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It’s the end of an era as Doc is joined by old friends and selves to save the world one last time before she regenerates

Kablammo! We’re aboard a spacetime express train and Doc and what remains of the Fam fail to rescue yet another unique, near-mythical, never-seen-before creature we’ll never revisit, substantiate or learn more about. Boom! Rasputin is The Master. Why? Never you mind. Explosion! Famous paintings are being vandalised and seismologists disappearing. Shut up, there’s no time.

Shazam! Cybers have invaded UNIT. But it’s OK because Ace and Tegan are there. Can Tegan act yet? Nope, be quiet. The Master’s calling in to exposit for the third time! Laser sound effect! That snarly Cyber-dude Ashad is back! Pew pew! Master is now Doc, four Docs are now AI! You’d best believe the music says it’s exciting! And if you think this writing was lazy, you should see the episode.

This is the second time we’ve dissected Jodie Whittaker’s and Chris Chibnall’s farewell episode on Who Back When. You should definitely check out B085 The Power of The Doctor — Instant(ish) Reaction Review!

Here's what we think of N175 The Power of The Doctor (re-review)

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

3.3

Drew | @drewbackwhen

2.3

Here's what we think of N175 The Power of The Doctor (re-review)

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

3.3

Drew | @drewbackwhen

2.3

Here's what you think 11 Responses to “N175 The Power of The Doctor (re-review)”
  1. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    Hey guys sorry I’ve been quiet. Been thinking of you. Let’s get to it!
    The best parts of this are the cameo work. It was great to have Tegan and Ace involved in the action of the episode, and such a lovely treat to see Jo, Mels, and incredibly, Ian all making brief appearances. Loved also seeing past Doctors appear to both the Doctor herself and the companions. The best bit of this reunion-fest was the scene with Graham and Ace. Just magical.

    The Master is back, because of course he is. And while his volcano-qurunx-become-the-Doctor plan is bonkers nonsense, that’s very on brand for the Master.

    A list of my Beefs:
    (there’s not that many so I guess they’re like short ribs?)
    I cannot stand the Places in the World Slide Show Cards
    Wait how did Tegan not die from falling several stories down an elevator shaft?

    Husband from America had this to say:
    Entertaining, but the plot was a hot mess.
    They definitely made the Master into Rasputin just for the Boney M song.

    Last thought, I’ve sometimes felt the Doctor hasn’t got much range beyond either frantic or confused. However, her last scene with Yaz she gets slow and poignant, and I think it works really well.

    Rating: a birthday cake covered in little blue cubes and orange sonic crystals

  2. Robbie from London, Ontario, Canada

    Hey guys! Been a while but I absolutely had to stop by to review the finale of Jodie’s run and the absolute banger that was, “Power of the Doctor”. I was one that really enjoyed the 13th Doctor, and to get this anniversary feeling finale story for her was fantastic. Although I’ve seen very little Classic Who, just some First Doctor and the movie, I still got so much feeling and emotions seeing Ace snd Tegan, not only show up, but interact with their Doctors again. And did I absolutely loose it to see the Eighth Doctor again? I absolutely did. But the Masters Dalek plan, was fantastic, and his Doctor amalgamation outfit certainly gives me cosplay ideas! But this episode gave me ALMOST everything I could have wanted, besides the Doc and Yas being a little more honest and open with each other in the end. The companion meet up was phenomenal, and Ian!! Love it 4.8 out of 5.

    Apart from the review I see you guys have Unearthly Child listed as the next Classic review, is it possible you’re going to turn it back and start over now that you finished? If so I love that idea and I’d have a great excuse to watch a serial once a week! Fingers crossed, hope you guys are doing great!

    Robbie from London, Ontario, Canada

  3. Peter Zunitch

    Hello New-Who podcasters!

    Some of you may know that I’ve been endeavoring to watch the series in order from start to finish. As I literally just finished submitting my review of the Paul McGann Movie, I am officially done with the classic series and can move on to New Who.

    Soooooo…. what did I miss? You guys are doing Rose, now right? I can’t wait to go through the whole new show with my favorite podcasters. You know it’s the timelessness of the series that really matters. That’s the REAL power of the Doctor. This is gonna be great!

    So you’re now gonna just start over again, right? Hello? Guys? Anyone?

    Okay well fine then. You go and do your whatever and I’ll just spend the next four years listening to the new-series back catalog and posting my reviews on the site all alone and stuff. No really, it’s okay, I’m fine. Us Dr. Who fans are used to being left out in the cold. Well the joke’s on you. In the future you’ll be looking for more Who nostalgia and there I’ll be, giving you my rating of Jodie’s swansong. Here’s a hint… most insightful and amusing review ever!

    So take that! Cast me out like I was Dalek 347. See if I care. You’ll see! You’ll look back on my reviews and say “Remember Who Back When, back when”? The legacy lives on my friends! Who Back When lives on!!! Who Back When forever!

  4. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    [Submitted in 2022]

    Hi Gang,

    Wow, just fucking WOW! That has to be one of the finest finales of any Doctor!
    Lets get the bad stuff out of the way first though – the bloody exposition!! One thing I wont miss about Chibbers is the bloody plot exposition!!!

    Ok now that’s out of the way, the rest of the story was a true assault on the senses and there’s certainly an awful lot we need to absorb, but I don’t think it was too much. Sacha Dhawan was brilliant as the Master, his veering from deranged to quiet and back again was epic and when he was digging out all the classic Doctor paraphernalia like 2nd Doctor recorder all that was missing was Bessie! Ace and Tegan although a bit ropey to start were soon firing on all cylinders and when ace pulled out that baseball bat, I punched the air with delight. Then we get to the Doctors – wow! I wasn’t expecting them – and they knocked it out of the park it was so wonderful to see them all?
    It was also a story that tugged on the heartstrings – well mine anyway – I’m 51 next month and have never cried at Doctor Who (not even when I watched Tom fall off that radio telescope!!) but this story had me in floods throughout none more so than at the end where all the companions were together – that just broke me.
    This might possibly be my favourite multi doctor story ever!! I’m sure I might re-evaluate when I can calm down but I loved this so much.

    I’ll award this 4.7 cans of Nitro 999 out of 5

    Andy Parkinson
    @caffreys71

  5. Daniel McGinley | @danieljmcginley (TW) & @planet_of_giants (Insta)

    Welcome to the nostalgia show! Luckily all the all the fan service and awesome visuals do a decent job of glossing over the paper-thin plot…

    Wasn’t it great to see Tegan and Ace again? The first meeting with Doc was a nice scene, thirteen emoting shame well. Good acting Jodie.

    There are so many good lines and call-backs; Aunty Vanessa, the Master as a cat, we’re ace. Was it just me that got a lump in the throat at the mention of Adric? Loved the Master’s Dalek plan pun. McGann wearing his own clothes was super cool.

    The highlight of this, episode – and the whole era – was the final two minutes. The sense of joy and relief at finally moving on from a period that has seen the vandalism of a beloved show and character was immense. Made even better by having Tennant return and knowing RTD is back at the helm. A wise and reassuring move for disillusioned or lost fans.

    Another highlight was seeing Chesterfield again. The current meh companions being the alphas in the help-group room really served to show how sub-par they are compared with icons Ace, Jo Grant and Chatterton.

    So right at the very end we get the very best Thirteenth Doctor adventure. Says a lot that all it took was six previous Doctors, several returning companions, the three top enemies and a Tardis full of nostalgia to get there. Nonetheless, an enjoyable watch.

    3.9/5. Next please….

    Daniel McGinley
    Insta: Planet_of_giants

  6. GP Haynes | @FindingGspots (Insta & YouTube)

    Hello lovely podcasters!

    I mostly enjoyed this episode , especially because I love seeing classic Doctors interacting with the new ones.

    Jodie’s run will definitely be remembered for some quality production, and this story is no exception.
    The Cyber planet was particularly beautiful, but why is it they still can’t shoot straight?

    Tegan and Ace were just awesome to see, and put in fantastic performances.

    The Master was a jerk, continuing his great effort in the role, however the Rasputin music made me cringe. Oh dear, this is
    probably one of the worst moments in modern Who!

    In responding to Ace, he did deliver a gem though “ A man’s allowed to experiment” Somehow I was instantly reminded of Leon??

    It was also great to see Graham again, and I loved his initial interaction with Ace.

    Riddle me this though. Why can a whole building collapse, and Tegan and Kate survive a few metres away?….Yes correct! That ain’t gonna happen!

    Overall a slightly bland and overreaching story, which was probably 10 to 15 minutes too long

    But, it was an entertaining end to Jodies era, which IMHO started much better than it ultimately ended up. But I’ll explain that more
    when we get to the retrospective.

    Rating: 3.7 Useless gold bullets being absorbed by modern Cybermen, who are now impervious to this, but somehow their shooting is still shite!

    Bye bye!

    GP Haynes

    Australia

    PS Please change the date on that : “An Unearthly Child” episode review to 15th October 2023!!!

  7. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    [Submitted back in 2022]

    Hi folks
    Well, I liked it! Slightly dumb maybe, but it felt a great celebration of Doctor Who. In fact in some ways more so than the 50th, which has always felt a little hollow to me. I’m glad Jodie finished on this one!

    Thanks
    Kieren

    [Submitted this time around]

    Hi folks

    Action! Location title cards! Argh. Lots of title cards this time. Oh Chibnall…

    Dan leaving at the beginning is a little sad but it does give room for everyone else in the story.

    The Master as Rasputin, haha. The Boney M song…hmm, I don’t hate it. Maybe they let it play too long. I did laugh at the Dalek and Cyberman looking at one another whilst it’s going on.

    Oh no, it’s an early 2010s movie plot with the villain wanting to be captured so they can escape and possibly destroy the good guys HQ (Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight). Still, I liked his sneering at Kate, Tegan and Ace. While it is a bit fan service-y with the latter two, I think they are used here fairly well. Kinda nice they have those scenes with their Holo-Doctors. And the bit with 13 on the Edge and the past Doctors is also nice, particularly for McGann (I watch the TV movie straight after rewatching this one).

    I like that Dalek traitor was actually for real and wasn’t a direct trap.

    Master Doctor was a little disappointing. I wanted a bit more, as some of it reminds me of the Big Finish audio He Jests at Scars which is a what if for if the Valeyard had won. His parody of the Doctor’s costume is fun and I like the touch of the recorder. Actually Jodie in the cosplay is fun as well.

    Ian!!! The Companions help group at the end is quite fun.

    The good and the bad of the Chibnall era encapsulated, I still had a fun time with it 3.8/5

    Cheers

    Kieren

  8. Michael French

    What Ho WhoBackWhen crew, once again it has almost been a year since my previous review, I promise I’m not doing this on purpose, with the quality of Chibnall’s writing can you blame me? I actually marathon the last 14 episodes in about five days to get to this point because I’d never seen them before.

    With that being said, this won’t be much of a review seeing as I kind of let this episode wash over me considering it was the end of a marathon, honestly, what can I say? I can only remember one throwaway line of dialogue that stood above the rest, and that was The Master saying “a man’s allowed to experiment” but after that, it’s mostly just incredibly lazy lines like “I’m so glad I cloned you“ and “we long developed a resistance to gold“ Which, considering that the new who Cyberman are from an alternate universe was there ever a precedent that they were vulnerable to gold?

    And as for the things I found enjoyable, seeing Graham again made me perk up a bit, considering he was the one constant Chibnall edition I always found amusing, as well as the master being Rasputin, and dancing to the Rasputin song I really enjoyed, but these are superficial things the actual plot didn’t really pull me in, I was mostly watching as a sense of obligation rather than actual interest in the story.

    Also, just so you know it has taken me literally 90 minutes if not more to compose this simply to portray how middling I thought this was so my rating for this will be a 2.1 Forced regenerations out of 5

    Hopefully you’ll hear from me sometime by the 60th anniversary specials.

  9. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Oh My Goodness – You’re up to date! Epic undertaking! Congratulations!

    Likes:
    – The (breathe) EPIC (breathe) return of The Real Doctor!
    – *That* reconciliation with Ace. I wept.
    – Ace, kicking bottom and jumping off a building!
    – Crazy Rasputin Master!
    – Wacky Dalek volcano plan!
    – Cyber assault on UNIT!
    – Ian…Chesterton…! Oh my gawd!
    – Dan’s departure – appropriately Tegan-esque (‘I’m done with this sh*t’).
    – Yaz carrying the dying Doctor. Nice imagery.

    Beefs:
    – The multi-Doctor Master plan sucked. I can’t imagine this being the goal of any other Master incarnation.
    – What is the science behind the CyberMasters? I get the flesh-bodies regenerating, but the trashed armour surely doesn’t. You’d be trapped in an inoperative super-heavy metal casing and die of starvation. Then regenerate again. And die of starvation.
    – Do we really buy the Daleks allying with other races. Being Uber space racists are their defining feature. They were even slaughtering other Daleks just a few stories back because they weren’t considered Daleky enough. And where’s Davros! Grrrr.

    Rating: 5/5 – due to the sheer awesomeness of. You. Know. Who. Without whom, this would have been a mere 2.3/5 stock footage of volcanoes erupting.

  10. Oli Raven | @FoggyDrWho

    Hi! “So, is it good?”

    Well, there’s: a bunch of seemingly unconnected times and locations on Earth that somehow turn out to be vaguely linked after all! Cyber Masters!! The Fugitive Doctor!!! It’s yet another Chibbers triple threat, for good or for ill.

    Ol’ Chris clearly adores the early scenes of Silver Nemesis and thinks the only thing they were missing was on-screen captions.

    Beefs Nay, tofus:
    Why wasn’t Dan written out at the end of the previous story instead?
    Why did Yaz just accept that the Doc wanted to regenerate alone?
    How come we skipped over Tegan and Ace meeting for the first time and fast-forwarded straight to them knowing each other already and teaming up to investigate something? If they’ve been doing that for a while, how come they haven’t bumped into Doc before now??
    I’d have happily sacrificed some past Doctor or classic villain content to witness the moment they first realise they both travelled in the TARDIS.

    “Brave heart, Tegan.” I was never the biggest fan of Five’s era but damn, that moment got me even if I could see the line coming from an Australian kilometre away.

    So, what is the titular Power that makes the Doc unique? Regeneration?? Femininity??? Nope, the Master is capable of both of those. It seems it’s friendship. Which is magical. We’re into My Little Pony territory here, people.

    Overall: I serenade it with 4.4 Boney M dance numbers at the Winter Palace out of 5. “Oh, it’s more than good… it’s ace.”

    Oli Raven

    P.S. No need for pruning this time (just about, I think!) Hope some more Classic Who is unearthed before 2096 so you can re-review it.

  11. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    [Instant reaction submitted back in 2022]

    Hey there Who Back When fam and Podcastland!

    Chris Chibnall finally acquitted himself with a decent sendoff for Thirteen. While the plot is a smorgasbord of Swiss cheese and jam, the story provides a great deal of fan service and some amount of closure.

    The good:
    – Sacha Dewan’s Master is as psychotic as always, and is good at playing the long game, actually becoming Rasputin this time.
    – The cyberplanet tied into the Master’s TARDIS as a power source, (although that going into orbit around the Earth should have done more tectonic damage than the Daleks machine.)
    – Vinder returning unexpectedly to throw the Master’s plan off
    – The Cyberman Russian doll he gives to Tegan, and that sequence of events.
    – The Master dancing to disco in the hall!

    Fan service:
    – For the first time since Sarah Jane, two classic Who companions return, and actually get main title credit!
    – Also for the first time since the ambiguous Curator, classic Who actors returned as their respective Doctors! (The afterlife part of the memory where they reside was used in Virgin New Adventures books: Paul Cornell’s Timewyrm: Revelation)
    – So many callbacks to classic from the Master, from the jibes he throws at the companions to the outfit he wears as the Doctor.
    – It was great to see Ace back in her bomber jacket.
    – Graham had no plot purpose, but it was good to see him. Likewise for the Fugitive Doctor.
    – The Companions Anonymous meeting at the end of the episode, although Martha should have been there, too.

    The Swiss cheese:
    – The cybermen, the daleks, and most of the universe were destroyed at the end of the Flux season. Not only do they return, there is no mention of how or that they even were destroyed previously.
    – Why are the daleks trying to drill into the mantle of the Earth? Is it the same as they did in the Dalek Invasion of Earth? Aren’t there easier, more direct ways to destroy the earth that would better fit with the Dalek mentality?
    – This ignored all of Tegan’s and (especially) Ace’s stories in book and audio for after leaving the show, despite “The Night of the Doctor” making them canon.
    – Why did the Master become Rasputin other than to gain access to the Czar’s palace in St. Petersburg and send Tegan a cyberman russian doll?
    – What was the point in defacing the 15 paintings if only to show that he was Rasputin?
    – The Master regenerating into the Doctor’s body, although a great idea, the Doctor’s mind should have been in the Master’s avatar, not the Master’s mind and appearance in the physical body of the Doctor. What would have made much more sense from the Master’s perspective was to regenerate his own body into a known incarnation of the Doctor, most likely Ten (since he had him held captive for a year), and then impersonate him all over the world, but doing evil and wreaking havoc. Having his face on the Doctor’s body would accomplish none of that.
    – Based on the trailers and interviews, there was a bit left on the cutting room floor, like Tegan’s and Ace’s backstory.

    I give this 3.8 miniaturized seismologists out of 5. for the good feels it left despite so many unanswered questions.

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