Sunday, 21 April 2013

Doctor Who 'The Rings of Akhaten' Review

On their first proper trip together in the Tardis the Doctor takes Clara to see the Rings of Akhaten, where several planetoids circle an asteroid with a great golden pyramid and a giant star.  The duo visit a large alien market on the planet closest to the pyramid where dozens of species have gathered for a ceremony that only occurs once every thousand years.

Whilst exploring Clara meets a young girl named Merry Gejelh, the Queen of Years who has an important part to play in the ceremony.  Initially afraid of taking part because she might go wrong Clara convinces her to go ahead.

The Doctor and Clara attend the ceremony, where The Doctor explains that since the Rings were settled there has been a constant song sung to keep an angry god asleep. The people fear that the god, which they call Grandfather, will awaken and consume the entire universe if the song is ever interrupted.  Merry begins her song, but during the ceremony the mummy within the pyramid awakens and Merry is pulled into it.

The Doctor and Clara race after her to save her from the mummy and prevent the angry god from awakening. 
The Doctor and Clara see Akhaten for the first time.

‘The Rings of Akhaten’ is an interesting episode filled with marvels and massive scope, unfortunately it suffers from the modern series format.  Crammed into a scant 45 minutes the episode feels incredibly rushed and half told.  The plot would have felt more at home as a classic series serial, with several episodes in which to fully explore the plot and characters. 

As it is the Vigil and the Mummy appear briefly and play very little actual threat and the resolution comes so soon that it feels almost easy.  Yes, there are some great character moments and the episode is filled with visual spectacle but these cannot help to save the episode from its glaring faults. 

The Doctor confronts the 'Angry God'.
A very rushed episode that doesn’t have enough time to fully explore the story or characters.  Could very well have been a great episode, but as it is may be remembered as something of a misstep.  4/10.


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