Warning – This is a preview of a forthcoming Doctor Who episode. It contains the official synopsis of the episode taken from official BBC PR. It does not contain any spoilers and serves to wet appetites but would advise that if you don’t want to know a thing about this Saturday’s episode then look away…NOW!
“I never thought I’d get to say that again!”
Last week’s totally stonking episode was always going to be a hard act to follow. I wonder how many feel that the series has peaked now? I know I feared that The Doctor’s Wife had raised the bar just a tad too far for others to follow, but this, the first of a two part adventure does give it a very good run for its money in a totally different way.
A solar tsunami sends the TARDIS hurtling towards a futuristic factory on Earth, where human doppelgangers are used to mine dangerous acid. A second wave hits and the “Gangers” separate. They can remember every second of their “original’s” life and feel every emotion they’ve ever experienced. But are these memories stolen or have they been bequeathed? Are the Gangers merely faulty machinery that must be shut down or are they living, breathing, sentient beings?
There’s something reassuringly retro about this episode, not in the acting but the feel and tone of the story. This could have easily spawned from the Pertwee or early Tom Baker eras as it’s a surreal but very honest sci-fi adventure. If you don’t believe me just listen to the score and look at the acid suits.
A sci-fi lovers dream, this takes Doctor Who back into the sort of story standalone sort of adventure that keeps it moving as a series. The “Gangers” are an excellent idea so full kudos to the team for giving us a race of intelligent inventions. The “Gangers” ensemble are littered with actors with broad accents that allows for some wonderful moments of humour and heart. It did, at first remind me slightly of the two-part Silurian adventure from last year but there’s enough going on here for it not to linger too long. The effects are ramped up again and allow for rather awesome and sinister moments.
Obviously the story (being a two-parter) is very dialogue driven, but not a lot of speech is wasted and nearly every scene advance the story on. Rory accepts more of a lead here with Amy taking a bit of a backseat, good plan as I feel the character needs a bit of a rest. Look out for slight nods of satire at the start too, nice touch. As for the Doctor, well Matt Smith is just a joy from start to finish.
Add to all this a smart cliff-hanger and you have a great, traditional piece of Who that will satisfy not only the casual but the hard to please fan too.