Monday, April 22, 2013

Doctor Who A Show Review: The Rings Of Akhaten

By: William G. Muir
I have to say it, there is no other way around. I just have to come out and say it. I did not like this episode of Doctor Who! There I said it. Now we can all move on.

No I am afraid not. I would be failing in my job as a reviewer if I didn't go into the reason why I didn't like this episode. So just sit back and I will try to not make this hurt too much. But I do advise that you all put on your safety helmet and safety glasses. We are about to plunge head first into a big pool of Epic Fail

Before we get into the things that I didn't care about this, lets first look at somethings that I did enjoy.
I liked that the Doctor mentioned his granddaughter in this episode. It seems like too many times they try and distance the fact that Doctor once had a family. And if they do mention it is only in short bits. We are never given any details about them. The only reason we know the Doctor must have had children in the past at all is because we were introduced to Susan Foreman. Some might say by not giving us any information on the Doctor's family it gives the character an air of mystery. Fine I will go with that, but that doesn't mean you have to almost completely ignore the fact that he did have a family at one time.

I also liked when the Doctor asked Clara where she wanted to go that she didn't have an answer for him. I too am like that, ask me what my favorite book or movie is and I draw a blank. Maybe cause I don't spend all that much time thinking about what my favorite this is or what I think what the best that is. There needs to be more scenes like this in television and movie. It adds just a bit more realism overall. 

So what was it about this episode that I didn't care for. First of it is the leaf. Yes the leaf that was in Clara's 101 Places to See book in the last episode makes an appearance in this episode. In fact we find out the back story on this leaf, how Clara came by it and why she kept. If you don't look to closely or examine it to much all you see is that this leaf is what brought Clara's parents together. But when I look at it I can't help but thinking that leaf should have never lasted the more than twenty years it did. It should have been crumbled into dust.

I can hear you saying that the leaf was preserved in the book. Michala pointed this out to me when brought this objection up to her, fair enough. But my complaint isn't with the leaf being preserved, I will concede to that point. What I will not concede is that leaf should never have made to being preserved. Right after Clara's mother saves her father from being hit by a car, (A car I might add looks awful familiar to the one that hit Rose's father in Father's Day. This show needs to spend a little more on props. This isn't the first time they have used the same prop multiple times. The gun the Doctor uses in The Journey's End is the same gun Capt. Jack Harkness use in Torchwood.) we get scene of the father pulling the leaf out of his pocket.

Right there the leaf should have started failing apart in his had. Actually it should have fallen apart while in his pocket, if not destroyed when he tried to slip it into his pocket. It had to be several days between the times she pulled him out away of that car and when presented her with that leaf on the doorstep that night. We just can't presume that he had been keeping it pressed in a book somewhere; they never show him doing that. If we said he did we would be guilty of assuming facts that are just not in evidence.

If he had put it it away to be preserved why did he stick the leaf in his pocket. If it meant that much to him, one would think you would never take it out of the book. 

I have to wonder how the economy of this place even exist. They only accept things that hold some kind of deep emotional attachment to the owner. In no time at all that these people would soon run out of currency and wouldn't be able to buy the things they needed to survive. The system would collapse. Just think of the number of items you hold dear to you. It is not that many, maybe one or two at the most. Most of the items we own will no hold significance to us beyond the purpose they serve. The reason something holds a sentimental place in our heart is because it is tied to a special moment in our life. If all moments were special, there would be nothing special about them.

The ending of this episode really disappointed me. It was just a recycled version of the Torchwood episode, End of Days. Just like in that episode we get a demigod creature that is going to devour all the life essence it kind find. Instead of Jack using immortal soul to defeat the monster; what we got in was Clara holding up a leaf and defeating this episodes daemon.

A leaf, really a leaf. First off I discount than leaf being more important than any other leaf on Earth
Maybe to Clara's parents and herself that leaf holds importance. But to the other 7 billion people on the planet it is just a leaf. A leaf that should have been a pile of crunchy leaf bits by now. No it should have been broken down into atoms and been released back into the universe.

Further more the untapped potential wasn't unique to that leaf, any object could have possess it. If that was the case any one of those people would have done. Before we make decision every potential outcome is still there. Hundreds, thousand, millions of different possibilities do exist. If just one of those people stepped up the demigod could have taken a sip off the person and been full.

Other than the warmed over ending, I think this episode could have been a decent one. If it had just had more time. To me it seemed like the episode  never fully developed any of the secondary characters. Nor did the story feel full thought out. If this had been a two part episode maybe they could have had more time to get the writing on this episode down.

I have give to this episode a thumbs down. I would not recommend this it to anyone.   


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