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@Blanchard @supermoff, defender of Hide Either through that, or through Series 2 Torchwood :P . I mean, Yvonne Hartman's imperialist tendencies reminded me heavily of Farage, almost as if RTD had foresight there XD 

14 minutes ago on The Ultimate ‘Ism’: Doctor Who and Ideology

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Also, "In fact, Doctor Who could almost be an ideology in itself" is very true. If there was a political party following the Doctor Who ideology, I'd actually be motivated to vote in the upcoming general election, as it'd be a lot better than anything else out there in the political field. :P

19 minutes ago on The Ultimate ‘Ism’: Doctor Who and Ideology

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"This to me is what the show is about: the pursuit of love, learning and happiness, relationships with important and worthwhile people, and contentedness in oneself, free from oppression and hatred." 

That is the best description of the show I've seen, and a beautiful testament to why this is the best show in the world, and also how it has enchanted people for 50 years. A superb and fascinating article :)

24 minutes ago on The Ultimate ‘Ism’: Doctor Who and Ideology

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! Best not. Some things are best left as a surprise, me thinks :p

1 hour, 34 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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Ooh a very interesting looking standoff. It looks like Missy's using her usual disintegration weapon...thing, so that's fun. More opportunities for her to ask people to say something nice :) 

1 hour, 45 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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As for Bells, it was a great opener (which felt more like a series opener than Asylum did), and was a perfect reintroduction for modern Clara. The exchanges between her and the Doctor form my favourite moments of this episode, especially the scene where the Doctor guards outside her window, which is really sweet. The influences of Skyfall are plain to see, and, visually, it's another stunning-to-look-at Series 7 episode which feels a lot like something RTD would write, and yet with its own intrinsic Moffaty feel. I don't think the wifi concept was taken or explored as far as I would have liked (though the wifi on the plane was a good use of the concept), but, ultimately, it was fascinating and original (I, for one, definitely do not consider this episode a copy of "The Idiot's Lantern" as so many people do). And it contains the epic scene of the Doctor riding up the shard, I mean...that's just brilliant! :D Plus, it was the start of the Clara Era, my favourite era of the show...and it started very well indeed :) 

The Bells of Saint John - 8.1/10 (60th)

And then there's Cold War which reintroduces an old villain quite effectively, and it's a cool idea to have a monster on a submarine, but it can be incredibly dull at times, and its ending is a bit of an anticlimax. Still, it's quite entertaining for the most part, but is nothing spectacular: 

Cold War - 7.2/10 (90th) 

3 hours, 56 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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And, finally, Neil Cross, you better be making a return in the future for your two brilliant stories this series. You're a seriously underrated writer, and I want more of the fandom to appreciate your brilliant writing :D

4 hours, 17 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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The Rings of Akhaten, a defence and analysis

Part 2  

And then we have Matt Smith's speech. I labelled the resolution to "Day of the Moon" as my favourite Doctor Who scene of all time, but Matt's incredible speech in this episode falls neatly into second place. And...oh, Matt. What a performance. The emotion, energy and sheer power in his voice during this scene was electric, and it never fails to make me borderline emotional. The homage to the past feels very much at home due to the fact it was the anniversary year, and so, all in all,  the speech is truly is one of the most distinctive and defining moments of the show in my opinion, and a testament to Matt Smith's acting skills. Of course, the big speeches of the Eleventh Doctor were practically a large part of his characterisation by that point, but I personally feel the writers manages to present each speech in a fundamentally different way and with a different energy each time, and so I never felt the speeches of the Eleventh Doctor ever grew old or tiring, but I guess that's just me, as a lot of people label the speeches as one of his most annoying attributes, though I see it as a form of powerful and iconic characterisation.

Elsewhere in the acting department, we had Merry, played by Emilia Jones. Child actors in the show are usually pretty solid, in my opinion, and are usually undeserving of the amount of hate they typically receive, and Emilia Jones gave one of the best young performances in the show. Her character of Merry was very endearing and instantly likeable, at least to me. Here, we’re given a supporting character who really carries her own weight in the story, and I love how the episode transforms her from a scared little girl, to a girl free of her fears, a beacon of hope to the Seven Worlds, singing to help her friends against the parasite God. Yes, that sentence is perhaps a summary of the madness that is this story, but I love because of this madness.

The resolution with the leaf is usually scorned, though I love it for its symbolism. Yes, at face value, it's ridiculous. A leaf destroyed a planet (or sun, whatever it is, I don't care), that is the ending to Rings in a nutshell. But the symbolism of infinite potential, all the days that could have been, and the weight of all this possibility, is exceptionally power in my opinion. I can still understand why some people don't like it as, as I've said, taken at face value it's bonkers and preposterous, but the underlying allegory is beautiful in my opinion, and is also highly misinterpreted and undervalued.  

So, in summary, this episode was, overall, Doctor Who at its most imaginative, creative and just plain watchable. It has breathtaking imagery, fantastic symbolism, and amazing characterisation, and is, to me, the best episode of 7B, and an all time classic in the making (hopefully). Yes, it's not perfect. The monsters were underused, there were some logical issues with parts of the plot, and at times it felt a little rushed, but I can forgive all this due to its other, more overriding virtues. 

And I'll end this defence by highlighting one final virtue of the episode, and that is its sublime dialogue:

Hey, do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many, many millions of years ago in the heart of a far away star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one Merry Galel and there will never be another. Getting rid of that existence isn't a sacrifice, it is a waste!

The Rings of Akhaten - 9.2/10 (20th)

4 hours, 24 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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The Rings of Akhaten, a defence and analysis

Part 1

The Rings of Akhaten is a beautiful episode, more than anything. That and surreal. Really surreal. 

When watching Doctor Who, I take a particular liking to any episode that can be totally bemuse me from sheer wonder and fantastical imagery, episodes with such compelling scenes, plot and/or visuals that I'm left speechless and gobsmacked sitting on my sofa. Even if the episode isn't 100% perfect, and even if it has some serious underlying problems, such episodes always sit well with me because they prescribe to the very ethos of the show itself: weird and wonderful.

The Rings of Akhaten is an example of such an episode.

Admittedly, I didn't like it the first time I watched it. I thought it was messy, underdeveloped and lacking logic. And, to be honest, it still feels messy in parts, and does lack logic here and there, and its enemies and monsters are still completely underused and underdeveloped, but I have developed an overriding love of this episode simply due to factors I appreciated on many rewatches.

Clara, first of all, is one of the best virtues of this episode. Although I really liked Series 7 Clara and thought she was just as developed and likeable as Series 8 Clara, I have to admit the consistency of her character writing was not particularly great this series. But here, at least, I found Series 7 Clara at her most enjoyable, and I love how this episode explored Clara's motherly and caring side, and her treatment of Merry was both heartening and some excellent characterisation. This episode was, in many respects, all about Clara, which makes sense seeing as the second story for a companion is often the one which gives us the first big insight into their characters. We need to learn to trust this new companion, especially seeing as we've seen two apparently identical versions of her die in the series already, and the episode does that perfectly via the interactions between Clara and Merry, with the former trying to gain the trust of the latter, and, whilst doing so, trying to gain the trust of the audience. I was besotted by Clara after this display, and I knew then she would eventually go on to be my favourite! :P 

The episode also provides a fascinating insight into Clara's past, probably the most I think we've seen full stop, which was nice and is another reason why this episode was, indeed, all about Clara. The episode also furthers the Impossible Girl arc (slightly) by showing the Doctor actively trying to solve Clara's mystery, which, again, is nice to see (as I like any arc which has a consistent role in the episodes themselves).

Moving onto the visuals, this episode was stunning. Utterly stunning. The special effects were sensational and the first time I felt the special effects wouldn't look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster. The colours and hues were strong in this episode, and argh it was

How wonderful it was to explore a properly surreal alien world, and the underlying concept of the Akhaten system and its culture was both elegant and fascinating (serious props to the costume, prosthetics and sets department). Alien planets are one thing, but alien cultures are even more fascinating to explore, in my opinion, as it can lead to the presentation of some truly original and exotic concepts, and I love how the episode just gave us so much time to explore this world.

And then we have the songs featured in this episode, "God of Akhaten" (I believe that's what it is called) and "The Long Song" (and it's instrumental reprisal "Infinite Potential", which I'm only remarking because it would go on to be the song Matt Smith regenerated to, and so will always hold a special place in my heart). Now, I realise the songs themselves are pretty polarising, as some people don't like the idea of music playing a direct role in the plot of Doctor Who, but Doctor Who is such a vast, mad, zany show anyway, that such a concept for an episode is not out of place in the slightest, at least personally, and further proves that Doctor Who is a show that can do anything, and do it well.

Captivating, powerful, with some gorgeous lyrics that, as I've said, completely glue my eyes to the screen:

Rest now, my warrior 

Rest now, your hardship is over

Live, wake up, wake up

And let the cloak of life cling to your bones...

4 hours, 27 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood @supermoff, defender of Akhaten You're a cruel one, Mr Razza. But I like your style :P

4 hours, 42 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Ok, that's fair enough XD

4 hours, 52 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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@The Lazy Cat Returns!  @Amy Pond- kindly donate love for 7B @supermoff, defender of Akhaten Not long now...hopefully. The poll was really early today and it caught me off guard XD

5 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs You have no soul. NO SOUL! >.<

5 hours, 3 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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Bells of Saint John - 8.1/10 - voting 9

The Rings of Akhaten - 9.2/10 - voting 10

Cold War - 7.2/10 - voting 8

Oh yes, Rings you masterpiece. Time to defend you! :D

5 hours, 19 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1

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@Ivegotkidneys  @supermoff, defender of Akhaten @The Lazy Cat Returns!  @SonicTheHedgehogRules That's...that's an image I didn't need in my head XD 

5 hours, 35 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns!  @supermoff, defender of Akhaten @The Finn is excited for audio Kate Stewart! *Clara rips off jacket to reveal yellow jumpsuit* 

*Kill Bill theme starts* 

It would be epic :D 

5 hours, 35 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@Ivegotkidneys  @The Lazy Cat Returns!  @SonicTheHedgehogRules I can certainly imagine her to be the kind of villain with a cat on her lap, like Bond villains :p

5 hours, 39 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Finn is excited for audio Kate Stewart! And stop hiring blind, deaf and thick guards as well!

5 hours, 39 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@Mikeyboss182 The Clara Who takeover is complete, mwahaha ;)

5 hours, 51 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! Half the fun is in the journey, after all :)

6 hours, 7 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! Ooh awesome. I've never used reddit before, but I learn for this :P What's the link (if that's the right term) ? 

6 hours, 7 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@TardisBoy! On the bright side, 63 days down, about 177 to go :D 

Um...that was meant to sound more encouraging...but I guess it's some progress :)

6 hours, 13 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns!  I reckon they're Missy's henchmen...maybe taken from 3W before it collapsed. They're a bit too suave for UNIT :P 

6 hours, 20 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! I hope they take the oppurtunity :)

6 hours, 23 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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And men in black? The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon vibes grow even stronger, which, again, can only mean greatness :D

6 hours, 26 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns!  So many theories already, and I really hope that one comes true. :D But, above anything, I hope they get as much character work as they can out of Clara this series, which I'm sure they will as it's probably her last. :)

6 hours, 29 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! Yeah, they didn't share much dialogue at all in Death in Heaven, but here, with something that looks like a one-on-one talk...I wouldn't be surprised if something about that cropped up in their conversation. I mean, at least, Clara's gonna be furious at her, and so that would lead to them talking about the events of the finale, logically...:s 

6 hours, 35 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@The Lazy Cat Returns! I have a feeling she's about to divulge a Gallifrey related secret or something...perhaps :) 

6 hours, 38 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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Oooooh a scene just between Clara and Missy? That's exactly the kind of thing I want. :D Especially if there's a bit of a stand-off...

And this episode is just gonna be plain gorgeous, I know it :) 

7 hours, 15 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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Lucky them, in the warmth and beauty of Tenerife, whilst the rest of us here in the UK freeze :P

7 hours, 25 minutes ago on Series 9 Filming in Spain

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@Planet of the Deaf @supermoff, defender of Akhaten Clara definitely has that effect. But is time spent on Clara and Jenna ever truly wasted? :)

1 day ago on The Doctor Division

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@SonicTheHedgehogRules @supermoff, defender of Akhaten Well you've managed to spell out clearly and exactly why you despise this episode, and now your attitude towards it makes a lot more sense, so that's a sign of a great explanation, and it's far better than any of my defence ramblings. In my experience, ripping an episode to shreds is far more difficult than defending it, so I have to give you kudos, sir, and you are undoubtedly the essay king :P  

1 day ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@Planet of the Deaf  "In a funny way, I'm much more attached to Clara than I have been to any of the Doctors" 

I too am guilty of this...and I kind of feel bad as a result. XD

1 day ago on The Doctor Division

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@SonicTheHedgehogRules *bows*...you are the essay king...you are the essay king...

1 day ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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Lovely article :) I personally make a distinction between the phrases "my Doctor" and "favourite Doctor", with the former being more permanent and the latter a more fluid thing, which is typically the current Doctor in my case. Matt will always be my Doctor, but Peter is probably my current favourite. But every single Doctor has been enjoyable in his own distinctive way, and I'm sure every future one will too. The show can sometimes be inconsistent in many respects...but it always consistently selects a great person for the role :) 

1 day ago on The Doctor Division

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@TardisBoy! From essay writing to this. That's one hell of an devolution of comment quality :P 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs I don't mind the acting, to be honest. It's just the sheer disappointment of the realisation of the brilliant, central concept. What a waste. And it was dull, unexciting, and ugly. Awful episode imo >.< 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs That is definitely one of my two terrible ones :) 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs I definitely agree it's the weakest part of Moffat's era by far, but I still love most of it to bits, bar two terrible episodes...

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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I love how the comment section has become effectively a repository for essays now. :P It really is wonderful to see how this poll series has engaged the community, as we head towards the 10th anniversary next month. There's a lot of passion flowing here, and it's leading to some wonderful discussions and thoughts :D 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@The Finn is excited for audio Kate Stewart! @supermoff, defender of Series 7 @TardisBoy! Wow...I'd never thought of that. O.O Someone on youtube should definitely overlay the music and see if it works. I bet the chills would be off the scale! 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@MrJimiTheFish @supermoff, defender of Series 7 @MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood And plenty of cookies :3 Oh and maybe a few thousand word long defences :P 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@TardisBoy! "Together Or Not At All" always gives me chills. Such a beautiful piece :)

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood Though I don't think the community are overly in favour of Akhaten. If anything, us Akhaten fans are still a sad minority :/ But one day we will rise :P

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood Well...I disagree, but I can't say I'm not entertained :P 

1 day, 1 hour ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2

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