When they ended up at St. John’s Monastery, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory stumble upon a group of workers responsible for mining acid. The work, as mining acid sounds like it would be, is incredibly dangerous. When they first the job, they lost a worker a week due to the high risk nature of the work. Then they invented the worst kept secret in the government, The Flesh. The Flesh, programmable matter, was used to create doppelgangers, or “gangers”, of the workers. The gangers could then be sent into the most dangerous scenarios without risk to human life. Humans acknowledged that The Flesh was alive, but denied its sentience. The Doctor doubted this conclusion very much. He argued that they were persons, they had emotions, memories and aspirations. If they’re persons, treating them as expendable slaves is morally reprehensible. But what does it mean for an entity to be a person? And are the non-humans the Doctor and his companions encounter, from animals ((like dinosaurs on spaceships), to aliens (Daleks included) and artificial life (the Flesh) persons?
Jennifer is a “ganger”, a “factory part” in the acid mines who is used and abused as part of the process. The work is too dangerous for humans and so the humans created The Flesh to do the dangerous work for them. As Jennifer’s ganger demonstrates it has memories and feelings, so is it right for them to be treated as expendable? Are ganger’s persons? And what about all the aliens that the Doctor encounters? Tomorrow we’l investigate the non-human personhood, for animals, artificial life, and even extraterrestrials.