Rings / Cold

I think ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ was trying to do something interesting, and I really respect that.

I don’t think it totally managed it, really, but good on it for trying.

I mean, the singing was cute, and the scenes between the kid and Clara were heart-felt. But in the end it the direction and effects weren’t up to disguising the fact that the last half was people running from one set to another and back, waffling at a disembodied and not-particularly-well-established monster, and defeating it with mostly waffle.[1]

But, it tried. Good on it.

I should point out that the bits around the story-the flashbacks to Clara growing up, and the Doctor honing his trans-temporal stalking skills-were really intriguing. It made the failure to stick the landing even more annoying… but I live in hope that it’s all part of setting up a better story later on.

And then, there was the one on the sub, which was perfectly passable but generally dull. I was glad that the Ice Warrior was a bit more complicated than just being a monster… but the whole setup kept reminding me of Dalek, and that’s not a good idea when you’re a dull episode and that’s one of the show’s greatest hits ever.

Like last week, I’m not sure the effects quite sold the thing, and I don’t think it was a question of budget. I mean, how do those claws fit in the armour’s chunky fists? I don’t get it.

And what’s up with the Doctor eschewing the psychic paper? Is this like riding a bike without your hands on the handlebars? Is he just showing off? Were they concerned it might get soggy? Or did someone’s script come in short, and they had to put back in the bullshit padding that the paper was designed to avoid YES I THINK THAT WAS IT.

I might have been more sympathetic if the story hadn’t opened with a random, apparently loopy crew member taking a blowtorch to a frozen scientific discovery for shits and giggles. The suggestions that the professor thought the cargo was a mammoth seemed like clunky setup for a twist involving his sinister intentions… but then just weren’t. Have any of you people even seen a mammoth? Well, alright, you probably haven’t seen a real one, but you’d at least know they weren’t humanoid. Probably.

It’s possible that I’m just growing up, but Doctor Who seems painfully disposable to me these days. Between that and not being sure whether to count this years stories as episodes 6-13 or episodes 7-14, I’m quite perturbed.

No, really, I am. It’s quite a conundrum for the person trying to keep his iTunes library in the correct order. Wikipedia is no help. You can’t number an episode with a dash! And even if you could, they don’t come between 5 and 6. Argh! Leave me to my numeric misery. This wouldn’t be a problem if iTunes could number things with fractions.

Has someone got a petition for that or something? Seems pretty important to me.

  1. I mean, I’m not really sure if the Doctor was in danger, if he was going to lose his memories, or if Clara was going to lose anything more than the leaf, etc. And surely, by the ropey half-logic that they didn’t quite explain, killing a person would be even more powerful than just absorbing a leaf? ↩︎

Tom Charman Mastodon