The Power of Three (2012)

The Power of Three is a very unusual story. Written by Chris Chibnall this story is about little black boxes that suddenly appear and do nothing. Absolutely nothing for about a year and it’s at this point I start to wonder what on earth is going on. Where is the story? When is it going to begin? It unusually seemed to be taking its time and considering the show is around 42-43 minutes long it’s quite a brave thing to do.  It allows Matt Smith to do a bit of comedy as he gets to paint a fence, mow the lawn and do something with a football. It’s quite amusing and we get the return of Rory’s dad who has been the revelation of this series. It’s a shame that Rory is leaving because I could quite happily watch him in every episode. His best bit is when after four days, the Doctor finds that Brian is still watching the cube and he says “Time flies when you have your thoughts!”. There is a serious side to the story which is where the cubes are coming from but it’s quite a while before we get to find out.

The cubes are coming from Shakri (played by Steven Berkoff) and his plan is to rid humans so that they wouldn’t be able to spread to other worlds. It’s this aspect that I feel could have done with a bit more screen time as it did feel slightly rushed. That said I must credit the make up because it was quite done as effectively as it could have been but that would be my only real critiscm of the story. The story sees the return of UNIT for the first time since Matt Smith became the Doctor and that was nice because it seems odd that there are earth stories where UNIT don’t feature. I like the fact that they put a tie in to Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart by putting in his daughter (who I never knew existed but that doesn’t matter). It feels like the beginnings of a new era of UNIT as this didn’t seem like just a passing thing. I must admit I didn’t see it coming. I knew that Jemma Redgrave’s character worked for UNIT but I never clocked that she would be Lethbridge-Stewart’s daughter. Redgrave was very good as Kate and worked well Matt Smith. She was believable as a sort of scientific advisor type person and hopefully she will appear again.

The cameo hasn’t been a feature too much during the Moffat era but we got not one but two cameos with Professor Brian Cox and Lord Alan Sugar both appearing in their own little bit. I chuckled when Sugar turned up because I can’t quite believe that he agreed to appear. I wasn’t as keen on Brian Cox as I don’t really like him but I suppose at least he was only on screen for a few seconds.

Amy and Rory have sort of been footnotes during the previous two or three episodes so it was nice that they got more involved in the adventure. Here the story is effectively told from their prospective. Both Rory and Amy talk about settling down which seems to be another attempt to lay down their departure path. Rory’s job as a nurse seems logical because he was working in a hospital way back in ‘The Eleventh Hour’ but with Amy it seemed odd that she writes for magazines. When she talks about what she has done she doesn’t mention that she’s done modelling which is what she was doing in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ but that’s a minor quibble. Both Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan put in their best performances and never seem to be going through the motions which is sort of what they were doing in the previous stories. Matt Smith did well and seemed to be having fun with the more comedic side of the Doctor, he genuinely seems agitated at having to wait like humans do.

So after The Power of Three ended I must admit that it’s the second best story of the mini-series so far with Asylum still holding onto the top spot. It’s also the best Chris Chibnall script that he’s done. It’s a surprise that we have almost reached the end of the first run of this thirty-third series but I am pleased with the run of stories that we have had. Ok so some of them might have been flawed in some ways it hard to argue that they are terrible stories and the complex style of the previous series is fast becoming a distant memory. Good stuff.
Rating – 7/10
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