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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who blogging: “The Power of Three”

Doctor Who The Power of Three Matt Smith Karen Gillan

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode… or unless you don’t care if it’s spoiled for you. this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “A Town Called Mercy”)

(get my downloadable discussion guide to “The Power of Three” for teachers, librarians, and everyone else who needs to keep kids amused, engaged, and educated at DoctorWhoTeachersGuides.co.uk)


I’m guessing that all the malevolent aliens confer regularly, at least when they’re about to go after little ol’ planet Earth. They must: it’s the only way to explain why Earth never seems to suffer the same alien attack twice.

“Ah, I see no one has yet done the slow invasion of mysterious black cubes? We call dibs on that one.”

“You’re invading Earth? Good luck with that. Have you seen the track record on subjugating, enslaving, or exterminating those monkeys?”

Maybe there’s even some intergalactic Evil Law about not doing the same attack twice. Because as methods to wiping out a pest like humanity, is little black electroshock cubes really the best way to go? Why not make our sun go nova? Or drop a comet into the Pacific? Or if they want to hang on to that nice piece of planetary real estate and all the nice wildlife, there’s genetically engineered plague designed to kill only upright apes. Or they could just turn all our plutonium into jelly, so we can’t make nuclear rockets to get us off the planet. Or blockade the planet. And so on.

Okay, the slow invasion of black cubes was not the point of this episode. The point was the slowing down of the Doctor to Amy-and-Rory speed. Which of course he can’t stand. And of course it was funny to see him try to cope:

Doctor Who The Power of Three Matt Smith

I always imagine him watching Bugs Bunny cartoons when he’s bored, but this is a close second:

Doctor Who The Power of Three Matt Smith

“Where’s the Doctor?” –Rory

“On the Wii again.” –Amy

And, okay, Amy and Rory committing to life on Earth. I still do not understand why they don’t think of life with the Doctor as real. How is there any decision to make between hiding under Henry VIII’s bed

Doctor Who The Power of Three Arthur Darvill Matt Smith Karen Gillan

and sour milk in the fridge and no more washing tablets?

They don’t deserve to be his companions — it’s wasted on them.

Still they dither! Until Brian tells them to go with the Doctor again, for how could they not. (And why doesn’t Brian go with them? He would love it — the Doctor even invited him, and the Doctor never does that!) And off they go again, presumably abandoning their work and their friends once more after deciding they wouldn’t. Which, I presume, eliminates from contention the theory that the reason Amy and Rory would leave the Doctor is because they actually finally decided to just stay home like boring ol’ Earth people.

So what’s gonna happen? I’m sticking with my “they die” guess. Not that I want them to die — it just seems like the direction the narrative is going in… and just as Earth never gets invaded the same way twice, companions never seem to leave the same way twice. So Moffat can’t give them amnesia — that was Donna. He can’t strand them in another universe: that was Rose. He can’t just have them choose to move on — Martha did that.

So: death.

There are hints here that that’s what’s coming:

“Some left me. Some got left behind. And some… not many, but… some died. Not them, not them, Brian. Never them.” –the Doctor, referring to Amy and Rory

Or maybe them.

The Doctor talks here about how Amy’s face is seared into his hearts, just before he speculates that the way to destroy a human is to go for the heart. I bet that works for Time Lords, too.

Random thoughts on “The Power of Three”:

• Cubed credits!

Doctor Who The Power of Three

• Amy writes travel articles for magazines. Say what? So she’s a writer now? Just like that? No indication that she’s ever written a single word — formally, that is — before? Or is it just that people want to read the travel writing of a former model? *sigh*

• Ten years, on and off, for Amy and Rory with the Doctor? Where is she counting from? Not from little Amelia, I guess, because that would be more than ten years. So, from teenaged Amy, when she was a kissogram? That’s a long time…

• I officially like Kate Stewart — head of scientific research at UNIT — and want to see her more.

Doctor Who The Power of Three Jemma Redgrave

Cuz wait! Kate looks to be in her 40s, perhaps, maybe older but not younger (actress Jemma Redgrave is 47), which means that she would have already been born when the Doctor was hanging out at UNIT in the 1970s. So what’s her story? Who is her mother?

• Marketing campaign?

Doctor Who The Power of Three

For what? The new iCube?

• Speaking of marketing…

Doctor Who The Power of Three

How long before official Doctor Who-branded plain black cubes are for sale at £12.99 each?

• Brian Rory’s dad is awesome.

Doctor Who The Power of Three Mark Williams

Why doesn’t he want to travel with the Doctor?

• Are we sure there isn’t something going on between the Doctor and Rory?

Doctor Who The Power of Three Matt Smith Arthur Darvill

Cuz they sure are getting in a lot of kissing.

• For some reason, the Doctor has a pair of shorts belonging to British tennis champion Fred Perry. Hmmm…

• Didn’t anybody notice a little girl, all on her lonesome, dressed in the same clothes, hanging around a hospital waiting room for a year?

Doctor Who The Power of Three Matt Smith

I know the NHS has some issues, but c’mon

• Great quotes:

“I don’t know. And I really don’t like not knowing.” –the Doctor

“Within three hours, the cubes had a thousand separate Twitter accounts.” –Kate

“Banksy and Damien Hurst put out statements saying the cubes are nothing to do with them…” –Amy, leaving a voicemail for the Doctor

“Bit of a shock, Zygon ship under the Savoy, half the staff imposters. Still, it’s all fixed now, eh?” –the Doctor

“I’ve got officers trained in beheading. Also: ravens of death.” –Kate, on the secret UNIT base beneath the Tower of London
“I like her.” –Amy
“Yeah.” –the Doctor

“A kiss from a Lethbridge-Stewart! That is new.” –the Doctor, to Kate

(next: “The Angels Take Manhattan”)



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