Season 7 Episode 4 – The Power of Three

I HATE Being Patient! Patience is for wimps!

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Let’s get into the second to last episode with the Ponds as companions with “The Power of Three”. The Power of Three refers to both the combination of the Doctor, Rory, and Amy but also a cube. This episode has a lot of cubes. This time around I’m just going to take on the episode from beginning to end….kind of a commentary if you will. Here’s my blow by blow:

The intro scenes are getting weirder! This time it was less subtle. Yes they have been getting darker (foreboding?) but this time the time vortex really messes up the Tardis.

Once again, Rory’s dad, Brian, is so much fun. He just commends your attention. You find out that Amy and Rory have jobs when they aren’t with the Doctor. Amy writes travel articles for Magazines (influenced by her journeys through space and time no doubt) and Rory “heals the sick”. One travels and the other heals people like a “Doctor”…hmm. Amy also reveals that Rory and Amy’s journeys with the Doctor have taken up 10 years of their lives (on and off). This gives authors the ability to write novels and comics about their adventures during these other adventures for years! Also, it shows just how important the Ponds are to the Doctor.

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Sooooo….U.N.I.T. shows up. Don’t know who Unit is? That’s OK. U.N.I.T. hasn’t really been a part of Doctor Who since Steven Moffat took over and Matt Smith first showed up with a bow tie as the 11th Doctor. Suffice to say, Unit and the Doctor have a long running relationship that has changed over the years. In fact, one of the most important characters in the classic Who mythos was the leader of U.N.I.T. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart who we find out had a daughter, Kate, who is now in charge. If you want to know more about U.N.I.T., check out their Wikipedia entry here.

What is new is that U.N.I.T. is being run by their science division now as oppose to a strictly military operation. To me, this means they will be a true ally that the Doctor can get behind. Another fact that is unusual about U.N.I.T. is that this is a rare example of someone from the Doctor’s past who remembers him.

The cubes. Well, obviously I want one! I have a Tardis on my desk, a sonic screwdriver with me at all times in my backpack, and a fez in my comic book room (I know!)…and now I need one of these cubes. I’ll wait to get the official ones, though. Showing how people put them everywhere is just great! They would instantly become a part of our every day life if they just showed up. This was a great way to show how odd human behavior can be.

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I really enjoying seeing the Doctor try to sit still. Before the revelation to Amy of why he does what he does, I really felt that he just can’t sit still because he is incapable to sticking with anything for too long. He’s terminally impatient. He is always running from one disaster to the next monster never staying in place. That’s a lot of what this episode is about. Staying in place vs. endlessly jumping from one thing to the next. It’s why companions are temporary and the Doctor never changes his MO…they just aren’t built for the way he lives. The explanation of why the Doctor goes on his adventures and why he keeps coming back to Amy was easily my favorite part of the episode. It was exposition with heart. For all the cynical reasons people think that the Doctor does what he does here is the truth: he is an explorer!

I’ve been sensing that Amy and Ryan have become more and more distant from the Doctor. You get to see some of the reasons why in this episode. Amy’s friends can’t count on her and Rory’s colleges want a commitment from him for full-time service. It looks like they are finally going to have a normal life without him until the Doctor gives them an anniversary gift. Brian and the Doctor’s short exchange upon their return that is really telling. It made me really worry for the Ponds’ last episode next week.

The random things that the cubes do are brilliant. The fact that one plays the chicken dance loudly on a loop and has to be kept in a vault is something you would only see on Doctor Who. Eventually the plot is revealed. The Shackri serve: “The Tally”. They consider themselves the pest control of the universe. They have the ability to travel in time so they come back to Earth before they learn how to leave their solar system and attempt to wipe them out. The Doctor figures out how to fix everything quickly and they move on. The “Year of the Slow Invasion” ironically ended very quickly. It did seem to set up a larger story with this alien race’s intentions with humanity and I am sure we haven’t seen the last of them.

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The next episode doesn’t feel like the right way for Amy and Rory to go out. Everything was building to a head this season to determine how Amy and Rory would leave the show. This episode took the “out” they were building to and removed it. Strange. Well, next week is the last new Doctor Who Episode until Christmas. I can’t believe the wait is about to begin again!

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The cubes gathered every bit of information on humankind in the most elaborate way possible just to find out that our hearts are how you take us down?
  • The Doctor’s heart…crashing? What was that? He seemed somewhat find except of a pain and then the defibrillator brings him back? What was with him saying it wouldn’t work because he is a Timelord and then it just magically worked?
  • One of 7 places on earth with access to the alien ship just happens to be the hospital Rory works at. Really?
  • The system’s interface looked like a cross between Davos and the Emperor from Star Wars. He was far too 1 dimensional.
  • The way The Doctor solves the problem was terrible! He fixes everything in 20 seconds. It was very anti-climatic.
  • This should have been two parts. The story of the cube and the story of their real life didn’t merge together too well for me.
  • The immediate about face of everything Amy and Rory had been talking about due to Brian’s words at the end. It just felt rushed. They saved the world dozens of times before. How was this so much different?


Rory: What do you think we do when we are not with you?

The Doctor: I imagine mostly kissing.


Rory: I’ve got my job.

The Doctor: Oh yes, Rory, the universe is awaiting but you’ve got a little job to do.

Rory: It’s not little. It’s important to me. Look. What you do isn’t all there is.


Rory: Did real life just get started?

Amy: I like it.

Rory: So do I.


Brian: What happened to the other people who traveled with you?

Doctor: Some left me. Some got left behind. And some…not many but…some died.


Doctor: Whatever you are. This planet…these people are precious to me and I will defend them to my last breath.


Kate Stewart: Science leads, he always told me. He said he learned that…from an old friend.

Doctor: We don’t let him down. We don’t let this planet down.


Doctor: I’m not running away. But this is one corner of one country on one continent on one planet that’s the corner of a galaxy that’s the corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never staying the same for even a millisecond and there is so much SO MUCH to see, Amy. Because it goes so fast….I’m not running away from things. I’m running to them…before they flare and fade forever.

Amy: But why do you keep coming back for us?

Doctor: Because you were the first. The first face this face saw…and you were seared on to my hearts.


Shackri: Before The Closure comes The Tally. The Shackri serve The Tally.

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Short Box co-founder, Nick, is married to Sarah and their 1st child is on the way,
Nick uses terms like Comic Book Historian and Geekologist to describe himself but...those aren't real things...right?
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3 Responses.

  1. Kyle Wells says:

    I found this episode to be weak & I feel the writers might be just as tired of the ponds as companions as we are. I hope the next episode goes down better then this, my hopes/predictions for it is very simple. I figure one of the ponds dies not sure how or to what but one of them should die to break that bond with the doctor. But hey I’m excited for the the new companion and how she might make her debut.

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