Sunday, April 07, 2013

Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten

It’s always potentially exciting when a new writer climbs aboard the good ship TARDIS, since there’s a possibility he sees Doctor Who in a way that nobody has before. Neil Cross is best known to Americans as the creator and writer of the Emmy-nominated, Idris Elba-starring character crime drama Luther – a series that might as well be described as the polar opposite of Doctor Who. What could a guy like this possibly bring to the table? It’s like pondering what Buck Rogers might be like as seen through the eyes of David Chase. Whatever one might have had in mind based on a familiarity with Luther, “The Rings of Akhaten” must surely be 180 degrees in yet another direction.

This tale set on a distant alien world begins much closer to home, but some years ago, in 1981. Picking up not long after last week’s episode ended (though really, with this era of Who, making guesses about the timeline feels increasingly a fool’s errand), the Doctor (Matt Smith) takes a lengthy detour through Clara’s (Jenna-Louise Coleman) past. The pre-credits sequence in a way recalls that sequence in Pixar’s Up - the one that reduces grown men to quivering heaps of tear-stained flesh.

Read the rest of this recap by clicking here and visiting Vulture.