Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doctor Who-The Rings Of Akhaten

                     After exploring the meeting of Clara Oswald's parents over a leaf gifted between them,and the premature passing of her mother the doctor asks Clara to choose anywhere in space and time she wishes to go-just as he had with many a companion before her. She requests to go "somewhere awesome". He takes her to the scenically dynamic rings of Akhaten,part of a planetary system of seven worlds who all believe that a great temple residing within the rings are the seeds of all life within the universe. During their journey,Clara encounters a runaway child who reveals herself as Merry Galel,Queen Of Years. She is hiding from the obligation of singing a special song for someone called Grandfather,
though she fluently knows every song and myth of her culture to perfection. She meets back up with the Doctor,who follow Merry as she sings what the doctor describes as a never ending lullaby to their god. Suddenly the ground trembles and Merry is carried away. Clara desires to help,so the doctor and her have to come up with a plan fast.

                        Knowing this species trades in valuable objects that give a signature of personal experience to their gods,Clara trades in the ring her mother gave her for a stellar moped which she and the doctor use to travel to the temple-where Merry is being held with a singing companion the remainder of the eternal lullaby which,interesting enough is coming to an end. When the beastly god they worship becomes conscious,the doctor attempts to help Merry-unwilling to escape what she believes to be her fate,that their god is simply a type of vampire who consumes the memories and souls of other lifeforms. While Merry uses another song to re-open the door that even the sonic screwdriver found heavy,they escape the vampire god when the doctor realizes its part of a much larger entity in surrounding the temple. As Merry continues to sing to appease her peoples god,the doctor offers the overwhelming sum of his own experience until Clara intervenes-returning to the doctor and offers up the leaf that was her parents courtship betrothal-because it was presented by her father as the most important peace of human history for her. Drawing from its further wealth of experience for her,the entity spares the many peoples of Akhaten and Clara resumes her journey's with the doctor,so long as he excepts her on her own terms rather than his perceptions of their past meetings.

                   Throughout its history Doctor Who has long dealt with religion and spirituality to such a degree that many contend that Doctor Who itself is akin to a religion. This particular story uses the motivations of the doctor and Clara to ask a number of vital philosophical questions about the value of ones memories and history. The doctor,who has witnessed everything of and between the beginning and end of time,is yet not enough to appease the emotionally gluttonous god of Akhaten. The point is made so eloquently in the story that the entity is filled to the point of implosion by what it receives from Clara's leaf which,as she explains,is the sum of the many different realities unborn from her mother's un-lived life that was cut short. This seemingly simple statement came to me as a profound moment whereby life,metaphysics,scientific and temporal reality all met at a very important focal point. This sense of disconnection had an atypical effect on Clara as it does on many young people who lose family. She develops a maternal type connection to Merry Galel. And although strong personal experience of many sustain the Akhaten god Clara is able to see and learn from the one thing that soothes it: what amounts to a lullaby song sung by a little girl.
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