Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Rebel Flesh 

A solar tsunami sends the TARDIS crew to an acid mining factory in the 22nd century, where a small team of workers come under attack from their doppelgangers.


Julian Simpson


Matthew Graham

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Episode complete credited cast:
Matt Smith ... The Doctor
Karen Gillan ... Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill ... Rory
Mark Bonnar ... Jimmy
Marshall Lancaster ... Buzzer
Sarah Smart ... Jennifer
Raquel Cassidy ... Cleaves
Leon Vickers Leon Vickers ... Dicken
Frances Barber ... Eye Patch Lady


The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in a future Earth where a small group of humans operate a plant extracting highly dangerous chemicals. To minimize the danger to themselves, they create clones made of a plastic-like substance, 'gangers' (short for doppelganger) who do the actual work. While forming their clones however, the Earth is struck by massive solar flare activity that transfer the humans' emotions and memories in addition to their technical abilities. As they all try to deal with what has happened, the gangers are clearly no longer prepared to accept the limited status they previously had and insist on being treated as sentient beings in their own right. As it turns out, others have been affected as well. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 May 2011 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Cymru Wales See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Steven Moffat devised a story about "avatars that rebel". Initially worried this may seem too similar to Avatar (2009), Matthew Graham went on to create the Flesh. See more »


The Doctor: Right, let's go. Satisfy our rabid curiosity.
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Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Rebel Without a Cause
23 January 2019 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

This is the first part of a two part story and it ends with a strong cliffhanger. The episode overall is not hugely exciting or outstanding but it is a decent standard story with some very good aspects. The make up effects are very good and the 'gangers' are creepy. They do turn out, as is often the case, to not be as evil or one dimensional as it first may appear. This is a double edged sword as on one hand it lessens the threat and menace of potential villains but on the other hand it adds depth and a thoughtful aspect about what makes us who we are. If this episode was followed by a second part that took the build up to a higher level with a perfectly judged climax then this story would stand up alongside great, fun stories of the past but this episode is not entirely effective in the build up and the second part, in my opinion, is not as good as this one so it ends up a bit flat and disappointing.

Taken on its own there are no major problems with this episode and it has some nice gothic horror aspects harking back to the classics stories of years gone by but this potential for a scary horror episode do not come fully to fruition. One or two characters, one or two plot elements and one or two bits of dialogue feel a bit underwhelming in some ways compared to how thrilling they could have been. Occasionally I feel it is not fully thought through. However, it is still solid and pretty enjoyable so I rate this part as 7.5/10.

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