Doctor Who Logo 'The Rebel Flesh'
(Story Code 6.5)

by Matthew Graham
The Doctor, Rory and Amy

“They’re monsters. Mistakes. They have to be destroyed.” – Foreman Cleaves

On a remote island on Twenty-Second Century Earth, a disused medieval monastery known as 'St. Johns' has been converted into an acid factory. Inside, three hazard-suited workers begin their mining shift, but their playful banter soon results in one of them, Buzzer, accidentally falling into a vat of highly-corrosive acid. However, as Buzzer’s legs burn off, neither he nor his colleagues seem the least bit concerned; and as Buzzer’s body dissolves completely, his two comrades, Jennifer and Jimmy, leave the chamber and return the way they came – and meet Buzzer again at the end of the corridor… Elsewhere, aboard the TARDIS, Amy and Rory enjoy a game of darts and some very loud music, while the Doctor frets about Amy’s ‘quantum-state’ pregnancy. Just then the TARDIS is hit by a massive solar storm that sends it spinning wildly out of control: as the tsunami sends the ship hurtling towards the Earth below, the Doctor, Amy and Rory brace themselves for impact… only to be surprised when the TARDIS makes the gentlest of landings. Stepping outside, the Doctor and his friends find themselves in the grounds of the ancient monastery, where they discover that gamma particles from the approaching the solar storm have created fissures in the earth. Seeing that one such crack has exposed a pipe carrying corrosive material, the Doctor deduces that they have arrived at an acid factory. At that moment the base’s intruder alarm blares out, but instead of running back to the ship, the ever-inquisitive Doctor runs towards the complex. Entering a control room, the Doctor and his friends see a number of unconscious personnel strapped into vertical harnesses – and then the same people appear again, wielding makeshift weapons as they confront their intruders. Using his psychic paper the Doctor is able to convince the base commander, Foreman Cleaves, that he has come from the meteorological office to warn them about the approaching solar wave. When the Doctor asks to see the base’s most critical system, Cleaves shows her new arrivals to a vat of special fluid called ‘The Flesh’: fully programmable matter that is used to create expendable doppelgangers – or “Gangers” – who are then sent to mine the lethal acid. The Doctor’s interest is piqued when the Flesh scans him; he touches the contents of the vat, and is astonished to find that the fluid is alive… Deciding to give the Doctor a demonstration, Cleaves instructs Jennifer to plumb herself into her harness: a quantity of the Flesh is them pumped into a coffin-sized container, and before the Doctor, Amy and Rory’s astonished eyes, the fluid coalesces into a perfect, fully-clothed facsimile of Jennifer. When the Doctor warns Cleaves again of the imminent solar storm, he is disturbed to hear that the factory gets its power from a solar router connected to a weather vane; the Time Lord knows that a power surge could destroy the entire base. Elsewhere, the exposed pipe next to the TARDIS finally splits open, spraying acid across the ground around the ship… The Doctor races for the monastery’s tower to deactivate the solar router; but as he tries to disable the controls the vane is hit by lightning: the power surge blasts the Doctor into unconsciousness, and overloads the Flesh control system… An hour later, the Doctor comes to on the ground beneath the tower, in time to see the solar storm passing overhead. The Time Lord returns to the control room, where Amy and Rory have also just woken up, along with Cleaves, Jennifer, Buzzer, Jimmy and Dicken, still strapped in their harnesses. Noting that acid leaks have now sprung up all over the factory, Cleaves sets her team to work; but Jennifer is badly shaken, and so Rory escorts her to the bathroom so she can compose herself. When Buzzer wonders why he can hear his Dusty Springfield record playing, the Doctor tells everyone that instead of devolving into liquid like they should have, the Gangers are still alive – and they have gone walkabout… Investigating the mess hall the Doctor, Amy, Cleaves and her team discover that the base personnel’s possessions have been thoroughly searched, which the Doctor attributes to the rogue duplicates coming to terms with their new lives and old memories. In the bathroom, Jennifer looks in the mirror and is shocked to see her face devolve into Flesh; confused, she attacks Rory and then escapes into the complex… Back in the mess hall, the Doctor hands Cleaves a hot plate of food; when the foreman fails to register its heat she realises with horror that she is actually a Ganger: her face suddenly devolves and she races from the room before anyone can stop her. Amy, the Doctor and Jimmy go in search of Rory, only to find their way blocked by acid leaking from breached storage barrels. Elsewhere in the factory, Rory hides from ‘Jennifer’, who is now stalking him… Unable to find Rory, the Doctor instructs Amy and Jimmy to return to the mess hall while he returns to the TARDIS, intending to use the ship’s detectors to aid his search of the complex. Entering a locker room Rory meets ‘Jennifer’, now calmer after recalling her ‘past’; the Ganger has convinced herself that she is real too, and as her face resumes its full state, she implores Rory to help her. Passing the vat of Flesh, the Doctor zaps the fluid with his sonic screwdriver; as the Time Lord resumes his journey to the TARDIS, he fails to see the Flesh form a pair of lips and utter the words “trust me”… Arriving at his ship, the Doctor is dismayed to find it has sunk into the ground up to its roof. While ‘Cleaves’ joins her fellow Gangers, ‘Buzzer’, ‘Jimmy’ and ‘Dicken’, in the acid containment room and incites them to attack their originals, Amy makes her way through darkened corridors in search of her husband; after glimpsing the mysterious eye-patch lady once more, Amy is reunited with Rory and ‘Jennifer’, but before they can talk Jimmy and Dicken arrive on the scene. Arriving in the acid containment room the Doctor comes face-to-malformed face with the Gangers. Once the Time Lord persuades the duplicates to accompany him to the mess hall to reason with their originals, an uncomfortable meeting ensues: with both sides unsure of how to treat the other, the Doctor attempts to arbitrate a peaceful solution, offering them all a chance to escape the solar storm by leaving in the TARDIS. Unfortunately, the Doctor’s progress is interrupted by the arrival of Cleaves, who has decided to take matters into her own hands: she now wields an electrical circuit probe, which she uses to kill ‘Buzzer’. As the remaining Gangers flees for their lives, Cleaves ignores the Doctor’s fury and urges Jimmy and Dicken to join her in waging war on their duplicates – just as the duplicate ‘Jennifer’ incites her own comrades to attack their originals. Meanwhile, ‘Jennifer’ finds herself in the Flesh room, where something has just emerged from the vat… Predicting a battle, the Doctor orders everyone to the chapel, the most fortified and defendable place in the monastery; but as the time travellers and factory workers make their way through the complex, they are pursued by ‘Cleaves’, ‘Jimmy’ and ‘Dicken’, now dressed in protective suits and angry for blood. Anxious about ‘Jennifer’s safety, Rory rushes off to find her, leaving the Doctor, Amy, Cleaves, Jimmy, Buzzer and Dicken to barricade themselves inside the Flesh room just as the Gangers can close in on them. Sensing someone else in the room, the Doctor calls out for them to show themselves – and as everyone looks on, a Ganger version of the Doctor steps out of the shadows…

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Mark Bonnar (Jimmy), Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer), Sarah Smart (Jennifer Lucas), Raquel Cassidy (Foreman Miranda Cleaves), Leon Vickers (Dicken), Frances Barber (Eye Patch Lady)

Directed by Julian Simpson
Produced by Marcus Wilson
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
21st May 2011 @ 6.45 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory

*Part one of a two-part story

*Music heard in this episode: 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' by Dusty Springfield, and 'Supermassive Black Hole' by Muse