BBC Doctor Who - The Stories BBC
QuickNav to a Season: 
QuickNav to a Story: 
 
The Previous Story
The Power of Three
 The Previous Story
The Previous Story
(A Town Called Mercy)
 The Next Story
(The Angels Take Manhattan)
Season
Details
SynopsisGeneral
Information
The
Episodes
Audience
Appreciation
ArchivesNotesFirst and LastThe PlotQuote of
the Story
Release
Information
In PrintPhoto
Gallery
 

Matt Smith
The Power of Three
Eleventh Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Cubed
Cubed
 There have been many ways to invade the Earth, and The Doctor has seen them all – or so he always thought.

 When the human race wakes up one morning they discover the world has been overrun by… small black cubes. Which then proceed to… do nothing 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 one of the least of his virtues: patience. And the Ponds face something possibly more terrifying than any world-ending apocalypse: The Doctor is moving in!



General Information

Season: Thirty Three (New Series 7)
Production Code: 7-4
Story Number: 229 (New Series: 73)
Episode Number:788 (New Series: 92)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Cubed"
Production Dates: June - July 2012
Broadcast Date: 22 September 2012
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Belle Vue Park (Albert Road, Penarth)
Writer:Chris Chibnall
Director:Douglas MacKinnon
Producer:Marcus Wilson
Executive Producers:Caroline Skinner and Steven Moffat
Assistant Director:Danielle Richards
Script Producer:Denise Paul
Script Supervisor:Rory Herbert
Script Editor:John Phillips (Assistant)
Editor:Mike Hopkins
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Phillipa Cole
Production Assistants:Rachel Vipond and Samantha Price
Post Production Supervisor:Nerys Davies
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Gavin Struthers
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Diana Barton
Costume Designer:Howard Burden
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Evelina Norgren (Assistant), Meg De Koning (Assistant), Sam Smithard (Assistant) and Joe Russell (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Tom Heuzenroeder
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Visual Effects:Space Digital and The Mill
Special Effects:Real SFX
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Title Sequence:Frame Store
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) Guest Cast: Mark Williams (Brian Williams), Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart) Additional Cast: Steven Berkoff (Shakri), Selva Rasalingham (Ranjit), Alice O'Connell (Laura), Peter Cartwright (Arnold Underwood), David Beck (Orderly 1), Daneil Beck (Orderly 2), David Hartley (UNIT Researcher)Setting: England (2020 - 2021) Villain:The Shakri

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
788The Power of Three22 September 201241'13"7.7Yes

Total Duration 41 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.7
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2012)76.00%  (Position = 3 out of 5)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)65.65% Lower (Position = 164 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



Return to the top of this page
 


Notes


This is Amy and Rory's penultimate story. It also features the return of UNIT and introduced their new leader, Kate Stewart – the daughter of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (aka The Brigadier).

It has been written by Chris Chibnall, who has previously written the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "42". He also wrote the 2010 story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" and also "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" - the second story of this season. He has also been a major contributor to the spinoff series Torchwood.

Chris Chibnall has described "The Power of Three" as ‘a lovely big Earth invasion story’ but different than the ones done before, as it focuses on Amy and Rory's time with The Doctor and the impact he has on their lives. He has also stated it is told more from Amy and Rory's point of view than ever before, and is about celebrating them before they leave in the following story.

This story has been directed by Douglas Mackinnon, who previously oversaw the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky".

Jemma Redgrave, who played the part of Kate Stewart, is a member of the famous Redgrave theatrical family. She is the daughter of the late Corin Redgrave and the niece of both Vanessa Redgrave and the late Lynn Redgrave. Her film appearances include 1992's Howards End, in which she played Evie Wilcox, and the 2005 version of Lassie in which she was Daisie. She has played many roles on television but is perhaps best known as Eve Granger in Cold Blood, Dr Eleanor Bramwell in Bramwell, and another Eleanor in The Buddha of Suburbia.

Acclaimed actor Steven Berkoff, who played the hologram Shakri, is also a playwright, author and director. For his works in Hollywood movies, he is best known for portraying uncompromising villains. In the 1983 Roger Moore James Bond film Octopussy, he played General Orlov; he was a corrupt art dealer with Eddie Murphy in the original Beverly Hills Cop in 1984; and he was a sadistic Soviet officer in the 1985 sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II, which starred Sylvester Stallone. He has also played a wide variety of roles on television, several of which have been in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, including parts in The Avengers, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Children of Dune, and a recurring role as a Moonbase interceptor pilot in Gerry Anderson's UFO.

This story also features cameos from physicist Brian Cox and Lord Sugar, both of whom are long-time fans of the show. Lord Sugar's cameo was in fact filmed on the set of The Apprentice, with director Douglas Mackinnon standing in for the man who was fired for not selling enough cubes. While Brian Cox is seen being interviewed, on the news, and giving an opinion about the cubes. Neither Brian Cox nor Lord Sugar received an onscreen credit.

This was the last story that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Amy and Rory) worked on together. Their final day working on the show took place on the 12th May 2012.

Their last scene filmed together was getting into the TARDIS with The Doctor. It has been reported that when the doors closed Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Matt Smith hugged and started crying. Some exterior scenes at Amy and Rory's house were re-shot in June and July 2012, with Darvill briefly returning for the June re-shoot.

The Doctor and Amy's conversation outside the Tower of London could not be filmed at the genuine location due to the London Olympics, so it was shot in a studio in Cardiff and the live action was combined with other footage to create the illusion.

Producer Marcus Wilson has revealed that a hundred individual cube props were made, with many more added using computer-generated imagery (CGI).

UNIT first appeared in the 1968 Second Doctor story "The Invasion" and became a regular feature during the Third Doctor’s era. UNIT was last seen in the 2009 Tenth Doctor story "Planet of the Dead".

The Tower of London had previously served as a UNIT base in the Tenth Doctor stories "The Christmas Invasion" (2005) and "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky" (2008).

This story reveals that Kate Stewart is now running UNIT and that she is the daughter of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. This character previously appeared in the Reeltime Pictures direct-to-video films Downtime and Dæmos Rising played by Beverley Cressman. Kate Stewart also appeared in the Virgin Books’ The Missing Adventures Third Doctor novel "The Scales of Injustice" that was written by Gary Russell.

The appearance of Kate Stewart marks the first time that a character introduced in a direct-to-video spin-off has reappeared in the television show. As Head of Scientific Research, Kate Stewart's role in UNIT combines that of scientific advisor, held by the Third Doctor and Fourth Doctor with that of Commanding Officer held by her father. She shortened her family name when she joined UNIT as she wanted to be judged on her own merits.

Following the death of actor Nicholas Courtney, who played The Brigadier, in early 2011, The Doctor learned of The Brigadier's death in the Season Thirty Two (New Series 6) finale "The Wedding of River Song".

It has been revealed that Matt Smith enjoyed working with Jemma Redgrave, who described her as being‘graceful, funny and charming and an absolute delight’.

This story’s title was originally reported as being "Cubed", but was later announced as "The Power of Three".

At one point, The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are seen relaxing and eating fish fingers and custard - a reference that has been made throughout the Eleventh Doctor's era. The Doctor was first seen eating fish fingers and custard in the 2010 story "The Eleventh Hour" when he met Amy for the first time.

The Doctor states that he invented the Yorkshire Pudding.

While playing virtual tennis, The Doctor mentions the tennis player Fred Perry and a pair of shorts he borrowed from him.

Twitter is mentioned again (see the 2011 story "The Girl Who Waited"). Matt Smith put disgust into The Doctor's remark concerning Twitter - reflecting his real-life decision to stay off the social network. Kate Stewart is also heard to mention Flickr and You Tube.

Kate Stewart traced Artron energy levels to find The Doctor and then identifies him due to his fashion sense and double hearts.

The Doctor once again is heard to ask how humans cope with just one heart (see the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "The Shakespeare Code").

A defibrillator has been used on The Doctor before (see the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie").

There were Zygon duplicates at the newly opened Savoy hotel and Amy and Rory's stay is ruined when it is revealed that there was ‘a Zygon spaceship parked under the Savoy’. The Zygons previously featured in the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "Terror of the Zygons".

The Doctor is heard to mention that he has run restaurants before, possibly a reference to the Virgin Books’ The Missing Adventures Fifth Doctor novel "The Crystal Bucephalus" written by Craig Hinton.

The dress and hairstyle of Amy during his visit to the Savoy Hotel is very similar to Tegan Jovanka’s dress and hairstyle seen in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Enlightenment".

It is revealed that ten years have passed since the events of "The Eleventh Hour" in Amy's personal timeline.

Whilst hiding from Henry VIII, The Doctor is seen holding a mobile phone charger, which is apparently dropped as he sneezes (see also "A Town Called Mercy").

The Doctor has unintentionally revealed his hiding place by sneezing in a previous story, whilst hiding from another royal, Charles II (see the 2011 story "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon").

During this scene it is revealed that Amy has accidentally married Henry VIII.

When Amy calls the Gallifreyan bedtime story about The Shakri weird, The Doctor remarks ‘You can talk. Werewolf in your grandmother's dress?’ in reference to the story Little Red Riding Hood.

The Doctor is heard saying to Amy ‘Through the looking glass, Pond - a reference to the classic children’s book Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Amy and Rory’s wedding anniversary takes place during this story. They previously got married, in Leadworth on the 26th June 2010, in "The Pandorica Opens//The Big Bang".

Rory is seen kissing The Doctor on the cheek. The Doctor was seen kissing Rory on the mouth in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".

Rory's father Brian reappears. His first appearance was in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".

When Brian asks The Doctor what happened to those who previously travelled with him, The Doctor replies that some left him, some got left behind, and some died. The most notable companions who have died in the show are Katarina (in the 1965/66 First Doctor story "The Daleks' Master Plan", Sara Kingdom (also in "The Daleks' Master Plan") and Adric (in the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Earthshock"). The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was left behind in the 1966 First Doctor story "The Dalek Invasion of Earth".

The song Merry Xmas Everybody, by the rock band Slade, is briefly heard in the hospital and the song Titanium, by French disc jockey/music producer David Guetta, is heard playing at the party Amy attends.

One of the cubes plays the infamously irritating Chicken Dance song (aka The Birdie Song), on an endless loop. The Doctor seems annoyed when he hears it and sticks his fingers in his ears.

The Doctor, talking to a flying cube, is heard to say ‘Is that all you can do? Hover? I'd a metal dog that could do that’ - referring to K9.

A voice interface was last seen in the 2011 story "Let's Kill Hitler".

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: When The Doctor observes the cube surfing the internet on the television, you can see someone outside the window behind the television. In other shots during this scene no one is outside the window; In some shots when the cubes are counting down from 7, some cubes are missing the numbers in one shot and then have them in the next. This can be seen when The Doctor is in the room with the cube, and when the nurse is removing the cubes in the hospital.

As with the previous three stories this story includes a unique logo in the title sequence. This time the texture resembled the cubes that featured prominently in this story. The production team have confirmed that the title sequence for every story in this season will have slightly different stylized versions of the Doctor Who logo.

Critical reception to this story was generally positive, highlighting the emotion and humour, although many critics derided the solution to the plot.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time that a character introduced in a direct-to-video spin-off has reappeared in the television show.

 Jemma Redgrave's first appearance as Kate Stewart - daughter of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

 The first appearance of UNIT since the 2009 Tenth Doctor story "Planet of the Dead".


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last story that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (as Amy and Rory) worked on together.

 Mark Williams' last appearance as Rory's father, Brian.


Return to the top of this page
 


The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Power of Three

A Cube Arrives
A Cube Arrives

After realising that they both lead two lives, one when they are with The Doctor and their everyday life in their London home, Amy and Rory conclude that they should choose one to stick with. But before they decide the TARDIS arrives and they are whisked away on another adventure with The Doctor. After returning home, the couple settle back into their everyday routine once more.

Then one morning they discover millions of small black cubes have suddenly appeared all over the world – but they all seem to be inert and do not pose any obvious danger. The Doctor, already there, attempts to understand them. His experiments though accidentally attract the attention of UNIT and a strike team quickly responds led by Kate Stewart, the daughter of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (aka The Brigadier). She quickly identifies The Doctor and explains that they have no idea of where they have come from, what they are made from or their purpose. Also due to the cubes' inactivity people have started taking them home and to work. After several days of waiting The Doctor decides the cubes pose no immediate threat and so puts Brian, Rory's father, in charge of watching them.

Bored with all the waiting The Doctor decides to go off in the TARDIS leaving Amy and Rory to continue with their lives and Brian keeping a video log of the cubes. Nine months pass, before The Doctor returns to take Amy and Rory on a journey through time once again. The trip takes on the usual mishaps; a few days journey turns into seven weeks. They return though exactly at the same point of time that they left. But despite this Brian notices that they are wearing different clothes and asks The Doctor the fates of his previous travelling companions; worrying about Amy and Rory’s possible future if they continue travelling with him. The Doctor admits some have died, but promises that he will not allow this to happen to Amy or Rory.

Brian, Rory and Amy
Brian, Rory and Amy

The next day the cubes suddenly become active – including the one in Amy and Rory’s house. Every one of the cubes exhibit different, random effects - including some that begin scanning the world's information networks. Others though are more dangerous including one that attacks The Doctor. Rory and Brian leave to help the hospital, where Rory works, with the recent injuries while The Doctor and Amy are summoned by UNIT to the Tower of London. There they discover that they have captured some of the cubes to monitor them. Suddenly the cubes become inactive again and the world begins to recover.

Unknown to anyone at the hospital a young girl with a cube has been controlling an orderly with a distorted face to capture some of the patients. Brian then crosses paths with two more orderlies acting strangely. They are in fact non-human entities being used by the small girl to kidnap patients from the hospital. Having been discovered, Brian is kidnapped as well and is taken, by the two orderlies, to a lift that is supposedly out of order, where they disappear. Rory, seeing the orderlies enter the out of order lift, follows and finds that the back of the lift is a portal to a spaceship in Earth's orbit.

The Doctor Investigates a Cubed
The Doctor Investigates a Cubed

Outside the Tower of London, The Doctor and Amy debate the merit of travelling the way they do; Amy considers it ‘running away’ while The Doctor considers it ‘running to’. During their conversation, The Doctor realises that the cubes acted out to gain attention and have also scanned the entire planet.

Suddenly the power at UNIT goes out, and the cubes begin a slow countdown from seven. At zero they all open but The Doctor, who has placed himself in a containment room with one of the cubes, discovers that it contains nothing. Moments pass before reports flood in, from all around the world, of people dying from cardiac arrest. The Doctor then experiences heart failure when one of his two hearts stops. He realises that on opening, the cubes sent out an electrical impulse that has killed about one-third of the human population.

With The Doctor’s help UNIT manages to trace a communication from the cubes to seven different outposts across the world, including one at the hospital where Rory works. The Doctor and Amy leave for the hospital where they discover the little girl with the active cube – The Doctor revealing her to be a simple android overseeing the entire operation. The Doctor shuts her down and Amy restarts The Doctor's heart with a defibrillator. The Doctor then discovers the lift and the portal to the spaceship that Rory had discovered earlier.

Kate Stewart
Kate Stewart

The Doctor and Amy arrive aboard the spaceship through a wormhole and discover the two orderlies - The Doctor quickly disabling them. They are then met by Rory before they discover Brian. While Amy and Rory take Brian back to the hospital The Doctor meets the spaceship’s on-board hologram.

The Doctor discovers that the spaceship was built by The Shakri, who, according to The Doctor, were a Gallifreyian legend of ‘pest controllers’ in the universe. He also learns from the hologram that the stolen electricity was used to exterminate the human race - which The Shakri considers is a contagion to be destroyed before they spread across the galaxy. The Shakri then prepares to launch a second wave of cubes to kill even more humans before disappearing.

Returning to the spaceship, Amy and Rory watch The Doctor use the spaceship's computer to reverse the shock the cubes gave to the original victims - so restoring them back to life. The surge however, destroys The Shakri’s spaceship just after The Doctor, Amy and Rory escape back to Earth.

As the world recovers, The Doctor prepares to leave when Brian insists that Amy and Rory should continue to travel with The Doctor - stating that the adventures they have with him are a once-in-a-lifetime event and that they should enjoy this unique opportunity.

 
Brian Williams
Brian Williams
The Doctor and Amy
The Doctor and Amy
The Spaceship
The Spaceship
The Shakri
The Shakri
 
The Android Girl
The Android Girl
The Coundown Starts
The Coundown Starts
The Countdown Ends
The Countdown Ends
The Power of Three
The Power of Three




Quote of the Story


 'So that was the year of the slow invasion, when the Earth got cubed and The Doctor came to stay. It was also when we realised something the Shakri never understood. What cubed actually means. The Power of Three.'

Amy



Return to the top of this page
 


Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCDVD 3697Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCBD 0215Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCDVD 3697Photo-montageDVD Limited Edition boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCBD 0215Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing all 5 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 7September 2013Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCDVD 3838Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCBD 0241Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCDVD 3878Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCBD 0251Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3971Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 15 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 452 (Released: November 2012)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 453 (Released: Decmber 2012)

Return to the top of this page
 


Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor

   

Karen Gillan
Amy Pond
 
Arthur Darvill
Rory Williams
   




On Release

DVD Part 1 Box Set
DVD Part 1 Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Ltd Edition DVD Cover
Ltd Edition DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Cover
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 452
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 452

Marvel Comics
 
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 453
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 453

Marvel Comics
   

Return to the top of this page
 
 
Who's Who
KJ Software
Who Me
Episodes of the
Eleventh Doctor


Season 33 (New Series 7) Press to go back to the previous visited page References
 
 
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.