Television: Doctor Who and the Power of Three

"Doctor Who"

The Doctor and the Ponds puzzle an unlikely invasion of Earth, as millions of sinister black cubes arrive overnight, almost like presents falling from the sky.

But what are they, what’s inside them and most importantly, who sent them? With the international community at a loss, it’s left to the Doctor to unearth who is behind the mystery.

Woohoo! It’s Doctor Who Sunday!

The Power of Three, which is the fourth episode of Series 7, is something I’ve been looking forward to since the “Next Time” aired last week. The promise of The Doctor actually needing to stay with the Ponds instead of the Ponds running around with the Doctor was a great hook. I was hooked.

There’s just the matter of the cubes. Which I really didn’t like, now that I’ve seen the episode.

Don’t get me wrong… Why do I feel like I keep saying that in this blog? Anyway…

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the episode. I loved the fact that we get to see a different side to the adventures that the Doctor takes his companions to.

I mean, sure, back in the Russel T. Davies era we had Jackie. And Mickey. And we sort of had a grasp on what the companions are trading in in exchange for running across time and space with the Doctor. But Rose didn’t really have a lot going for her. Martha only stayed for a year, and decided to leave the Doctor. And Donna… Well, Donna’s fate was just tragic wasn’t it?

With all three companions though, the Doctor borrowed them from a life where they didn’t have a lot to lose. The same can’t be said for the Ponds. While Amy was aimless the second time she met the Doctor, she had since found what she wanted to do in her Earth life. Rory was a nurse. A very in-demand nurse, as we find out in The Power of Three, in fact. Sure they didn’t start out with a lot, but their experiences with the Doctor, coupled with their unique arrangement in which the Doctor actually drops them off home from time to time, gave them a life.

A life away from the Doctor.

A life they can’t live while the Doctor is still part of their life.

Rose was shafted to another dimension. Donna had everything erased from her mind. Martha chose to leave. And this episode had the Ponds facing the dilemma: do they continue to run with the Doctor? Or has the time come to say goodbye?

Brian Williams, Rory’s dad, thinks it’s time for them to stop. And he tells this to the Doctor, making the Doctor recount the times he lost a companion: by having to leave them behind, by their choice to leave, and by death. And it’s a very important scene, I’m sure, as next week is the Ponds’ swan song. And that scene makes this episode one of the best, in my opinion.

The Doctor has been running for a long time. Running towards something. Running away from something. He never stops. (Which this episode also showed.) So for him to have to come to a full stop, to realize his full effect on other people’s lives? It was beautiful.

Ninth and Tenth were all about hearbreak. Eleven thought he could get a clean slate. A do over, if you will. But the past always catches up to you. And this time, he’s forced to confront the idea that he is not the only one heartbroken when a companion leaves him. Other people will be affected.

This episode was, for all intents and purposes, about the Ponds’ life. Steven Moffat’s team is still weaning us from the Ponds, showing us the things we’re holding them back from by wanting them to keep running with the Doctor. But at the heart of it, the episode is about the Doctor and his relationship with his companions.

Every single one of them.

Now, if only I could scrub the cubes off my memory.

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One thought on “Television: Doctor Who and the Power of Three

  1. Pingback: Television: Doctor Who and the Bells of St. John | taking a break

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