S33 (7) 8 – The Rings of Akhaten

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    Craig @craig

    The Rings of Akhaten

    Broadcast on BBC1 on 6 April. The Doctor takes Clara to the Festival of Offerings, but the Old God is waking and demands sacrifice!

    Craig @craig

    Told you it was the leaf! 😀


    Well that was interesting.

    Explicit reference to Susan…

    Tardis maybe doesn’t like Clara…

    VERY strong motherhood theme.

    Who might a chap’s…er….runaway chum….dislike most?

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Well that gives us less to work with *scratches out leaf theories*.

    What are we left with?  The Tardis didn’t let Clara in, also it didn’t translate for her either.  Significant?  Or inconsistent writing?

    Craig @craig

    As much as I loved it just for being Who, I’m going to have to re-watch it to form an opinion. It didn’t grab me first time, and I thought it was actually a bit dull, a bit “The Beast Below”, which was of course the second episode for Amy. “The End of the World” (Rose’s second episode) was also a bit poor. Maybe companions shouldn’t be taken to alien worlds for their first trip. Maybe the Doctor should learn not to try too hard on a first date.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    And the Doctor didn’t seem to notice that the TARDIS translator wasn’t working. Or rather it was, sometimes, because little Merry was speaking ‘English’.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Errr… bloody hell. If this is the series of blockbusters that was a bit George Lucas, wasn’t it.

    Really enjoyed it … BUT, what an idea to have translated to one of the old two parters!

    So full of references. Clara’s mum dying on 9th March 2005? Susan? Tardis being a bit uppity? These packed episodes really demand rewatching. Like last week, the dialogue sped past.

    Matt and Clara’s little presentations to the old God seemed really well pitched. Loved the indirect reference to Omega “I’ve been to a Universe created by the imagination of a madman”, and the entire “unrealised realities” of the leaf. Memory and the taking of them a definite recurring theme isn’t it.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Maybe the Doctor should learn not to try too hard on a first date.

    I was actually expecting Clara to say that. He was so obviously trying to impress.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Sorry I’m late. I was busy enjoying the ‘Ghost of Confidential’ & the Cold War advert on the Official Site.

    So now we know why Clara doesn’t walk away from bereaved children.

    The Dr was ready to defend himself with Venusian Karate on meeting an even younger Clara!

    There is a creature that looks like an ancestor of the Ood & the Hath.

    So far a lot of soul-devouring this series…

    Oh – & that’s quite clearly a stunt-leaf!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    <ah, that’s better! Grauniad blog getting a bit nippy sweeties now>

    Why isn’t it the same leaf as last week? (Canadian maple I believe it was ID’d as) (I know, I know, all the wonders of a new planet, LOTS OF ALIENS!, a big fiery head and I can’t get past the flaming leaf!)

    And thanks again to everyone on here for making it such a cosy Who-space

    <gets comfy on the sofa and prepares for re-watch>

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Ha. I left a positive comment on the Dan Martin blog to confuse the Dark Side of fandom. Resist the powers of the Sith my friends.

    I think with the pace of something like “The Almost People/Rebel Flesh” Two parter this could have been an absolute classic. The ideas, sets and implementation are absolutely fantastic, but 42 minutes isn’t really the time to deploy them to full effect.

    I think I got my dates wrong. For some reason I thought Clara’s mum died the day Who came back. Not so. She died 16 days before that. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Anonymous @

    Well, I thought that was a vast improvement on last week’s RTD’s Greatest Hits-a-thon. Though it looks as if I might be in the minority going by the violent outpouring of bile that’s going on over at The Guardian blog.

    Highly (deliberately?) reminiscent of The End of the World and I think plot-wise a bit better than it. Some great visuals and I actually liked the songs. Some nice kisses to the past with the reference to Susan and Omega etc. Also among the many references, a couple of pretty explicit ones (I thought) to Blade Runner. Can this be taken as more clues to replicants/clones/dopplegangers?

    Some thoughts:

    With the Grandfather (surely that name can’t be a coincidence in an episode that decides to namecheck Susan) sucking memories out of The Doctor, does that mean he’s become more of the ingenue of the old days. (Is this another part of Moffatt’s Big Reboot?)

    Why didn’t the TARDIS like Clara? At the very least this surely negates the idea that she is a/the splintered TARDIS. Does it also make it more likely that she’s the cause of the TARDIS explosion rather than its result. Does it mean that she is the Big Bad this year, or working for it?

    Where did the Doctor vanish to? Would it be too fanciful to suggest that there could be two Doctors running around in this episode?

    So, not a brilliant episode by any stretch but I really don’t think it deserves all the hate it seems to be getting. Though I have to say that compared to the first half of season seven, which was a really strong set of episodes (Power of Three notwithstanding), season 7.2 seems to have been a little half-hearted and ‘meh’ so far. Which it really shouldn’t be in the year of the 50th anniversary.

    Bring on the Ice Warriors…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The 101 places book seems like it might be a metaphor for the stewardship of the show – it’s days of possibilities.

    Ellie Ravenwood seems to have taken possession in 1971 – any potential significance?

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    Crazy theory – could the fact that Clara’s mother died a few days before the start of Nu Who in 2005  be an oblique reference to the fact she died in the Time War?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Could be that she died in the Time War. Misdirection; the Doctor’s investigated Clara and not realised that it’s her mother who’s important?

    As I’ve said on the Guardian blog, which seems to be currently attracting enough trolls to police the whole of Ankh-Morpork, her Mum’s date of death is the first, highly unofficial, release of Nu-Who to the viewing public. 5th March 2005 was when ‘Rose’ got released into the Internet.

    Which returns us to the themes of computers, downloads, Internet.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Ellie Ravenwood is quite clearly an anagram of ‘Ooe wail Dr Eleven’

    Ellie Oswald is quite clearly an anagram of ‘Soiled weals’

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Ellie is a female given name, a shortened form of EloiseElianaElainaAliceEleanorEmilyElizaEmelia, or Elizabeth

    And by the way, that (most important) stunt-leaf tried to kill Clara’s Dad, then a beige car tried to run him over (not the Father’s Day one).

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    OK, I didn’t mention it last time because it seemed so tenuous- but the Doctor’s tooth marks? Two times last episode we saw him biting into something then putting it down/passing it to someone, and here he did it again, with the weird blue fruit.

    Nah, it’s still tenuous. But still a bit careless for someone with precious and dangerous DND.

    Other than that- really thought for a moment the doctor was going to lose his memory. So then he’s loose on the Tardis, with an inexperienced, though ‘brilliant’ companion.  He stops trying to work out who she is, because he’s failed to ‘remember’.

    Memories and Mothers seem to be important this time. No flickering lights that I can recall, though a sun went out…

    Craig @craig

    LOL @wolfweed I actually did laugh out loud at that, and almost spat wine over my keyboard.

    So Clara’s mum actually becomes important. See the prequel below (sorry for the repost but I think it’s worth it). “Is that your Mum?” “I’d better she if she’s alright” or something like that (I’m doing this from memory, not transcript).

    What also struck me as a misdirection last week was the password. Clara asks how she can remember the password and Angie smiles, then there is a cut. I think it’s Angie who says “Run you clever boy and remember 123”. Clara is just repeating it, which kinda got me thinking that she may be some sort of empty vessel that gets filled with whatever comes along… barmaid, governess, dalek!

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @jimthefish– god, that’s a good point, maybe he did lose some memories. Maybe not 11 memories, but previous doctors.

    Which could lead into the 50th anniversary… and he would be less likely to be aware of it.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Marion Ravenwood is the character in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc who later returns in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

    She turns out to be the mother of the son that Indiana Jones doesn’t know he has.

    Of course, they could simply have picked that name for the Indiana Jones reference, but it does rather give credence to the ‘Clara is somehow the Doctor’s granddaughter’ theories. I wonder if the Doctor, bobbing about between times, missed something like Clara being adopted because the Oswins couldn’t have kids?

    I notice that we don’t see a ‘birth’ scene. We see Mum looking in at Dad lovingly holding a rather well-grown baby Clara.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Ellie Ravenwood is clearly an anagram of ‘O reveal down line’ or ‘Now live dear Leo’, whilst Ellie Oswald is obviously an anagram of ‘Sold a wellie’.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Cabbages & Kings is a quote from ‘Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there’.

    “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.”

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hello dear comrades, old and new, with a special shoutout to @tiddler as the smallest and newest of the Fish Clan! A warm welcome.

    I loved this episode, so mark me down as a rank sentimentalist alongside @phaseshift, but I don’t care!

    From the trailer, I was eminently prepared to despise it. I’ve been muttering to myself that the “chemistry” between Clara and the Doctor is being over-forced and, to be  honest, I still feel they could afford to stop trying so hard, and just let it unfold organically (the magic “X factor” is clearly there).

    Anyway, I was delighted that the Doctor quoted Lewis Caroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, thus providing us with an explicit “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reference to add to all the many mirror references of the Moffat tenure. This poem, of course, is all about eating unsuspecting oysters/ souls…

    I think it was fairly obvious we are supposed to consider the Doctor himself a slumbering “Old God”  (cue references to Lovecraft and the “Old Ones” as beloved by Alan Moore) who, likewise, needs to be fed souls, particularly, it would seem, the souls of children, as I have remarked over in “the other place”. My “dark Pied Piper” theory gathers apace…

    Agreed that it is very interesting the TARDIS appeared not to trust Clara. What does old Sexy know that we don’t? Perhaps she was sulking on River’s behalf… ?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Okay, possibly important quote/callback.

    No, we don’t walk away. But when we’re holding on to something precious, we run. We run and run, fast as we can, and we don’t stop running until we’re out from under the shadow.

    Given the earlier mention of his granddaughter, have we just heard why the Doctor first ran from Gallifrey? Susan was the ‘something precious’ he had to save from the ‘shadow’?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @wolfweed – Jinx on the Lewis Carol reference! 🙂

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Yes – the Hive-Mind in action!


    Some questions:

    Was that her brother at the graveside?

    Does anyone trust Clara? Not since Turlough have we so doubted whether or not to allow ourselves to accept (let alone like) a companion (Adam was never trusted or indeed liked)…

    Footie Clara was very scary. Clara seems to know too much in general.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Incidentally, Akhaten is so very similar to Ahkenaten that I doubt it’s a coincidence.

    You can find out more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten

    Akhenaten was an ancient Egyptian pharoah who abandoned polytheism in favour of monotheism.

    Could this have been what the camel references were to in the previous episode? A nod to ancient Egypt?

    The parallel with the Doctor is that he destroyed his own people, the Time Lords, “Gods of the Universe” and thus became the “Lonely God” ergo a switch from poly to monotheism.

    Interestingly, Akhenaten’s crusade failed and polytheism was restored.

    My deduction – the Time Lords are definitely returning or I am no doppleganger-fish!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    which seems to be currently attracting enough trolls to police the whole of Ankh-Morpork

    You’ve not copyrighted that have you. NOW THAT IS CUT OUT AND KEEP.


    I thought you’d actually like this beforehand. I was hoping for more of an argument in my comments on the recent MIND ROBBER review about the magical nature of Doctor Who, but it was never meant to be (Lack of interest).

    If you look at Star Wars, a big success, it was clearly a fusion between spiritual and technology that fuelled and maintained interest. I can’t remember the last “hard-sci-fi” product that was a mainstream success. I think the things that work in this arena play on our collective folk-lore and myths, re-inventing them for a new generation. I think SMs vision of Who does that really well.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Re: Ravenwood & DELSA

    Are these merely little Easter eggs for beady eyed fans I ask myself.  ie:

    Raven = Black, therefore Blackwood (little Caitlan Blackwood)

    DELSA = Slade(n) (Elizabeth Sladen) [okay that last one may be stretching it a bit]

    *lights pipe*

    I do have to point out that there seems to be a Spielbergian obsession with divorced or absent parents for the last few series: Rose (father died young), Martha (parents split up), Donna (okay her pop wasn’t in the picture as the original actor passed away), Amy (no parents at all) and now Clara (mother died young).

    *adopts cod Austrian accent to go with pipe* Maybe zis haz more to say about ze psychology of Doctor Who showrunners zan vee think?


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Oh great detective work to all concerned on the DELSA connections. If Clara is an artifical life-form or a Doctor-virus, that might explain why the TARDIS is so sniffy with her.

    @phaseshift – I missed your comments on The Mind Robber – just had a look. Oh, you were hoping for a back-and-forth with the “Dr Who should be hard sci-fi” crowd <grins>.

    I noted on the “other place” that the Doctor’s speech in this episode about “days which never were” very deliberately references his speech to little Amelia as his time-stream unravelled in The Big Bang. Has the fabric of time been altered in order to conceal the identity of “the Old God” i.e. of the Doctor, even from himself?

    NB: the Doctor appeared to be reading a “Summer edition” of the Beano whilst watching an incongrous autumn leaf fall onto Clara’s father-to-be’s face. Seasons are mixed up indicating that we are, again, watching episodes out of sequence perhaps? Or certainly, that Clara’s time-line is squiffy?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ‘Oh my stars’ was said twice by Ellie.

    Bryan Robson is clearly an anagram of ‘R Ron baby son’.

    (Lost in the) Jungle, desert, Moon. The Oswalds are clearly linked to Tintin.

    Clara was never afraid of being lost again.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @wolfweed I’ve been wondering whether “Oh my stars” is a reference to “the Doctor’s first stars”, i.e. the mobile which hung over his Gallifreyan crib.

    Crikey, maybe Moff is going with the Doctor having an Earth mother and Clara’s Mum is it, making Clara the Doctor’s sister/ evil twin?


    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @bluesqueakpip – Susan was something precious which the doctor ran with; I rather like that but remember we also know now that he not only had Susan with him but also the hand of omega … (though precious doesn’t seem the right description for that. Valuable maybe, dangerous definitely, but precious?). And we have no idea when he picked up nemesis for that matter.

    I’ve said this before but it’s yet to be explained how and why he arrived in 1963 London apparently tooled up to the eyeballs like a galactic gunslinger.

    Can’t help thinking the “take the all” speech was there to prep us for how much he’s going to lose in the upcoming Memory Wipe Special.

    I don’t think the tardis was refusing Clara entry, it’s just she never actually tried to unlock it. For that matter, does she actually have a key yet?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Yup, I enjoyed it too. Solid 2nd new companion episode, and visually quite stunning.

    Some thoughts – nice call on Marion Ravenwood @bluesqueakpip (that ref gets my vote despite valiant anagramming from @wolfweed)

    Grand-daughter/Grandfather, mum, mummy… Hmm. Someone suggested something on the other blog that got me thinking (as in @bluesqueakpip‘s Clara as programme metaphor), that the old god might be us, the TV audience, insatiably hoovering up other people’s memories, lives (ie TV progs), with Dr Who as the biggie, the only one that satisfies (with added leaf for dessert, LOL)

    In the prologue, as Clara’s Dad to be is walking along the road, the tune is Ghost Town…

    He mentions all the little coincidences that brought him and Ellie together; echoed in the Dr’s speech to the little girl about how the atoms in her body came together. (LOL’d at him suddenly veering off into Lewis Carroll – prob’ly thnking “oops, this is a bit of a long explanation, think Im losing her!)

    The Dr looks mostly worried when he’s dipping into Clara’s life

    The Dr who meets the young Clara in this story is post the one in last weeks’ episode (got the new gear on)

    Clara’s mum was born on 11 Sep – memorable date for day and month, if not the year. (So if Clara is 26 now, she was 18 when her mum died, age 44)

    And why didn’t the Doctor lose his memories? (or as @jimthefish suggested, maybe he has)

    Is the Doctor checking up on Clara in her early life his equivalent of googling?!

    Nice touch that he gives her the ring back at the end (her mother’s?). A wee callback to Rory, who didn’t quite get wiped from existence by the crack because the Dr still had his engagement ring?

    In between him looking worried about Clara, there’s some lovely stuff as he shows her the universe – bright, shiny, strange, diverse, exciting. You get a sense of why he like impressionable young humans – being able to share the excitement of travelling and discovery

    Don’t have a problem with him wandering off – he just expects her to be keeping up, as his attention keeps switching to other exciting stuff.

    The leaf’s not the same one that was in Clara’s book last week

    Red/brown bow tie

    No doppelganger Doctors this week but uploading/stealing memories continuing



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I have laid my guilty consciousness behind me. I have thanked Branfish for his Christmas greeting while apologising to him for missing it (I missed it due to nesting).

    I have invited him to the light side (depends how you look) of the force by joining us. We need people like him (Clenched fist)….that ….we …don’t…. agree… with! (gasp)


    I genuinely tried to start an argument on the “magic” front. NO-ONE GAVE A SHIT.

    I will point this out to any smurf who objects in the future, if they claim that old Who “Did it Right” by science in some unfathomable way.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish Re Akhenaten – he was also married to Nefertiti; referred to the god of his new religion as the sun god.


    @Bluequeakpip – which seems to be currently attracting enough trolls to police the whole of Ankh-Morpork

    You’ve not copyrighted that have you. NOW THAT IS CUT OUT AND KEEP.

    Compeletely agree. Priceless. you should post it on the blog.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Refulgent – Radiating/Shining brightly. Also the Sun Singers.

    In Akhaten, if you lose your memories you’re basically bankrupt.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hello @scaryb 🙂

    In terms of the date of Clara’s Mum’s death – I saw this on Tumblr – source http://m3jcnv.tumblr.com/

    On Saturday 5 March 2005 (some three weeks before its TV debut), a rough-cut version of episode one, “Rose” was leaked onto the Internet by an unnamed employee of a third-party contractor to CBC in Canada. The person responsible had their employment immediately terminated. The version is mostly similar to the broadcast version – the most notable difference is that instead of using Murray Gold’s new version of the theme song, a remixed version of the original was used instead ”

    Roses have appeared in relation to Clara on a number of occasions e.g. in-shot when she was Dalek-Clara inside her “mind palace”.

    What if Rose, River and Clara are related?!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oh, and Clara afraid of being lost – foreshadowing (after the event) of  “I don’t know where I am” from last week

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The comedy value is that those complaining about the ‘softness’ of standing on a small asteroid/bit of ring debris breathing away have clearly never read Peter F. Hamilton. Whose fiction comes pretty high on the Mohrs scale. 🙂

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The guy hit a bum note. The girl still blamed herself. Then the guy just teleported outta there.

    Merry Galel is obviously an anagram of ‘Really germ’.

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    Also notice that the doc once again didn’t take the tardis into battle (even though they were halfway back to it) but once again took a bike… (***SPOILER**** Clara has been seen riding a bike filming the special – connection?)

    Hmmmm… the back story to the leaf (which for all the clues being dropped like confetti we could never have guessed, it came out of nowhere) in no way explained the doctors weird way of examining it. But it really was just a leaf.

    If Claras fear is being lost (and what her mum promised would never happen) … Well that’s pretty much what is about to happen to her if she’s fractured…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    He mentions all the little coincidences that brought him and Ellie together;

    Did anyone else think that Ellie’s expression during that speech was of someone who knows it wasn’t a coincidence at all?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Weird night. I’ve looked upon the ranks of Guardian pages and thought them…. pretty rank.

    I’ll rewatch tomorrow, and consider if I’m a complete moron, but I don’t suspect that at all. I’m looking forward to the transcript of this episode by a site I use for quotes.

    I posted a link to it on the G blogs, but for anyone who missed it, this is the quotes blog for Bells of St. John. They usually update in 1-3 days.

    Acres of text to pick through. Great stuff.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ‘We can go anywhere…’

    ‘Within reason…well I say within reason’

    Clara wants to be a footballer – Matt was a footballer.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – yes, a very strange night. I can’t work out what on earth the episode did to earn such genuinely virulent hatred. I’ve already rewatched it, and I’m still puzzled. I wouldn’t class it as a great episode, but it’s a perfectly okay piece of Who, with lots to play with.

    The only thing I can think of is that certain members of the audience have picked up on the reference to the monster that is a parasite, that devours lovingly crafted stories and songs and gives nothing back but envy and jealousy – and decided it applies to them. Can’t think why they might.

    Glad the troll thing made you laugh. One to save, I think. 🙂

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Dear BBC, I just cannot take to Shane Ritchie as the host of Jim’ll Fix It. Much as we may look back with some concern to the era of the previous incumbent, it was undeniably event television. Nobody can deny the profile of the original host. Even a poor innocent man was mistaken for him in the Inferno Club in the 1960s.

    Shane Ritchie is a fine presenter, but let’s just face it – it’s not the show it once was. The new production team have alienated the lowest common denominator and that is the most offensive thing of all.

    I suppose I’ll have to rely on the family friendly Jim Davidson for a Saturday Tea-Time we can all enjoy.


    Joyfully disgruntled

    Anonymous @

    Ooookaaayy … so where did the Doctor disappear to in that market?  Is this another Angels-wreakage-timey-wimey-jump for a later episode?

    Why was the leaf different?  Moffat knows we see every detail of each show so that wasn’t a mistake.

    I’m very sorry that Christopher Ecclestone won’t be joining us for the 50th.  {sigh}

    Lula @lula

    I’m so hesitant to comment because (a) I’m American* and I loved this episode, (b) I’ve read a few comments over on The Guardian and it appears folks in y’all’s neck of the woods hated it (but WHY? NEIL CROSS, come on!), and (c) I now think my theory of The Tardis Has Something To Do With Clara might be rather insignificant in light of the bigger picture.  Especially since it’s apparent from this episode that the Tardis has a mild grievance with one Clara Oswald.

    Okay then.  I’ll just focus on the surface aspects of The Rings of Akhaten, because Doctor Who is more than mere theories and the sussing of clues and what not, right?  Right.

    *Clara’s dad is hot.  Yeah, I said it.  I can’t be the only one who things this, either.

    *Do hope the Powers That Be see fit to submit Smith’s “I walked away from the last great Time War…” speech for next year’s BAFTAs.  The solitary tear running down his face…that was award-worthy programming.

    *I’m less interested in the Tardis’ lack of interpreting alien languages for Clara and more intrigued by her doors remaining closed when Clara pounded upon them.  Seems our blue box is protecting her Doctor, maybe? Or she’s fickle, whatever.

    *The Doctor is still wearing Amy’s glasses.  Oh, such simultaneous delight and agony!

    *Shoes and ships and sealing wax–I didn’t realize I’d been waiting my entire life for the Doctor to quote Lewis Carroll, but now he has, and an entire rabbit hole (see what I did there?) can be followed about how that bit of prose is from Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.  Better minds than mine can explore that theory.

    *He also quoted Mother Goose  (“Home again, home again, jiggity jog…”) but if I go there, I’ll have a headache larger than a rabbit hole.

    *I want Clara’s red messenger bag.  See also:  red.  It’s certainly a theme with Clara.  Oh, don’t give me that Rose business. YAWN. (I’m happy to see Rose and Ten in the 50th Special but can we leave it at that, please?  Thank you.)

    *The Doctor mentions his granddaughter and I just want to know about Susan’s grandmother.  AND WHO ELSE SLEPT IN THAT COT?

    *I may be showing my age here (child of the 70’s, teenager of the 80’s), but I kept waiting for the alien crowd to break into the chorus of “We Are the World” at the end of the Doctor’s speech.  All that communal love, all that swaying…plus, you know, aliens and Michael Jackson.

    I definitely require a re-watch of The Rings of Akhaten, but these are my thoughts upon initial viewing, shallow as they may be.  I’m an enormous fan of Neil Cross’ work on Luther and I think he did a fantastic job writing for Who, even though it seems I’m in the minority in this sentiment.  Even a mediocre episode of Doctor Who (and this was–for me–far from mediocre!) is ten times better than 90% of what airs on television in the States, so I’ll take whatever Moffat and Company gives to us.

    *Not only am I American, I’m also Southern.  Yes, I say “Y’all,” no, I don’t say, “Yee-haw.”  At least, not often.

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