The hype surrounding this episode did its intended job; it got the fans excited and/or angry, and it got them talking. Though I never bought that any writer or producer would ever be stupid enough to actually name the Doctor (“The Question That Must Never Be Answered” is as much a metafictional reference to the show itself as it is about the character/plot within it), I admit I can at times get swept up in hype. What will they reveal? It’s a misdirect, but from what are they misdirecting? Will we find anything out about Clara? Can we get through a finale without bringing in Daleks or Cybermen? This season has had some great episodes, but some stinkers as well. I thus viewed it with some cautious optimism.
Why am I just getting around to writing this review a week later? I have a good reason. The episode is so full of glitz and excitement, I wanted to watch it again to make sure that alone wasn’t flavoring my perception. Now that viewing number two is complete, I feel more confident about making a decision. It had some problems, but over all it really was spectacular.
This book is required reading at the National Organization for Offensive Gay Stereotypes (along with my previously reviewed Get Happy), but I didn’t just read it to get the free caftan. I have been obsessed with old Hollywood biographies for a while now, and had heard from several trusted sources that this was one of the best. Now that I’ve read it, I couldn’t agree more. The best biographies offer both juicy details and extensively researched facts, and this book is bursting at the seams with both. Even if you’re not typically interested in biographies and claim not to care about these two megastars, you will find yourself caring within a few dozen pages. It’s that well done.
I’m not being grumpy or unfair here. I like Matt Smith. I see a lot of potential in Jenna-Louise Coleman. I really enjoyed the debut episode of this half-season (is that what we’re calling it?). I definitely have it within me to be optimistic about Doctor Who, as can be proven by the fact that I regularly defend the Colin Baker era of the original series. Now, that being said…
“Rings of Akhaten” was crap. Sorry. I see a lot of my fellow Who Geeks rushing to defend the episode and its writer Neil Cross, but I have to call this as I see it. Lazy. Cheap. Dull. Irritating. Senseless. We have to own when the series lets us down, and it really did here in a big way.