Doctor Who Series 7-8: The Rings of Akhaten (SPOILERS)


New member
Feb 3, 2011
Robot Number V said:
Navvan said:
Robot Number V said:

It started out good, but then (much like the first episode, actually) it devolved into poorly explained nonsense and the Doctor did something that SHOULD have had enormous ramifications but inexplicably didn't. (If you're curious, I'm referring to the fact that in the first episode, the Doctor murders literally hundreds of people and doesn't even feel bad about it, and then allows the thing that forced him to murder hundreds of people to escape without even making the slightest attempt to find out what it was)

Look, I'm willing to overlook the absolute pointlessness of the monster in the glass cube. I'm willing to overlook a random song somehow keeping a giant psychic parasite asleep. I'm even OK with the song inexplicably ceasing to work for no apparent reason. But some things about this episode reeeeeally stretch my tolerance for bullshit.

In this case, Clara defeating the Psychic Vampire with some multiverse-style nonsense. If the leaf represents not only her memories of what happened, but also every possibility that didn't happen (no idea how that works, by the way) then doesn't the same principle apply to literally every other memory the thing has absorbed? What makes the leaf so special?

And also, why is it not a big deal that seven planets no longer have a sun? It even shows that everything has gone dark. Seriously, that is fucking GAPING plot hole.

I was a lot happier when it looked like the Doctor would defeat it just by letting it read his mind knowing it would explode from too much unadulterated Badass. THAT makes enough sense to me for me to accept it.

I know Dr. Who has always been ridiculous, but it's always had some kind of internal consistency. If they were going to have a platoon of space rhinos raiding a hospital on the moon, the actually took the time to explain how that happens. Nowadays, it seems like the writers just say "It's Doctor Who, it's never made any sense! Just throw in a speech about the HUMAN SPIRIT and we're good!"
You've seem to have missed a few things that may clear up some the confusion.

1. It wasn't a sun and it was never referred to as the sun within that system. The Doctor explicitly states that it is a planet, and that the religion says it is the planet from which all life in the universe originates.

2. The Doctor also implicitly states that the song doesn't actually do anything. Hence why the girl was not at fault for getting the song "wrong". It just so happened to be the time in that beings life cycle to feed.

3. The leaf thing can be interpreted several ways. The most straightforward way is that the leaf had the psychic imprint from her and her father about both the memories of Clara's mother, but also the possible life her mother could have lead. Clara and her father obsessed over the leaf and that possible life in their grief, and thus there was an infinite amount of "stories" stored in it. Memories don't have a psychic imprint, and the creature never tried to absorb an object with that type of psychic imprint before.
OK, that makes a bit more sense. I still think the leaf bit is iffy at best, and I'm still pretty confused about the role of the Cube Monster. I gather that the cube was put there to keep it from sending some kind of signal to the parasite to wake it up but...Why? How? What IS the monster? How does it wake up the parasite? WHY does it wake up the parasite? Sorry, but this episode still had some pretty obvious holes in the story.
I agree the leaf thing is iffy and open to interpretation. Another possibility I've considered is that it relates to Clara apparently being a stable in space time, but that contains a bit more conjecture than what I consider the more straight forward case.

The Cube Monster was as The Doctor put it "The Alarm Clock". It was meant to consume the young girl in the ritual to and presumably transfer that energy to the Planet-being. Analogous to hitting the snooze button. If that ritual was not performed its purpose then turned to waking the planet-being so it could start sucking memories by force. It was in the cube because it made thematic sense in accordance to the religion. That is the Cube monster was supposed to be a ancestor deity, and you generally put protective casing around stuff that is sacred. In additional to the reasons that come with encasing something you are afraid of waking up and destroying your civilization. The monster itself was likely created by, or is an extension of the planet-being and has a psychic connection to it which is also how it would transfer the energy it would drain from the queen.

Doctor Who is never very clear on explanations, and rightfully so as that would take a lot of the fun out of it. You can easily start poking holes into the entire continuity if you so desire, and I can attempt rationalize many of them. However to me that isn't really what DW is about and it never has been. It's all about the ride; not the nuts and bolts. Some continuity and explanation is certainly necessary, but the degree of explanation you seem to want this episode to provide is rather inconsistent with what most DW episodes are like.


New member
Feb 3, 2011
Remus said:
If this were a different take on The Satan Pit I'd be ok with it. But they destroyed a star! A whole star, no light, no gravitational pull, nothing. Any 8 yr old can tell you that without the sun we would not exist. In that regard this does not even pass for children's entertainment. If the show ended with the parasite going dormant it might at least make sense, bad guy beaten, multiple planets still operating as planets do without becoming drifting cryogenic freezers for billions of aliens.
My verdict:
I can't believe so many people missed the straight up remark from The Doctor about it being a PLANET. It was at the beginning of the episode when the Doctor was explaining to Clara about the religion of the people in that system, and how all life originated from... that planet.

Drops a Sweet Katana

Folded 1000x for her pleasure
May 27, 2009
Didn't like it. For me, it had the same problem the last episode had: it felt like it ended far too quickly, as if it had a first and second act, but not a third. This is probably due to the pacing being too fast for the kind of episode they were making. I think it should have slowed down and spent more time building suspense with the vigils looking for the little girl, and explaining how things worked.

The ending was also pretty poor. Killing the ancient psychic parasite star with all the feels stored in a fucking leaf? Really? I felt it should have been killed off when the Doctor gave it his memories, as it seems to make more sense for the memories of a timeless, nigh-omnipotent timelord to be the thing that kills it off, rather than whatever was going on with the leaf.

That being said, I did like the aliens they showed. Shame they didn't do anything with them.


New member
Nov 18, 2009
Frieswiththat said:
....Killing the ancient psychic parasite star with all the feels stored in a fucking leaf? Really? I felt it should have been killed off when the Doctor gave it his memories, as it seems to make more sense for the memories of a timeless, nigh-omnipotent timelord to be the thing that kills it off, rather than whatever was going on with the leaf.
Totally agree with this. Doctor Who asks us to swallow a lot of stupid concepts, but the leaf thing has to be THE worst plot twist in Doctor Who to my memory, not only the melodramatic dialogue associated with it, but the fact that The Doctor has experienced parallel universes and alternate timelines, I'm almost certain those are things with infinite possibilities too. Also, they state that the psychic imprints are a matter of science, so I don't understand why there's apparently INFINITE energy inside a leaf.

This episode would've been so much better if they'd reworked the pacing a bit by removing all the foreshadowing with the leaf, and spent a bit more time establishing the threat, because they seem to introduce and resolve the threat in a time span of about 20 minutes. I really wanted to care about this culture and all the aliens and the sentient sun thing but the writers seemed to think Clara was the more interesting bit when I really don't care Steven Moffat's story arcs anymore.

Matt Smith's first series story arc and the mystery of River Song was a wonderful story that I always love to rewatch, but after it became apparent that no explanation was ever going to justify the corners they'd written themselves into with the Silence Arc at the end of series six, I just stopped caring after the Wedding of River Song episode. Since then the new story arc with Clara and the repeated appearences of various Elder Gods has just completely failed to grasp me because I know that it's probably going to be a filler arc that's a back drop to the story that he was originally starting to tell us three bloody years ago.

Atmos Duality

New member
Mar 3, 2010
Crispee said:
Totally agree with this. Doctor Who asks us to swallow a lot of stupid concepts, but the leaf thing has to be THE worst plot twist in Doctor Who to my memory...
Don't watch (or rewatch, if you have forgotten) The End of Time then, because at least the way that Leaf worked (along with all sentimental values) was actually established.

The End of Time features a machine that channels "magical" radiation into its control chambers for absolutely no logical reason. I still have no idea how or why that machine works the way it does except that the writer wrote himself into a corner and needed to deliver the payoff on the foreshadowing they spent several episodes establishing.


v11.1 beta2
Apr 10, 2009
Froggy Slayer said:
I didn't actually mind most of it. Hell, the Mummy was actually pretty creepy, for me anyway. The ending was pretty bad though; the Doctor's memories should have been what killed it rather than a bloody leaf.
The more I think about this, the more I think that that was originally the ending, but Moffat swept in at the last second and said "Heeeey, Neil, buddy..... Listen, I love your ending, but I've kinda got this season-long arc to run, mind if I just... tweak it a smidge?"

Colour Scientist

Troll the Respawn, Jeremy!
Jul 15, 2009
I was pretty disappointed by it, to be honest.
The sun face was ridiculous.

The references are really getting on my tits. Bow ties are cool was funny two seasons ago, they don't need to mention it every second episode. Also, saying "doctor who" four times an episode has become really stale.

I don't look forward to new episodes of Doctor Who like I used to. The Christmas special and "The Bells of Saint John" were alright but nothing special.
Phasmal said:
First of all, I guess the TARDIS doesn't translate if it would be funnier not to.
And what the hell at the end of the episode the alien sun got destroyed and everyone is just kind of fine with it.
These inconsistencies were annoying too.