As this evening drew closer I was frankly far more excited about seeing the finale of season two of The Borgias on Sky Atlantic than The Power Of Three.
From the trailers it looked as though this was going be an episode heavy with The Ponds' home-life and the last thing I really needed was more of their turgid soap operatics - and certainly not a repeat of the flimsy, unconvincing "divorce" sub-plot shoehorned pointlessly in Asylum Of The Daleks.
Such a big issue in the Ponds' life that it's resolved in minutes, and banging on about "not being able to have children" when they already have a daughter (the circumstances of her birth are irrelevant, River Song is their child and there are plenty of couples out there who would be delighted to be able to say that).
Sorry, Moff, not buying it!
This half-season of "self-contained blockbuster movies" has been a dismal failure. Even last week's episode, which I enjoyed at the time (although many others on the Interwebz apparently didn't), was forgotten within about a day.
There's simply this feeling of spinning wheels until Amy and Rory leave and The Doctor can team up with his new companion - although I understand the "standalone mini-movies" approach is continuing through the latter half of the season as well.
As I've said before I'll be sad to see Rory go, as he's an interesting character with the potential for more stories in him, but moody Amy has far out-stayed her welcome - except as eye candy, of course.
The Power Of Three itself was a lot of fuss over nothing. In the near future millions of black cubes appear overnight on Earth. People - including The Doctor and The Ponds - are fascinated by them. But they do nothing. They do nothing for almost a year. Then suddenly they activate for a short while, go dormant and then start a countdown (from seven).
Beware spoilers ahead...
The Doctor finds there are seven transmitters around the globe connected to the cubes and one just happens to be in the hospital where Rory works. There's a portal in a goods elevator that links to an alien spaceship in orbit.
The aliens, the Shakri, are also kidnapping random people up to their spacecraft for no readily apparent reason given their ultimate goal.
The cubes open and cause fatal heart attacks in the people nearest them. But The Doctor goes up to the spaceship - talks with the hologram of a Shakri for a bit - then zaps the machinery with his sonic and uses the cubes to restart the dead people's hearts.
And that's it.
There's a lot of padding, as expected, about The Ponds' life during the year, a series of "comedy" vignettes where The Doctor takes The Ponds away on their wedding anniversary (these unfunny scenes are a signature of the Moffat years that will hopefully be phased out once he leaves), and then everything gets wrapped up very simply in the final 10 minutes.
A bafflingly nonsensical alien scheme that The Doctor could have easily solved within minutes if he'd just acted when the cubes first arrived (as he would have any other time, except here Chris Chibnall decided to change the Doctor's character to fit his rubbish story).
As well as a welcome return appearance by Rory's dad, Brian (Mark Williams), the only noteworthy element of this story was the introduction of UNIT's new boss Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), the daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. I really hope Kate returns as she worked well with Matt Smith's Doctor and was more than just a nice nod to one of the stalwarts of the show's Classic era.
Another crashingly dull and pointless episode from the "winning" combination of writer Chris Chibnall and producer Steven Moffat.
Next week (the Ponds' swan song):