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The Power Of Three

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 4
First Broadcast2012/09/29 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeA Town Called Mercy
Next EpisodeThe Angels Takes Manhattan

A reasonable episode, a little slow in parts, but with lots of interesting bits. There are two themes intertwined: the coming separation of the Doctor from Amy and Rory; and the mystery of the small, black cubes and its resolution.

The main story is the slow invasion of billions of cubes. They just appeared one day and then they did nothing for months. Humanity became comfortable with them and took them into their homes and workplaces. They're everywhere. Eventually, after nearly a year, they activate briefly and shut down. It turns out they analysed humanity for its weaknesses. They reactivate and cause cardiac arrests in the humans near them. The Doctor follows the trail to a Shakri spaceship. They've come to rid the Universe of humanity before they colonise it. The Doctor reverses the cardiac arrests and destroys the ship. A very tame ending.

It was good to see Rory and Amy with substantial parts to play. The other theme of Amy and Rory choosing real life over their "Doctor life" plays out a lot in this episode. We find out why the Doctor keeps coming back to visit. He's running to Amy - the first face his 11th face saw, burnt into his hearts - before she fades. He's known for a while that Amy and Rory won't travel with him for much longer.

Rory's Dad Brian is an interesting and amusing character. Although concerned about the dangers of travelling with the Doctor, it is he who encourages Amy and Rory to go with the Doctor just when it seems they've chosen not to. I guess we'll find out soon if he'll live to regret that decision.

It was good to see UNIT back. Even better was the clever move of the head of UNIT being Kate Stewart - the daughter of the Brigadier. And seeing that they have learnt from experience and now let science lead the military.

A few interesting bits:

  • Amy accidentally married Henry VIII.
  • The Doctor gave away his hiding place to a British monarch by sneezing for the second time.
  • The opening credits featured cubes in the main logo. This has become a recurrent practice this season.
  • Flickering lights have featured in all the episodes so far.

A few quibbles:

  • There is no way the Doctor reanimated all the dead humans by reversing their heart attacks. For a start, they'd been dead too long. This was too simple and too preposterous.