S07xE04 – Thousand upon thousands of little black cubes magically appear on Earth one day. What are they? What do they do? Are they dangerous? The Doctor concludes as well as UNIT (a welcoming and long awaited return) that it’s a slow invasion of Earth. How slow? Try nearly a year before a move is made. And even then it’s not an invasion like you’ve seen before. Each cube reacts in a different way; one plays with your emotions, another plays The Chicken Dance, another pricks your hand and monitors your heartbeat, and another shoots at you. And then almost all at once, people start dropping dead of cardiac arrest, even The Doctor loses one beating heart. Good thing he’s got another! So who is behind this cube invasion? The Shakri. And their plan is to wipe out the human race before they colonize space. Sheesh talk about ego issues. So now The Doctor needs to figure out how to save Earth, again. This happens a lot. Thank God for The Doctor. Anyway The Doctor being the genius he is, reverses the actions of the cubes, where basically they are taking away life, they will now return life. This will require a big giant electrical surge that will jolt Earth back to life, and explode the ship behind the invasion that has been orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere this entire time. The episode wraps up with The Doctor telling the Ponds he’d best be on his way, that he knows they have their own lives to live. It’s Brian who actually encourages Amy and Rory to go with The Doctor telling them that life will still be here when they get back. The Doctor invites Brian along, but he declines. And with this we get the ultimate hint that the Ponds won’t be returning. Gah.
Best of the episode: There were so many things about this episode that I loved. An homage to the Brigadier. We had the opportunity to meet his daughter Kate Stewart, who happens to be heading up the science division of UNIT. Rory’s dad returning and wanting to help determine the purpose of the cubes. It was absolutely adorable that he was filming every minute of every day of a cube and then reviewing the footage! Mark Williams is perfect for the role of Rory’s dad. The Doctor actually having to be patient, which is not a virtue he typically displays, and at first he doesn’t. He goes travelling while leaving the Ponds to monitor the cube situation, but then realizes how much he actually misses them and decides to stay and wait out the possible invasion. We even get a return of fish fingers and custard! The dynamic between Amy and The Doctor is going to be missed very much, and the chance to see how life is led when The Doctor is away was a nice change as well.
Worst of the episode: The not-so-subtle implications that the Ponds are going to die. We’ve all known for a while now that the Ponds will be leaving us soon, and there have been some theories that they may die, but let’s be honest, we are all hoping it will be a simple decision to stop travelling with The Doctor. From this episode alone, it sounds like this won’t be the case. I’m positive something very bad is going to happen with the Weeping Angels in the next episode. That either they will be sent to another time period lost forever, or the angels will kill them. They’ve been known to take this option before. Not to mention the eerie similarities between this episode and Billie Piper’s final episodes, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. Both were narrated by the companion in a style of recapping their final moments with The Doctor and both had slow invasions of Earth. If this is on purpose and is to be a sign of what’s coming, then my guess is that they are displaced by the Weeping Angels. Oh the stress.
Where did this episode leave us?: Honestly wondering how the Pond’s are going to leave us. The “hints” have been so heavy in these episodes so far. We know they’re going to leave us, we know the Weeping Angels will be involved, and that even though Christmas is typically a joyous time, this year it’s going to be a very sad episode most likely dealing with the aftermath of what will happen in The Angels Take Manhattan. Man the stress.
Best one-liner: Rory – “There are soldiers all over my house, and I’m in my pants.” (underwear for us Americans).
What the episode ruined for us: Cubes. We will now assume they are alien torture devices.
– a la Chryshele