Running behind on your Doctor Who viewing? Check out last week’s recap!
This episode finds the Doctor taking a spin through Clara’s past, watching her parents meet (her dad gets hit in the face with a leaf, he stumbles into the road, her mom saves him, you know, the usual) and popping in throughout her childhood. Basically, he comes to the conclusion that Clara shouldn’t exist.
The Doctor swings back to the present to pick Clara up. When he asks her where she wants to go, she says, “Somewhere awesome!” which we guess is a good place to start. So the Doctor takes her to the Rings of Akhaten, a sort of solar system where all life supposedly originated. That sounds pretty intense, but when they get there, it looks like your average outdoor market—well, if your average outdoor market was swarming with aliens and only accepted nostalgic items as payment, that is.
In the market, Clara finds a terrified little girl named Merry. Merry, aka the Queen of Years, is the vessel for the history of the entire galaxy, and she has to sing a song to a god in front of everyone. Sounds like a lot of pressure for a child. We guess we should’ve expected it, since Clara’s been a nanny in at least two lives, but she’s sort of awesome with kids. She totally calms Merry down and tells her it’s just stage fright—she’ll be fine!
But since this is an episode of Doctor Who, of course she’s not fine. While Merry’s singing a lullaby to keep the Old God asleep, she gets sucked into his pyramid lair.
Clara and the Doctor chase after her on a space moped. When they get to the lair, the Old God is waking up. Merry explains that the Old God wants to eat their souls, and she’s going to sacrifice herself—since she holds all the stories in the universe, her soul will satisfy him and he’ll go back to sleep. But the Doctor and Clara aren’t going to let that happen. They get Merry out of there just in time.
Unfortunately, the Doctor has made a “boo-boo,” in his own words. That creepy vampire monster thing inside the pyramid? Yeah, that’s not the Old God. The real Old God is the sun.
Even though the Old God looks like the evilest jack-o-lantern we’ve ever seen, the Doctor decides to fight it off while Merry and Clara escape. He offers the Old God his soul: a thousand years’ worth of stories from all over time and space (We may have gasped in horror at this point).
But…the Doctor gives up his soul, and somehow he’s still totally fine? So what was everyone so freaked out about earlier? Anyway, the Doctor’s stories aren’t enough for the Old God, so Clara jets in to save the day. She offers up the leaf that caused her parents to meet. Since this leaf shows infinite possibilities of what the future could have held, it finally satisfies the Old God and he goes back to sleep.
That’s it for this episode! We’re still a bit confused by that whole soul-sacrificing business, but it’s possible we’ll see some more backlash in the future. We can’t help but notice that this is the second episode in a row featuring soul-stealing villains. We’re going to be sorely disappointed if next week’s baddies aren’t dementors.