The Power of Three

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The Power of Three

It's more fun watching the Doctor get bored than those black cubes.

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I'm a little lukewarm on the next episode so far as the first weeping angels episode was excellently written and structured but the more recent two-parter involving River Song was mediocre, reducing them to a far more typical "monster". I'm hoping this one will be at-least good, though I don't expect it will be able to recapture what made the first special so it'll have to hit gold on it's other parameters like setting and supporting characters.

This episode was good, but I find it best not to look to closely at it. Because then you have to ask yourself, why weren't there bombs? Sure, it's a great way to let the Doctor make some jokes about having two hearts, and it lets him save everyone later, but I think bombs would have gotten the job done quite a lot easier. Also, the cubes would have known not to count down, because then people would have reacted negatively. I'm sure one of them had to have counted down in the test phase, and someone probably chucked it out the window.

This also marks the fourth out of four episodes where something (and some people) get blown up in the end. I wonder if that means something...

I liked the nod to the Brigadier but good god this episode was boring. I have mixed feelings about next weeks episode. On the one hand I am happy that the Ponds are going (Hopfully being killed so they cannot possible return) on the other had River Song is in the episode and I hate her more than a gunshot to the balls. Here is hoping that, with the Ponds gone, River will not turn up any more.

Yeah it was fun watching the Doctor get bored.

This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?
- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?
- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

The best parts involved the Doctor playin the Wii. The worst part was the fact that a group of people, completely innocent people too, get blown up when the ship explodes and no one seems to have noticed or cared. I have been fine with the doctor killin and doin all around horrible things to people as he's done that since I started watchin the show (totally a newvian), but it has always had some sort of breakin point. Genocide, all around massive douchebaggery, somethin that would push the doctor enough to do somethin awful. Killin innocent people crosses that line that makes my brain go buh wha and get really annoyed.

I guess we're supposed to assume the doctor checked their vitals and realized they were all dead some time in the few seconds he was offscreen durin that final part and then told Rory and Amy that the people were dead in the nonexistent time they were all offscreen together, I can not comprehend how it did not get brought up. At all.

The build up to the episode was good, and the pacing made me think it was going to be a two part episode... Then it was just over, after pressing a couple of buttons in a keyboard.
Aside from that I thought it was mediocre at best. Yes there were a couple of funny lines. But the flip-flopping of characters thoughts on if they should leave or not, casual free advertising (especially for apple), and the seemingly pointless shit at the hospital...
I can see why they might need one human to get a view of the biology, but more than one bloke and they dragged the doctor in and he thwarted them in the style of saving the world by switching a switch off... The only episodes I've. Disliked more were the ones with James Coddenham (who I despise, and they were shit anyway) and the one with Marc Warren...

Proverbial Jon:
This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?
- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?
- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

Yep. There seemed to be a lot of stuff in there that was just there to add tension, but it never actually meant anything.

Proverbial Jon:
This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?
- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?
- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

Yeah, that's exactly what I thought. I was absolutely loving the episode and completely expecting a "To be continued", but then it just suddenly ended.

...Wait, what?

Nothing about the Shakri was explained and I was really interested about all the stuff I assumed they were leaving for next time. It would have worked really well, set up the plot and tension in the first half than have all the direct, head on alien stuff in the second half. Instead the Doctor just fixes it, and it's all good.

shintakie10:
I guess we're supposed to assume the doctor checked their vitals and realized they were all dead some time in the few seconds he was offscreen durin that final part and then told Rory and Amy that the people were dead in the nonexistent time they were all offscreen together, I can not comprehend how it did not get brought up. At all.

Yeah, I think that's what we're supposed to assume, but we can only assume that because it's the only thing that makes sense. It's a real shame, since I really wanted to know why they were abducting them at all.

The Brigadier did turn up in a spin-off of NuWho, namely in the Sarah Jane Adventures, so at least he got in somewhere.

His daughter Kate was first mentioned in the (basically) fan production of Downtime by Marc Platt (first video then novelisation), that also featured previous companion Victoria Waterfield of the Second Doctor, and Professor Travis (played by Deborah Watling's father) from Abominable Snowman. Kate, however, was not as presented here, but given the same name has to at least be a nod.

(If you are going to bring up Mawdryn Undead, I think the most interesting piece of trivia related to that is that was supposed to be first Doctor's companion Ian Chesterton instead, making the maths teacher far more appropriate.)

But most annoying plot point for me: how long were those people out from the heart attack? Many of them would have straight up died, probably more brain damaged, and I don't care how tough you are, you do not just get up and walk away like someone merely pushed you over.

I rather liked it. The threat was really less interesting than the fact it forced the Doctor to move through time at the same speed as regular people for a good portion of the episode, and I enjoyed watching the Ponds dealing with the friction between regular life and 'Doctor life.' I suppose the resolution was rather rushed, but again, the enemies in this episode were really more of a plot device to emphasize the changing relationship between the Doctor and the Ponds, so I'll forgive that and their needlessly lengthy plot to destroy the Earth.

Proverbial Jon:

- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

I always assumed it was more of a case of "he can, sometimes, but he's not 100% sure how to fly the TARDIS and can often miss his mark by a few hours, months, or even years." Not to mention the fact that, even when he does, they still age, and people will start to notice after they stroll out of a room and come back in their 50s.

Suicidejim:
I always assumed it was more of a case of "he can, sometimes, but he's not 100% sure how to fly the TARDIS and can often miss his mark by a few hours, months, or even years." Not to mention the fact that, even when he does, they still age, and people will start to notice after they stroll out of a room and come back in their 50s.

Yeah, I actually realised that as I was typing it... but it's called the "power of three" and I wanted to point out three plot holes, damnit!

Suicidejim:

It's always the same lesson that needs to be learned in Dr Who; less is more. Perhaps the classic series did it better because they were under budget constraints and physically couldn't produce alien armies at the drop of a hat. "Dalek" was a very good episode and one of the best new episodes to feature Daleks. It emphasised the destruction and terror one single Dalek could induce by having only one Dalek. All subsequent stories have featured vast armies of the things and they fail to be scary in large numbers, a paradox that not even the Doctor can solve. The best stories have been the small scale, personal tales that require more thought and less CGI.

Susan Arendt:
After the Doctor defeated the Zygons and destroyed the Skarasen's control device, it went back to the water where it had made its home on Earth - Loch Ness

And if anyone can remember the episode School Reunion (2006) where Rose and Sarah Jane Smith (the companion in Terror of the Zygons) are arguing about their time with the Doctor, Sarah Jane wins by saying she has seen the Loch Ness monster.

Sarah Jane Smith: [Sarah Jane and Rose are once again squabbling over the Doctor] I had NO trouble with space-stuff. I've seen things you wouldn't believe!
Rose Tyler: Try me!
Sarah Jane Smith: Mummies!
Rose Tyler: I've met ghosts.
Sarah Jane Smith: Robots, lots of robots!
Rose Tyler: Slitheen, IN Downing Street!
Sarah Jane Smith: Daleks!
Rose Tyler: Met the Emperor.
Sarah Jane Smith: Anti Matter Monsters!
Rose Tyler: Gas Mask Zombies!
Sarah Jane Smith: Real life Dinosaurs!
Rose Tyler: Real life Werewolf!
Sarah Jane Smith: THE LOCH NESS MONSTER!
Rose Tyler: Seriously?

Proverbial Jon:
This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?
- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?
- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

I think the intention was to explore the characters a bit more and they just crow bared a plot around it, similar to the Van Gogh episode. The only thing I will point out is that the Dr can bring back Amy and Rory whenever he wants but they wont have unlived the time they spent with him. The Dr himself is 1200 years old but those years are not in strict chronological order, he has experienced those years spread out over all time.

I quite liked the episode overall, just because it gave us a better view of what the Ponds do when not with the Doctor. And the Doctor playing Wii Tennis. But the ending was...eh. Bringing everyone back to life felt like a bit of a cop out, because surely they'd be dead after their hearts failing for so long?

The cubes provided intel on the best way to take us out, finally settling on using electricity to disrupt our hearts. I'm not entirely sure why it took so long - one season of any medical drama will tell you out how fragile the human heart is.

Well technically it only took them a few moments. The rest of the months were spent making sure they were taken to every facet of human life. Then they had a few moments of activity where they scoped us out before the countdown

ritchards:
The Brigadier did turn up in a spin-off of NuWho, namely in the Sarah Jane Adventures, so at least he got in somewhere.

His daughter Kate was first mentioned in the (basically) fan production of Downtime by Marc Platt (first video then novelisation), that also featured previous companion Victoria Waterfield of the Second Doctor, and Professor Travis (played by Deborah Watling's father) from Abominable Snowman. Kate, however, was not as presented here, but given the same name has to at least be a nod.

(If you are going to bring up Mawdryn Undead, I think the most interesting piece of trivia related to that is that was supposed to be first Doctor's companion Ian Chesterton instead, making the maths teacher far more appropriate.)

But most annoying plot point for me: how long were those people out from the heart attack? Many of them would have straight up died, probably more brain damaged, and I don't care how tough you are, you do not just get up and walk away like someone merely pushed you over.

Did the Brig actually appear in SJA, or was he just mentioned? I've never actually seen SJA, so I may have incorrect info.

And I didn't know that about Ian! That would make more sense, actually. Thanks for sharing. :D

Going to quote myself from when I watched the episode because I'm an egomaniac it's the more accurate account of my impressions than me a week later.

Don't let it fool you, I did like the episode, I was just fustrated with it.

Scorched_Cascade:
I really tried to like this episode and I do other than one simple thing that made the first aid trainer in me cringe and rage.

AED'S (Defibrillators) DO NOT WORK THAT WAY

And this is excusing the fact that these people have been medically dead (their hearts stopped beating, they weren't getting oxygen around their systems and they suffered brain death) and lying in the street for at least 10 minutes before they were magicked back to life, a stretch but it is a Kid's show I guess (the first time I've had to use that excuse for Doctor Who since the new series) and the possibility that a few of these people might have been wet or standing near metal or had other's touching them at the time (see: why the Navy can't use defibs on ships)

A Defib works by stopping the heart not starting it. Cardiac arrest is the heart beating wildly to no coordinated rhythm and the defib "kills" the heart by shocking it. The heart then begins to beat normally by itself if it works at all.

It has absolutely no effect on anyone whose heart has stopped.

It's fustrating to see the same myths that I spent hours teaching out of my students perpetrated by the nationally funded tv channel on a popular program. This is dangerous misinformation.

./rant over.

Susan Arendt:
The Power of Three

It's more fun watching the Doctor get bored than those black cubes.

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I've lost interest in the Doctor since Tennant left, but these overviews are a great way to keep up to date, loving the information about nods to DW lore. thank you

Pallindromemordnillap:
I quite liked the episode overall, just because it gave us a better view of what the Ponds do when not with the Doctor. And the Doctor playing Wii Tennis. But the ending was...eh. Bringing everyone back to life felt like a bit of a cop out, because surely they'd be dead after their hearts failing for so long?

The cubes provided intel on the best http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/process_add_bookmark/6.389476way to take us out, finally settling on using electricity to disrupt our hearts. I'm not entirely sure why it took so long - one season of any medical drama will tell you out how fragile the human heart is.

Well technically it only took them a few moments. The rest of the months were spent making sure they were taken to every facet of human life. Then they had a few moments of activity where they scoped us out before the countdown

But why wait a year? It was well established early on that pretty much everyone had one after only a few days. And why do a bunch of crazy stuff and have a countdown? All that would accomplish would be to make people aware of them again and try to get rid of them, something that is completely counter to the plan. Why is only a third of the population affected? And how would a "second wave" help, now that everyone knows the cubes are dangerous and to be avoided?

I know you can poke holes in just about any Doctor Who episode, but this one was ridiculous. Between that, the wonky direction, and the rushed ending (let me wave my sonic screwdriver and now all the people suffering from cardiac arrest for an hour are somehow living AND the alien spaceship will blow up), this whole episode was a mess.

Susan Arendt:
Did the Brig actually appear in SJA, or was he just mentioned? I've never actually seen SJA, so I may have incorrect info.

Yeah he did actually appear in the SJA.

OT: A great episode for 40 minutes, let down by the rushed ending. More forshadowing of the Doctors death me thinks? The Tally, the fields of Trenzalore, the "fall of the Eleventh", the question etc, all connected?

Susan Arendt:

Did the Brig actually appear in SJA, or was he just mentioned? I've never actually seen SJA, so I may have incorrect info.

And I didn't know that about Ian! That would make more sense, actually. Thanks for sharing. :D

He did appear in SJA, didn't watch it myself either but here is a clip

he appears about 1:35

Proverbial Jon:
This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Yeah, it did feel rushed at the end. I also think that contributed to the new baddie not being perceied as much of a threat - something I hope they'll remedy if we meet them again.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?

She was the control hub/infiltrator.

- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?

No idea. They were pretty disappointing.

- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

That wasn't the issue. The problem Amy and Rory face is that they still age while time-traveling (as ya do). If they go on a 7-week adventure and get returned a minute later (which happens in the episode if you listen to Rory's father), they're still 7 weeks older. Imagine if every single time they went with the Doctor they averaged 5 days on an adventure, and that The Doctor came around twice a month. At that rate they're aging 30% faster than everyone else they know.

It's a real problem because they would physically be 40 while everybody thought they were about 30 years old. If they kept it up, they'd look 80 while being "60", and Rory would probably be dead. Amy would die when everyone thinks she's 65 - almost two decades before the average in England, despite her body being closer to 90.

The Doctor is essentially sentencing them to a "premature" death.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

Agreed. I thought it was good (I haven't been disappointed by this season) - but at the same time the last 10% was subpar. Admittedly, it's usually mid-season where they start rolling out the episodes which really draw me in - so hopefully a very good episode is still ahead.

SciMal:

Proverbial Jon:
This episode's ending has to be the most disappointing out of the lot. I was really enjoying the first 40 minutes of this episode and when it got to the "5 minutes left" mark I was expecting it to go into "to be continued" but instead we get a hastily thrown together ending in which the most interesting element is glossed over in minutes.

Yeah, it did feel rushed at the end. I also think that contributed to the new baddie not being perceied as much of a threat - something I hope they'll remedy if we meet them again.

Then there's the plot holes:

- What's the point of the little girl in the hospital?

She was the control hub/infiltrator.

- What were those cube-faced men and why were they taking humans onto the ship?

No idea. They were pretty disappointing.

- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

That wasn't the issue. The problem Amy and Rory face is that they still age while time-traveling (as ya do). If they go on a 7-week adventure and get returned a minute later (which happens in the episode if you listen to Rory's father), they're still 7 weeks older. Imagine if every single time they went with the Doctor they averaged 5 days on an adventure, and that The Doctor came around twice a month. At that rate they're aging 30% faster than everyone else they know.

It's a real problem because they would physically be 40 while everybody thought they were about 30 years old. If they kept it up, they'd look 80 while being "60", and Rory would probably be dead. Amy would die when everyone thinks she's 65 - almost two decades before the average in England, despite her body being closer to 90.

The Doctor is essentially sentencing them to a "premature" death.

I loved the concept of this story and the character interactions are where it shone the brightest, but damn was it ever wrapped up in some mediocre plot contrivances.

Agreed. I thought it was good (I haven't been disappointed by this season) - but at the same time the last 10% was subpar. Admittedly, it's usually mid-season where they start rolling out the episodes which really draw me in - so hopefully a very good episode is still ahead.

A question about the aging thing. Why is Rory aging at all? Isnt he still a plastic guy thing or have they completely ignored that whole plot line?

shintakie10:

A question about the aging thing. Why is Rory aging at all? Isnt he still a plastic guy thing or have they completely ignored that whole plot line?

They have mentioned it the first episode of the current run, but you are right Rory shouldn't age.

I thought it was an alright episode, but the plotholes like the girl and the mouth men and the people they let asplode did take me out of it.

I liked the Doctor on the Wii, and his little manic energy display really did fit the character though. And as you mentioned, seeing what the companions do when they're not companion...ing...ing... is fun.

I'm undecided on whether or not I like this, but I did notice the plot's similarity to one of my favorite Slayer songs.

The Human Strain! Reach out in vain! Drink the tainted blood, from the only child...

Fun to play that over the ending.

How does Rory still have his job? It states in the episode that Amy and Rory are gone for months at a time, yet Rory is a nurse, so the hospital really needs him and if he is away for months why don't they fire him for someone more reliable?

Besides, do either of them need to work? They have no mortgage to pay on the house and Amy owns a perfume range. Plus they don't have to pay for food or bills for a good part of each year.

It's really interesting reading these little articles every week. The generation gap between New-Who and Classic-Who fans is quite striking. Susan's reviews seem to be looking at each episode as slightly worse than the last with 'Asylum' being a clear winner as the best so far. While personally (as a New-Who) I found 'Asylum' to be a very weak episode (good individual points but overall not very good) with each subsequent week getting gradually better. This being the best so far.

But my, my. How good does next week look?
1. River is FINALLY back.
2. Angels.
3. Proper Angels (timeline altering, not murderous).
4. Baby Angels!
5. It's the last one, something worthwhile has to finally happen.

shintakie10:

A question about the aging thing. Why is Rory aging at all? Isnt he still a plastic guy thing or have they completely ignored that whole plot line?

Nope. He was plastic during the Pandorica plotline, but the end of that Season ended with The Doctor utilizing the Pandorica and Amy to re-create reality. One side-effect was that Rory was re-created as Amy saw him; human, not plastic.

However, due to timey-wimey/power-of-the-human-soul stuff he still remembers the entire 2000 year span he protected the Pandorica, and Amy currently understands what happened - but Rory is human.

Proverbial Jon:
- Why can't the Doctor always bring Amy and Rory back a minute after they left? He has a time machine and it has been proven that he can do it.

This bugged my so much. I even got a sense that he did that when in the last episode Amy said something like "Our friends will notice we're ageing faster than them"

Other than that I liked the episode up till the end. I like the idea of the Shakri and would actually like to see more of them in an episode where they can have more development instead of just being there.

my favourite episode of Dr. Who this season. It reminded my of the seasons where the Dr was grounded on earth.

JaceValm:
How does Rory still have his job? It states in the episode that Amy and Rory are gone for months at a time, yet Rory is a nurse, so the hospital really needs him and if he is away for months why don't they fire him for someone more reliable?

Besides, do either of them need to work? They have no mortgage to pay on the house and Amy owns a perfume range. Plus they don't have to pay for food or bills for a good part of each year.

It's stated in the episode that Rory was working part-time. Though I don't think "part-time" means "come in and work whenever you like"...

Also Amy quit her modeling job. I'm not sure on how the contract works, but they might have stopped any future payments once they took her posters down, seeing as they're no longer using her image.

Also bills crop up even if you're not around. Trust me on that T_T

SciMal:
However, due to timey-wimey/power-of-the-human-soul stuff he still remembers the entire 2000 year span he protected the Pandorica, and Amy currently understands what happened - but Rory is human.

In the Season 6 DVD set, there is a set of episodes called Night and the Doctor. In one of them, the Doctor and Amy talk about how Amy remembers the other time line. The Doctor says that's just natural, time is being rewritten all the time (sic) and that's why people remember stuff they didn't do.. because they did in another time line.

A cheat, really, but at least Moffat gave it a go.

See also: Amy remembering the collapsed timeline from Wedding of River Song.

Susan Arendt:
It's more fun watching the Doctor get bored than those black cubes.

Must say Susan, thank you for doing this series, as a very-new watcher this has been a very entertaining and informative feature.

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