The Power of Three
Written by: Chris Chibnall
Directed by: Douglas Mackinnon
Guest stars: Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Mark Williams (Brian Williams), Steven Berkoff (Shakri), Selva Rasalingam (Ranjit) and Alice O'Connell (Laura)
"The day the Earth got cubed. The year of the slow invasion. The time the Doctor came to stay."
There have been many ways to invade the Earth, and the Doctor has seen them all. Or so he always thought - and then the human race wakes up one morning and discovers the world has been overrun by... small black cubes. Which then proceed to... do nothing much at all. A plan is afoot, humanity is endangered - but by what and how and, above all, when? For the first time in his world-saving career the Doctor has to call upon the least of his virtues: patience. And the Ponds face something possibly more terrifying than any world-ending apocalypse - the Doctor is moving in!
Not just a tale of alien intervention, this is also the story of a nice young couple who happen to have a bow-tied lunatic from space staying in their spare room. It's halfway between an alien invasion movie and The Man Who Came to Dinner.
"The Power of Three" has now been aired in the UK, here is around-up of the reactions and reviews from around the web, for those of you who haven't seen it yet beware as this will all be considered SPOILERS.
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The Power of Three had an overnight audience of 5.49 million viewers, a share of 25.6% of the total TV audience.
"The Power of Three" Reviews....
Radio Times has The Power of Three review
You don’t need to be the most clued-up Doctor Who fan to have guessed that Kate, the new head of Unit, had to be related to Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (former Unit CO and friend to many previous Doctors), but I wanted confirmation from the horse’s mouth....
Guardian Unlimited has The Power of Three – series 33, episode four
Not beating about any bushes, I bloody loved this episode. You wouldn't want the show to be like this every week any more, but here was a nostalgic run through the all the best bits of the Russell T Davies era. We got a modern-day Earth-invasion story, complete with a comedy parent, a truckload of continuity nods, and newsreel cameos from Professor Brian Cox and Lord Sugar. Yes, it also had the weaknesses of some RTD adventures – the ending was so underdeveloped that even a magic button couldn't explain it – but The Power of Three was, in every sense, completely gorgeous; RTD spiked through with the swagger that is the hallmark of the Steven Moffat series....
TV.com has "The Power of Three" Review: Time Travel and Other Drugs
"I feel like there are definite parallels between time travel and drug addiction in Doctor Who—like a drug, time travel is fun, it feels naughty, it opens your mind to new and bizarre things, but it wears on your body and your psyche. Regular life doesn't seem to hold a candle to drug-/time travel-enhanced life, and certainly can't fit into your regular schedule, so you end up neglecting regular life while you chase the dragon. After a while, even if you're still getting something out of your addiction, you're just exhausted by the whole thing. (Note: Drugs are bad.) You cannot invite getting high/the Doctor to your quiet night at home! ..."
The Telegraph has Doctor Who, episode 4: The Power of Three, review
Chris Chibnall’s second Doctor Who script this year was fortunately less of a romp than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, but was still something of an uneven affair, only really developing after the mysterious cubes began their stuff in the second half of the episode.....
SFX has Doctor Who 7.04 “The Power Of Three” Review
Unusually telling the story more from the perspective of the Doctor’s companions, Chibnall’s vaguely John Wyndham-esque script is all about setting up the mystery of what these cubes are and what they want. There’s so much suspense (well, in part), and so many questions regarding the cubes, that the ending was potentially always going to be a let down. And it is. A bit of sonic screwdriver waving and you’re done: it’s resolutions like this that almost make you think John Nathan Turner was right in getting rid of the thing. “The Power Of Three” is like the set-up for a post-apocalyptic second part that never happens; no “Utopia” here....
WhatCulture! has Doctor Who Review – The Power of Three
Sometimes an episode can suffer from being over-ambitious and yet the parts which work work so well that I’m prepared to forgive a bit of muddle. School Reunion never does anything interesting with its alien invasion plot beyond a bit of amusing undercover work from the Doctor in the first five minutes. But the return of Sarah Jane and K9 and the amazing meeting-of-companions past and present means that the underdeveloped melodrama never gets in the way of the relationship story which delivers handily....
The Independant has Review of Doctor Who ‘The Power of Three’
The audience was treated to another Chris Chibnall story but this week was of a much higher quality than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. So after all these exhilarating journeys across time and space, the audience were left earthbound this week with a story set on our very own planet.....
IGN TV has “The Power of Three” Review
Yep, it's fair to say that good things really do come in threes. And for the Pond's penultimate adventure, it seemed only fitting that we slowed things down to explore the impact The Doctor's had on their life, and - surprisingly - them on his.....
Den of Geek has The Power Of Three review
It feels like it’s been a long time since we had an episode like this. A big global threat, cameos from BBC newsreaders, a bearded face from a popular reality TV programme*? Had the Tardis taken us back, we wondered, to the Russell T Davies years? Well, yes and no. It captured the feel of slightly older Doctor Who, along with the continual build up to events that are very much concerning the current era of the show. Plus, it added in a bit of Time Lord stuff too. Not bad for 42-ish minutes....
Doctor Who News - Reviews has The Power of Three
In the past, Chris Chibnall may not always have won fans’ admiration. The fact that series one of Torchwood had to be filmed when it basically wasn’t 100% ready didn’t help his cause, and The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood also have their detractors, though Chibnall’s scripts there were hardly well served by last-minute budgeting issues and poor design choices. If there’s blame to be attributed then I suspect weak exec production should attract more commentary rather than Chibnall’s output alone....
HeroPress has The Power Of Three
The Power Of Three itself was a lot of fuss over nothing. In the near future millions over black cubes appear overnight on Earth. People - including The Doctor and The Ponds - are fascinated by them. But they do nothing. They do nothing for almost a year. Then suddenly they activate for a short while, go dormant and then start a countdown (from seven)....
TARDIS Musings has The Power of 3 - A Life Less Ordinary...
There have been almost constant criticisms from old school fans that "Nu-Who" never stops for breath, that there isn't the time and space for character development in the way you could with an old 4 or 6 parter.
It's a view I've never subscribed to. I have become emotionally connected with characters throughout the last 6 and a bit series - and not just the companions. I've shed a tear at deaths and departures (lord knows what state I'm going to be in this time next week)....
planetzogblog has Doctor Who 3.4: The Power of Three review
For a story that focuses on the characters rather than any monsters of the week – for most of the story it’s just small inert black boxes, and the characters talking about them and other things – it’s not that much of a problem that the actual villain mastermind plotline that closes the story is almost incomprehensible....
The Examiner has 'Doctor Who' reminisces with 'The Power of Three'
Throughout the episode one senses a feeling of dread. Knowing that there is only one more story with Amy and Rory, sadness is seeping more and more into every episode. The Doctor explains that he is not always running from something, he is running to something before it disappears. He understands that everything has an end and he will continue his travels leaving those that he loves behind....
Brian of Morbius has Review: ‘The Power of Three’
Companions are funny things. In the Whoniverse they’re usually dazzled by the Doctor’s charm and bravado and travel with him until they get sick of it. And then they leave, seldom to be seen again, at least until the Big Finish contract is worked out. Life with the Doctor becomes an all-or-nothing enterprise, an experience to be savoured, a gap year to end all gap years, and it is taken somewhat for granted that it should be done all in one go. Essentially, there is life pre-Doctor, then there is life with-Doctor, and then there is life post-Doctor (unless you happen to be Adric). The notion that one could have a life that is both at once has seldom been explored in any real depth, until today....
"The Power of Three" Extras....
Doctor Who Cube by Carlosthellama
Bleeding Cool has Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: The Power Of Three
"I’ve never really warmed to anything Chris Chibnall has written on Doctor Who, or on Torchwood. This, however, was a pretty decent Doctor Who which skips over a massive cop out quite nicely and moves on. But everything before that, the use of the cubes, the passing of time, the way people just do things and the wonderful Brian made this my favourite episode of the season so far. Just, don’t mention the ending. Okay, I may do later...."
Francesco Francavilla's Sketch Blog has The Power Of Three" [Ep.7.04]
"As promised, here's my minimalist poster for the new Doctor Who's episode "The Power of Three" aired tonight on BBC America. This was one of my favorite WHO episodes in recent history: really cool concept, spooky cubes, and without getting in any spoilers, it had something that reminded me of Twilight Zone, and even if the whole episode was Twilight-Zone-y, I am referring to a specific TZ episode. Extra points to who guesses which episode..."
IGN entertainment has Doctor Who Videocast: "The Power of Three"
Join IGN's crack team of Doctor Who experts as they examine the fourth episode of season seven.
"The Power of Three" Podcasts...
Tin Dog Podcast has TDP 267: Smith Yr3 Ep 4 - The Power Of Three
The episode's title was originally reported as "Cubed", but was later announced as "The Power of Three". Chris Chibnall had previously written the Doctor Who episodes "42" (2007), "The Hungry Earth"/"Cold Blood" (2010), and the second episode of the series, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"....
DWO WhoCast has Episode 262
Dave and Thomas discuss fence painting and mention The Power of Three while the American ladies, Elizabeth and Michelle, look at how Who looks at America...
The Doctor Who Podcast has Episode 164 – review of The Power of Three
Writer Chris Chibnall’s second story for Series 7 – The Power of Three goes under the DWP microscope this episode. Ian and James are in the review seats this episode and are joined later on by a mysterious Leeson in a time-eddy. Really.
Blogtor Who has The Power of Three audio commentary
Included for your listening pleasure is the Blogtor Who audio commentary for Doctor Who Series 7, Episode Four, The Power of Three. Recorded by Cameron K McEwan and Alexander J McKinnon, the commentary can be enjoyed whilst watching the story - though, that's not essential.
Impossible Podcasts has Doctor Who Commentary – 7.4 ‘The Power of Three’
Caleb, Sarah and Nat are back on earth for the year of the slow invasion…that’s new! The Doctor moves in with the Ponds as small black cubes appear all over the world. We discuss UNIT: The Next Generation, musical deadly cubes and the return of Brian!
Tim's Take On has Episode 139 (Dr Who: The Power Three review)
My first thoughts on the rather good Dr Who episode The Power of Three, in which we witness the oddest invasion yet by thousands of black cubes and we meet the Brig's daughter.
"The Power of Three" Tweets...
Monday 24th Updates
Another interesting episode, with lots of great ideas, but not necessarily adding up to the sum of their parts...
The Power of Three has a few clever ideas and I actually wondered for the first ten minutes if this might turn out to be a good story. I really liked the way this episode deconstructed previous Earth-set stories. When Sarah Jane Smith got involved in an Earth-set story, she would drop everything and help out the Doctor.
As many of you have mentioned in the comments over the weeks, the impending departure of Amy and Rory has been made even more tragic by these last few excellent episodes of Doctor Who — because it’s never easy to say goodbye to something as special as what these three share on screen. In some ways, it almost feels like a mean tease, does it not? How great are they together?! Yes, they truly are. Oh, by the way, enjoy it while it lasts, suckers
The female narrator has taken pride of place in the opening of many Doctor Who episodes since 2005, significantly with Rose Tyler's 'this is the story of how I died' introduction to Doomsday, but it has become something of a precedent in this year's five episode run. We've already had Darla's paean to the death and resurrection of the Doctor in Asylum of the Daleks and the young girl's recollections about both the Doctor and the Gunslinger that bookended A Town Called Mercy.
5 things I learned from The Power of Three
The Three Who Rule took almost as long to talk about “The Power of Three” this week as the (admittedly truncated) episode itself took to play out on UK television screens. So what did Steven, Warren and Chris think of the slow invasion of the world by an Ikea fever dream? Did they enjoy the emergence of a new generation of UNIT leadership or the strengthening of emotional bonds between the Doctor, the Ponds, and Pond Sr? Or did they think it was all a load of stapled-on Gallifreyan fairy tales sealed by a bit of wand-waving? You’ll just have to listen to find out! Also, don’t miss stats, more stats, arguments about the canonical nature of Bill Baggs videos, pedanting, prequeldanting, and more!
Despite this week’s title, the crew is down to two as Bobby and Brian team up to tackle the latest entry in Series 7. Whether it’s bantering back and forth, comparing the show to NPR or reading out listener emails, it’s as good a time as any. So sit back, relax and listen to the only podcast that also travels in time!
Chris Chibnall continues his good work on Doctor Who, after penning the current season-best “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” a couple weeks ago. With the Ponds set to leave the show after next week’s “The Angels Take Manhattan”, the PtB wisely chose to spend their penultimate episode slowing things down and examining their relationship with each other, the Doctor, and life in general. Unfortunately, this interesting character piece is set around an alien invasion plot that, though it begins quite intriguingly, ends with a confused whimper, rather than a bang.
All week, the press have been touting tonight's episode as reminiscent of the Russell T. Davies era – which, let's face it, is hardly a ringing endorsement. As it happens, they were mostly right.
Amy and Rory are going on about their everyday lives, away from the Doctor. One morning millions of small, featureless black cubes appear all over Earth. The cubes are invulnerable and present no apparent danger. A year goes by and the world forgets about them, which is exactly what the cubes want...
I don't know whether it is coincidence that The Power of Three involves cubes, which in mathematical terms is Anything to the Third Power (or put another way: the power of three) and/or that it can also refer to the THREE Main Characters (The Doctor, Amy Pond, and Rory XYZ) working in tandem (the power of three).
Somebody needs to remind Chris Chibnall that he’s supposed to write the Doctor Who episodes people don’t really like. He’s written two of the last four stories and I’ve really enjoyed them both. What is that about? With both of his Series 7A episodes, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and “The Power of Three,” he’s given us possibly the strongest outings for Amy and Rory we’ve seen since, probably, “The Girl Who Waited” or “The God Complex.” A while is what I’m saying.
Amy and Rory are struggling to come to grips with their unusual lifestyle. They are both a married suburban couple and a pair of time and space travelling champions who occasionally cross swords with nasties who threaten all of creation. Whereas the modern Doctor Who has repeatedly hammered home the message that the pedestrian lifestyle is unacceptable, the Ponds are realizing that it’s what they want.
It’s The Power of Three! Not only this week’s Doctor Who episode, but also in this episode of Police Box Paradox as we have Kyle to complete our merry trio. They discuss this weeks episode, its connection to the previous episodes and where it ranks. Michael throws out some theories, and the guys have some Twitter interaction.
After all the excitement of mad old Daleks, cyborg gunslingers and prehistoric lizards (incidentally, where do you suppose the Doctor took those dinosaurs? Back to the cretaceous period? Surely they’d have ended up being scooped up by the Silurians again, which would form a history loop of some kind and… yeah, you’re right, let’s get on with the recap), it’s time for Amy and Rory to kick back and enjoy a few home comforts.
This week, Mr Chris and Mr Paul have a gander at that new episode of Doctor Who what was on telly. Chris Chibnall's "The Power of Three".
Doctor Who ‘The Power of Three’ Series 7 Episode 4 Review – Spoilers!
"Uh-oh. It's Chibnall again." Despite my more-optimistic-than-any-previous-episode reaction to the next-time trailer for The Power of Three, I couldn't help wincing a bit and bracing for the worst when I realized it was another entry by one of my all-time least favorite writers. I'm happy to report, though, that I didn't hate it.
This week after the Motes of News, Stylin' Steve dives right in to reviewing The Power of Three, followed by an Ice Warrior facing a Weeping Angel in the semi finals of The Death Zone
I’m going to miss The Ponds when they’re gone. I love Amy and Rory. I love them separately, but I love them even more together, and Chris Chibnall, both in the “Pond Life” series of minisodes and in this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Power of Three,” does an amazing job of showing just how wonderful Amy and Rory are as a couple and how, when joined by the Doctor, there is nothing that can stop them.
The first half of Series Seven is drawing to a close, but not before an in-depth look at the character of the Ponds. In this week’s episode, we take a look at the Eleventh Doctor story, “The Power of Three”.
Doctor Who Series 7 continues in a story told from the perspective of the Ponds, the Earth has become plagued by the mysterious appearance of black cubes across the planet. The Doctor (Matt Smith) begins an investigation into the cubes, with the assistance of some old friends with UNIT, only to find… nothing!
Tuesday 25th Updates
Adam, Mary, Robert, Rhys and Kirby review the penultimate story of the first part of SERIES 7.
Bill and Corey head out a grab some cubes as they discuss “The Power of Three”. How will this story hold up? Will it be a dangerous adventure that makes you want to leave the planet or will it be a year long disappointment?
Brian Walton, Kyle Anderson and Ewan Anderson (no relation) join me this week to discuss Chris Chibnall’s second contribution to series 7A and I think we all feel pretty much the same about it though some of us have more feelings than others. We also talk a little about what we’re expecting for “The Angels Take Manhattan” and rather surprisingly do so without revealing much (if at all) in the way of spoilers. Episodes like this are the reason I started this podcast.
It's going to take me a while to get through all of the mess I scribbled down while watching this episode I find myself longing for the simplicity of cyborgs roaming the American West..
Watching `The Power of Three` it is as if the clock has been turned back four or five years to the heyday of Russell T Davies’ Earth invasions. There’s faux news coverage, scenes of something alien in familiar locations, celebrity cameos, UNIT and the impact of what is happening being shown from a domestic point of view.
Wednesday 26th Updates
The Power of Three is, for the most part, an absolute cracker of an episode, of the kind that we haven’t had in quite a while. Whilst it may not have ended up being a Blink or a Midnight – an episode that will be talked about for years to come – it certainly marked a great improvement on the hum drum tone so far. It also felt much more like a classic Doctor Who episode than any other this series, and certainly more than many from the quiet relaunch under Moffat.
Ian, Mike and Dave square off to see who gets to open this little black box, but are shocked to find that it contains this weeks Commentary: Doctor Who – The Power of Three Series 7 Episode 4
Welcome to Mostly Harmless Cutaway Eighty-Six featuring Eric, Josh, Cat, Sean, and Kyle! Join us as we dive into episode 4 of Series 7, The Power of Three . Let the banter begin!