Review of Doctor Who ‘The Almost People’
The concluding part to this Frankenstein story finished with an unexpected twist revolving around the over-arching plot. It turns out that Amy was not actually Amy but a Ganger that ended up getting vaporised by the Doctor.
While the real Amy has been trapped in a birthing chamber, her double has been travelling with Rory and the Doctor since they were in Utah. The final scene of Amy in the chamber was reminiscent of ‘The X-Files’ when Agent Scully was abducted, especially since actress Gillian Anderson was heavily pregnant at the time. However, digressions to one side, the moment when Amy screamed served as a thrilling teaser for next week’s episode which will be rounding off this half of the series of Doctor Who until the autumn.
So many questions emerged from ‘The Almost People’ which eclipsed the plotline involving the rebel Gangers. Who was Amy abducted by? Could it have been something to do with the Silence? Is the birth of an almost Time Lord imminent? The one question that was answered was why Amy kept seeing the futuristic midwife with the eye patch: reality seepage.
There is a delicious irony in the discovery that Amy is a Ganger because of the way she treated the supposedly Ganger Doctor who turned out to be the original Doctor. Throughout the episode she viewed him as less than the Doctor and not “real”. It is only at the end that she realises that they are both him and it is her that is not real.
With regards to the double Doctor in the episode, Matt Smith excels in his acting, managing to be reassuring and threatening, hilarious and sinister all within the same few scenes. Even when he’s one Doctor he already seems like two Doctors anyway. He has conversations with himself, verbalizes his internal dialogues, interrupts and questions himself before promptly smacking himself in the head; it all works together.
The scene where he is alone with Amy and becomes violent towards her, pushing her against a wall, is frightening. The character of the Doctor is inverted from that of a rational and protective individual into a dangerous and unstable being, with neither the other characters nor the audience quite sure what he will do next. The doubles show the duality of personality generally, with the Doctor even using his pseudonym, John Smith to distinguish himself from his Ganger. The fact that there can now be an episode where the eleventh Doctor has a double shows that Smith’s Doctor has come into his own.
Next week’s episode ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ is the mid-series finale and is more than likely to throw up more questions than it will answer, leaving viewers on a tantalising cliffhanger.
For a sneak peek of the prequel visit: www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw
Picture: BBCTagged in: doctor who, matt smith
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter