"But how can you both be real?”
The deformed Ganger Jenny scene O_O
Doctor Who never truly scared the crap out of me till this moment.
This is fuel for nightmares galore.
(Doctor Who 6.06 - The Almost People)
I’ve seen a lot of discussion by fans asking how the Doctor could just kill the Ganger Amy when the entire episode was dedicated to proving that the gangers were in fact just like people. So I figured I’d write something about how they justified this action.
The reason that the Doctor was telling the miners that they could not kill their gangers is because the gangers were at that point autonomous. The solar storm had given them their own lives. Before that, yes, they thought they were really people and they felt themselves dying when they were “decommissioned” but they still required the human version of themselves to be piloting. They could not exist while without the pilot. When the storm happened this ceased to matter.
However, the ganger version of Amy was not autonomous. It still required Amy to be hooked up to it somehow. The Doctor said he was trying to trace the signal, that was between human Amy and ganger Amy. As long as the ganger existed human Amy was unconscious. The Doctor had to kill ganger Amy because he wanted human Amy to be conscious for the birth. He also killed the ganger Amy because he could it kill quickly and painlessly rather than the procedure of “decommissioning” that the humans usually used.
He killed the ganger Amy not because he wanted to or was vindictive but because he had to and he knew he could do it humanely. You could tell it hurt him but, as is so often often the case with the Doctor’s actions, there wasn’t really a workable alternative.
So when I was watching the newest Doctor Who episode, “The Rebel Flesh” (Season 6, Episode 5), I felt like I had seen something like the flesh vat and the gangers before. I didn’t dwell on it at the time, but later it hit me: the Sontaran cloning pool! It was featured in “The Sontaran Stratagem” and “The Poison Sky” (Season 4, Episode 4 and 5) when Martha was cloned.
Here are some comparison pictures:
Flesh Vat (The Rebel Flesh)
Cloning Pool (The Sontaran Stratagem)
Flesh Harness (The Rebel Flesh)
Cloning Pool Harness (The Sontaran Stratagem)
Ganger: White and smooth-looking (The Rebel Flesh)
Clone: Also white and smooth-looking (The Sontaran Stratagem)
Flesh Vat Bubbles: With a bonus hand! (The Rebel Flesh)
Cloning Pool Bubbles: Also with a bonus hand! (The Sontaran Stratagem)
Ganger Jennifer trying to reconcile her memories and identity (The Rebel Flesh)
Clone Martha also trying to reconcile her memories and identity (The Poison Sky)
Now, I’m not saying that the cloning pool and the flesh machine are exactly the same, but I do think they are similar in some ways. It makes me wonder whether the Flesh were created with a basis in Sontaran technology. Or whether the Sontaran clone pool was based off the Flesh. I doubt that the show will connect them in any way, but I thought it was interesting to look at the parallels.
All screencaps are courtesy of Sonic Biro.
“Doctor, I am frightened. I’m properly, properly scared.”
“Don’t be. Hold on. We’re coming for you, I swear it. Whatever happens, however hard, however far, we will find you.”
“I’m right here.”
“No, you’re not. You haven’t been here for a long, long time.”