I have done an absurd amount of writing today and I haven’t actually consumed any pop culture since I woke up. Here’s a quick enumeration. I did a review for work of the new album by Icelandic indie folk/pop band Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is An Animal (which I recommend checking out), I finished up an interview with Canadian rock band Zeus for work (which should be up tomorrow or so), I reviewed The Hunger Games, and I reviewed a volume of the manga Elfen Lied. That’s not even counting all of the writing I did last night either after I finally finished watching Game of Thrones at around 8 PM or so. This particlular review has been nearly a week in the making, and I’m ashamed that I keep allowing myself to fall behind like this. But it’s only days off like Tuesday and Friday that I seem to be able to find the time to do any blogging any more (well personal blogging. I still do plenty of work blogging). My other days off, the weekend, are usually spent having an actual social life. Oh well, I guess I just have to use today’s like this to catch up and hopefully not allow myself to fall behind this ridiculously ever again. And without further ado, let’s return to this twist-filled disc of Doctor Who.
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory land outside a Scottish castle. Amy thinks they’re in the far past, but when Rory hears the distant tunes of a Dusty Springfield song, he guesses they’re in the present. It turns out they’re both wrong as they are in the future at a secret government factory that mines a certain type of acid or liquid because it has the ability to be shaped into any matter whatsoever. It’s actually being used to create a race of disposable slave labor known as Dopplegangers, that have all of the memories and emotions of the human beings they’ve essentially been cloned from. When a solar storm momentarily knocks out the power at the factory (and knocks everyone inside unconscious), all of the Gangers have gotten free, and no one in the factory is able to tell for sure whether they are a Ganger or a real human. It’s like being a Cylon and not realizing it til you’re remotely activated except none of the Gangers are evil (except for one who’s gone insane). They’re just carbon copies of the human who are being forced to realize that they aren’t real people. There’s even a Ganger of the Doctor. That’s a two-parter. The last part of the disc is the first episode of another “two-parter” because at the end of the last one, it turns out that Amy really has been pregnant this whole time and her real body is being held in another location and the Doctor has to assemble an Army to get her back. I don’t feel like recapping the whole thing, but let’s just say the Doctor finds Amy, but they aren’t able to rescue her daughter yet, but it turns out that River Song is Amy and Rory’s daughter!
Probably because I wound up making an immediate comparison to Battlestar Galactica, I wasn’t completely crazy about “The Rebel Flesh”/”The Almost People” until the last episode when they started adding more emotional gravitas to what was happening. However, all of the scenes where there were two Doctors in the same room were brilliant and the twist at the end where we found out that Amy wasn’t really there was pretty brutal. Rory got plenty of great scenes in these two episodes (and even more in the disc-ender), and every episode I watch, he becomes my favorite Companion in the history of the new series. I’m realizing how weird my standards for this season of Doctor Who have become when I say I’m not crazy about something that was better than 75% of the episodes that were made during the Russell T. Davies years. However, “A Good Man Goes to War” was practically perfect with a huge twist, clever writing, memorable lines, and the Doctor at one of his most bad-ass moments. This season is, so far, chock full of episodes that have blown away nearly everything else from previous seasons and “The Doctor Goes To War” is just another example of this. The River/Doctor romance has been one of the best parts of the last two and a half seasons and this is just another example of how this is true.
I could write so much more but I watched these episodes nearly a week ago like seemingly everything else I’ve reviewed these last two evenings, so I’m just going to stop. Season 6 so far has blown every single other season of Doctor Who out of the water (and that includes the stellar Season 5). It’s taking the show down a darker more mature road, and I know that alienated some of the series fans, but I’ve really enjoyed this more grown-up direction. Steven Moffat is officially a member of the Joss Whedon Genius of Television Sci-Fi club that only also includes Joss Whedon (obviously), J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. He’s that good of a showrunner.
Final Score: A