Saturday, 6 April 2013

Skaro's Spoiler Review - Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten

The Rings of Akhaten (that's pronounced AK-A-TEN if you were wondering) is a science-fiction filled, fun-packed emotional rollercoaster of an episode. The pre-title sequence is quite confusing, which we probably won't get our heads around fully until the end of the series, but it starts with a 1981 hit song Ghost Town which introduces us to two characters, Dave Oswald and Ellie Oswald (nee Ravenwood), Clara's parents. It appears the Doctor has been stalking them throughout history, watching 'The Impossible Girl' grow up....but why?

We start off after the pre-title sequence pretty much where we left off in the previous episode, except a day later (presumably 7pm, as promised) and welcome aboard Clara Oswald, official TARDIS traveler  Where does the Doctor take her first? The Pyramid of the Rings of Akhaten, a place he has visited in his very first incarnation with his Grand-daughter, Susan, which a great reference to the Classic Doctor Who. Again, no fault with the acting of any of the cast or guest cast, it was clearly done with 100% effort which cannot be faulted.

This episode displays a vast majority of CGI effects and prosthetics created by the Mill and Millennium FX, both companies need to be congratulated on such brilliant efforts during this episode, unlike past episodes of Doctor Who, it was very difficult to tell what was green screen and what wasn't which helped make this feel like it was on a genuine alien planet, if that were possible. And with the addition of several brilliant creatures from Millennium FX filling up our screens (Including the Ultramancer, which resembles a create from CBBC's show Mission 2110) it felt like it wasn't just filmed in a studio in Cardiff, it was on a genuine planet.

The element of music in this episode stood tall against everything else, with a slight variation of Clara's Theme helped us hear Ellie's Theme, and both the musical elements which where a significant part in the plot were just amazing, specifically the final piece, ''Wake Up''. Murray Gold needs to be congratulated on such great creations on this series!


ailaG said...

He visits her in her past because he now has a thread to follow and he wants to find out if there's anything not ordinary about her that could explain his first two encounters with her.

Ian Geldard said...

The Doctor tells her he's previously visited with his granddaughter. She's surprised but asks no further questions?

racyrich said...

Another episode where the solution to a massive crisis is to think nice thoughts, or have nice memories. A bit weak doncha think!

Altogether now, 'All you need is love, love, love...'

Kevin Fisher said...

Science fiction filled? Are you serious? There was more science fiction in my morning bowl of cereal than this episode. Once again it was a lot of running around, a lot of waving magic wands and "bad guys" that did..well, nothing really. We're supposed to be scared of the hyped "Vigil?" They were given no plot, no reason to exist, and did...well, nothing. Just "generic bad guy #33". And that "mummy"...are they reusing masks now? It looks like a Sycorax.

Once again the sonic is just a magic wand and the "grandfather" is just a very big generic bad guy. Yawn. But it's all part of Moffat's grand plan to make every episode like a "B-movie" marquee I guess.

Paul Downie said...

JUST as an alternative view … here

Craggy Knob said...

I agree about the music, it was awe inspiring.

This was the most lively alien planet we've probably ever seen in Doctor Who, though you could somewhat tell that there were budget struggles, especially with some of the unconvincing, poor looking special effect shots. The alien costumes were alright, but contrary to the Silurians look, or the Daleks or Cyberman in many cases it was hard to forget that these were still just costumes. The Vigils looked amazing though, their costume design was great, I hope we'll see more of them some again some time in the future.

Can't say much great about the plot, I felt it got worse the longer the episode got on. Don't feel in the mood for a detailed analysis, so I leave it at that.

Paul Aspel said...

I hate being negative about Who but as was mentioned below, this episode got weaker as it went along. It's up there with "Fear her" and "the beast below" as my personal least favorite episode of this era. That's not to say that there wasn't any good stuff, (Matt as good as ever, JLC is very good again but over all there was a lack of a good story here. Finger crossed the series picks up from here.

Lucille7777 Lucille7777 said...

"Fear Her" was better than this.