This new series of Doctor Who has not wowed me yet. Over the last three episodes there have been some good parts, but there hasn’t been an episode that made me say “Yeah, that’s the Doctor Who I know and love.” This fourth episode, “The Power of Three” gets pretty close with some good scenes with the Doctor, the return of Rory’s dad Brian, and a salute to a character from the past.
The episode starts with strange black boxes suddenly appearing all over the world. They are all pitch black and don’t appear to have any seams or contain anything if they are hollow at all. The Doctor drops in on Amy and Rory, and while he can’t see anything wrong, he thinks they are up to no good. So, he decides to hang around with the Ponds and see if he can discover their secret.
The Doctor has never been known for his patience, so this “slow invasion” really gets to him. After deciding they need to observe the cubes, the Doctor can’t go more than a few minutes before he starts to get antsy. He repaints the Pond’s fence, does 5 million bounces of a soccer ball, mows their lawn and reworks the wiring in their car, all in about an hour. While it’s an obvious scene, it’s still a funny one. Other fun scenes include the Doctor playing tennis on the Wii, and taunting a hovering cube before it starts shooting lasers at him.
I really enjoyed seeing Rory’s dad Brian return. He’s the first family member of the new series to approve of the Doctor, or at least not flip out about him taking Amy and Rory on dangerous adventures. He obviously worries about them, but in the end encourages them to continue their traveling with the Doctor for the chances to change the world he offers them. It was also very cool to see the return of UNIT and its scientific adviser, Kate Stewart, the daughter of the Doctor’s oldest friend on Earth Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. There were some great moments with her and the Doctor talking about the Brigadier. It was also nice to see science in charge of the military for once.
I’d call this the best episode so far, but considering how underwhelmed I’ve been with the previous episodes, that might not mean much. This episode was the Pond’s last hurrah before their final episode next week, and it shows. Amy and Rory talk of having to choose between their normal life or their “Doctor life”. Brian’s encouragement also has a bit of an ominous ring to it. They’ve had a good run though, and deserved an episode focused on them before the end.