Review: Doctor Who: The Power Of Three

“The Power of Three” was written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Douglas Mackinnon, and stars Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory ‘Williams’ Pond), Brian Williams (Mark Williams), and Jemma Redgrave (Kate ‘Lethbridge’ Stewart).

From the BBC Site:

The Doctor and the Ponds puzzle over an unlikely invasion of Earth, as millions of sinister black cubes arrive overnight…

This episode was in essence a fun little bit of fluff to carry us along to next week’s episode “The Angels Take Manhattan.”  Quite literally nothing happens in this story.  There is a lot of fun watching the Doctor try to adjust to a normal mundane life. As he just loses it after 4 days with nothing happening with these strange cubes, we are treated to several snippets of mini-adventures that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory get caught up in when the Doctor decides to give them an anniversary present.

***** SPOILERS *****

Again this week the cast did an excellent job, and the special effects, direction, sets, and music were wonderful.  The story was very interesting, but just as it felt like it was getting really good, it abruptly ends.  This could have easily been a two-parter, allowing for a much more fulfilling ending.

It was great to see U.N.I.T., and I thought putting The Brigadier’s daughter, Kate Stewart, in charge as a scientist was a nice touch.  There should always be a Lethbridge-Stewart involved with U.N.I.T.

Rory’s dad Brian Williams was a welcome addition to the cast again this week, and the Doctor even asks Brian to travel with him.  I would personally love to see a few episodes of just the Doctor and Brian on adventures through Time and Space.

I think “The Power of Three” suffers from what I call RTD Syndrome.  It was a great buildup to a very interesting story, on a grand scale, and then it’s solved by basically flipping a switch.  I remember back in the old days; the Doctor would have to rig something up to destroy the alien ship, or trick them into defeating themselves.  Now a days he can just point his Magic Wand, err, I mean Sonic Screwdriver at a computer for a few seconds, and destroy the entire alien fleet.  Won’t the Shakri just turn the cubes back on, or send another ship?  I don’t see how the Doctor reversing the neutron flow on the one ship would keep them from just sending another ship.  Unless he is counting on them just being too scared to send another fleet, but I mean they seemed pretty intent on destroying all humans.  They spend a whole year just getting us to relax after the cubes showed up, the Shakri don’t seem to have any problems playing the long game.

I hope to see more of the Shakri. If these guys really are the Gallifreyan Boogeyman, I would love to find out more about them.

One thing that really bugged me about the ending, was sure the Doctor reversed the Cubes and turned everyone’s hearts back on, but weren’t a lot of those people dead for several minutes at that point?  They act like everyone is ok, and go so far as to show the audience that everyone gets back up.  It is mentioned that millions of people are being nursed back to health after their heart attacks, but in one scene we see people just get back up off the ground and walk off like nothing happened.

All in all, not a bad episode, quite fun to watch, but the ending left much to be desired.  I think it suffered from having too much crammed into too little time.  You have a slow invasion of millions of Cubes, you have Amy & Rory’s personal lives, Amy & Rory’s life with the Doctor, U.N.I.T., and the Shakri; all in about 42 minutes.

Check out our “The Power of Three photo album

Next week will be the Mid-Season Finale “The Angels Take Manhattan.”