, they are. Both being essentially exactly the same person, it would make sense that they would know exactly what the other was thinking. And the fact that Time Lords are telepathic couldn't have hurt, either.
  • Hollywood Acid
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Subtle example. Rory finds the human and Ganger versions of Jennifer only for them to fight, and is shocked when the human Jennifer hurls her counterpart into a pool of acid. We later learn that both of them were Gangers and it was done to manipulate Rory — in other words, the Ganger Jennifer views humans as being so callous that she presented her supposedly human version casually disposing of the Ganger version as normal behaviour, but Rory himself is morally superior to her idea of what humans are like.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The Ganger Jennifer rails against the humans for "executing" Gangers, but it turns out she deliberately killed another Ganger Jennifer herself in order to manipulate Rory.
    • The climax is basically revolved around the poetic irony that while the other Gangers either die heroically (and thus assist in proving their species "humanity" to their originals) or actually take over the lives of dead originals as desired (albeit under far more noble terms), Ganger Jennifer has come to find such actions "weaknesses" and dies a literal inhuman monster willing to kill even her own out of spite.
    • After spending two episodes preaching about the rights and freedoms the Gangers deserve, the Doctor quickly melts Amy's Ganger in order to learn the original Amy's location.
  • Idiot Ball: Ganger Jennifer, after apparently being proven human, inexplicably uses Rory's hand-print instead of her own to access the factory controls, and the computer says loudly, "Human identity verified". Rory doesn't notice anything odd about this. This really borders on Too Dumb to Live.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Invoked. Since Ganger-Cleaves has the same memories and thought-patterns as human-Cleaves, she's able to correctly guess what her human counterpart chose as a Code-Phrase.
  • Incurable Headache of Death: Both Human Cleaves and Ganger Cleaves suffer from one caused by a blood clot in their brains.
  • Karma Houdini: No-one seems to make much of a fuss over the fact that Cleaves murdered Ganger Buzzer in cold blood. In fact, it goes unmentioned. Considering that, by the end of the episode, she's working with Ganger Dicken to try and make humans sympathetic to the Flesh, it could be easy to label her as The Atoner. Of note, she does so while considering her and Ganger Dicken "side by side".
  • Kill 'em All: Almost the entire secondary cast is killed off in this episode — Cleaves is the only human to survive. The gangers of Jimmy and Dicken survive, however.
  • Mind Screw: The ending.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Doctor's Ganger mangling previous incarnations' catchphrases as he struggles to solidify at the beginning. Hearing him say "reverse the jelly baby of the neutron flow!" should be hilarious, but it comes with him obviously in pain and on the brink of losing his sanity.
    • The ending; after the Doctor has dropped the survivors off, having them promise to ensure some good comes out of the whole sorry affair, things are rather upbeat and positive, until Amy starts clutching her stomach in pain for no discernible reason.
      Amy: Doctor, I am frightened. I'm properly, properly scared.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The previews made it look like Ganger Doctor would be an antagonist. Not only does he help the original throughout the episode, he eventually pulls a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Nightmare Face: Ganger Jennifer sports two of them this episode.
  • No, Except Yes:
    Ganger Doctor: The Flesh can grow, correct?
    Cleaves: Its cells can divide.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Not only can the factory pipes spill Hollywood Acid when they rupture and the acid forms Deadly Gas when it melts stone, the entire factory explodes when overheated. No wonder they used to lose a worker a week.
  • The Noseless: The Gangers are noseless whenever they start losing cohesion, which is often.
  • Not So Different: Arguably the entire point of the episode.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ganger Jenny mutates into some kind of large, four-legged beast near the end.
  • Power of Love: Getting a holo-telephone call from his son is what inspires compassion in Ganger Jimmy to rescue the humans from the death trap.
  • The Plot Reaper: Ganger Doctor tidies all the surplus elements of the plot (including himself) away once they've outlived their purpose.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Geronimo."
  • Pseudo Crisis: The last episode's cliffhanger was the revelation of the Ganger Doctor. He and his original get along just fine.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Cleaves, arguably responsible for the whole mess, becomes one in the end.
  • Red Herring: The gangers immediately led both Amy and the viewers to the hypothesis that the Doctor who died in "The Impossible Astronaut" was a ganger.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Jimmy and Dicken are killed but their gangers resume their lives for them. However, since they possess their memories, from the perspective of the gangers they're simply resuming their lives.
  • Retcon: Cleaves seems surprised at the thought the Doctor is an alien because "Earth is all that's available." It's the 22nd century and there have been plenty of alien encounters known to the public in the Whoniverse by that point, besides colonies on the Moon and Mars.
  • The Reveal: We finally get to know a bit more about the Eye-Patch Lady Amy has been seeing.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Ganger Jenny promises the other Gangers it will be "us or them".
  • Screaming Birth: Although Amy could just be screaming out of terror....
  • Shapeshifting Squick
  • Shout-Out: Amy mentions how there can be only one Doctor.
  • Spot the Imposter: The Doctor's shoes have been burnt by acid; Ganger Doctor's are still intact. Subverted when it turns out they swapped shoes so the original Doctor could understand the ganger's perspective.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: There was no particular reason that Ganger Jenny had to be taken down by Gangers (who knew they would be destroyed in the process) rather than originals (who would not have been harmed). But the Gangers insisted on it. Their claim that they had to hold the door shut isn't quite held up by the special effects. The door is very clearly doing just fine, even when one of them steps away.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Unusual variation. Human Jimmy dies just as his Ganger self undergoes a Heel Realization, asking his other self to watch over "their" family in his place.
  • Take That, Audience!: A minor one to the more vocal fans who persist in their desire to see David Tennant return;
    The Doctor: (Tenth's voice) Hallo, I'm the Doctor. (normal) noooOOOOOOOO!! Let it go, we we've MOVED ON!!
    • Though it may also be referring to some lingering resentment the Doctor himself had over his previous regeneration. Which makes sense, given that his predecessor wasn't exactly a fan of the process.
  • That's What I Would Do: Ganger Cleaves can guess the password the original Cleaves came up with, because it's the one she would have used.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Amy's visions of the Eye-Patch Lady are revealed to be what the real Amy sees when the woman opens the hatch to her cell. The image sometimes bleeds through into wherever her Ganger happens to be at that time.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Of the regular cast, Amy is the one most suspicious of the Gangers. She turns out at the end to be one herself.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Amy can be unfeeling at the best of times but she dislikes Ganger Doctor before she has any reason to.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Rory plays into the gangers' plans for most of the episode.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Ganger Jennifer
  • Voices Are Mental: While the Ganger Doctor is trying to cope in the beginning of the episode, he speaks in the Fourth and Tenth Doctor's voices. Justified in that the Flesh, adaptive as it was, could easily rearrange itself to create a different vocal pattern.
  • The Walls Have Eyes: Eyes are growing on the castle walls, just staring accusingly at people.
  • Wham Episode: It turns out that Amy is a Ganger. Also, we finally find out who the Eye-Patch Lady is.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • You Are What You Hate: Amy, who shows extreme mistrust towards one of the gangers, only to be revealed to be one the whole time.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The real Amy is.


Doctor Who S32 E5 'The Rebel Flesh"Recap/DOCTORWHODoctor Who S32 E7 'A Good Man Goes to War"

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
36333
27