The Rebel Flesh – contains spoilers – my review and a lot of questions

The artistic challenge that this series has faced, more than any other in New Who, is the tension between producing strong stand-alone narratives and building on the themes that will feed into the narrative arc as a whole.

The Rebel Flesh wasn’t a particularly impressive episode viewed in isolation  (though it’s not entirely fair to judge it by the first half alone). The whole set-up in the acid mine was unconvincing, even by DW standards. What organisation would go to the trouble of setting up complex cloning technology to protect its workers and then foul up on basic safety protocols like burying pipes and having spare suits accessible? And the solar storm…far too Frankenstein-derivative, and wouldn’t the TARDIS have the tech to take such phenomena in its/her stride?

Matthew Graham is good at writing the everyday banter and chit-chat among people working together – very important in a police-procedural show like Life on Mars. He struggles, though, with getting complicated SF concepts across clearly. I wouldn’t have been able to figure out what was happening in the first few minutes without reading publicity/spoilers, and that’s bad storytelling. For all his faults, and he had many, I think RTD would have insisted on sharpening up those first scenes.

And once the clones start walking, the interest is not so much in what they are saying as the questions that come up – and how they tie in to the rest of the series narrative, both the present one and further back, deep into the history of DW. What makes us human, and makes each of us unique? Our bodies? No, because they can be cloned, and in the Doctor’s case changed, and it’s still him. Or is it? Would a Doctor cloned by the Flesh actually be any different from one grown from a body part, with the "same memories, same thoughts, everything", or his next regeneration or even the temporal clone that you could encounter by going back and meeting him earlier in his personal timeline? What makes the Doctor the Doctor? I hope there’ll be more of that next week.

The reality that any civilization with sufficiently advanced tech could clone the Doctor has hung over the narrative for as long as I can remember. I’m sure that the uncertainties of this series, whether the Eleven we see walking around is behaving in a way that identifies him as the real Doctor, or not, are feeding into our reactions as we observe him with his companions. His lack of emotional involvement with them is something quite new, even by the standards of classic Who. He is retreating more and more into dictatorial mode, actually locking them up and infantalising them rather than involving them in his travels. Compare his clumsy attempts to drop them off for chips with Ten and Rose arriving on the space station in TIP and literally laughing in the face of danger. and the contrast becomes telling. The question remains – how atypical would the Doctor’s behaviour have to be before we felt that the software of his personality was irredeemably corrupted? Suppose he started enjoying shoot-outs? Wait a minute…

Just as last week’s episode gave us Inception-style boxes within boxes and dreams within dreams, this week there are multiple layers of uncertainty surrounding the Doctor’s identity. He may already be a clone of the Doctor that died in TIA. Or – and notice the way he woke up after the solar storm and we’ve no idea what really happened, or how long he was unconscious – the Doctor we saw in this episode may be a clone of the one presently locked up in the TARDIS. And then there’s the cliffhanger clone. It’s becoming a house of mirrors, a labyrinth similar to the TARDIS corridors last week for Rory and Amy.

Coming around to Rory’s relationship with Jennifer, I felt that came out of nowhere and wasn’t entirely convincing, which always makes me wonder if that’s the bit that the showrunner has asked the writer to splice into the plot. If so, it makes a lot of sense. We need to start thinking about how Rory would actually react to the very real possibility of a cloned Amy. I agree with   that it’s looking more and more as if that’s where we’re going. It raises some fascinating issues. Arguably, Rory is a clone himself of sorts. He’s partly a plastic person. How can anyone over 2000 years old be a normal human being? And if he accepts his own identity, as he is now, then what happens if he’s faced with two Amys – the real and the fake? Can he make that distinction in any way that doesn’t deny his own humanity? Could he kill the "false" Amy, or let anyone else do it without avenging her? How could you choose?

And if she’s pregnant or a mother by then, it adds whole new layers of complexity to the situation. Whose child is it? Has she cheated on him? Or, if she isn’t the "real Amy", can she regard herself as exclusively Rory’s partner in any case? Suppose it turns out that the original Amy has been locked up ever since DOTM having a baby? If our experiences form our identity, then Rory would have far more in common with the woman he’s been travelling with than the one who has gone through an alien pregnancy he didn’t witness.

I’ve mentioned the Pond vs River dichotomy before, and I’m not alone (see this review on The Doctor’s WIfe by   ). One definition of any kind of life and development would be that it has to move – forwards ideally, though with time-travellers there may be exceptions. Stasis is unhealthy, it leads to decay. But the Doctor seems to be very much stuck at the moment. He’s no longer too traumatised to function, as Nine was, or over-identifying with humans to deny his inner alien like Ten, but has he managed to move on to the next stage of his life or is his body leaving his soul behind? Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there! And wasn’t that what killed them, in the end, their inability to adapt, keeping Gallifrey in a permanent statis of observing rather than affecting history? It’s a tragic irony that this Doctor, the ultimate traveller with the ultimate vehicle, is emotionally so cautious that he’s in danger of becoming a dead Time Lord walking. We’ve seen mobiles and mirrors in almost every episode, a metaphor that was particularly richly explored in CotBS. But why is this? Why is he locking up his companions now, using them as mirrors rather than as mobile helpers, with the power to enrich his inner life? Is it because his not the real Doctor, or is it just a phase he’s going through?

So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art. As it might well be. Even the "they keep killing Rory" joke is feeding into the identiy question – are we sure he’s alive as we would understand it anyway? Are we sure about anything?

Advertisements

79 thoughts on “The Rebel Flesh – contains spoilers – my review and a lot of questions

  1. Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there!
    It’s not just the Time Lords though; Abigail was the woman in the freezer, and River is imprisoned in the Storm Cage between adventures with the Doctor. Most of the action in “The Doctor’s Wife” took place in a bubble universe. Yet Abigail, River and Idris!TARDIS all managed to keep their souls.
    So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art.
    One could say the exact same thing about RTD. In retrospect, the substandard episodes in his run (e.g. “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”) were the most important to the seasonal arc plot. However, this is rather off-topic.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eleven we’ve seen since Amy remembered him back in “The Big Bang” is a clone. He’s certainly not the Eleven of “Vincent and the Doctor” or “The Lodger.” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t one of the common tropes about doppelgangers, they usually reflect the dark side of humanity? (Completely unrelated, but I can’t help but think of Star Trek: TOS‘ “The Enemy Within.” Kirk was split into two, “light” and “dark.” He needed to be reintegrated to be whole. Hmmm.)
    Are we sure about anything?
    From “Silence in the Library”: What I want you to remember is this… and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie, and your nightmares are real.

  2. Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there!

    It’s not just the Time Lords though; Abigail was the woman in the freezer, and River is imprisoned in the Storm Cage between adventures with the Doctor. Most of the action in “The Doctor’s Wife” took place in a bubble universe. Yet Abigail, River and Idris!TARDIS all managed to keep their souls.

    So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art.

    One could say the exact same thing about RTD. In retrospect, the substandard episodes in his run (e.g. “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”) were the most important to the seasonal arc plot. However, this is rather off-topic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eleven we’ve seen since Amy remembered him back in “The Big Bang” is a clone. He’s certainly not the Eleven of “Vincent and the Doctor” or “The Lodger.” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t one of the common tropes about doppelgangers, they usually reflect the dark side of humanity? (Completely unrelated, but I can’t help but think of Star Trek: TOS‘ “The Enemy Within.” Kirk was split into two, “light” and “dark.” He needed to be reintegrated to be whole. Hmmm.)

    Are we sure about anything?

    From “Silence in the Library”: What I want you to remember is this… and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie, and your nightmares are real.

  3. Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there!

    It’s not just the Time Lords though; Abigail was the woman in the freezer, and River is imprisoned in the Storm Cage between adventures with the Doctor. Most of the action in “The Doctor’s Wife” took place in a bubble universe. Yet Abigail, River and Idris!TARDIS all managed to keep their souls.

    So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art.

    One could say the exact same thing about RTD. In retrospect, the substandard episodes in his run (e.g. “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”) were the most important to the seasonal arc plot. However, this is rather off-topic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eleven we’ve seen since Amy remembered him back in “The Big Bang” is a clone. He’s certainly not the Eleven of “Vincent and the Doctor” or “The Lodger.” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t one of the common tropes about doppelgangers, they usually reflect the dark side of humanity? (Completely unrelated, but I can’t help but think of Star Trek: TOS‘ “The Enemy Within.” Kirk was split into two, “light” and “dark.” He needed to be reintegrated to be whole. Hmmm.)

    Are we sure about anything?

    From “Silence in the Library”: What I want you to remember is this… and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie, and your nightmares are real.

  4. Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there!

    It’s not just the Time Lords though; Abigail was the woman in the freezer, and River is imprisoned in the Storm Cage between adventures with the Doctor. Most of the action in “The Doctor’s Wife” took place in a bubble universe. Yet Abigail, River and Idris!TARDIS all managed to keep their souls.

    So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art.

    One could say the exact same thing about RTD. In retrospect, the substandard episodes in his run (e.g. “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”) were the most important to the seasonal arc plot. However, this is rather off-topic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eleven we’ve seen since Amy remembered him back in “The Big Bang” is a clone. He’s certainly not the Eleven of “Vincent and the Doctor” or “The Lodger.” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t one of the common tropes about doppelgangers, they usually reflect the dark side of humanity? (Completely unrelated, but I can’t help but think of Star Trek: TOS‘ “The Enemy Within.” Kirk was split into two, “light” and “dark.” He needed to be reintegrated to be whole. Hmmm.)

    Are we sure about anything?

    From “Silence in the Library”: What I want you to remember is this… and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie, and your nightmares are real.

  5. Time Lords stuck in little boxes – what a metaphor Gaiman came up with there!

    It’s not just the Time Lords though; Abigail was the woman in the freezer, and River is imprisoned in the Storm Cage between adventures with the Doctor. Most of the action in “The Doctor’s Wife” took place in a bubble universe. Yet Abigail, River and Idris!TARDIS all managed to keep their souls.

    So, once again, an apparently straightforward and rather dull story has layers or meaning when it’s viewed in context – but I do have some overall concerns, and one is that SM is too much the big-sweep showrunner, content to wave through substandard work as long as his entire series, in retrospect, is recongised as an integrated work of art.

    One could say the exact same thing about RTD. In retrospect, the substandard episodes in his run (e.g. “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks”) were the most important to the seasonal arc plot. However, this is rather off-topic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eleven we’ve seen since Amy remembered him back in “The Big Bang” is a clone. He’s certainly not the Eleven of “Vincent and the Doctor” or “The Lodger.” Maybe that’s the point. Isn’t one of the common tropes about doppelgangers, they usually reflect the dark side of humanity? (Completely unrelated, but I can’t help but think of Star Trek: TOS‘ “The Enemy Within.” Kirk was split into two, “light” and “dark.” He needed to be reintegrated to be whole. Hmmm.)

    Are we sure about anything?

    From “Silence in the Library”: What I want you to remember is this… and I know it’s hard. The real world is a lie, and your nightmares are real.

  6. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?
    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)
    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  7. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)

    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  8. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)

    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  9. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)

    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  10. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)

    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  11. How very Jungian! But I wonder, wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    I think we’re saying similar things about weak episodes important to the season arc. (42 was another one – remember Francine on the telephone with Saxon’s minions listening in?)

    It occurs to me that River is in a trapped situation too, far more than she was when the character was introduced. I think that living through her meetings with the Doctor in exactly reverse order is a pathological situation – it can’t be anything else because they clearly have done things together that they discuss when they meet. I hope that she’ll eventually be freed from her reverse-linear time travel dilemma. Until that point, she’s in a box as well, no matter how kick-ass she appears to be.

  12. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.
    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.
    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.
    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  13. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  14. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  15. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  16. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  17. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  18. I did enjoy TRF even though it wasn’t the greatest episode. I thought it was a bit slow at the outset and thinking about it, you’re completely right about the lack of explanation of the set up. In fact, at one point, I paused it so that I could make sure the kids understood what “gangers” were and why they were necessary; and I’m also sure that Rusty would have tightened that up. You’ve only got to look at the rewrite of that scene of Fires of Pompeii in The Writer’s Tale to see just how bloody good he is at tightening up a wishy-washy script and bringing the characters into focus.

    I’m sure I’ll bring scorn down on myself in some quarters if I say that I’m getting fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on. Perhaps I’m too stupid to fully appreciate the intricate complexities of SM’s writing… or maybe it’s just that I like to be able to understand things at the time and not have to wait for thirteen weeks (and this series, a LOT longer because of the break) for all the pieces to fall into place.

    I think all the things you’ve mentioned here are fascinating – the idea of a(nother) cloned Doctor have been whizzing around since before the end of the last series, I think – but what worries me is that some of those ideas will get lost as we get closer to the finale or that they’ll be tied up with some silly “wibbly-wobbly, get-out-of-jail-free” explanation that will be ultimately unsatisfying a la The Big Bang.

    Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that a) I’ve always watched DW at Saturday teatime and b) the kids like it, I’d be waiting for the DVDs so I could watch it all at once!

  19. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  20. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  21. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  22. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  23. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  24. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  25. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  26. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  27. yes, it’s a bit like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Nobody wants to admit that they neither understand nor care what Moffat is up to because then you risk being branded as a soapy, RTD-loving moron.

  28. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!
    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  29. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  30. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  31. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  32. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  33. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  34. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  35. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  36. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  37. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  38. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  39. Yep – the whole Emperor’s New Clothes thing is something I’ve been saying since early in S5, because there were times when I’d read a terribly well put together post about an episode or something and still think – huh? – and wonder what I’d missed!

    I’ve noticed that the dissenting voice has been a little quieter of late. I don’t know if it’s because people were so disappointed with S5 that they stopped watching or because they’ve opted to stay quiet for fear of being branded an RTD loving-moron or demented DT-fangirl.

  40. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?
    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  41. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  42. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  43. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  44. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  45. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  46. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  47. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  48. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  49. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  50. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  51. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  52. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  53. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  54. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  55. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

  56. wouldn’t Idris/the TARDIS recognise him as a clone because the link between them is so close?

    One would think so, but “The Rebel Flesh” seems to suggest clones are the same as the originals in every way, down to hearts, thoughts, memories and feelings. I think we would need to accept that premise if the Doctor who died in TIA was the real Doctor. For the show to continue, it would have to be via a clone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s