I suppose I’ll have to take back some of the things I said about last week’s episode then. In other words, I quite liked this week’s one, even if it didn’t use the opportunity to expand the story further. In fact the more I think about it, I can’t actually remember that much in the way of plot developments (and I sat through the episode twice before starting to write this). Perhaps I just liked it as a result of my going in with lower expectations.
The predictions I made from last week’s instalment certainly didn’t prove accurate – Rory and Amy were just as happy as they ever were (well, up until the very end, and that had nothing to do with him going off with Jennifer) and the miner who didn’t seem to do anything last week still didn’t do very much and his constant sneezing didn’t mean anything after all (it turned out that one of the other miners had the inevitable, unfortunate illness instead).
What we did get was more cat-and-mouse style running around the corridors of the monastery (one good thing about the story was that it had a gorgeous setting) between the gangers and the regular humans with the Doctor and co tagging along. Perhaps the most significant thing we did get to see was the characters of the gangers developing further, not just the Scottish one (neither of the blokes were that memorable were they) learning how to be a dad (to be honest I could’ve done with less of the ‘adorable’ five year old, who really wasn’t much of an actor), but Miranda becoming less blood-thirsty while Jennifer became more so. Although, I do think they messed up a bit here, with the ganger Miranda going from the formidable force she was last week straight into one of the more reasonable of the gangers (this was even before she found out about her life-threatening blood clot). What happened to Jennifer was more interesting, going from her realising what happened to the discarded flesh, becoming more forceful, and deceitful, and eventually ending up as a big spindly legged blob that was actually, sort of, scary (and, going back to the Neil Gaiman related gushing of a couple of episodes ago, I thought it looked a bit like a Dave McKean design).
Other than that, there was the rather Moon-like ending for the remaining miners, albeit a happier version with Miranda’s blood clot being cured as if by magic (I don’t want to go any further into why it reminded me of Moon in case I spoil the ending for anyone), and a lot of fun with both Doctors running around (in particular the Tom Baker reference, which I’m sure was well received by nerds everywhere). The Doctors swapping their shoes to trick everyone was pretty heavily signposted so came as no great surprise, although I wasn’t sure when they did it, presumably it was after Amy and the ‘ganger’ Doctor had the private conversation where she revealed that she had seen him die. Although I’m only basing this assumption on the fact that during the same scene he went a bit mad and started yelling at Amy about what happened to the other flesh – maybe the real Doctor does now know about his forthcoming demise.
Of course, there is THAT ending to discuss. Did anybody guess it? I certainly didn’t (I didn’t even spot any clues when watching it for the second time), and I’m not entirely sure what I think about it even now. I’m glad that we’re getting an answer to the whole pregnancy question so soon and don’t have to wait until the end of the series, but it did seem a bit out of the blue. I think the problem is that the Amy ‘ganger’ had qualities that the other gangers didn’t, in that it could see bits and bobs of what the real Amy was seeing from time to time. This might mean it was a more ‘advanced’ version of the flesh, as the Doctor did imply that he had met a future version of it. Hopefully it was that, and not just a bit of a plot-hole. I shall look forward to finding out on Saturday. And I’ll see you here for the last one of these until September (I think) sometime next week.