Plenty of backstory for Clara tonight as the Doctor eases her into life as a Time Lord’s companion with a trip to the distant planet of Akhaten. Handily, the pair have arrived just in time for an ancient ceremony called the Festival of Offerings. Experienced Who-fanciers will check out that name and anticipate trouble – and they’d be right. Could Clara’s new friend, a little girl called Merry, be in danger?
This series hasn’t really established a compelling narrative through-line yet and the jury remains out on Jenna-Louise Coleman, who is sometimes guilty of putting smart-arsery ahead of genuine warmth. Still, Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond left some big shoes to fill so it seems only fair to give her time. This is still as good as primetime family entertainment gets.