Doctor Who: The Power Of Three promo pics

News Louisa Mellor 13 Sep 2012 - 08:02

Fittingly, the BBC has released three pictures teasing the next Doctor Who episode but one, The Power Of Three...

Apologies for getting a little ahead of ourselves. This Saturday's episode of Doctor Who will be the gunslinging Western-themed A Town Called Mercy (our spoiler-free review here), but as the Beeb has seen fit to release a few promo pics for episode four, The Power Of Three, we thought we'd share them.

The episode is another from the keyboard of Chris Chibnall, following on from his family fun instalment, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship. The Sontaran Strategem and The Poison Sky director Douglas Mackinnon is at the helm, with guest appearances from Gemma Redgrave, Mark Williams, Steven Berkoff, Selva Rasalingam, and Alice O'Connell.

Before you take a look at the pictures, more of which are on their way early next week, here's an introduction to the episode from Steven Moffat, courtesy of the Radio Times:

"The day the Earth got cubed. The year of the slow invasion. The time the Doctor came to stay."

There have been many ways to invade the Earth, and the Doctor has seen them all. Or so he always thought - and then the human race wakes up one morning and discovers the world has been overrun by... small black cubes. Which then proceed to... do nothing much at all. A plan is afoot, humanity is endangered - but by what and how and, above all, when? For the first time in his world-saving career the Doctor has to call upon the least of his virtues: patience. And the Ponds face something possibly more terrifying than any world-ending apocalypse - the Doctor is moving in!

Not just a tale of alien intervention, this is also the story of a nice young couple who happen to have a bow-tied lunatic from space staying in their spare room. It's halfway between an alien invasion movie and The Man Who Came to Dinner. 


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I heard that UNIT would be making a comeback in this episode. May I say I am really looking forward to that. If true of course. The last time we saw UNIT was in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Beyond that I am happy that the Doctor has a new adventure on contempory Earth. They are far and between.

Few and far between? I'll admit the numbers have improved greatly over RTDs reign but we still get (to my disappointment) no small number of contemporary earth each series.

Out of 92 full episodes, up to and including The Power Of Three, since the resurrection in 2005 (including full length specials but not counting shorts, prequels etc) there have been 40 episode set in contemporary earth (give or take a few years in either direction - 80s for Father's Day, 2012 for Fear Her (broadcast in 2006), 2020 for Hungry Earth). 43% is quite a high margin. Only a tiny amount have a Distant Future Earth setting. The next highest are Spaceship/Alien World set eps with 25 and Earth's Past episodes with 24.

In light of my research (hasty and possibly slightly inaccurate as it is) I'd like to see more Earth's Past and Future episodes. Classic Who did some great ones - The Visitation, Warriors of the Deep, The Ark In Space and The Talons of Weng Chiang being a particular favourites of mine.

I see what you
mean. But what I really mean are the global treat stories. Since the Eleventh
Doctor we haven’t had one of those. Episodes like The Sontaran Strategem/The
Poison Sky. I follow everything from the Whoniverse (except that K9 series) and
I am not the only one wondering where the heck the Doctor was during Torchwood:
Children of Earth and Miracle Day (actually, where was UNIT in that one?). It
seems the Eleventh Doctor only comes to ‘our time’ Earth when he’s picking up
the Ponds and sorting out monsters in cupboards.

Oe, that didn't copy/paste as well as I thought.

I see I've kicked a hornets nest. But what I really mean are the global treat stories. Since the Eleventh
Doctor we haven’t had one of those. Episodes like The Sontaran Strategem/The
Poison Sky. I follow everything from the Whoniverse (except that K9 series) and
I am not the only one wondering where the heck the Doctor was during Torchwood:
Children of Earth and Miracle Day (actually, where was UNIT in that one?). It
seems the Eleventh Doctor only comes to ‘our time’ Earth when he’s picking up
the Ponds and sorting out monsters in cupboards.

I see what you
mean. But what I really mean are the global treat stories. Since the Eleventh
Doctor we haven’t had one of those. Episodes like The Sontaran Strategem/The
Poison Sky. I follow everything from the Whoniverse (except that K9 series) and
I am not the only one wondering where the heck the Doctor was during Torchwood:
Children of Earth and Miracle Day (actually, where was UNIT in that one?). It
seems the Eleventh Doctor only comes to ‘our time’ Earth when he’s picking up
the Ponds and sorting out monsters in cupboards.

Have some problems with posting a reaction. So pardon if there comes a tsunami of posts from me.

Most LIkely Answer Within The Whoniverse - Revealed in the episode The Doctor's Wife - the TARDIS chooses when and where the Doctor is needed - we saw the consequences of what happens when the Doctor ignores this in The Water Of Mars. Maybe Children of Earth was a fixed point in time and the Doctor couldn't interfere. Also - Gwen suggested that if The Doc could see what the humans were willing to do he would be disgusted - perhaps he deliberately left them to face the consequences of their own actions.

In answer to your UNIT question... Re-watch the final episode of Miracle Day - UNIT's involvement is mentioned - they were sent to seal The Blessing after Jack and Rex put things back to normal. And the doctor is mentioned in Miracle Day.

Actual Answer - Torchwood is a show featuring adult themes and by putting The Doctor in it you make kids want to watch it. Also - when COE was filming David Tennant was busy himself making the 08/09/10 specials. Same with Matt Smith and Miracle Day's schedules.

I think we're very unlikely to see any modern day global threat episodes in the near future.

From the fourth series in 2008 right up until The Asylum of the Daleks we saw an running theme of the Doctor beginning to realise that his fame/notoriety was actually causing problems for the people of Earth therefore he has slowly removed evidence of the existence of aliens, including himself, from Earth history - not to mention his drive to make sure that the entire universe to believe that he is dead - the final part of that task being the deletion of his memory from the Dalek path web by Oswin.

If, then, we have a modern day invasion story where the Doctor shows up and saves the world all that work of more than two seasons of episodes has been undone. The Doctor was always supposed to be a mysterious interloper who turns and quietly gets involved in historical affairs - without leaving any evidence he was ever there - saving the world to the ignorance of the human race.

Stories where The Doctor mysteriously appears, helps solve a mystery and then slopes off without waiting for thanks are much more like classic Who's style. Episodes like The Wasp & The Unicorn, Night Terrors, Vincent & The Doctor and Hungry Earth/Cold Blood are great examples of this and I welcome a return to that kind of storytelling.

Some interesting statistics posted below and agreed, too many present day earth stories proportionately. I'd also rather see other planets or past or future earth.

Also this description sounds a bit like the Toclafane/an RTD earth invasion story, although being the Moffat era, I don't doubt it will be v different and not a direct style of story telling as indeed the summary suggests (Doctor moving in....).

With any luck all that nonsense was sucked into the cracks!
Moffat seems to have removed the daily alien threats so as to actually make the people of earth FRIGHTENED again (by the end of series 2 he'd basically made the earths population shrug off alien invasions as mundane and commonplace).
I'm a little worried the power of three might undo this good work but then classic who wrote alien earth invasions that left the human population none-the-wiser... hopefully Chibnall will have the sense to follow in it's footsteps.

Yes, I also have picked up the Doctor and UNIT mentions in CoE and MD. But where UNIT was seen to be involved with the 456 incursion, they seem not to be with MD until the end.

On the Doctor subject: Given that the timeline of events is correct, TW: MD plays around the same time as DW Series 6. Why did the Ponds not mention this to the Doctor, why didn't he know?

Putting all things together, I think this might be a an endless discussion until RTD and/or the Moff gives a clear statement about the line of events.

I don't buy all this 'removed daily threat so people of earth can be frightened again' nonsense, it's like the over using the daleks argument - it's not over using them it's about writing a good story (not having them flounce about in a pinny) and with the end of the world it's about the story too, and there have been many cracking end of the world stories since it's return!

Looking forward to this one, as it is the one we know the least about.

On the UNIT involvement - COE had a definite location for the problem - Whitehall. MD was worldwide so until a definite location could be defined UNIT had nowhere to act - once Buenos Aires and Shanghai were identified they were swift. A large portion of MD was about Jack, Rex and co being on the run and I doubt UNIT bother themselves with that kind of thing - they would leave that to local law enforcement, as happened in the show.

On that note - UNIT are a military group for dealing with alien incursions - how does a soldier with a gun solve the problem of people not dying? Closing down the source once it is identified however...

I've got a more 'official' answer on why MD is not mentioned in DW.
According to the 2011 timeline, on the TARDIS Index File, Amy was captured by the Silence and made into a ganger and then Rory and fake Amy re-joined the Doctor to travel with him - in The Impossible Astronaut - before July 2011 when Miracle Day started. They were then delivered home by River, some time after A Good Man Goes To War in April 2011, still before the events of Miracle Day. By the time the Doctor picked them up again (late Sept 2011) in Let's Kill Hitler, Miracle Day had been over for a few weeks (it started in July 2011 and was resolved in early Sept 2011). So this answers a few things...
1) The Doctor did not help out in Miracle Day because he was travelling the universe looking for Baby Pond which was obviously where he was needed otherwise the TARDIS would have brought him to earth.2) Amy and Rory probably don't mention it to the Doctor for a couple of reasons a) They have more pressing worries (Who kills the Doctor? How can they stop it? Where's the baby?) and b) Who wants to hear a conversation where Amy basically says "While you were searching for the baby there was this big problem but it got solved a third of a year ago." We don't get to see everything that happens in the TARDIS - for all we know they discussed it round the dinner table - the viewers of Who didn't need to hear it to move the Who story along.
According to The Writer's Tale, Davies' book written during his preparation to leave the show, Moffat and Davies did discuss issues to make sure the shows didn't contradict each other.

No I'm serious, when the entire world is just shrugging things on - your writers have a problem.
When the prime minister is in control of giant space laser that can just blow up irritating UFOs without the Doctors help... your writers have a problem.

RTD ended up having to raise the stakes so many times that the show became a parody of itsself by the end of his rein. Journey's End and End of Time were so ridiculous as to make me positively angry.

It's also absurd that the world doesn't change in any way... things carry on as normal except that people know about aliens? No infighting, no sudden co-operation and accelerated space programs, no panic or hysteria.

You might be
right about UNIT. It sounds very plausible.

On you first
point about the absence of the Doctor however: Why couldn’t he go to Earth
during TW:MD? Isn’t he a time traveller? In theory he could go to the events of TW:MD
after the events of DW Series 6 were over. Instead he goes to a Sontaran planet,
a Paris hotelroom and goes rapping? However it would fit that he doesn’t want
to intervene because he just doesn’t want to. He wants to be on the down low,
under the radar if you will. It does give a nice opportunity for an interesting
discussion when the Doctor and Captain Jack meet again. This could be next year (Who's 50th anniversery). Borrowman wants to. We will see.

Although I agree with you mostly, I will add that I think Doctor Who is always so strapped for time that it struggles to look at the ramifications of a massive alien invasion. The Doctor is 'the man who keeps running', after all.
I thought it was interesting in TW: Children of Earth to see these sorts of things briefly mentioned in the opening episode. That doctor who talks to Gwen says he knows a woman who committed suicide, purely because the universe had landed at her feet, and she felt so small and insignificant she ended her life. I think RTD was capable of telling this as a really good story, it's just the show doesn't really have the room to always squeeze it in.

I have to agree, it lost something massive when RTD had aliens wandering all over the planet on a monthly basis. It felt like he was obsessed with keeping the series on Earth. Budget issues or a lack of imagination?

This synopsis reminds me of a book I read as a little 'un: 'Trillions', by Nicholas Fisk. Strange, initially innocuous shapes rain to earth....

Am I the only one sick of watching episodes set on Earth, be it past, present or future, almost every episode since 2005 (as far as I can tell has been set on earth). What about some decent foreign planets, like The Keys of Marinus or The Brain of Morbius. I also wish they would bring back the timelords (unlikely I know), but if anyone can write a convoluted and complicated story that actually makes sense and undoes the events of the timewar, its Moffat. The time war served it's purpose and was interesting for a while, but its time to bring back the time lord's, an episode on Galifrey would be the best (although very hard to explain, but if we can have the whole River Song nightmare, we can have some plausible explanation for them coming back)

'Living in the spare room?' Surely he would just park the TARDIS in their spare room and continue to live in it as he usually does?

First thing I thought of, too...

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