Karen Gillan + Arthur Darvill = James Corden
In series five and six of Who, we had The Lodger and Closing Time, just-before-the-finale calm-before-the-storm episodes where the Doc visits James Corden and does comedy. Well, The Power of Three is another one of those, except Corden is played by Amy and Rory.
Really, it’s an excuse to spend time with the old gang, hanging around, doing banter, the inevitable jokes about the Doctor and normal life, occasional emotional conversation. As ever, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have been doing this together so long that they can make this stuff pretty endearing.
In short, one last chance to have warm fuzzy feelings towards the Ponds before next week, when a weeping angel will messily beat them to death with some New York bagels. And I think they pulled that part off – unless you hate these characters and their overly cozy dynamic, in which case this must have been sheer hell for you.
The Tragedy Of The Neglected Cubes
The alien cube plot, on the other hand. Well, it’s a pretty good idea, shame it’s been tossed off as background noise in the comedy episode, rather than given space. This felt like the first half of a two-parter, a whole forty minutes of build-up and then… instead of an amazing cliffhanger, the Doctor zaps a console with the sonic screwdriver and it’s all over. Weird.
In other news: the new UNIT dynamic was interesting enough, although it felt like set-up for later episodes, and Mark Williams has slotted seamlessly into the cuddly family set-up as Rory’s dad, after his earlier appearance in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.
But basically: the moral here was “Look at the Ponds! Don’t you love them? Won’t you be sad when they’re gone?” And since I’m not yet sick of those guys, it worked okay on me, although I still feel they could’ve made the plot of the episode less half-arsed. Next week: no doubt something awful will happen!