Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten

“A soul’s made of stories, not atoms.”

Doctor Who

The unthinkable has happened.

I have stopped hating Steven Moffatt.

Well, actually, since he didn’t write this episode (but executively produced it, so it still kind of counts) he’s more on probation.

But still.

The Rings of Akhaten follows the Doctor and Clara to somewhere vaguely spacey. It looks more like an asteroid than anything else, but that raises confusing questions as to how anyone can breathe, so I’m just going to call it “the Akhaten system”, Star Wars style. In a bustling spaceport in the Akhaten system (note to producer: ten extras in rubber masks do not a spaceport make. Not a convincing one, anyway), Clara meets Merry, the Queen of Years, a little girl afraid of her duty of singing a song to appease the Old God, a monster who has been kept asleep by monks singing. Clara convinces her that everything will be all right (never a good thing to say to a child)…but then something goes wrong during the song, and the God begins to wake…

Of course, this being Doctor Who, things escalate, the Doctor tries to save the day, and it becomes a story about stories, and about song (the music in this episode! The singing!), about the past and about the future. Sure, the CGI is a little iffy (according to the Pragmatist, the Old God looks like “a Hallowe’en pumpkin”), and Neil Cross, the writer, has apparently forgotten all about the TARDIS translation matrix, but I can ignore all this in the face of the epicness of this episode. The Doctor is entirely Doctor-ish here: the old, old traveller who’s seen so many things, bad and good, and who will still fight all the evil in the universe, if he can. And the clever-stupid-timey-wimey plan even makes sense, sort of.

The Doctor’s back. I really hope The Rings of Akhaten is not just a fluke.


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