Doctor Who

Season 7 Episode 7

The Rings of Akhaten

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 06, 2013 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
191 votes
  • why the big boob?

    One of the worst episodes since the relaunch for one particular reason for 40 + years apart from when Cristopher Eccleston regenerated into David Tennent all dialogue was in reason apparently was the tardis translated it so what was the excuse apart from some lazy script writing.
  • Single worst episode since the series reboot

    I am a relative new watcher of the series (My first experience with the series was in 1983 with the 5th doctor played by Peter Davison) compared to the long history of the series, but really started to enjoy the series when Eccleston started playing the Doctor in the rebooted series.

    I am not very charmed by Matt Smith as the doctor but there have been some good episodes with him and his perfomance brings something special to the series.

    I must say that this episode is by far the worst episode since the series reboot, and I am sad to say there is a structural problem with the writing since season 6 and this episode embodies a lot of what is going wrong.

    But first the good: The introduction with the flashbacks is nicely done and is a good start of the episode. Usage of singing / praying was very well executed. The look of the aliens is nice, I get the feeling that they had a look at the market scene in Hellboy 2.

    After the introduction it seems to fall appart. Everything seems rushed through, the new world is not properly introduced, the guardians & the god should be scary but really do not get the time to do anything. A lot of magic wand usage (the sonic screwdriver) that allmost becomes a weapon and solves half of the problems. Childrens drawing of a sun with a face takes up most of the ending and again a rather boring Matt smith monolog that saves the day.

    Problem in this case was mostly bad directing I feel, the main story could have worked if polished correctly.

    Overal the worst Doctor Who episode since 1996.

    I give a 4.5 because there is still a lot of room to do it worse but overal weak.
  • Weak, even for a Matt Smith episode.

    Melodrama wrapped in a very thin tissue of sci-fi. I guess we're supposed to think that people getting all emotional to dramatic music is necessarily profound, but it ends up being just another Newdoctor self-pity party, and a particularly pointless one at that, as there's never really any question that the big baddie will get it in the end, and they're not going to kill off the doctor, his new companion, or a little girl. The one-word description that comes to mind is just... dumb.

    The flashbacks -- or whatever the proper term is for time-travelers popping back and forth -- of the Doctor spying on Clara as a child were pretty creepy; there has to have been a better way to get at that background without heading into stalker-land. At least they had Clara get a bit creeped out about that, although she did seem to get over it rather too quickly and easily -- less time spent on the melodrama would've left more time for this to have been handled better.

    The one I feel sorry for is poor Jenna. She'd probably do better with a better Doctor (which, in my view is any other Doctor, although to be fair, the main culprit is the writing, which has gotten really sappy in recent years -- my previous least favorite Doctor was David Tennant); maybe she'll eventually be able to carry Matt like Karen did (best companion since the "reboot"), but she's not there yet.

    The good news is that the next episode pretty much *has* to be better, and even bad Doctor Who is still better than any "reality" show...
  • Starwhale by Any Other Name

    This felt extremely reminiscent of one of Amy's first adventures with the Doctor; leaving the TARDIS and getting lost in a swarm of alien folks. It felt formulaic and wasn't helped at all by how weak the plot was. They really should have lost the stories they offered up to Grandfather - it would have upped the stakes and made for a more interesting story later down the line (especially with this being the 50th anniversary series, so much potential to explain meeting old companions and doctors). But I guess they weren't thinking that far ahead. Alright episode, not nearly the best.
  • Marvelous episode.

    Don't understand why some people found this an unsatisfying Doctor Who episode. Personally, I thought it was great. I especially enjoyed the biographical beginning, the hauntingly beautiful songs sung by the young Queen of Years, the mummy-monster entombed in the pyramid, and Matt Smith's powerful and poignant soliloquy-like confrontation with the planet-size parasitic 'god'. All in all, a highly enjoyable episode.
  • Worst Matt Smith Episode

    I did not have high hopes for this episode and I was right. The only good thing about this episode was the actress who played Mary. She's one of the best child actors Doctor Who has has. But the rest of the episode was terrible. Nothing made sense and nothing was explained. Who is the queen of years, why are those creatures trying to find her, what are those creatures, why was Mary dragged to grandfather, where did that creature that was thought to be grandfather go, and why did the doctor make that big pointless speech? They probably mentioned a few of them but the rest of the episode was so badly made and written that I wasn't really paying attention. This episode failed in almost every way possible and in my opinion is the worst Matt Smith episode.

    . This was not a good episode o introduce Neil Cross to Doctor Who. However, i do have high hopes for his next episode, Hide.
  • Tactically brilliant.

    I think people are critical against this episode because of 'unanswered questions'. That seems to be the real rub. I must question this, then--are these people brand new to Doctor Who, or something? Have they watched the past 3 seasons?

    This entire episode, from the introduction of the special leaf, to its ultimate final role in the climax of the story, absolutely reeked of intentionally unanswered questions. Why is the leaf important? It's obviously linked to Clara, and Clara Oswells fixture in the space-time continuum completely baffles even the Doctor himself. The writers have shoved in our faces that there's something very un-timey-wimey, anti-universal and -impossible- about Clara that hasn't been revealed yet. We are handed bits and pieces of an unsolved mystery on an episodic basis, and this episode only served to fuel more curiosity and anticipation for future episodes.

    So it falls back to the question: why did a leaf kill a giant parasite god that feeds on emotional memories? That hasn't been answered yet, why that leaf was so important, and why Clara's existence is so non-comforming to the laws of time and space. This wasn't a Deux Ex Machina. This entire episode was about Clara from the windy opening to the dramatic music-swelling conclusion.

    I think we've been spoiled in the past. Here comes an episode where -every- single detail about a new planet/culture isn't spoon fed to us, and results in incurable but insignificant omitted details. Details that don't actually matter in the grand scheme. Details that are always so present, we take them for granted. If one absolutely has to know why Aliens A and B were here at this specific time, then use your imagination. Or just accept it. They're not the point. They do not break the immersion.

    In summary, the tiny unkempt details don't even deserve to impact this episode's score, because that would be like blaming the quality of paper in a fantastic novel. I rate it a 10 because it didn't need an Internet obsessions like the Weeping Angels or clever puns about bowties or fezes in order to entertain or move us. This episodes gets a 10 for Matt Smith's bone-shaking performance, especially near the end. It gets credit, a perfect score of 10 of credit, because anyone who has been watching long enough, knows that this is one of those episodes filled with enigmas that will unveiled later on.

    It is episodes such as these that make the series a pleasure to re-watch a dozen times. And so I shall.
  • Even worse than Gridlock

    Where to begin...

    Terrible premise. Sing the monster to sleep in a poor space opera. Confusing plot. It left loads of unanswered questions like:

    Why can they go by rocket bike in space without a space suit? This isn't 80's Flash Gordon.

    Why is everone affraid that the god will take their stories / songs / souls. Matt Smith seems ok.

    Why is the monster killed by a leaf? There are no trees there, but still...

    And speaking of the leaf, why was it such a powerful thing? Sure it was pretty important to Clara, but the leaf didn't appear to affect anyone else by it's presence / absence. Surely in that case pretty much any sentimental item would kill the thing.

    The only saving grace was the (for once) convincing child star.

    This is a poor showing. I hope we never see such again.