3 October 2012

Doctor Who - Power of Three

I'm still behind with the Doctor Who posts, but I was at FantasyCon for 4 days so couldn't really post then. Besides it's been less than 2 weeks (in the UK anyway) so it's not a distant memory.
Plus it almost doesn't matter now as there'll be no more episodes until Christmas. I do not appreciate all these breaks. *pouts*

It turns out the title, Power of Three, was a big pun, which didn't get pointed out until the end, at which point I felt silly for not seeing it sooner. Various people seem a bit irked by this, but lord knows I'm no good at titles so if there's a pun that also works as the episode title you might as well go with that.

We know that Rory and Amy are in their final episodes and that something will soon happen that means they won't be traveling with the Doctor anymore. Power of Three looks at the normal lives of the Williamses the other stuff that happens when the Doctor isn't there. It's hard to physically see how long they've been travelling with the Doctor as the actors don't age that quickly, also judging time is a bit screwy if you're travelling through in.* I was a bit surprised to hear Amy say it had been 10 years, though hopefully that means the silly divorce stuff of a few weeks ago is long forgotten.

I liked the idea of the Doctor showing up in normal life and finding it dull. Usually when he does that the threat is active, but the cubes with their implacable dullness are a real test for the Doctor's patience. I can agree with the timescale of the episode, though I can understand why people say it felt rushed and could've been a 2-parter. Saying that I imagine a 2-part episode would've had a lot more filler.

The cubes themselves were a great idea, they're conveniently sized and very simple and since they're ubiquitous people will soon start ignoring them. The shots of all the places the cubes were used or ignored were great.Unfortunately things started to go downhill when the cubes' purpose was revealed. The information gathering made a lot of sense, doing your research is one of my top tips for invading an alien planet. I don't know who those aliens were or what they were doing or why. I don't get how the cubes were tied to people, or why they all did different things when they awoke. The creepy little girl and cube-faced twins were eerie and provided foreshadowing, but I'm honestly not sure what they were for. It seemed as though the aliens had done all that stuff and spent all that time just to give a third of the population heart attacks. Heart attacks that, as it improbably turned out, were actually reversible.

Now here is where the first aider in me gets twitchy.
I'll kind of accept that the Doctor magically manages to save the people with the very alien tech that was killing them, by somehow reversing heart failure. I'll even allow for the fact that the Doctor managed to resurrect people, even though by that time they would certainly be clinically dead** and perhaps brain dead, after all the cubes are tied to people somehow and mumblemumblemagicmumble.
What got to me was that no one seemed to be helping the people who fell down with heart failure. Two thirds of people were fine, and while they wouldn't all know first aid surely quite a few would have tried to help. In fact the UNIT woman said something about hospitals and paramedics not being enough, that the best hope for humanity was each other. After that I assumed there would be scenes of people trying to help others, of CPR and care, or at least attempts to comfort, there was nothing. It seems that was a meaningless throwaway line, which annoyed me.
Also Rory is a nurse, he knows how this works. It sounded as though he would have been more useful out there organising his colleagues to go and administer aid, or show others what to do.

As it turns out the real hero of this episode may have been Vinnie Jones, who wasn't even in it.

I feel compelled to add that you should pay attention to the bit where Vinnie tilts the guy's head back to check his breathing. Always tilt someone's head back first.

* Or in it? I don't know the proper wording for temporal stuff.
** You can recover from clinical death, as long as you're properly treated, but you have minutes before brain damage starts.

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