Doctor Who
The Rebel Flesh

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B- | 1 USERS: A+
The Gangers All Here

Cleaves leads them into another room where a big white vat of something liquid is bubbling away. Pipes attach the vat to a human-shaped tub. "And there you are," says the Doctor, approaching the edge of the tub. It looks like yogurt. "Meet the government's worst-kept secret," says Cleaves. "The Flesh." She calls it "fully programmable matter" and says it's learning to replicate itself. She exposits that they can program the Flesh to become anything, right down to the clothes and voice. The Doctor muses about the soul, but Cleaves scoffs. "It acts like life, but it still needs to be controlled by us." That's what the harnesses are for. The Cleaves before them is Flesh while the original Cleaves is still lying in the harness in the other room. The Flesh copies are called "gangers," short for doppelgangers. The acid is so dangerous that they kept losing workers. Now the gangers do most of the work. Buzz makes a snarky comment about falling into the acid. Jennifer, the one who's prettier than a computer, assures them that "the nerve endings are automatically cut off." Cleaves tells Jennifer to get back to her harness so her ganger can take over. The Doctor sonics the yogurt. He has some difficulty pulling away. "Strange," he says. "For a moment there, it was like it was scanning me!" So what does he do? Sticks his hand in it. Never touch the goo, people. No good ever comes from touching the goo. The Doctor makes several pained expressions, then pulls away with effort, gasping out, "I understand!" He communed with the yogurt and vice versa. It's alive! He consults with his snow globe just as a jolt rocks the building. The Doctor warns them another solar wave is coming, but Cleaves tells one of the workers to keep pumping the acid.

Back in the harness room, Jennifer punches into a computer and then straps into her harness. In the yogurt room, the tub fills with white liquid and little red stringy bits. A face appears in the goo, at first featureless and then becoming a copy of Jennifer. She sits up with a gasp. "Well, I can see why you keep it in a church," the Doctor says. "The miracle of life." The Doctor tries again to warn them about the coming storm but everyone's pretty blasé. They get their power from a "solar router" in the weather vane, which is problematic because, well, it's a solar storm. Also, the set must have been freezing cold because you can see everybody's breath. He takes Cleaves aside for a private confab about the dangers of the storm, but it includes some finger shaking for emphasis, which works on Cleaves about as well as it works on me. Which is not at all.

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