Doctor Who Series 7

The Rings of Akhaten


Chris Anderson  Emilia Jones  Michael Dixon  Nicola Sian

Dave (Michael Dixon): So I’ve got something for ya.
Ellie (Nicola Sian): What? {he hands her a crumpled leaf} You kept it.
Dave: Of course I kept it.
Ellie: Why?
Dave: Because this exact leaf had to grow in that exact way, in that exact place, so that precise wind could tear it from that precise branch, and make it fly into this exact face. At that exact moment. And if just one of those tiny little things never happened, I’d never have met you. Which makes this the most important leaf in human history.

Ellie: Oh my stars, are you all right?
The Doctor: Fine. Marvelous. Refulgent. Possibly a touch embarrassed. That’s not dangerous, is it?
Ellie: What’s not?
The Doctor: Embarrassment.
Ellie: Not usually. Not to my knowledge.

The Doctor: She’s just a girl. How can she be? She can’t be! She is! She’s not possible.

Clara: So we’re moving through actual time? So what’s it made of, time? I mean if you can just roll right through it, it’s got to be made of stuff. Like jam’s made of strawberries. So what’s it made of?
The Doctor: Well not strawberries, no. No no no. That would be unacceptable.

Clara: And we can go anywhere?
The Doctor: Within reason. Well, I say “reason”—
Clara: So we could go backwards in time.
The Doctor: And space, yes.
Clara: And forwards in time.
The Doctor: And space, totally. So where do you want to go. Hey? What do you want to see?
Clara: I don’t know. Do you know when someone asks you what’s your favorite book and straightaway you forget every single book that you’ve ever read?
The Doctor: No, totally not.
Clara: Well that’s a thing that… happens.
The Doctor: And? Back to the question.
Clara: Okay. So… so… so… So… I would like to see. I would like to see. What I would like to see is… Something awesome. {he complies}

The Doctor: Can you feel the light on your eyelids?
Clara: Mm hm.
The Doctor: That is the light of an alien sun. Forward a couple of steps. Okay. Are you ready?
Clara: Yes. No. Yes?

The Doctor: Welcome to the Rings of Akhaten.
Clara: It’s…
The Doctor: Oo! It so completely is. But wait! There’s more.
Clara: More what?
The Doctor: Wait wait wait. In about five… four… three… two…
Clara: What is it?
The Doctor: The pyramid of the Rings of Akhaten. It’s a holy site for the Sound Singers of Akhate.
Clara: The Who of What?
The Doctor: Seven worlds orbiting the same star. All of them sharing the belief that life in the universe originated here. On that planet.
Clara: All life?
The Doctor: In the universe.
Clara: Did it?
The Doctor: Well… it’s what they believe. It’s a nice story.

The Doctor: You know, I forget how much I like it here. We should come here more often.
Clara: You’ve been here before?
The Doctor: Yes yes yes. I came here a long time ago with my granddaughter.

The Doctor: Mm! Exotic fruit of some description. Alright. Non-toxic, non-hallucinogenic. High in free radicals and low in other stuff, I shouldn’t wonder.

Clara: So why is everyone here?
The Doctor: Ah! For the Festival of Offerings. Takes place every thousand years or so
when the rings align. It’s quite a big thing locally, like… ah… Pancake Tuesday.

Clara: What’s happening? Why’s it angry?
The Doctor: This isn’t an it! It’s a she. Dor’een, meet Clara. Clara, meet Dor’een.
Clara: Dor’een?
The Doctor: Loose translation. She sounds a bit grumpy but she’s a total love actually. Aren’t you? Yes you are. You know actually she’s just asking you if we fancy renting a moped.

Clara: Um, so how much does it cost?
The Doctor: Ah, not money. Something valuable. Sentimental value. A photograph, love letter, something like that. That’s what’s used for currency here. Psychometry. Objects psychically imprinted with their history. The more treasured they are, the more value they hold.
Clara: That’s horrible.
The Doctor: Better than using bits of paper.
Clara: Then you pay.
The Doctor: With what?
Clara: You’re a thousand years old, you must have something you care about.

The Chorister (Chris Anderson): Have you seen her?
Clara: Who?
The Chorister: The Queen of Years.
Clara: Who?

Clara: You all right? {she nods} What are you doing?
Merry (Emilia Jones): Hiding.
Clara: Oh. Why?
Merry: You don’t know me?
Clara: Sorry. Actually not.
Merry: So why did you follow me?
Clara: To help. You look lost.
Merry: I don’t believe you.
Clara: I’ve got no idea who you might be. I’ve never been here before. I’ve never been anywhere like here before. I just saw a little girl who looked like she needed help.
Merry: Really?
Clara: Really really.
Merry: Can you help me?
Clara: That’s why I’m still here.
Merry: Because I need to hide.
The Vigil materializing in the room}: Merry. Where are you, Merry?
Clara: I know the perfect box.
The Vigil: Merry! Where are you, Merry?

Merry: What’s this?
Clara: A spaceship-y thing. Timey. Spacey.
Merry: It’s teeny.
Clara: Ha! You wait.

Merry: What’s wrong?
Clara: I don’t know. {the TARDIS clangs} I don’t think it likes me.

Clara: So. What’s happening? Is someone trying to hurt you?
Merry: No. I’m just scared.
Clara: Of what?
Merry: Getting it wrong.
Clara: Okay, can you pretend like I’m totally a space alien and explain?
Merry: I’m Merry Galel.
Clara: Really not local, sorry.
Merry: The Queen of Years? They chose me when I was a baby. The day the last Queen of Years died.
Clara: Okay.
Merry: I’m the vessel of our history. I know every chronicle, every poem, every legend, every song.
Clara: Every single one? Blimey, I hated history.
Merry: Now I have to sing a song in front of everyone. A special song. I have to sing it to a god. I’m really scared.
Clara: Everyone’s scared when they’re little. I used to be terrified of getting lost. I used to have nightmares about it. And then I got lost.

Clara: So. This special song, what are you scared of exactly?
Merry: Getting it wrong. Making Grandfather angry.
Clara: And do you think you’ll get it wrong? Because I don’t. I don’t think you’ll get it wrong. I think you, Merry Galel, will get it very very right.

Clara: Are we even supposed to be here?
The Doctor: Sh!
Clara: But are we?
The Doctor: Shhhh!

The Doctor: Look. They’re singing to the mummy in the temple. They call it the Old God. Sometimes Grandfather.
Clara: What are they singing?
The Doctor: The Long Song. A lullaby without end. To feed the Old God. Keep him asleep. It’s been going for millions of years. Chorister handing over to Chorister. Generation after generation after generation.

The Doctor: Listen. There is one thing you need to know about travelling with me. Well, one thing apart from the blue box and the two hearts. We don’t walk away.

The Doctor: I need something precious.
Clara: Well you must have something. All the places you’ve seen, you must have something.
The Doctor pulling out his screwdriver: This. And I don’t want to give it away because it comes in handy.
Clara: You’re a thousand years old and that’s it? Your spanner?
The Doctor: Screwdriver.

The Doctor: Okay. Time to let go.
Clara: I can’t.
The Doctor: Clara, you have to.
Clara: Why?
The Doctor: Because it really hurts.
Clara: Sorry.

The Doctor: Oh, that is interesting. A frequency-modulated acoustic lock. The key changes ten million zillion squillion times a second.
Clara: Can you open it?
The Doctor: Technically no. In reality, also no. But still, let’s give it a stab. {he puts his shoulder into it with little success}

Merry: I don’t know what to do next. What happens?

The Doctor holding the door open: Ah! Hello there! I’m The Doctor. And you met Clara. She was supposed to be having a nice day out. Still. It’s early yet. Are you coming then? {she shakes her head} Did I mention that the door is immensely heavy?
Merry: Leave! You’ll wake him!
The Doctor: Really quite extraordinarily heavy. {the door drops further}

Merry: You said I wouldn’t get it wrong. And then I got it wrong. And now this has happened! Look what’s happened!
Clara: You didn’t get it wrong.
Merry: How do you know? You don’t know anything! You have to go! Go now or he’ll eat us all.
Clara: Well… he’s ugly. But you know, to be honest— {she runs up to the glass}—I don’t think he looks big enough.
Merry: Not our meat. Our souls.

Merry: He doesn’t want you, he wants me. And if you don’t leave he’ll eat you all up too.
The Doctor: Yes. And you don’t want that, do you? You want us to walk out of this really quite astonishingly heavy door. And never come back.
Merry: Yes.
The Doctor: I see. Right. Clarified. Absolutely never going to happen. {he rolls into the room and the door shuts}
Clara: Did you just lock us in?
The Doctor: Yep.
Clara: With the soul-eating monster.
The Doctor: Yep.
Clara: And is there actually a way to get out?
The Doctor: What, before it eats our souls?
Clara: Ideally, yeah.
The Doctor: Possibly. Probably. … There usually seems to be.

Clara: Doctor, why’s he still singing?
The Doctor: He’s trying to sing the Old God back to sleep. But that’s not going to happen. He’s waking up, mate. He’s coming, ready or not. you wanna run. {the Chorister stops} That’s it then? The song is over.
Chorister Asbethix: The song is over. My name is Chorister Asbethix. And the Long Song ended with me.

The Doctor: He’s waking because it’s his time to wake. And feed. On you, apparently. On your story.
Clara: She didn’t say stories, she said souls!
The Doctor: Same thing. The soul’s made of stories, not atoms. Everything that ever happened to us—people we loved, people we lost… people we found again against all the odds—he threatens to wake, they offer him a pure soul. The soul of the Queen of Years.
Clara: Stop it, you’re scaring her.
The Doctor: Good. She should be scared. She’s sacrificing herself. She should know what that means. Do you know what it means, Merry?
Merry: A god chose me.
The Doctor: It’s not a god. It’ll feed on your soul, but that doesn’t make it a god. It is a vampire and you don’t need to give yourself to him.

The Doctor: 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 faraway 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’s a waste!
Merry: So… if I don’t, then everyone else…
The Doctor: Will be fine.
Merry: How?
The Doctor: There’s always a way.
Merry: You promise?
The Doctor: Cross my hearts.

Clara: Having a nice stretch?!

Clara: Something’s coming. What’s coming?
Merry: The Vigil!
The Doctor: And… what’s the Vigil?
Merry: If the Queen of Years is unwilling to be feasted upon…
The Doctor: Yes?
Merry: It’s their job to feed it to Grandfather.

The Doctor: Yep. Stay back, I’m armed. With a screwdriver.

Clara: Where did they go?
The Doctor: Grandfather’s awake. They’re of no function anymore.
Clara: Well you could sound happier about it.
The Doctor: Actually I think I may have made a bit of a tactical boo boo. More of a semantics mix up, really.
Clara: What boo boo?
The Doctor: I thought the Old God was Grandfather, but it wasn’t. It was just Grandfather’s alarm clock.
Clara: Sorry, a bit lost. Who’s the Old God? Is there an Old God?
The Doctor: Unfortunately yes.
Clara: Oh my stars.

Clara: What do we do?
The Doctor: Against that? I don’t know! Do you know? I don’t know! Any ideas?
Merry: But you promised. You promised!
The Doctor: I did. I… I did promise.

Merry: He’ll eat us all. He’ll spread across the entire system, consuming the seven worlds. And when there’s no more to eat, he’ll embark on a new odyssey among the stars.

Clara: I say leg it.
The Doctor: Leg it where, exactly?
Clara: I don’t know. Lake District?
The Doctor: Oh the Lake District’s lovely. Let’s go there. We can eat scones. They do great scones in 1927.

Clara: You’re going to fight it, aren’t you?
The Doctor: Regrettably, yes, I think I may be about to do that.
Clara: It’s really big.
The Doctor: I’ve seen bigger.
Clara: Really?
The Doctor: Are you joking?! It’s massive!

Clara: What about that stuff you said? We don’t walk away.
The Doctor: No. We don’t walk away. But when we’re holding on to something precious, we run. We run and run fast as we can. And we don’t stop running until we are out from under the shadow.

The Doctor: Now. Off you pop. Take the moped. I’ll walk.

Merry: Isn’t he frightened?
Clara: I think he is. I think he’s very frightened.
Merry: I want to help.
Clara: So do I.

The Doctor: Okay then. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll tell you a story. Can you hear them? All these people who lived in terror of you and your judgment. All these people whose ancestors devoted themselves, sacrificed themselves to you. Can you hear them singing? Oh you like to think you’re a god. But you’re not a god. You’re just a parasite. Eat now with jealousy and envy and longing for the lives of others. You feed on them. On the memory of love and loss and birth and death and joy and sorrow, so… so come on then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’re got a big a big appetite. Because I’ve lived a long life. And I’ve seen a few things. I walked away from the last great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space. Just me! I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! And I watched universes freeze and creation burn! I have seen things you wouldn’t believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken! Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!

Clara: Still hungry? Well I brought something for you. This. The most important leaf in human history. The most important leaf in human history. It’s full of stories. Full of history. And full of a future that never got lived. Days that should have been and never were. Passed on to me. This leaf isn’t just the past, it’s a whole future that never happened. There are billions and millions of unlived days for every day we live—an infinity. All the days that never came. And these are all my mum’s.
The Doctor: Well? Come on then. Eat up. Are you full? I expect so. Because there’s quite a difference isn’t there? Between what was and what should have been. There’s an awful lot of one but there’s an infinity of the other. And infinity is too much. Even for your appetite.

The Doctor: Home again, home again, jiggity jig!
Clara: It looks different.
The Doctor: Nope. Same house, same city, same planet. Ha hey! Same day actually, eh? Not bad. Hole in one!

Clara: You were there. My mum’s grave. You were watching. What were you doing there?
The Doctor: I don’t know, I was just… making sure.
Clara: Of what?
The Doctor: You remind me of someone.
Clara: Who?
The Doctor: Someone who died.
Clara: Well whoever she was, I’m not her. Okay? If you want me to travel with you that’s fine. But as me. I’m not a bargain basement stand-in for someone else. I’m not going to compete with a ghost.
The Doctor: No. {he gives her back her ring} They wanted you to have it.
Clara: Who did?
The Doctor: Everyone. All the people you saved. You. No one else. Clara.