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Wednesday, 30 of September of 2020

Doctor Who – “The Almost People”

You’re twice the man I thought you were.”

Amy and the Doctor

Imaginary friends.


Certainly glad I stepped back from my typical rule and did the first half of this two-parter, because otherwise I would’ve just talked about the ending of this episode the entire time instead of enjoying what pleasures “The Rebel Flesh” offered. At least I was right when I said that “The Almost People” would take a sharp turn in tone (all those glorious horror gestures are all but gone here).

But here I sit, trying to decide if that ending really works for me.

The rest of the episode is pretty standard fare. Lots of running through hallways, the Doctor being clever and proving his points left and right (“No, I’ve helped him into an act of humanity.”), and it’s all very just kind of there. It’s just not particularly interesting, really, to me. Whereas “The Rebel Flesh” at least had style and mood going for it, “The Almost People” is so blandly by the numbers that it kind of offends a smidge.

But here I continue to sit. Mulling.

And now I’ve slept on it, I don’t think I like where this is going.

Last season, each of the episodes were clever little lies, with small continuity “errors” to point the way, to give a sense of what was coming. Here, though, the reveal that the Amy the Doctor and Rory have been traveling with since, oh, probably halfway through “Day of the Moon” is actually Flesh just feels a little blah. At the reveal, I wasn’t so much “OMGWTFBBQ!” as I was “Meh.”

Part of this indifference stems from how clumsily it was done. Until about 15 minutes into this episode, there was no reason to think that Amy was Flesh, and the show shies you away that connection by distracting you with two Doctors being adorable and clever at once. A little bit of non-specific talk about needing to observe the Flesh’s reactions to events, assuming of course that the Doctor is talking about his Flesh copy, and that’s about all the links you get.

But the other part of the indifference is that Amy being in distress is a little bit boring. While I’m all for the companions getting in trouble, that’s part of reason of why they’re there, I find that having to go save Amy (which, if next week’s title is any indication, will mean going to be a war) a damsel in distress sort of situation that can’t really be all that interestingly played, no matter how high the stakes.

There’s a lot riding on this particular bit of story around Amy’s pregnancy, given how prominently placed it was in the opening episodes, and how it ties back to the young girl who regenerates as well as (and I remain convinced of this) to River. While I thought I would be more invested in it than I now find myself after this episode, I now kind of hope it wraps itself up in the next two episodes (next week’s and then resolution episode in September) and then transitions into some solid stand-alone storytelling for the back half of the season.

Of course, if the pay off is worth, I may suddenly become reinvested.


  • Rory’s motivation in this 2-parter was just nowhere. I mean, really, he’s suddenly invested in fighting corruption? Bah. And Amy just came off as kind of pointlessly mean-spirited toward Flesh!Doctor.
  • “It’s just so inspiring to hear me say it.”
  • “That’s sarcasm.” “She’s very good at sarcasm.”
  • “Ooh. See how smart I am? That’s why I’m paid the big bucks.”
  • “An hour. 5 seconds. Somewhere in-between.”
  • “If you have a better plan, I’m all ears. In fact, if you have a better plan, I’ll take you to a planet where everyone’s all ears.”
  • “I’m quite handsome from this angle.”

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