Thursday, April 11, 2013


Not sure what it is this week, whether it's the unseasonably warm weather here on the East Coast of the US that has us cranking up air conditioners or the wave of negativity that crashed down on Who Land after the broadcast of "The Rings of Akhaten" that set me off, but I am finally gathered and writing my thoughts on the episode.

We have The Doctor starting his investigation in to “The Twice Dead Woman” by going back into Clara’s past, back as far as her parents’ first meeting, and after his witnessing their meeting, engagement (via leaf that blinded Clara’s Dad), the birth and eventual adolescence of Clara (nice job on that), he is no more the better for his poking into her past proclaiming her to “be impossible”.

And yet there she is.

This episode was a mixed bag for me, parts were good and there were parts that were a bit too formulaic.  Maybe I’m being too hard on this episode, but onto . . . . . . . . .

The entire first three minutes, basically the "The Life Of Clara".  It was sweet and sentimental and it answered a lot of questions, which is a good thing, and even I shed a bit of a tear when Clara did at her mom's graveside.


We had  a potential return of The Doctor's Venusian Akido after his being hit in the head by a ball kicked by a very young Clara - nice touch.

Definite kudos go to the young lady who played Merry, I wish I had been that together at 10 years old (here's what else she's been in )

Queen of the Years

All of the aliens. The Millennium FX prosthetics crew must have had continuous orgasms when the orders for aliens came in for this episode, and they did a great job.  


. . . . . as did The Mill with their CGI efforts.  Definitely a bravo for the special effects.

The Doctor comparing an event that happens every thousand years in the Rings of Akhaten to "Pancake Tuesday", that terribly British version of Mardi Gras, the day before everyone is supposed to clamp down and give up all kinds of things for Lent.  While the rest of the world is feasting on all kinds of craziness and drinking themselves numb, the Brits and their other former colonies are having pancakes (from the looks of them they look more like French crepes, not like real American Pancakes.


Back to Clara's story - I like that she seems to have been born and, up to her first run-in with The Doctor, in "The Bells of Saint John", seems to be a pretty normal (aside from her lack of Internet knowledge), mid-20's woman. All of the stops in her life . . . . . .  .

After The Doctor tells Clara that she reminds her of someone. . . .someone who died. . . .  Clara's retort . .  "I'm not going to be a bargain basement stand-in for someone else . . . I'm not going to compete with a ghost!"

As much as I liked the bazaar scenes with all of the aliens, Clara’s first trip aboard the TARDIS was reminiscent of Rose’s in “The End of the World”, with the Doctor’s companion being exposed to all kinds of aliens on their first trip.

In the Rings of Akhaten there were layers upon layers upon layers of appeasing the local sun (more on that later).  There were there guys (who I actually thought were cool looking):

Then this guy:

Just to get to this guy - the Grandfather . . . 

That is a sun which will be put out by a leaf


OK - so The Doctor and Clara basically put out the sun that keeps the Rings of ZAnkhaten together and then get out of town.  In other words - they save the denizens of the Rings from "The Grandfather" and then leave them to their entire solar system to collapsing.  Seems a bit weird to me.
Not once, but twice, The Doctor took on the concept of organized religion, which I found interesting.  First, on their arrival in the Rings when  The Doctor was explaining what the deal with the Rings was.

Doctor: Seven world orbiting the same star, all of them sharing the belief that all life in the universe originated here, on that planet.

Clara: All life?

Doctor: In the Universe.

Clara: Did It?

Doctor: No, it's what they believe, it's a nice story.

The second was his  "Cabbages and Kings" pep talk to Merry.


We still have no idea who the "shop girl" is who gave Clara that IT support number, but some theories have popped up from either IMs or in chats with other Who fans.

Our suspects are . . . . Rose (a shop girl), River (not a shop girl but who has time travel capabilities so could know the actual identity of Clara - it would not surprise me if that were the case and that she knows that Clara - in the end - makes The Doctor immensely happy), Sally Sparrow, not seen since "Blink", but another "shop girl".  I definitely get the feeling that whoever it was who gave Clara the support number to The Doctor's phone is known to us, as in she's appeared in the series before.

A friend posited that it might be Susan Foreman, The Doctor's granddaughter, since she was mentioned in this episode, and I think it's possible, but very unlikely since she was left off in 22nd century Earth (even accounting for her appearance in "The Five Doctors"), but I guess The Doctor could have dropped her off in 2013.

The TARDIS key . . .. as mentioned before.  The Doctor, in a bit of a fake reaches into his pocket and hands Clara not the key to the TARDIS, but the ring she traded into to the Crazy Dog Talking Moped Lady, which i all kinds of full of Clara's memories of her mom.

1 comment:


    Bad Wolf Syndrome with regards to Clara. Who else have we seen planting a thing throughout space and time as a message to the Doctor and his Companion? Moffat loves to recycle things that have been done before in recent memory, thinking we're all too stupid to notice much less care. Why wouldn't he pull a stunt like this?