Synopsis: In The Power of the Doctor, The Thirteenth Doctor must fight for her very existence, against her deadliest enemies: the Daleks, the Cybermen and her arch-nemesis, the Master.
When the Doctor, Yaz, and Dan try to foil a train heist they encounter The Cybermaster’s and a whole heap of trouble as The Master begins to pull the various pieces together of his master plan. Having formed an alliance with both the Cybermen and Daleks. The Master looks to force The Doctor into regeneration so that her next regeneration will be made up of some of his essences. At least enough for The Master Doctor to traverse around the Galaxy to undo all the good that the Doctor and her predecessors have done.
However, The Master, who has spent a while posing as Rasputin in order to weave his plan into shape hasn’t counted on the Power of the Doctor, which is the friendships and companions that every incarnation of The Doctor has collected. Or indeed the Doctor’s guardians who sit at the edge of existence to assist with regeneration.
Sacha Dhawan makes a triumphant return as The Master and really goes all out to inspire fear. I really loved the fact that he chose to pose as Rasputin for the sequences of the story that were set in 1916, which happened to be the same year that the real Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin died. For her part, Jodie Whittaker was fairly inconsistent in her portrayal of the Doctor, which is perfectly on form with all of her work on the series to date. I’m not a fan of this incarnation. So am not going to sugarcoat it. We get great guest appearances from Janet Fielding and Sophie Aldred as Tegan and Ace from the classic run of the series. I found it to be a fun notion that Tegan and Ace would be working together given that both these companions were very much the prototype for the stronger female companions that followed. Ace in particular was always ready for an adventure with her trusty baseball bat and Nitro 9. While consistent with her character Tegan was more of a reluctant hero that just did what needed to be done while also having a good moan about it.
We also get guest appearances from Peter Davison (The 5th Doctor), Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Seventh Doctor), Paul McGann (The Eighth Doctor), and (David Bradley) as the First Doctor. We also see Jo Martin‘s Doctor return to help 13 kick off her plan to regenerate from Master Doctor back to herself. A degeneration that is thankfully short-lived.
The Power of the Doctor just about hangs together and takes advantage of many of the things that we saw introduced in the somewhat uneven Flux storyline. In fact, it sort of pays some of the seeds sewn in that storyline off. As well as elements from season 12.
However, given all the guest stars and easter eggs weaved into the 90-minute episode. It felt a bit uneven and very much felt like more a work of fan fiction rather than solid drama. I did enjoy the notion of the Doctor meeting past incarnations of her former selves at the edge of existence and would happily sign up for a two-part story to just explore that. But the story felt like it was written by someone that had overdosed and hallucinogenics and speed combined as no sooner as you’d made sense of one aspect. You got thrown another curveball. It was very unbalanced and unstable. In fact, you’d get more sense from the lettuce that outlasted Liz Truss’s premiership.
In conclusion, there were bits that I liked. But for the most part, it felt somewhat average.
- CGI & Stunts9.8
- Incidental Music8.0