Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Power of Three. Review.

Dr Who, the Power of Three, publicity pic

As a hip-swivelling king of Rock and Roll, I know there's nothing ruins a party more than a bunch of squares.

But what about a bunch of cubes?

That's what the Doctor has to work out as the world wakes one morning to find a zillion and one of the things lying around in the streets.

At first, those objects do nothing. But, after many months, it transpires they're here on a mission of pest control for a race called the Shakri; their mission, to study us and  find out the best way to kill us.

Now, with a third of the world's population already dead from cube-inflicted heart failure, the Doctor has to stop the Shakri before they wipe out the rest of the human race.

It's pretty obvious right from the start that this is an attempt to do another, "At home with the Doctor,"  story along the lines of The Lodger but, whereas that worked beautifully, this one fails miserably.

Mostly it does so because it's simply so dull, centring as it does around the Ponds, who some of us feel have long since outstayed both their welcome and their dramatic use. Thanks to the concept-imposed doldrums that grip the first half of the tale, the whole thing seems to drag on and on and, even when The Power of Three's Business End arrives, it's still hard to avoid the feeling you're watching something that's lasting twice as long as it actually is.

On the guest star front, Steven Berkoff's fine as the spokesman of the Shakri but Jemma Redgrave as the scientist daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart really doesn't have it, helping to cement the uninvolving nature of it all.

Things are further undermined by the Doctor doing the now clich├ęd Star Trek style defence of the human race's worth, and the push-button resurrection of a third of that human race. Just how long have all those people been dead before the Doctor gives their hearts their remote-control jolt?

It's also not clear to me just why the Shakri are abducting people from Rory's hospital. It seems like it's only being done in order to require a space portal through which the Doctor and Amy can travel in order to foil the scheme.

Perhaps in the end, the most interesting thing the tale throws up is the surprising revelation that UNIT's underground base has windows. The Shakri might have thought they were masters of forward-planning but they clearly had nothing on UNIT.

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