REVIEW - Doctor Who S07E08

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This week’s Doctor Who saw the mysterious Clara Oswald defeat a soul sucking sun with the most important leaf in the universe.

The episode begins with the Doctor stalking an unknown couple that a brought together by a falling leaf. It is soon revealed that this couple is the new companion Clara’s parents. The Doctor then returns to pick up 2013 Clara and whisks off to The Rings of Akahten. Clara wanders off, as companions often do and meets a strange little girl who calls herself the Queen of Years.

The Queen of Years, also known as Merry Gejelh, is nervous because she’s about to sing a song to a god (as you would be) but Clara tells her a story about her parents and it gives her the confidence to face her fears. Apparently that wasn’t such a good idea because Merry Gejelh is taken by the soul sucker and it’s up to the Doctor and Clara to save her.

There’s a space Vespa, some hilarity about a heavy door and it turns out the soul sucking monster is actually the giant sun. The doctor gives one of his big epic speeches but the soul sucking sun/god is ultimately defeated by Clara when she feeds it the leaf that led to her parents meeting.

Usually the second adventure of the series is more monster of the week than series arch driven but this episode manages to fall somewhere in the middle. All the nonsense about the most important leaf in the universe is important to the episode arch but something tells me that Clara’s parents (and her mothers death) will be part of Moffat’s wibbly wobbly timey wimey series arch.

The rest of the episode is pretty predicable: the companion shows her compassion by rescuing someone helpless and her ingenuity by defeating the monster of the week thus proving herself worth of the Doctor’s attention. It does make some comments about religion I guess but nothing that hasn’t been suggested before in episodes like “The Impossible Planet”.

That said the adventure was fun enough and Matt Smith acted the hell out the Doctor’s big epic speech (that’s when he’s at his best) especially when you consider he was talking to a green screen.

The main problem I have is with Clara. I loved her at first, Jenna shines on camera oozing charisma, but the more time we spend with this impossible girl the less I like her. She’s just too perfect. All the best characters have at least one fundamental flaw and we have yet to see Clara’s. She’s all the good parts of pervious companions rolled into one but without any faults she’s hard to relate to. Considering that the companion is supposed to represent the audience’s way into the Doctor’s crazy world reliability is an incredibly important trait.

Let’s hope that Clara’s perfect exterior starts to crack soon because I really want to like her.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne's works can be found at her blog.


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