Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Doctor Who Review - The Rings of Akhatan

An episode of a few neat little bits, but an overall sense of ho-hum, another character piece...
What was to like? As always, Matt Smith brings the weight of ages and childlike wonder to his portrayal of the Doc, usually all at the same time. Space moped thing was fun (although, with an anti-grav bike in the previous episode we have a danger of repetition – hopefully there won’t be more bike riding shenanigans coming up). Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara continues to be almost impossibly pretty, but is yet to turn into the sassy, confident girl of her first two outings. But it is coming, she’s a good assistant, her heart is most definitely in the adventure.
It was good to see it was Clara’s regular, human experience bearing the enormous sense of wonder and possibility that defeated the...uh...thing at the end. While Matt Smith delivers his declaration of the Doctor’s awesomeness with great oomph, it is, again, something we are seeing a bit too much of. Yes Doc, we know you’ve been everywhere and done everything.
And this brings me to the “what’s not to like?”
Defeating the “thing” (we’ll get to that) by just talking to it. Is that it? Seriously, does the Doctor not need to reverse the polarity flow? Is there nothing technical that he can do? Does he not need to outwit the villain? At least last week, the Doctor did show how smart he is by blind-siding the villainess. Nothing so clever and subtle here.
Maybe we’ll let this go – I suppose this is an example of what makes Clara a good assistant, as it was she that provided the “real” experience to overwhelm the thing.
Ok, The thing – a big red, planet thing was the villain of the piece. For most of the episode they had us getting worked about a big mummified, scary monster that was waking up and trying to break out of its cage – which then turned out to be just a stepping stone. There was, as usual, some faceless goons stomping about for the sake of it, but otherwise, just a big churning, planet thing. Ho hum.
Fortunately, Clara was just so human and tragic and tearjerking and caring and everything (although the Tardis doesn’t like her..) – oh, was this just another sodding character piece?
This is the problem with these character driven story arcs – ultimately it’s all about what/ who Clara is, the individual stories just lose their impact beneath the weight of the BIG story – similar to that big crack in time/ space and what it had to do with Amy (and frankly, I still don’t know. Apparently the Silence is coming. Did it come? Are we still waiting?).
Bring on Episode 3 (or is it episode 8, or 9 if we count the Xmas Special...) – Ice Warriors, a big, fat nasty villain/ hardcore monster.

And on with out Fanfic flash fic:
Consequences of Time - Episode 2
Cold. Couldn’t the Tardis land somewhere nice? As a flurry of snow landed on his tongue, he could tell it wasn’t just water ice. A hint of something, but what?
A truck, with wheels taller than the Tardis, thundered out of the snow and squealed to a halt. Two big, armoured figures jumped down and grabbed the Doctor’s arms. “Get in,” screeched a voice.
He was hurled into the truck. The interior was crammed with scared people. The hatch was shut and the truck roared off.
“Anyone know where we’re going?” asked the Doctor.
A man wailed “To Frozen Death.”

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