• Doctor Who: Rings of Akhenaten

    When Clara was a little girl she had a stalker, and when she grew up, her stalker came back. Heís called the Doctor, heís got a box called the Tardis that can stalk you from anywhere in time and space, even your parents, even after all of you have died multiple times. And she's run away with him, because that's not creepy. And that stalker snog box doesnít seem to like her as much as he does though. All right, maybe my internal reaction to the opening scene was a little extreme and I'd be complaining anyway if the Doctor didn't use time travel to confirm how "normal" this girl was who keeps dying and coming back to life in different time periods. But that doesn't mean I'm denied my joke.

    I imagine having a time traveling spaceship would be a bit like having a really awesome house, really boring eventually until youíve got someone new to show it to so you can coast off the vicarious wonder. But ďThe Rings of AkhenatenĒ isnít just fresh because there is a new companion, but because itís utilizing the space travel element of the Tardis unlike anything the show has done since I can think off. Even if that amounts to watching the production doing Star Wars on a TV budget, itís so new and ambitious I want to give it the thumbs up even if outside the sets and the mystery of Clara and her backstory, I wonít remember much about it in a year (a little girl being sacrificed to a space god, the Doctor gives another awesome indignant speech, and there is a big song at the end.)

    If there is a theme here, itís just that deep down our hero is a paternalistic jerk deep down, just like the child eating space god, only heís an indignant self-sacrificial one, which I fear I made sound more interesting than the episode did. Trust me itís a 1990s RPG quest with better acting, but it could have been cool if we were allowed to sink into this new world some more.

    I really wish this show could go back to doing two part episodes. I know they wonít because ratings for the second part suffer. But this week it was more exhausting than ever seeing everything wrapped up so quickly, itís one thing when an episode loses tension because a solution immediately follows a problem, but another when that happens after so much world building, and missed potential, even in the little moments like Clara realizing that the Doctor had been time travel stalking her and that she reminds him of a dead person (well multiple dead people that essentially are her, but she's not that far yet is she?) a good closer, but we could have gone deeper. The she just jumps off from high stakes adventure and catharsis from her parent's death to her nanny job like nothing happened? There's always next week.

    Score: 7/10

    Bonus Points

    - So this planet uses items with sentimental value as currency? How does that work? If I give you my dead motherís wedding ring for a hoverbike will it be as valuable to you later? What do I have to give you for a cup of coffee? The Doctor didnít want to give up Amyís glasses, I wouldnít either but that just means we are both jerks doesnít it.

    - People far nerdier than me jumped when the Doctor mentioned his granddaughter. I just want to know why Clara had no reaction to that bombshell. Well, she was in space.

    - The Tardis ďnot likingĒ Clara nearly confirms my theory that sheís some kind of unwitting trap for the Doctor.

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