Let's get this out of the way first: Neil Cross cracks the 45-minute Who episode. This doesn't feel rushed or incomplete. It's a rarity these days to find an episode where the story feels fully explored and told. And even when it does, as in, say, most Mark Gatiss scripts, it feels like a story that wasn't really worthy of the Doctor's powers. The Rings of Akhaten transports us to a fantastic world and gives us a satisfying glimpse of its culture, and builds to the Doctor facing down a god-like villain without feeling underdeveloped. There's plenty wrong with the episode, but none of the usual Moffat-era flaws scar the story. And for that, I really liked it.
CLARA: And is there actually a way to get out?
DOCTOR: What, before it eats our souls?
CLARA: Ideally, yeah.
DOCTOR: Possibly. Probably. There usually seems to be.
They defeat the planet-god, and it collapses and disappears... so what's going to hold that ring civilization together in terms of stable gravity and a primary light source? I mean, I know the Doctor sometimes leaves people to sort the aftermath out themselves, and sometimes to less-than-desirable effect, but that's just ridiculous. Clearly, this planet-ish creature was their primary light and heat source, since the sun is pretty far off in the distance, and that mass of debris is going to be wrecking all into each other with its gravity no longer stabalizing everything.
- ... though they do remind me of how much I hated the characterization of Nefertiti in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Not Cross's fault, of course.