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Revisiting The Power Of Three (on BBC3 just now)


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Old 16-08-2013, 20:06
cathrin
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This episode gets more poignant every time I see it! The first time was hard enough to watch, all those loaded-with-emotion conversations about things coming to an end. But it's even more upsetting now we know exactly what's about to happen.

The bit that really gets to me is Brian encouraging A & R to go away with the Doctor, and saying "Bring them back safe." It breaks my heart to think of him never seeing them again. That's the one thing that feels wrong and unresolved about Amy and Rory's otherwise perfect departure. It's heartwarming that they got to stay together and live long happy lives as a couple....but what about poor lovely Brian, waiting at home to see them again? Aaargh! I can't bear it!
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Old 16-08-2013, 20:25
SilenceWillFall
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This episode gets more poignant every time I see it! The first time was hard enough to watch, all those loaded-with-emotion conversations about things coming to an end. But it's even more upsetting now we know exactly what's about to happen.

The bit that really gets to me is Brian encouraging A & R to go away with the Doctor, and saying "Bring them back safe." It breaks my heart to think of him never seeing them again. That's the one thing that feels wrong and unresolved about Amy and Rory's otherwise perfect departure. It's heartwarming that they got to stay together and live long happy lives as a couple....but what about poor lovely Brian, waiting at home to see them again? Aaargh! I can't bear it!
Have you seen this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWU6XL9xI4k
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Old 17-08-2013, 20:03
cathrin
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Ohhhh! Thank you so much! That's absolutely wonderful....so moving and appropriate, and absolutely in tune with the mood of the Brian episodes.

Thank you so much for posting that link, SWF. You've given me emotional closure on something that was really bothering me!

Kudos to Chris Chibnall for getting the tone exactly right....what a fabulous writer he is.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
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Old 18-08-2013, 14:24
Sara_Peplow
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Would have liked to see that scene too. Would also have liked Anthony to mention he has a sister. Brian might have lost his son and daughter in law but he still had his grandchildren.
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Old 18-08-2013, 15:26
cathrin
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Would have liked to see that scene too. Would also have liked Anthony to mention he has a sister. Brian might have lost his son and daughter in law but he still had his grandchildren.
I thought that too. River and Brian would have got on brilliantly, I think. Also,when I heard the reference to having a grandchild older than him, I was expecting Rory to mention the fact that he and Amy had a daughter who was nearly twice their age!

I would have loved to see the Chris Chibnall scene in the episode; I wonder why it didn't get shot? Perhaps because it would have reminded us that Amy and Rory's "exile" was a lot less insurmountable than it originally seemed? The fact that Anthony could appear in Brian's world kind of crossed through the barrier and highlighted the fact that Amy and Rory weren't "lost" in the same way that Rose (supposedly) was. They could have got round the "we-can-never-see-the-Doctor-again" problem, simply by travelling somewhere else and getting the Doctor to meet them sometime afterwards?

I would have liked to see the Doctor popping back every now and again to see Brian, perhaps forming a nice matey friendship like Ten and Wilf.

Anyway, I'm so grateful to Silence Will Fall for posting the link....it's definitely made that sad ending easier to bear!
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:03
TheSilentFez
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The Power of Three is probably my least favourite from series 7 due to the nonsense ending whereby the Doctor defibrillates a third of the world's population (who were dead more than long enough to sustain irreparable brain damage) by waving his sonic screwdriver, then blowing up a spaceship containing numerous innocent people who were all casually ignored.
I also thought the Shakri were brilliant. I honestly think they were the most chilling villain we've had in years ("The tally...must be met") and yet we only got to see them for all of a few seconds.

Putting this aside though, the Doctor, Amy and Rory relationship side of the story was done brilliantly. It was poignant yet funny at the same time.
Kate Stewart's character was also brilliant. I hope we get to see a lot more of her in future. It would be great if we could have a Pertwee-esque UNIT story featuring her and Capaldi's Doctor. So the story wasn't without merit. A bit silly with one of the worst ever endings I've ever seen, but with nice character-driven moments- something which has been somewhat lacking in stories with the Doctor and Clara so far.

Also, why wasn't P.S, shot? How hard could it have been to film it and add an extra 5 minutes onto the end of The Angels Take Manhattan? Did Moffat not want it, or would a 50 minute episode have offended the BBC's scheduling office?
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:37
DiscoP
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The Power of Three is probably my least favourite from series 7 due to the nonsense ending whereby the Doctor defibrillates a third of the world's population (who were dead more than long enough to sustain irreparable brain damage) by waving his sonic screwdriver, then blowing up a spaceship containing numerous innocent people who were all casually ignored.
I also thought the Shakri were brilliant. I honestly think they were the most chilling villain we've had in years ("The tally...must be met") and yet we only got to see them for all of a few seconds.

Putting this aside though, the Doctor, Amy and Rory relationship side of the story was done brilliantly. It was poignant yet funny at the same time.
Kate Stewart's character was also brilliant. I hope we get to see a lot more of her in future. It would be great if we could have a Pertwee-esque UNIT story featuring her and Capaldi's Doctor. So the story wasn't without merit. A bit silly with one of the worst ever endings I've ever seen, but with nice character-driven moments- something which has been somewhat lacking in stories with the Doctor and Clara so far.

Also, why wasn't P.S, shot? How hard could it have been to film it and add an extra 5 minutes onto the end of The Angels Take Manhattan? Did Moffat not want it, or would a 50 minute episode have offended the BBC's scheduling office?
I think I read somewhere that Mark Williams wasn't available for filming.
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Old 18-08-2013, 17:55
Sh'boobie
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For me, 'The Power of Three' was a series highlight.

After 2 & a half years of Big!!! & Bonkers!!!! - it was such an enjoyable change of pace having something so very domestic.

Plus, it made Amy & Rory's (poorly justified) departure in the next episode, that much easier to bare - seeing that they actually could be perfectly content living an ordinary life.

So many lovely character moments, that the villain was utterly superfluous.
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Old 18-08-2013, 18:14
JDEsseintes
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Yeah, the irony is that the thing I felt that spoiled the story was the plot, the 'primary' driving force of the episode. If it was just a character piece featuring the Doctor hanging around with his chums on Earth for a bit, for whatever reason, it might have been very interesting.

But that isn't Doctor Who's M.O. really, is it...
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Old 18-08-2013, 18:15
cathrin
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For me, 'The Power of Three' was a series highlight.

After 2 & a half years of Big!!! & Bonkers!!!! - it was such an enjoyable change of pace having something so very domestic.

Plus, it made Amy & Rory's (poorly justified) departure in the next episode, that much easier to bare - seeing that they actually could be perfectly content living an ordinary life.

So many lovely character moments, that the villain was utterly superfluous.
Totally agree. Yes, when a companion is about to leave, there's always a bit of "emotional preparation" to set up the viewers to accept it. Sometimes it's done in a "you-can't-go-on-doing-this-forever" way, like Jackie's speech in Army of Ghosts when she expresses fears for what Rose will become if she continues. But with Amy and Rory, the setting-up was much more about a gradual realisation that they wanted to settle into normal life, as much as they loved travelling with the Doctor.

I like the way this slow process was subtly introduced right at the beginning of Series 7, and nicely emphasised with little moments--like when they said "Let's leave it for a bit" at the end of A Town Called Mercy. A very clever way of making their departure easy to accept. Sad, yes, but as long as they were together, it wasn't so bad.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that the "weaning" process in series 7 inevitably kind of diluted the intensity of their involvement with the Doctor. (Plus, of course, the Doctor had already travelled on his own for 200 years so the relationship had already had a major spanner of distance and separation thrown in the works!) But I think that was a price worth paying for a bittersweet ending that pushed all the right buttons, without leaving the viewers feeling absolutely wrung out, like when Donna's mind was wiped or Rose was trapped in the other world.


In that respect, A & R's exit, although it happened against their will, was kind of on a par with Martha's--you felt the time was right and the character would enjoy a fulfilling life....rather than Rose's and Donna's, which felt like they'd been forcibly snatched away from a life with the Doctor which they had believed would last forever.

Sorry, I'm rambling. Still bracing myself for TATM next week, which always has me in floods of tears in spite of all the above! It's the last shot of little Amelia smiling up at the Tardis that gets to me.
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Old 18-08-2013, 20:53
mostimitated
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big fan of this episode even if the ending is a little bit of a letdown

also has one of my favourite Eleventh Doctor / Matt Smith moments in his rooftop scene with Amy

'I'm running to you...and Rory...before you fade...from me.'

Matt's delivery of that whole scene is spot on.

Also love his conversation with Brian about what happened to previous companions. 'Never them Brian, never them.'
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Old 18-08-2013, 21:36
SilenceWillFall
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Ohhhh! Thank you so much! That's absolutely wonderful....so moving and appropriate, and absolutely in tune with the mood of the Brian episodes.

Thank you so much for posting that link, SWF. You've given me emotional closure on something that was really bothering me!

Kudos to Chris Chibnall for getting the tone exactly right....what a fabulous writer he is.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
You're welcome, it wasno trouble at all on my part, just linking to the video.

Yeah, it does give a bit more emotional closure than The Angels Take Manhattan especially when it comes to Rory and Brian,but as has already been said I wish they would have included a mention of River in there somewhere. Especially because in Angels Take Manhattan there was a scene where Amy kinda really acknowledges River as Melody for the first time and Rory never got such a scene.
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Old 18-08-2013, 22:36
kyllerbuzcut
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Worst....episode......ever!

OK maybe not THAT bad (it's close), but after the first about 25 minutes, everything just turns to crap. I tried to give it another chance when it was on, but by the time the cubes started counting down I knew what was coming and I actually wanted to turn the thing off . Can you imagine that- turning a Dr Who episode OFF?

I ended up leaving it on, but couldn't watch the screen and came over to the computer instead while still listening. The most annoying thing about this episode is that it could have been so great- a real classic. Just have the cubes disappear and vanish without trace and have everyone talking about wondering where they went to. Instead of running off again on another adventure they could all have gone down the pub or something. OR have that missing bit that was animated, which was meant for the end of Angels take Manhattan, at the end instead. They nip off in the Tardis and immediately we see Brian go back home to have someone knock on the door. He instantly knows they have all just left for the last time. How great would that have been?

Instead we got the most cop-out ending I think I've ever seen.

One other annoying thing about this episode, is that it comes in the middle of a whole series full of excellent individual episodes (I'm including 7a and b). If I had any hair I'd rip it out, right after grabbing the writer by the lapels, Eric Morcambe style, and saying "right buster- we'll have no more sonic based mass cardiac resuscitation here. This is a good show, and we don't want it spoiled with this kind of trash."
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:15
smiddlehurst
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Definitely an episode that rewards multiple viewings but there's one scene in it that I don't think gets anything like enough attention and that's the scene in the hospital when the Doctor is running on one heart.

It's an absolutely wonderful example of (almost) everything the companion / Doctor relationship should be. He's trying to tough it out, Amy realises he can't and helps support him (and I'd swear Matt puts Karen in a headlock... anyone feel like having a look and seeing what they think?). When he collapses she grabs a defib kit to help out but it's the bit immediately after that sells it as Amy clearly has a 'what the hell did I just do!' moment. Good, very good: do what's necessary even if it does seem like a daft idea. If it's the only option then go for it but feel free to freak out afterwards!

That goes straight into the lift scene which is perfection IMO. The thrill of the chase, the disappointment of the mundane and then that giddy look just before they step into the portal hand in hand. It's a fabulous bit of work from both Matt and Karen and deserves a lot more praise than it gets.
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Old 19-08-2013, 09:28
SilenceWillFall
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Also, one more thing about this episode is that it was the last one that Matt, Karen and Arthur filmed together and IMO it really shines through on the screen and makes all the interactions between the Doctor and the Ponds even better than they might have been otherwise.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:08
johnnysaucepn
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When he collapses she grabs a defib kit to help out but it's the bit immediately after that sells it as Amy clearly has a 'what the hell did I just do!' moment. Good, very good: do what's necessary even if it does seem like a daft idea. If it's the only option then go for it but feel free to freak out afterwards!
That's also what I liked about Clara in Cold War.
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:08
TheSilentFez
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Definitely an episode that rewards multiple viewings but there's one scene in it that I don't think gets anything like enough attention and that's the scene in the hospital when the Doctor is running on one heart.
I was too busy cringing at the flippant and very very bad use of a defibrillator...
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:50
CoalHillJanitor
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I was too busy cringing at the flippant and very very bad use of a defibrillator...
But was it worse than Amy's CPR in Curse of the Black Spot?
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Old 19-08-2013, 19:55
TheSilentFez
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But was it worse than Amy's CPR in Curse of the Black Spot?
By a little bit, yes (but not by much).
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Old 19-08-2013, 21:27
Abomination
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Really didn't think much of this episode at all... it was better than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship , but that's not saying much...it was still a low point in Series 7 for me.

I really liked the two main ideas brought into focus by the episode - predominantly, the character-driven plot that focused on the companions, asking the sort of questions that a companion really would ask (yes, every time the Ponds go home they're turning up inexplicably older). It was a nice way to approach the story and was a nostalgic remember of RTD's stronger side of writing. Secondly, the contemporary London threat was similarly nostalgic and it was an intriguing plot to begin with.

So, my problems with it. Character-wise it just fell flat! Kate Stewart was a great concept for a character, and brilliantly acted as well... but she was given so little of substance, and it was a crushing disappointment (I'm not massively familiar with The Brig, but love the references to Classic Who, and loved seeing The Brig in SJA as well... this had me excited). I hope any subsequent appearances will give the character a bit more to work with. Secondly, Brian Williams...another brilliant idea and a well-acted character whose purpose resonated because I knew Amy and Rory were on their way out of the show. But he didn't work for me, because he was crammed in to two episodes right at the final moment, and we never even got the pay-off with that tragic scene that never got filmed that would have made his involvement all the more substantial. The Power of Three was an episode that made me realise how little I cared about characters like I used to... they're not developed in anything of a conventional way that makes me interested.

The plot disappointed me as well, with the premise being brilliant but the resolution being both dull and rushed. It was one of so many Series 7 episodes that needed more time, and this is one that felt so poorly paced come the end of it that for me it devalued the whole story.

If Chibnall returns, I really hope he can offer us something different. All five of his Doctor Who episodes have felt robotic and mechanical to me. It worked in 42 because it suited the story, but it didn't work with the Silurian story and it didn't work here either.... for me.
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Old 21-08-2013, 00:54
Whovian1109
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I absolutely adore this episode. I think there are two ways to look at it really. You can look at it as a brilliant character piece, showing how the Doctor's relationship with Amy and Rory has evolved, where it is heading and how, ultimately, they were much better equipped to handle it ending than he was. The scene where Brian persuades them to travel with him permanently, knowing that the next episode they will leave is heart-breaking and I love all the interactions with the Doctor and Amy.

And then you can look at it as a wasted opportunity. The cubes were set up brilliantly but ultimately poorly executed and the ending was a little bit of a cop out (but at least it wasn't: love fixed everything or worse, she saved the day because she's a mother). In terms of the medical side of it, as far as I'm concerned, there's no point trying to pick holes in the science of shows like Doctor Who, even when they occasionally make it a little bit too blatant.

My point is that I try not to let the plot (which is clearly the secondary drive in this episode) ruin the feel and set up of the episode as a whole, which is to examine the Doctor and his companions and how ultimately, he needs them more than they need him and how it is going to destroy him.
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Old 21-08-2013, 12:01
Wiwik_Anggraini
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As a character driven story it was quite good, but plot wise it was a bit crap. Also story telling wise I thought it was a bit of a mess.

Not the worst episode ever, but certainly not brilliant either.
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Old 21-08-2013, 12:19
TRT1968
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I

And then you can look at it as a wasted opportunity. The cubes were set up brilliantly but ultimately poorly executed and the ending was a little bit of a cop out
This is how I see it. And as for the character development... well just look at how distrusting, almost hateful, the Doctor is of Ian and Barbara in the first few adventures. He's always had a slight ambivalence towards a lot of his companions and I've liked that edginess when it's been done right. This lovey dovey die for them heroics is getting a bit predictable. Very noble and sentimental, but just once in a while I'd like to see the bad guy try to use threats against a companion as leverage and the Doctor to turn round and say "go ahead, suits me" and the viewer not be 100% convinced it's a bluff.
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Old 27-08-2013, 20:25
cathrin
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Definitely an episode that rewards multiple viewings but there's one scene in it that I don't think gets anything like enough attention and that's the scene in the hospital when the Doctor is running on one heart.

It's an absolutely wonderful example of (almost) everything the companion / Doctor relationship should be. He's trying to tough it out, Amy realises he can't and helps support him (and I'd swear Matt puts Karen in a headlock... anyone feel like having a look and seeing what they think?). When he collapses she grabs a defib kit to help out but it's the bit immediately after that sells it as Amy clearly has a 'what the hell did I just do!' moment. Good, very good: do what's necessary even if it does seem like a daft idea. If it's the only option then go for it but feel free to freak out afterwards!

That goes straight into the lift scene which is perfection IMO. The thrill of the chase, the disappointment of the mundane and then that giddy look just before they step into the portal hand in hand. It's a fabulous bit of work from both Matt and Karen and deserves a lot more praise than it gets.
I went back and watched this scene again after reading your (excellent) description, and you're absolutely right. It's a really beautifully done sequence, reminding us just how strong the bond is between them, even though they haven't been doing the intensive constant 24/7 companion thing like Rose or Donna at the end of series 2 and 4 respectively. Lovely scene.

Something else about this episode that struck me. When everyone starts coming back to life, the music playing is Amy's theme, is that right? Beautiful piece of music, but an odd choice for that particular scene as it doesn't involve anything to do with Amy. Or have I confused her theme with something else?

I was all psyched up for TATM last Friday after this, but it was put back a week for some reason. Really looking forward to revisiting this one with the beauty of hindsight and a bit of distance. Although if I don't sob my socks off over that final smiling shot of little Amelia, it'll be an all-time first....
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