Saturday, April 6, 2013

Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten

The Rings of Akhaten by Doctor Who Spoilers

I must admit, I initially didn't appreciate this episode. I thought it was dull and underwhelming, and to be honest, I didn't really understand what was going on. I tried to write up this post, but I was extremely bothered by all of the things that I wasn't sure of, so I watched it again. That's right, twice in one night. Oh, the things I do for Who. 

After my second viewing, I liked it a whole lot more. At first, I was bothered by the slow pace of the story; I kept waiting for the thing to pick up and was disappointed when it took until about halfway through to do so. Now, I realize that this isn't necessarily meant to be a fast-paced episode; instead, it's a bit more of a nostalgic piece, partially exhibited by the salutes to Indiana Jones, such as The Doctor only just managing to swipe his sonic screwdriver as a door drops down. It focuses on sacrifice and sentimentality; it's actually quite beautiful in parts, especially The Doctor's speech to Mary. The climax was pretty touching as well, despite the fact that Matt Smith was yelling at what appeared to be a massive, cranky jack-o-lantern. Don't judge it, guys: I think we're all that grumpy when we've just woken up, too.

Overall, I liked this episode. It wasn't spectacular, but it had a touching enough storyline to make it worthwhile. 

Here are some questions that I still have and some things that I'd like to point out (in pretty poor organizational order; sorry):

  • The leaf in Clara's book was a different from the one we saw in the previous episode. The first is widely believed to be one that a young Clara picked up in the prequel to The Bells of Saint John. This leaf, as shown in the beginning, is one that brings Clara's parents together. What's the meaning of this? Has Clara's timeline changed again? Maybe by The Doctor going back and checking up on her so many times?
  • Clara is beginning to emerge as her own character. I've seen many complaints that Moffat only writes one kind of woman, but this episode shows that Clara is different from Amy. I loved the scene where she comforts Mary, which, for me, showed a type of compassion and sentimentality completely separate from Amy. 
  • Is there a reason that the TARDIS doesn't open for Clara when she tries to get in with Mary? She says that she doesn't think it likes her, but I'm wondering if this could have a deeper meaning. 
  • In the end of the episode, Clara opens the doors of the TARDIS to see home and says that it looks different. Does this mean something as well, or is it simply strange to her just because of the things that she's now experienced? I'm inclined to believe the latter, but things are never simple in the Whoniverse, so I'm paranoid. 
Well, that's all! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, theories, etc. Seriously, I'm starved of Who discussions in this tiny town, and I would be really, really grateful to hear some thoughts other than my own! 

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