‘THE RINGS OF AKHATEN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Clara and the Long Song
This episode is by Neil Cross, who writes for the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series for the first time. I enjoyed this episode very much. It has been criticised lately and I cannot understand why that is.
This is Clara’s first proper adventure in the TARDIS! The Doctor takes Clara to the Rings of Akahten. This is a place in the universe where small planetoids orbit around this large gas giant.
The Doctor and Clara go there and they meet a variety of all sorts of aliens and creatures in a market town. It is intriguing the currency of this period is to give up things of sentimental value.
As Clara explores, she comes across a little girl. This is Emilia Jones as Merry Gejelh, who is the Queen of Years. Merry is running away and tries to hide from some people until Clara helps her.
My favourite scene from this episode is where Clara and Merry get to hide behind the TARDIS. They sit down and Merry tells Clara why she’s hiding since she has to sing a song to an old god.
Merry is afraid that she’ll get it wrong, but Clara comforts her by telling her how she learnt not to be scared of being lost. She convinces Merry that she will get it right when she sings the song.
That scene demonstrates Clara’s compassionate and caring nature. This is something that I look for in a ‘Doctor Who’ companion and this made me like Clara more and enjoyed her adventures.
The song that Merry sings is called ‘The Long Song’. When I heard it sung by this cute little girl, it reduced me to tears. It’s also great as Merry sings the song to help the Doctor fight the ‘old god’.
The Doctor confronts the ‘old god’ as this hungry sun towards the end of the episode. The Doctor’s passionate speech to the ‘old god’ with the song in the background was so electrifying.
It lifted up my heart and my eyes were blurry with tears from hearing that song. It’s no surprise that Emilia Jones performed the song for the ‘Doctor Who Proms 2013’ for the 50th anniversary.
It was interesting when at the beginning; the Doctor explores Clara’s history with seeing her Mum and Dad meeting each other in the 80s. He also gets to see Clara get born and growing up.
The Doctor watches Clara through her growing up in order to find out more about who she is and why she’s so impossible. We’re still none the wiser about who Clara is by the episode’s end.
Michael Dixon guest stars as Dave Oswald, Clara’s father and Nicola Sian guest stars as Ellie Oswald, Clara’s mother. Those scenes depicting Clara’s family life were a joy to watch on screen.
It was also interesting when the Doctor reveals to Clara that he came to Akhaten once before with his daughter Susan. Now isn’t that interesting. What happened in that adventure I wonder?
In the episode, the Doctor and Clara get to ride on a space-bike to rescue Merry when she’s in trouble. The Doctor and Clara on a space-bike was a thrill! Matt and Jenna must have enjoyed it!
‘The Rings of Akhaten’ is a nice little episode and a truly lovely character piece for Clara Oswald. I liked Clara’s compassionate nature and ‘The Long Song’ is what the episode is remembered for.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete Series 7’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Behind-The-Scenes: The Rings of Akhaten’ featurette featuring cast and crew interviews. There’s also the insightful documentary called ‘Doctor Who in the U.S’.
‘The Rings of Akhaten’ rating – 7/10
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