S33 (7) 4 – The Power of Three
22 March 2013 at 18:39 #3367Craig @craigEmperor
Repeated on BBC3 on 22 March. The Doctor and the Ponds puzzle over an unlikely invasion of Earth, as millions of black cubes arrive overnight…
You can watch it here until 29 March:At time of re-posting (April 2019) you can watch it here for the next 7 months: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n2tmc/
Here’s what you originally thought: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/sep/22/doctor-who-power-of-three15 June 2015 at 08:36 #40663MarMar @marmar
Is Rory a doctor or a nurse?18 June 2015 at 01:45 #40698ThePapalMainframe @thepapalmainframe
I’m not really sure. I think he used to be a nurse but then was promoted to a doctor. But isn’t it funny that Martha Jones was a medical student and Rory is a professional nurse/dotcor? Maybe the Doctor likes the idea of traveling with people who ‘aspire’ to be like him!18 June 2015 at 04:13 #40699
@marmar and @thepapalmainframe. Rory was a nurse. The only promotion he receives is to be made a “permanent” as opposed to “on call”. I have never heard of a nurse being promoted to a doctor. I think a trip back to Uni, lots of study and exams would be required for that. I think the less illustrious position of nurse best fits Rory’s character. He is a carer with no interest or desire for social status or authority. Not to say that Martha was a Doctor for those reasons. Martha is a doctor because she is smart and needing to show it, or RTD is needing to show it. Martha is intended to be the opposite of Rose, wealthier family, well educated, aspirational, with a career. Perhaps the reason her character was less successful than either Rose or Donna was because as such she did not evoke the audience’s sympathy. Also perhaps why she was at her best in the Human Nature two parter where she is put into a discriminatory situation. I think it was the only time Freema was really given something to work with. She really shines in those two episodes.
I suspect that RTD made Martha a doctor for different reasons to those of SM in making Rory a nurse. It does work well however in the overall scheme of things.
Janette18 June 2015 at 12:47 #40700Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
I agree that Rory would’ve had to go to Uni again to become a doctor – but I did always wonder what his career was in the 1930’s US. Did he remain a nurse (with forged date-appropriate qualifications), or did the need to go back to college mean that he applied for medical school and MD training?18 June 2015 at 14:53 #40701
@bluesqueakpip sounds like fan fic story there, the life of Amy and Rory in 1930s America. I imagine that they both encountered difficulties in adjusting and finding their way especially given that the U.S would have still been recovering from the Depression. (I’m not sure of the year in which the story was set. Clearly I am overdue for a re watch.)
Janette25 June 2015 at 06:42 #40824Kharis @kharis7 December 2015 at 10:57 #48962Emeralds @theemeralddoctor
I have been on the same park as the Doctor was on, its in Cardiff.26 April 2016 at 08:10 #51913BowTiesAreCool @bowtiesarecool123
The episode is funny but in Doctor Who I am not looking for fun in Doctor Who I want serious episodes. Admittedly it is a good and enjoyable episode with references to the doctor’s two hearts and asking Amy how she can deal with only one heart.28 April 2019 at 18:18 #67629Craig @craigEmperor
I’ve added this back to the home page as it completes our Chris Chibnall retrospective. We now have five episodes (four stories) to discuss in light of him becoming the new showrunner.
My own thoughts (which I can go into more detail if anyone wants) is that he wasn’t given the gig because the strength of his Doctor Who writing. None of his stories are standouts. I think, and this may be controversial, that “42” is probably the best of his pre-showrunner work. And it’s only okay.
I think he got the gig because, being a life-long fan, he knew what he was talking about when it came to Doctor Who, and because he’d done a good job on some Torchwood episodes (which I haven’t watched) and Broadchurch (which I haven’t watched). I believe he was viewed as a safe pair of hands – which, depending on your opinion, is maybe, or maybe not, what you want for a series about a madman/madwoman in a box.29 April 2019 at 07:04 #67630
@craig I agree with those comments. He certainly did not stand out as a script writer and I suspect some of the more memorable moments in those scripts were added by Moffat, the light humour for instance.
I also have not watched Broadchurch, crime fiction isn’t “my thing”, and only saw a few episodes of Torchwood. I liked the set up of the later and the characters, but it was sadly let down by the stories. I feel a bit the same way about the most recent series of Dr Who though there were some very good episodes. I have not yet done a re watch but there are several that I do want to see again. It certainly wasn’t all bad, it was more consistent than the RTD years but it didn’t have a quality that the Moffat years did.
Having said all that there are aspects of The Power of Three that I really enjoyed. Firstly the interaction between the Doctor, Rory and Amy and of course Brian. The actual story was “pants” but there is such a richness in the character interaction that I can forgive the worst aspects of the script.
Janette29 April 2019 at 20:40 #67632Mudlark @mudlark
I believe he was viewed as a safe pair of hands
And therein, I think, lies a problem. Because if a safe pair of hands is all the producers of the show have to fall back on Doctor Who will inevitably, whether in the short, medium or longer term, stagnate and lose the magical element which has, with a intermittent hiccups, kept it going for so long.
Chris Chibnall has strengths as a writer and these were apparent in the latest series, but to my mind he lacks the imaginative, off-the-wall spark which is essential to the best science fiction and fantasy; a spark which Moffat had in spades, even when he overreached. It isn’t that he is not willing to take risks – in his first year as show runner he tackled tricky subjects such as the civil rights movement and partition and did so pretty effectively, but his approach was largely straightforward and from the human point of view, give or take a few largely irrelevant alien settings or intrusions. What I look for in science fiction and fantasy are insights gained from the presentation of the human condition and human problems from oblique and unexpected angles, not excluding the mythic, and here even the alien and futuristic stories were for the most part relatively pedestrian in that respect.
Like Janette, I found things to like in The Power of Three, even as I winced at the implausibility of some of it, but I have not so far felt motivated to view it again – though I will do so. It is telling, though, that the episodes in Chibnall’s first season as show runner generated less discussion than in previous years, and that so far I have felt little incentive to re-view them because I feel as if I had grasped all that was on offer in the first viewing – which was never the case when Moffat was in charge.30 April 2019 at 05:54 #67633
@mudlark Well said. Indeed it was necessary to re watch Moffat’s episodes just to really unpick the dense narrative, to get the underlying things. There were good messages in many of Chibnell’s story but they were so obvious. There was no subtlety, nothing that kept the viewer thinking for days after. Chibnell’s writing lacks a sense of magic and it also lacks the charm of Moffat’s approach. I do want to re-watch the most recent series in part because I hope that on re watch it will “grow” on me but as someone, (sorry I forget who) has said on another thread, “Chibnell needs to find his Moffat”. I hope he does so soon.
Janette5 January 2021 at 11:30 #71324Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent
I tend to agree with those preceding recent (‘recent’? 20-month-old, so what, it’s all relative isn’t it) comments on Chibnall – his stories are all fairly straightforward heros-&-villains tales, with aliens slotted in for the humans. They’re lacking the flashes of brilliance that the Moff used to inject.
The Power of Three did have one amazingly original idea – the cubes. I loved them. They were enigmatic, neat, and funny, and the various things they did were a great display of imagination on the part of the writer (or producers. I imagine they probably had an informal discussion group coming up with ideas for nutty things the cubes might do). I imagined the cubes were, in fact, carrying out sophisticated psychological experiments on humans, in the way the mice did on scientists in Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I thought this was going to be a precursor to taking over all of humanity. It seemed a bit of an anti-climax when it turned out that all they cubes (or their creators) wanted was to exterminate humanity – you don’t need extensive in-depth knowledge of a species to do that.
I think it would have been more coherent if the cubes had been investigating humanity in depth with a view to reaching a verdict on whether humankind merited extermination or not. But if that was the case, I missed it.
Again, this episode probably suffers by comparison with its neighbours – the preceding western (A Town Called Mercy) – westerns always have high production values, at least if they can afford to go to Spain; and the climactic Angels Take Manhattan.12 January 2021 at 12:27 #71340
@dentarthurdent I agree that the cubes were a great idea and the reactions to them were also fun. Have to love Brian sitting watching them. I also liked the “character interaction” scenes with the Doctor, Amy and Rory in the flat but the plot really let this episode down. (as I said before, I suspect some of the best lines were edited in, especially after watching series 11 and 12. That kind of “light touch humour” does not seem to be Chibnell’s style.
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