I will admit that last week’s Doctor Who did not thrill me as much as previous episodes. However, I am particularly happy with this week’s episode, appropriately titled “The Power of Three” (And no, that is not a Charmed reference).
But first, as River Song would say: Spoilers, darling. That is to say that the following contains episode spoilers.
“The Power of Three” begins with Amy and Rory living their “normal” mundane lives back in England. Then, millions of little black cubes appear suddenly all over the earth. The cubes seem plain, don’t really do anything and have all of the properties of a boring paperweight. But, of course, the Doctor fears the worse, and turns up on Amy and Rory’s doorstep.
The cubes still do nothing. The Doctor gets bored with mundane human life and goes off on an adventure, and yet he returns to spend time with his favorite married couple. He eventually admits that he misses them when they’re not around in the TARDIS. The cubes still haven’t done anything remarkable.
Fast forward months later and the do-nothing cubes have become part of people’s lives – those things that sit around the house that people tend to forget about. Except, they do eventually wake up (while the Doctor is playing tennis on the Wii no less). And they start scanning earth for information. There’s a countdown and soon after, people start dropping from heart attacks on the street.
Even the Doctor, who has spent some time in a cube’s company in UNIT headquarters, is affected. Fortunately, he has two hearts.
These men with big polygon-shaped holes on their face (think of one of those kids’ toys where you have to fit the right block shapes in the holes and that’s what it looks like) start taking people away, one of those people being Bryan, Rory’s dad. Rory discovers a portal to a spaceship currently in orbit around earth – the source of the cubes and the deaths.
Amy and the Doctor soon follow, and discover the perpetrator and figure out how to jump start people’s hearts back on earth.
The episode ends with Brian telling Amy and Rory that they SHOULD travel with the Doctor because who ever gets an opportunity like that? Life can wait. (Well, dur).
I’ll start with what I felt didn’t work for me this week. There was a lot that I liked about this episode, unlike last week’s rather uneventful hour. The mystery of the black cubes was quite enigmatic and wonderful and unpredictable. Where did they come from? What do they do? Why were they there? But then it’s all explained a little too deftly and without any real climax to the story.
There were also a lot of loose ends that seemed to be just red herrings. The little girl was never really explained and the villain (who never really existed in this plane of existence) pretty much got off scot-free. He was supposed to be terrifying, but the Doctor foils his plan with just a wave of the sonic screwdriver. We’re supposed to believe that’s that when the bad guy is described as that thing that Gallifreyans tell their children about to scare them into behaving? It almost felt as if some of this episode ended up on the cutting room floor.
What I did like, though, started with the nod to the Brigadier General, in the form of his daughter being the new head of UNIT. I was as equally pleased with that revelation as the Doctor was when he figured it out. I got a little teary-eyed when Smith looked at her with pride in his eyes.
I also loved the humor in this episode. Matt Smith gets to bumble around Amy and Rory’s house brilliantly, a man with way too much energy to sit still for any amount of time over 5 minutes. He’s a joy to watch, in all his beautiful Doctor frenzy.
This episode does work as a fitting pre-send-off for the Ponds, who, as we all know, will be gone after next week (really? it’s time already!?!?!?!). I honestly thought that their leaving would be just because they wanted to have a life of their own on earth. But as we saw this week, the Ponds really do want to be out there exploring with the Doctor.
So, obviously, I think that foreshadows that something bad is going to happen next week. Angels are taking over Manhattan, and unfortunately, I think maybe they’ll get the Ponds, too. I’m expecting the worse. River Song also finally returns – will she end up having to bury her parents?
I guess we’ll all know in a week. Although I’ve complained a lot about Amy’s character, she’s finally grown on me. I’m not ready to say goodbye to her and Rory, are you?