Doctor Who

Season 7 Episode 7

The Rings of Akhaten

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 06, 2013 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
188 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Doctor Who "The Rings of Akhaten" Review: The King and Queen of Years

    Despite a few plot flaws, "The Rings of Akhaten" did a great job of showing Clara off a bit more and delving into both her and the Doctor's pasts.

  • Episode Summary

    The Doctor takes Clara to see the rings of the planet Akhaten and the Festival of Offerings. However, something stirs in a nearby pyramid and it demands a sacrificial offering,

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • 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.moreless
    • 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...moreless
    • 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.moreless
    • 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.
    Michael Dixon

    Michael Dixon

    Dave Oswald

    Guest Star

    Nicole Sian

    Nicole Sian

    Ellie Ravenwood

    Guest Star

    Emilia Jones

    Emilia Jones

    Merry Galel

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (13)

      • Ellie: You kept it.
        Dave: Of course I kept it.
        Ellie: Why?
        Dave: Cause this exact leaf had to grow in that exact way, in that exact place, so that precise wind could tear it from that precise branch and make it fly into this exact face, at that exact moment. And if just one of those tiny little things had never happened, I'd never have met you. Which makes this the most important leaf in human history.

      • Clara: I've never been here before. I've never been anywhere like it before. I just saw a little girl who looked like she needed help.
        Merry: Really?
        Clara: Really really.
        Merry: Can you help me?
        Clara: That's why I'm still here.

      • Clara: Why are we walking away? We can't just walk away. This is my fault, I talked her into doing this.
        The Doctor: Listen. There is one thing you need to know about traveling with me. Well, one thing apart from the blue box and the two hearts. We don't walk away.

      • The Doctor: Okay. Let me go.
        Clara: I can't.
        The Doctor: Try, you have to.
        Clara: Why?
        The Doctor: Because it really hurts.

      • The Doctor: Oh, that is interesting. A frequency-modulated acoustic lock. The key changes ten million zillion squillion times a second.
        Clara: Can you open it?
        The Doctor: Technically, no. In reality, also no. But still, let's give it a stab.

      • Clara: Did you just lock us in?
        The Doctor: Yep.
        Clara: With a soul-eating monster?
        The Doctor: Yep.
        Clara: Is there actually a way to get out?
        The Doctor: What, before it eats our souls?
        Clara: Ideally, yeah.
        The Doctor: Possibly. Probably. There usually seems to be.

      • Clara: Stop it, you're scaring her.
        The Doctor: Good, she should be scared. She's sacrificing herself, she should know what that means. Do you know what that means, Merry?
        Merry: A god chose me.
        The Doctor: It's not a god. It'll feed on your soul but that doesn't make it a god.

      • The Doctor: Hey, do you mind if I tell you a story, one you might not have heard? All the elements in your body were forged many, many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. that explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings. Until eventually they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one Merry Galel. And there will never be another. Getting rid of that existence isn't a sacrifice. It is a waste.

      • Clara: You're going to fight it, aren't you?
        The Doctor: Regrettably, yes, I think I may be about to do that.
        Clara: It's really big.
        The Doctor: I've seen bigger.
        Clara: Really?
        The Doctor: Are you joking? It's massive.

      • Clara: What about that stuff you said? "We don't walk away."
        The Doctor: No, we don't walk away. But when we're holding onto something precious, we run. We run and run fast as we can and we don't stop running until we are out from under the shadow.

      • The Doctor: I have lived a long life and I have seen a few things. I walked away from the last great Time War, I marked the passing of the Time Lords, I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment until nothing remained. No time, no space, just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn't believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken… knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So come on then! Take it!

      • Clara: This, the most important leaf in human history. The most important leaf in human history. It's full of stories, full of history, and full of a future that never got lived. Days that should have been but never were... passed on to me. This leaf isn't just the past, it's a whole future that never happened. There are billions and millions of unlived days for every day we live, an infinity, all the days that never came.

      • The Doctor: Because there's quite a difference, isn't there, between what was and what should have been. There's an awful lot of one, but there's an infinity of the other. And infinity is too much...

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • The Doctor: The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings.
        Referencing the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1872). The complete line is: "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    • 10:00 pm