Clara’s Not a Mystery, She’s a Person. Doctor Who: “The Rings of Akhaten”
In the 21st century, Doctor Who has always put a heavy amount of focus on season premieres and season finales. When a new dynamic is being introduced, whether that is a new Doctor or a new companion, the narrative of their introduction is always supported by several circuses’ worth of outlying publicity and viewer anticipation. “Rose,” “Smith and Jones,” “The Eleventh Hour,” and “The Bells of Saint John,” all debuted with this expectation and more or less performed admirably, even though Doctor Who stories aren’t really designed to withstand such scrutiny.
An oft-unspoken result of that scrutiny is that we usually don’t get to see what impact the new companion/Doctor will have going forward until the episode after their debut. “The End of the World,” “Gridlock,” and “The Beast Below” all carry this peculiar tone and “The Rings of Akhaten” is no different. Even though the episode makes no sense.
[“I have lost things you will never understand.”]