Doctor Who’s New Showrunner: Who is Chris Chibnall?

6 of 7


Doctor Who, Season 7, Episode 4 – “The Power of Three”

My biggest issue with this episode is the punchline. The last line of the episode only sort of makes sense — yet is spoken like it’s the most profound and proudest written moment.

According to Anglophenia, Chibnall based the story on the MSC Napoli shipwreck 11 years ago. The ship had a large collection of items aboard it, which washed up on shore in the coming months, and people grabbed the items and brought them home.

The idea that overnight, a city could be filled with little black boxes, like in this episode and people would pick them up and use them as paperweights, without knowing what they are, where they’re from, why they’re here … It seems more like a Black Mirror episode than anything else, to be honest. It’s chilling.

My second biggest issue with this episode was the way the set-up was so chilling–with people blindly taking in the cubes– but there was really no pay-off. The Shakri, as a monster, is interesting and has a lot of potential. A Gallifreyan children’s story turning out to be true!

It could have been a much more satisfying conversation between the Doctor and the Shakri, and I was disappointed when it came to light the Shakri’s main scheme is to “save the earth” by demolishing “the human plague,” which is a common storyline, and maybe a bit played out at this point.

I feel like it’s hard to talk about Chris Chibnall without mentioning Classic Who and the nods and secrets hidden in NuWho, and this episode was ripe with them. These moments are entertaining for anyone, but are an extra juicy bonus for the Classic Who fans.

The creation of Kate Stewart was a real fangirl moment for me. I had just finished watching the Third Doctor’s tenure when he was earthbound, working for UNIT under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart before this episode aired, and when they introduced Kate Stewart, I swear I welled up with tears of fangirling.

Best line bonus:


Chibnall also shows us in this episode that he really understands the Doctor. He understands the rhythm of his hearts, his hopes, his dreams, and his history. He has a few moments that show this, but the best way has to be this gorgeous speech, showing the depth of Chibnall’s love for the Doctor (and his magnificent ability to write poetry in lists, complete with some fab alliteration.):

“I’m not running away. But this is one corner of one country and one continent on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of the universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. and there is so much, so much to see, Amy. because it goes so fast.

I’m not running away from things. I’m running to them before they flare and fade forever. It’s all right. our lives won’t run the same. They can’t. One day, soon, maybe, you’ll stop.” (LIKE THE NEXT EPISODE, HOLD MY TEARS.)