Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Power of Three - A review by @cheezypeas (spoilers)

"You were the first. The first face this face saw and you were seared onto my hearts, Amelia Pond. I’m running to you and Rory before you fade from me.”

As we approach the climatic episode of the Pond's departure, the story lines of each episode appear to be increasingly focused on this, building the emotion and tension before the inevitable goodbye.

This penultimate episode encompasses this perfectly, with focus on a particular part the anatomy affiliated with emotion....

Brian Pond decides to wake Amy and Rory at an ungodly hour of the morning as the world has suddenly become riddled with little black cubes. No-one knows what they are, where they came from and indeed, if they are dangerous. One thing you can be sure of is that the Doctor will be involved one way or another.

Amy and Rory are at a crossroads as such. They lead a double life with the Doctor and are debating if they should concentrate on normality and leave behind the adventures for a more civil life, so the cubes couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time for making such important decisions.

Especially when the Doctor decides to stay with the Ponds whilst waiting for these seemingly innocuous boxes to do anything.

UNIT also get involved and is led by none other that the Brigadiers daughter; Kate Stewart. The scene where she explains to the Doctor she learnt everything from her father and the fondness in the Doctors face, clearly reminiscing over his adventures with The Brigadier is a touching and poignant moment. Lets hope we see a lot more of Kate in subsequent episodes.

The Doctor also has a heart to heart with Amy. He knows the Ponds are having second thoughts, and he explains just how much she means to him. This tender moment is a tragic nod towards what is to come.

The cubes do nothing for months and months. Brian is very keen to take the Doctors literal advice to watch them, which he does religiously all day and filming them overnight. he also voices his concern for Rory and Amy's safety, but the Doctor reassures him they will come to no harm. Again, another build in tension.

A year after their arrival on Earth, the cubes begin to activate, but all with different actions, Rory's plays a kind of peak a boo with him, Amy's stings her with tiny spikes and the poor Doctor has to dodge deadly rays from the one chasing him round the Pond's living room. Kate reports all cubes throughout the world are activating and causing havoc. She summons the Doctor to UNIT's Tower Bridge HQ via his psychic paper (the HQ is very Torchwood), where they are observing cubes in isolation, whilst Rory and his father go to the aid of hundreds of patients coming into the local hospital from cube 'attacks'.

The cubes have all ominously started a countdown, and although it seems nothing has initially happened after they reach '0' and open, soon people close to cubes start to fall to the floor, in a state of cardiac arrest. As the Doctor was in close proximity to a cube one of his hearts begins to fail, but the second keeps going whilst he discovers the cubes are emitting electricity purposefully to kill people. The team discover a cube transmitting information from the hospital Rory and his father are currently in so Amy and the Doctor go there to investigate.

En route, Brian gets kidnapped by 2 identical individuals in surgical masks with odd mouths, very reminiscent of The Empty Child. Rory chases them to an out of order lift which transfers him to a spaceship above earth.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Amy find a child with a face flashing blue like the cubes; the source of communication. The Doctor deactivates the connection she has with the cube with fatal consequences for his hearts. Cue the moment as a critical care nurse I cringed....

I'm sorry, I love Doctor Who so much but this moment was very far fetched. I could bore you with specific details but Amy didn't charge the defibrillator, paddles are more or less obsolete nowadays and its impossible to shock a heart that's lost its natural electrical activity back to life, a defibrillator only corrects an unstable electrical rhythm. Anyway, that's all my ranting. Still with me? :-)

A recovered Doctor and Amy board the spaceship and find Rory and Brian. They encounter a member of the Shakri, who see humans as parasites. They released the cubes onto earth as a form of pest control to wipe out the human race by defeating one of their most vulnerable organs; the heart. They plan to emit another electrical burst, but not before the Doctor uses his Sonic Screwdriver to reverse the electrical activity so the cubes 'defibrillate' those in cardiac arrest back to life.

The surge of power destroys the Shakri's ship, but the four hero's make it back to the hospital just in time. Brian persuades Rory and Amy keep travelling with the Doctor, even though he is painfully aware past companions have died.

All in all a really good episode, I did like the way you could link and relate the basic curiosity for the unknown (cubes) with the Ponds taste for adventure and the involvement of the heart as a powerful emotion and a emotive decision maker. I thought the ending was a bit rushed, disjointed and felt like it had been hurriedly put together but all in all a good episode. Even though I obviously saw the medical flaws it didn't spoil it, kind of added some extra entertainment! The addition of Alan Sugar's cameo doing The Apprentice was also funny. (Sugar with cubes = Sugar cubes! haha, oh never mind!)

I think it was a good call that the Doctor was more fun loving and tender in this one rather than the raging Doctor we have been exposed to a lot recently. It certainly demonstrates the calm before the inevitable 'angel' storm....

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