After popping around the history of his latest companion to try and figure out the mystery of her existence, The Doctor (Matt Smith) returns to the present to make another offer to travel through space and time, which this time is accepted. For Clara‘s (Jenna-Louise Coleman) first adventure aboard the TARDIS The Doctor takes her to the planet Akhaten whose inhabitants believe all life in the universe began on their seven worlds. After being separated by The Doctor in the alien market, Clara befriends a scared young girl named Merry (Emilia Jones), the Queen of Years, who is hiding from her responsibility of singing a special song as part of the the Festival of Offerings.
Clara helps put the young girl’s fears to rest, helping give Merry the courage to perform the song in front of an entire stadium to keep the sleeping Mummy at peace, but when the Mummy awakes and steals Merry away to the temple The Doctor and Clara are forced to go after her. Breaking into the temple in a futile attempt to get Merry to leave, The Doctor awakens the Mummy who wishes to feed on the young girl’s soul. Things are further complicated by the arrival of “The Vigil,” a group of guards who appear to feed the Queen of Years to the Mummy and the discovery that the “Grandfather” who the Akhaten people pray to isn’t the Mummy, but the star which all seven worlds revolve around.
When the star isn’t satiated with all the knowledge and memories The Doctor offers up, Clara returns to the temple (riding what appears to be a Hawkmen Rocket Cycle from Flash Gordon) to offer her most prized possession – a leaf which holds not only memories but infinite possibilities of years not lived. Although he still has questions about the sheer impossibility of Clara, The Doctor it seems has found himself a new companion. The episode’s conclusion is a bit underwhelming, but I love the design of Akhaten market place and the various aliens as well as the idea of a system that barters not with money but with treasured possessions full of memories.