THE ACCEPTABLE FACE OF CAPITALISM   Leave a comment

The stand-out ending to The Almost People has had a lot of people worrying about the hypocrisy of the Doctor supporting the “human rights” of the monastery gangers and then casually dissolving Amy’s ganger. This is what happens when people fall for the idea that the Doctor doesn’t approve of killing. I’ve already expressed the view that he can be quite the moral coward at times (at least as he’s been written).

Most seem to have tried to resolve this dilemma by suggesting that the Amy ganger was like the monastery gangers before the solar tsunami hit. But even this doesn’t work because we saw from the pile of discarded Flesh in the corridor that the gangers had a primitive form of consciousness even before the tsunami. We surely wouldn’t say that it’s unacceptable for the Doctor to kill higher consciousness creatures but OK for him to kill those with a lower consciousness.

Isn’t there an obvious and simple way out of this though? We know that the Doctor went back in time (relatively) to research the properties of early versions of the Flesh technology. Almost by defintion then, the Amy ganger must be a future version of the technology. We also see towards the end of this story that the survivors from the monastery go into the Morpeth Jetsan boardroom to persuade them that the gangers have a form of independent consciousness.

It’s tempting, I think, to expect one of two possible clichéd results of this. Either the company behaves like wicked capitalists, ignores them and carries on abusing the gangers or the company has a change of heart and starts treating gangers as people with rights (as Murray Gold sends the strings into overdrive in the background).

But there’s a third possibility. Maybe the company just decides, for reasons of either morality, safety, or the self-interest of preventing any future ganger revolution, to further develop the Flesh technology so that it becomes incapable of consciousness and is just what the humans originally thought it to be – a consciousless, inanimate host for their own minds.

Therefore, it could be this more advanced version of the Flesh technology which we see in the Amy ganger.

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Posted June 2, 2011 by docwhom in Series Six 2011

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