Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Time for another bit of hindsight. Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Tansy as we discuss Deb’s modern Who pick to look back at, “The Rings of Akhaten”. Fandom really hates this one. And we (mostly) didn’t love it the first time around. Do we now? Have we grown souls (according to Liz)? Listen and see!

Have you revisited this story recently? If so, what did you think, and how did that compare with how you felt about it in the first place? And how do you think this story compares to “Vincent and the Doctor”? Let us know in the comments!

^E

Happy things:

The Real Black British History Behind #DoctorWhoBlackout
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Download or listen now (runtime 1:27:35) 

Comments on: "Episode 228 – The Rings of Akhaten Things I Hate About You" (5)

  1. The Rings of Akhaten occurred in the 50th anniversary year where aspects of Doctor Who history were touched on. For example Bells of St John is in part a nod to the classic era and especially Pertwee.

    It always surprises me that the Rings of Akhaten includes a market place with costumes that reflect 1960s Doctor Who and stories like Marco Polo and yet fans are (ironically) missing the meta message of the story.

    The message is it is painful to have only echos of stories – just like the sound echoing through time of Marco Polo and all those many 1960s stories alluded to and now gone.

    The Rings of Akhaten is meant to be a bit painful because its in part a mourning story for the missing parts of Doctor Who, and all that’s left are the anecdotes of people who were children 50 (now 57) years ago to calm the anger.

    • That’s fascinating! Did Neil Cross reveal this in an interview? I didn’t realize he was that deep a DW fan. Cool!

      • I don’t know, I’ve never read anything Neil Cross has said. This is something I picked up when watching the story a second time back in 2013.

        I think it’s Steven Moffat’s meta influence – his Doctor Who stories, Sherlock and Dracula all have plenty of meta references. It is just more obvious in Sherlock and Dracula as we’re all referring directly to the original works.

        There’s some really interesting references to classic Doctor Who in Clara’s stories in series 7.

        “Asylum of the Daleks” – lots of Hartnell Doctor references with Clara dying rather than Sara Kingdom

        “The Snowmen” – Troughton villain (Great Intelligence) and a reimagining of the Abominable Snowmen, Doctor wearing a top hat like Troughton, plucky Victorian companion

        “The Bells of Saint John” – so many Pertwee tropes – killer technology, motorbikes, Earth in danger.
        Double meaning for the title with older fans often referring to “Saint Jon of Pertwee” who saved the show in 1970 🙂

        “The Rings of Akhaten” – Tom Baker, missing episodes and the echoes of Doctor Who. So many references. I loved seeing the “Pyramids of Mars” references and the “Pirate Planet” style space bike scene complete with crappy special effects

        “Cold War” – Peter Davison – yes they’re Ice Warriors and not Sea Devils but its set in 1983 and loaded with references to more Davison era than underwater stories

        “Hide” – Sylvester McCoy – “Ghostlight” reimagined

        “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” – Tom Baker – Steven Moffat has said this story was in part inspired by his frustraitions with “The Invasion of Time” and what couldn’t be done (presumably due to time, money and technology) back in the 70’s.

        “The Crimson Horror” – Colin Baker – so many references to “Mark of the Rani” (Victorian technology and alien influence as a start) and “Revelation of the Daleks” with the fate of people

        “Nightmare in Silver” – multiple Doctors including Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy and William Hartnell. Lots of “Five Doctors” references – chess related cybermen traps etc – and some references to the 1989 movie

        Of course, I could be seeing this because I want to see it and not because its there.

  2. As always listening to Verity challenges me on my Whovian opinions. I do admit to being quite judgy at times. I really didn’t like The Rings of Akhaten the first time around but I ‘m going to watch it again over the weekend.

    Listening to other fans waxing lyricall on Classic Who, especially Liz, has inspired me to start watching them and I think they might help inform my thoughts and feelings on some of the New Who episodes. In saying all this I’m going to totally back track here and say I would find it hard to rewatch Love and Monsters which I really hated! I’m sure some people out there there would say it wasn’t that bad?

  3. Icon_UK said:

    I’m in agreement that the ending was weird in terms of what the cost of giving stories was supposed to be, and I took it as a given that the stories were lost from the teller as “food” for Pumpkin Moon Monster, otherwise, there’s no risk or danger to the teller so what was all the fuss about?

    Also, I wondered why pick a little girl to tell they stories when she’s had so little time to accumulate stories, why not go for older people who have lots of stories, as the Doctor demonstrates?

    I call it the Pumpkin Moon Monster because it kept making me think of Oogie-Boogie from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” intro

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