Andy Naylor reviews the latest episode of Doctor Who…
The Doctor and Clara embark on their very first adventure together, and Clara wants to go somewhere “awesome”. Matt Smith’s Doctor takes her to see The Rings of Akhaten, an ancient site that many religions believe to be the place where all life in the universe was created. Please be warned, mild spoilers ahead.
We start off with the Doctor investigating into Clara’s past, seeing if there is anything strange or unusual about her or her parents. Like all of us, she appears to be here solely on the whim of fate. This is the only real addition we get to the Clara story arc, she appears utterly normal. However, as with everything Moffat does with Doctor Who, there will be key words, phrases, messages hidden in there for us to find. As always, with hindsight, I’m sure we will wonder how we missed them.
The Doctor and Clara then get the adventure underway. Almost immediately the likeable Clara helps the distressed Queen of Years, who’s very worst worry predictably comes true, leaving a huge problem for the Doctor to solve. I wasn’t overly keen on the religious aspect that revolved around the episode, it seemed too vague and tenuous. Despite that, the setup for the big reveal was good and unexpected. As a viewer I was geared up for a typical Doctor madly running around to save the day and outwit the bad guy, instead we were treated to one of the most original enemies ever seen in Sci-Fi, let alone Doctor Who. That is one thing Doctor Who excels at, the sheer variety and complexity of enemies. When you have ALL of time and space to explore, I love an episode were a writer truly comes out with something different. The raw emotion delivered by Smith and Coleman in the climatic scenes was outstanding, I’m sure many people withheld a little sniffle or two.
One thing that did confuse me: why does the Doctor need a space moped? He has one of the greatest ships in the universe at his disposal yet unconvincingly requires a different form of space travel? It just seemed a little weak. Last week a motorbike, this week a space moped. I hope this is a trend that stops, and swiftly.
It was another good episode. Much like last week’s, I found it solid, enjoyable, dependable but lacking in juicy grand story arc titbits. It had the feeling of a filler episode, a good filler episode, but a filler episode nonetheless. With such a short run I’d love some big story arc progress and a little glimmer into the “impossible” Clara Oswald. There was no satisfaction in a little information, just frustration that we were dealt none.