Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Patience is for Wimps" or "Creatures of Hope" - Review of "The Power of Three"

Because I revel in being a little shit, my review of "The Power of Three" is below this "Chicken Dance" video.  But at least it's not on loop - (Spoilers!)

After the sheer brilliance of last week's "A Town Called Mercy" (and I didn't realize that an alternative title of that episode could have been "Old West Justice in a Town Called Mercy," but it's amazing what comes to you in the shower), I wasn't sure what to expect from "Cubed" "The Power of Three."  I wasn't terribly impressed with Chris Chibnall's first offering this season, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," so I didn't expect much.

Dear Sweet Gallifrey, Chibnall's been holding out on us!  If he was capable of such awesomeness, why in the name of all that is good and decent did I have to slog through stuff like "42"?

What I love about this episode is that it's all about this mysterious alien invasion, yet the crappy aliens don't show up until the last 7 minutes or so and we don't have to dwell on them too much.  But there are so many emotional ties in this story!  First and foremost is exploring the relationship between the Doctor and the Ponds (given that someone is going to die for dead next week - my money's on Amy - it's about time we got that).  I love the whole "putting the shoe on the other foot" thing they did here - instead of the Doctor's companions existing in his world, the Doctor gets to exist in the companions' world for a little while.  Special mention for Brian Pond Williams, of course - being stalwart about keeping an eye on his cube.  It was adorable.

Second - and I just about started bawling when it came up - Kate Stewart, the daughter of the late, great Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (and since we watched "Battlefield" last night for Friday Night Who, my emotions were still a bit tender.  I don't think I'll ever fully get over it).  And not just that we had this peripheral, randomly-inserted heretofore unknown relative of a beloved companion and friend - but that Kate was genuinely awesome! (bringing more science into a military organization like UNIT - and that she had to drag them kicking and screaming - hell to the yes!!)  And that she just goes by "Stewart" so she doesn't get special favors because she wants to do things on her own merits - man, she is just... I have no words for how much I love her.  I have just a small request - everyone else is clamoring for Ice Warriors and Zygons (which were mentioned a bit in this story) and a bunch of other stuff, but I want more UNIT and Kate Stewart, if you please!

(I don't know if it was in any synopses or anything, but I am soooo glad I wasn't spoiled on that).

As the Doctor is trading barbs with Emperor Palpatine the Shakri hologram dude-thingy, he left with something that I wish more sci-fi shows would do.  Instead of leaving things at the "Humans are Bastards the Real Monsters" trope (which many sci-fi shows do because... hell, I don't know. Self-hate, maybe?), the Doctor gives us this blessed little gem:

"[Cubes] made attractive so humans will collect them, hoping to find something beautiful inside.  Because that's what they are. Not pests or plague - creatures of hope, forever building and reaching.  Making mistakes, of course, every lifeform does.  But - but - they learn! And they strive for greater - and they achieve it!"

HELL YES WE DO!! *Punch-the-air times a million!*

It's really hard to pick out little things that I liked because this whole story felt very tight and part of a cohesive whole.  Much the way "A Town Called Mercy" was last week, but even tighter than that.  It's still a stand-alone episode, like the rest of the stories this year have been, but I finally feel like we have a bit of a connection with the rest of the season instead of being bounced around hither-and-thither-and-yon.  There was a reason for the Dalek story and the dinosaur story and the western story - to show that time has passed significantly for the Ponds and the Doctor (though not at the same rate for both).  Certainly other adventures have taken place during this time, but nothing too connected or high-stakes like the cracks in time or the Silents.  Of course it would be great to see those adventures, but the BBC only gives the Moff and Company thirteen episodes to work with (doesn't mean that the novelists and alternative media creators aren't picking up some slack).  So, even with all the disjointed stuff we've had over the past month, I've enjoyed it and it makes sense how this works.

And next week - the Ponds get a proper send-off (or a very soul-crushing one.  That is yet to be seen).

I need to go watch this one again!

No comments:

Post a Comment