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The Rings of Akhaten

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 8
First Broadcast2013/04/07 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Bells of Saint John
Next EpisodeCold War

Clara's first trip in the TARDIS as a proper companion was one of the weakest stories in a while. The Doctor also looked into Clara's past, but found everything to be normal, much to his perplexment.

The Doctor delves into Clara's past, starting with her parents. We find out why Clara referred to the leaf in her journal as "page one" in the previous episode. It turns out it was the reason her parents met. He follows Clara through the first few years of her life, occasionally being spotted, until the death of Clara's mother. The Doctor is left exclaiming, "She's not possible." He can't understand how Clara can be.

The primary storyline takes place at the Rings of Akhaten and in particular at their golden Pyramid, a holy site for the Sun-singers of Akhet. This is a cool system of seven worlds, orbiting the same star, with lots of different aliens, a weird religion and a space bike. Intriguingly, instead of hard currency, they use objects of sentimental value. The Doctor declines to use his sonic screwdriver to purchase anything.

The system's sun turns out to be an old God who devours emotions. The Doctor tries to satisfy it with his Time Lord history and knowledge, including things that must never be spoken, but fails. Clara steps in with her leaf, an infinite potential of futures, that her mother never knew. This satisfies the sun and everyone is saved. As I said, a little lame.

Interesting bits:

  • Clara remembers the Doctor at her mother's funeral. She asks him why and gets angry with him when he explains that she reminds him of someone else.
  • There's an interesting contrast between Clara and Amy. The Doctor told Amy, "We never get involved." His attitude appears to have changed, as he tells Clara, "We never walk away."
  • There's a reference to Susan, the Doctor's grand-daughter, who travelled with the first Doctor.