Series 7, Episode 4
Described as “a love letter to the Ponds”, while this isn’t a two-part story, it could be seen as such as in many ways it’s the beginning of the send-off to Amy and Rory, with their final episode as regular companions, and by many accounts their last episode ever, coming next week for the mid-series finale. I can’t believe it’s coming so quickly.
For this episode we see the Ponds at home, and much of it is the fact that they have a double life. As they put it, they have a contrast between “Doctor life” and “real life”. They have adventures with the Doctor, which are fun and dangerous, and they have their domestic home life of jobs, family and friends, which is… normal. They like the life they have, they like that are getting more roots and responsibilities. They are also content with the double life they have at the moment, but at the back of their mind they realise it cannot last forever. The Doctor sees it too. This is best shown in a scene where Amy and the Doctor are sitting together. I liked their moment in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, but this is even better. It’s a great Doctor/companion scene. The Doctor telling Amy that there is so much to see in the universe and he’s trying to see it all, and while Amy wants to see it as well, she knows that sooner or later she can’t keep doing that and have a normal life. It’s a moving scene, and as the show has often done shows that the Doctor being a Time Lord has a much longer life expectancy than his human companions. You can also see why Amy is reluctant to let go, after all the Doctor has been in and out of her life for almost her whole life.
This episode reminds me a little of Father’s Day from series 1 in that it is mostly about the companion and how travelling with Doctor effects their real life, and unfortunately they both have similar weaknesses as episodes. It’s that the sci-fi threat is a little sidelined and not as well thought out. In this episode the threat is some mysterious small black cubes which slowly invade Earth. Their method of invasion is quite interesting, they just appear and do nothing for months, allowing people to get used to them and collect them. Doctor Who has often poked fun at the way people jump on the bandwagon with crazes and fads, and this episode gets plenty of that in. The cubes eventually activate and start attacking in different ways; firing lasers, flame throwing, manipulating emotions, spiking hands and… playing ‘The Birdie Song’ on a continuous loop. But when it’s revealed what is behind the cubes, this whole plot thread stops being interesting, it’s just some alien threat from another dimension, we get a Star Wars Sith-like bad guy who’s a bit rubbish to be honest, and it’s all dealt with quickly. But then, this episode was never really about the cubes.
The episode is peppered with references for fans of the classic series, such as the Doctor recalling K-9, and him sadly talking about his previous companions, including the fact that some lost their lives. We also get a character who has been part of the expanded universe in Doctor Who for some time, Kate Stewart, head of UNIT and daughter of the Brigadier. She is a good addition to this episode and I’d be surprised if we don’t see her again, as this felt like an introduction.
A character we sadly won’t be seeing much more of is Brian Williams. He’s great in this episode, he’s a very ordinary guy that gets excited about the extraordinary things the Doctor brings to their lives, and he is clearly concerned about how the Doctor affects the lives of his loved ones. You can tell how similar he and Rory are. I think it’s a real shame that Brian was only introduced when Rory and Amy were about to leave the show, I think he was a missed opportunity.
There were some references to Christmas, which appears to be a recurring theme this series. Of course technically the Christmas special this year is going to be the sixth episode of series 7. I actually think, with a few tweaks, The Power Of Three could have been a great Christmas special. I liked it better than The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe anyway.
A few random things I enjoyed in this episode:
* Rory in his pants was used as part of the trailers for this episode, and I have to say Arthur Darvill looks very gorgeous generally in this episode. We also get Rory returning the favour of the Doctor kissing him in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship with Rory kissing the Doctor, only on his cheek though.
* In the summer barbeque scene they played ‘Don’t Falter’ by Mint Royale featuring Lauren Laverne. I LOVE THAT SONG!!!!!!
* Matt Smith proves what a great Doctor he is, and seems to be having a lot of fun, especially in the scene where he gets bored of sitting watching the cubes and rushes for an hour painting a fence and playing keepie uppie.
The final scene in this episode saw the Doctor, Amy and Rory going into the TARDIS together, and apparently it was also the last scene Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill filmed together. It will be very, very sad to see the end of Matt Smith/Karen Gillan/Arthur Darvill TARDIS team, as in all their scenes in this episode the real life friendship between the actors comes across very clearly on screen.