Doctor Who Review: The Rings of Akhaten
When Clara requests that her first trip on the TARDIS be some place “awesome” the Doctor obliges and whisks her off to an alien bazaar in which objects imbued with memories is currency, and an alien god must be kept from awakening.
Best Moment: There were some fun lines throughout this episode of Doctor Who. I laughed out loud when the Doctor says to Clara: Are you joking? It’s massive! I also loved the market scene.
Verdict: Overall this was another solid addition. Can I say again that I adored the alien market? It was so well done, so well populated, with interesting aliens, weird fruit, and and even weirder currency. This market could appear in the Star Wars universe. Not only Star Wars either, The grandfather’s “alarm clock” looked distinctly like something from Hellboy. Well done to the folks at the BBC for that!
As for the big bad, well, it’s difficult to get excited about the “grandfather.” He is certainly massive, but we don’t really understand anything more about him/her/it. Unlike many other new Doctor Who villains, there’s not much background to this one, he just gobbles up souls.
However, I am stunned by Emilia Jones’ performance as the Queen of Years. Not only does she have a stunning voice, but she played the part just right. I will not be surprised if we see more from Ms. Jones.
This episode was really about Clara of course. We get to see how Clara reacts to the world of the Doctor. Her natural nanny/governess instincts come to the foreground when she goes chasing after the Queen of Years. Of course, we also learn more about her background as we discover the Doctor has begun “stalking her” through her childhood, and even before she was born.
In this episode, we discover the importance of the leaf in her book, which did not refer to some lost year in which she left London as I speculated, but is in fact far more beautiful and tragic. So beautiful and tragic that it ends up being Clara, not the Doctor, who saves the day. It is her sacrifice, giving up her leaf that represents a tie to her parents and all the things that could have been. It’s both touching and helps to define who she is. Or, at least, who this version of Clara is.
Which brings me to another point the episode made. Clara remembers the Doctor from her childhood. She knows he’s been following her since she was little, and she’s not too happy about it. She also now knows that she reminds him of someone, although she doesn’t understand the full extent.
What this all means, I don’t know. All I know is that next week is the return of the ice warriors!