Saturday, September 22, 2012

Doctor Who - The Power of Three Review (Few Spoilers)

Doctor Who
The Power of Three
By Chris Chibnall

"Through the looking glass."

Here we are with the penultimate story with The Ponds before their big goodbye next week.  Well The Power of Three was the one story that we did not know much about while we knew quite a bit about the other four to make some good assumptions.  Finding out that Chris Chibnall wrote it I did have very strong reservations about The Power of Three and was hoping he would redeem himself from the second story this season, which he wrote, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.  Yes, I was truly hoping for something far better than that abomination to one’s eyes and mind.  So read on to see what I thought of The Power of Three.

Well first off I give the production crew high props for attempting something different.  Here we have a light hearted story that tells the life of the Ponds for the better part of a year in their normal lives.  A year that is also shared with the Slow Invasion and why there are black cubes all over the world.  Well the black cubes are only minor and seem to be an afterthought at times.  This story was mainly about the Ponds and what they more or less do when The Doctor isn’t around.

For the most part I thought this story was entertaining with some good moments in it.  For one I liked the reintroduction of UNIT and the introduction of Kate Stewart.  I thought this was a nice nod by Steven Moffat to introduce her as a character to help bridge the gap made vacant by the passing of Nicholas Courtney.  Hopefully they keep her around and have more stories that include UNIT and hopefully be as good as the UNIT stories of years pass.

With that said I think I enjoyed the stuff featuring the Ponds the best.  Well mainly the mad dash year where they go off with The Doctor and have adventures and then come back.  That to me was the best part of the story.  I like the Henry the 8th stuff and the part in passing about the Zygons seemed like it would have made a better story.  I found those sequence’s to be pretty good and the strong point of the story.

What was really poor and pretty disappointing was the whole reveal of the villain and the reason behind the cubes and how easily they were dealt with.  It appears the main villain was the Shakri who The Doctor thought was only a bedtime story creation by Timelord parents.

Apparently he is working for the Tally and has to eliminate the humans before they get too powerful and contaminant the universe. Ok, sure, but why take a year?  Why send down the cubes to only give people heart attacks?  Why have a countdown on the cubes at all and then why have them open up to reveal nothing at all.  Couldn’t they have just send out a signal without all that fanfare?  This story had me scratching my head at times especially with the orderlies with cubes in their mouth.  What was their purpose and why were they kidnapping patients?  Got me, wish that was explained a little bit better.

What I did have a big problem with is how easily The Doctor saved the day with the sonic screwdriver.  Please can we have the Doctor save the day the old fashion way by using his wits and rewire something or appeal to the bad guy’s human side?  It just seems so easy for the writer to just use the sonic screwdriver as the answer.  To me it just smacks of laziness and is a used to much as the solution to problems.  In fact it is used way to much lately and I know these writers are cleverer than that to use that crutch.

So far series 7 has been mediocre. We had a pretty good start with Asylum of the Daleks and a really crappy story with Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.   We had a decent story with A Town Called Mercy and now we have a story in The Power of Three which could have been better.  I’m sure next week’s story will be better but you know there is going to be that one big embarrassing Moffat scene in there that he will think is great and we will be shaking our heads at.

So The Power of Three while enjoyable was not a well written story that had too many plot holes in it that could have been thought out better. Let’s just hope Chris Chibnall doesn’t write anymore for Doctor Who.
Grade C+


  1. BTW - has there ever been a female that didn't fall in love with the Doctor at first sight?(AKA Kate Stewart) I can see her always wanting to meet the Doctor but yet again the writing team boil complex emotion down to the basic " I love, lust for you."

  2. Sounds like it's time to destroy the sonic screwdriver again.

    I also thought this season was rather blah. This series was so overhyped and so many people thought it was the best thing ever and I was hoping it was going to be several "Blink"s in a row - and it's not. It's good but nothing to get *this* excited over.

    I liked this story too because of the Ponds. The whole thing had a nice whimsy about it until, like you said, we got the villain reveal.