A helmet-less Vader, Trojan Horse cubes and one of our favourite fan theories to date!
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Amy and Rory are worried that they can’t carry on living a double life and will have to chose between a normal existence on Earth or travelling with the Doctor. The Ponds’ preambling pondering is cut short, however, when millions of black cubes appear across the globe.
Cue the start of an awkward sitcom where a twelve hundred year old alien has to stay with a nurse and a travel journalist to babysit some inanimate boxes. Oh, and don’t forget the nurse’s dad who’ll be making guest appearances as the outsider who questions the ménage à trois between the main cast.
The cubes seem safe enough at the start and don’t respond to any stimuli, but surely it’s only a mater of time before their real purpose is exposed and the Doc can get up off the sofa to save the day.
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I’ve been pretty harsh lately with New Who, so let’s do one that’s just okay in my opinion.
I mean, Power of Three was not a terrible story. UNIT was okay (Moffat Era UNIT isn’t that great, but it gets a pass here). The humor was actually funny for once. And the serious moments were good (The scene where Brian asks the Doctor about his past companions was a beautifully sad moment).
The main dilemma here is Amy and Rory having to decide between their regular, boring lives or The Doctor. Of course, they choose the Doctor. They couldn’t leave the TARDIS on their own. Now where have I seen (or will see) this before? That scene with Amy and the Doctor by the Thames was also another wonderful scene.
Power of Three’s villain is really kinda boring. It’s basically just sitting around waiting for something to happen with those cubes. It takes a year for the cubes to do anything! I mean, the tension built and built and built. And the payoff? Not good. Just another Gallifreyan legend the Doctor stops through Sonic Wizardry.
Though I think Amy and Rory should’ve left a while back, I’m glad we get this sort of extended farewell for them. Even if it’s all over next time. The villain was weak and very much shoved to the side, but the focus was where it should’ve been. This episode gets a pass. 3.0/5
You might start seeing me more often in New Who (and possibly even Audio Who!) now that my Who rewatch-a-thon is parallel to you.
This episode creeped me out the first time I saw it, and it did it again on this rewatch! The cubes in the mouths are disturbing images for me.
That being the case, it’s a very lucky thing that the Shakri give up so easily. Steal their toys, blow up a ship the Shakri aren’t even on… and we’re good to go. I rather expected the Doctor to express some disappointment that the Monsters under Child Time Lords’ beds turned out to be pushovers. Also apparently not too dedicated to wiping out humanity? I thought maybe it was a Classic Who villain returned, but when I took to the Tardis wiki, that did not seem to be the case?
I mean, the Doctor didn’t convince the Shakri to not go after humanity, and the Shakri weren’t even defeated, simply one weapon was proved to be inadequate… so they… give up? I’m not exactly complaining, I don’t think I’d want this to be a two-parter but…
I love the scenes where the Doctor is trying to live with Amy and Rory, I also love Brian’s enthusiasm, dedication, and how his imagination has grown since last we saw him! I also enjoyed the little clips of adventures when the Doctor, Rory, and Amy left the party.
3.0 out of 5 strategies the Shakri could have employed if they were actually serious about declaring war on humanity, but… just were too bored and tired to bother.
Thing I liked:
• STEVEN BERKOFF! (Legend).
• Oh dear Oh dear.
• Does the time period for this episode make sense? After almost a year of the cubes doing nothing, people would have binned them. Why would they be littering the streets after a year? There’s still street cleaners right? No one noticed the little (robot) girl sitting in the hospital, in the same place, in the same clothes, for a whole year? Does the Who Back When gang buy it that ten years have passed since the Doctor met (grown up) Amy in the Eleventh Hour?
Cube Mouth guys. Who were these again? What were they doing kidnapping people? What happened to the Cube Mouth guys on the spaceship? Why did they have cube mouths?
• It’s just supposed to be a SCREWDRIVER! What a cop-out lazy ending. Whole new level of shitness. The Seventh Doctor didn’t have to cheat with a Sonic Screwdriver! He used his wit and cunning (and occasionally explosives).
• STEVEN BERKOFF (legend) criminally underused. Seriously, you get someone of that calibre and use him for three f**king minutes and 22 seconds (I timed it!). Because watching people watch cubes or Amy & Rory chatting about their lives (yawn) makes way more interesting television.
• I agree with Marie’s comments in your Spaceship on a Dinosaur review – I have Amy/Rory fatigue. These characters have been utterly assassinated with the forgotten Melody/River baby and marriage breakdown storylines. Why is the Doctor stalking them? He has never stalked any other companions he met upon regeneration. Maybe the producers are preparing for a high impact drama following their fate in the next episode. But with hindsight, there isn’t any impact. There aren’t any consequences. Bar the Doctor being a little miffed in ‘The Snowmen’ I don’t think Amy & Rory are mentioned ever again. We certainly never see Arthur Weasley confront the Doctor on what happened to them.
Summary: mostly offensive.
Rating: 1.1/5, erm, cubes. One point goes to the three minutes and 22 seconds of STEVEN BERKOFF! (Legend)
A shit load of cubes are put on Earth and the Doctor shows up. He decides to stay for some reason.
The government decides to let the mysterious indestructible space cubes be used by average citizens for door stoppers, paper holders and decoration. Nothing further is made of them.
A year later nobody bothered to pick up these bloody cubes and the government ignores them. Rory’s Dad starts filming the cubes to fill in the time since he has no life.
All the cubes stop and UNIT shows up. The cubes start fucking shit up. A laser hits the doctor, Rory’s Dad suffers the trauma of his cube opening and closing.
They start counting down from 7. UNIT does nothing. The Doctor concludes the cubes were finding humanities weak spot and locks himself in a room with a cube. He has a heart attack. Everyone does and this is communicated by seeing 3 people fall over on a security camera feed. The hospital is flooded and then Rory’s Dad wanders into a portal to a space ship. The Doctor gets a defibrillator, starts his heart and then enters the ship.
The guest actor for the villain basically refused to do his lines midway through production, meaning that Chibnall had to scramble for a proper ending.
Chibnall being the genius he is, setting up the ending of The Power of Three well in advance with the Sonic Screwdriver being introduced decades earlier in Fury from the Deep.
So fucking boring. 0.7/5.0
How are we feeling about the opening theme with pink cotton candy clouds and checkered TARDIS logo? I like. But mostly because I’m hungry.
Ok ok, maybe I should rethink my opinion on the Doctor-Rory kiss thing. Because right now Rory seems ok with kissing.
Chibs is bad at pacing?
I think I was mostly on-board with this episode until near the end. I like the examination of the Doctor’s unique relationship with his companions in general, and that of these specific companions. But then the episode wrap up is too quick, and throughout there are details with the wrong amount of time spent on them. Why did we need the box-mouths and droid-girl? Why the elevator cloud wall? We barely got any time to savor knowing our foe, we spent a decent stretch of time moralizing with him only to find out he’s just an interface the Doctor can easily override. Didn’t make sense.
“Cubed actually means: the power of three.” Is a dumb line. Still not as bad as “Do you know happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.”
Rating: more like the power of I had to watch it three times to remember who the enemy was behind those cubes