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After all the excitement of mad old Daleks, cyborg gunslingers and prehistoric lizards (incidentally, where do you suppose the Doctor took those dinosaurs? Back to the cretaceous period? Surely they’d have ended up being scooped up by the Silurians again, which would form a history loop of some kind and… yeah, you’re right, let’s get on with the recap), it’s time for Amy and Rory to kick back and enjoy a few home comforts.
It’s now 10 years since Amy first started traveling with the Doctor. She’s given up the modeling and now writes travel articles. Rory continues to excel as a nurse, except he’s catching some heat from his boss because, try as he might, the Doctor can never quite return them at the same point in time from which they departed.
But that’s by the by, a time-traveler’s admin headache, and not the stuff of legendary adventures. Not like, say, a rain of little black cubes all over the planet. Even the Doctor can’t tell what they are, and nor can Rory’s dad Brian (who has developed an obsessive need to record their every non-movement).
The Doctor sets up a base in Amy and Rory’s house and starts to cook the cubes, to see what they do. They do nothing. Meanwhile, UNIT have arrived (without knocking), and Rory is in his pants. Enter Kate Stewart, daughter of the Brigadier (OLD SCHOOL WHOVIAN SQUEE!). It seems UNIT is as flummoxed by these cubes as everyone else. It also seems that the Doctor is not a fan of Twitter.
A vigil begins, the observation of the cubes. The Doctor is not handling it well, so he paints the fence, mows the lawn, fixes the car, hoovers the house, plays infinite keepy-uppies and finally concludes that he needs some time off. Unfortunately, Rory and Amy can’t come with him, as they’ve got work in the morning (and Amy is about to be asked to be a bridesmaid). They decide they rather like living in the now, instead of the then/now/soon of the TARDIS.
Brian is filming his cube. He has a log, called Brian’s Log. Months pass.
Then, suddenly, it’s Christmas, the cubes start doing things. Men with Darth Vader mouths attack a man in Rory’s hospital and a young girl watches, malevolently. More months pass.
It’s summer, Amy and Rory’s wedding anniversary, and the Doctor is finally back! He takes them to the first night of the Savoy hotel as an anniversary present. Sadly it goes awry when it turns out to have been a front for a Zygon invasion. So they go to see Henry VIII instead, who marries Amy. Time to go home.
Then a moment of reality. Brian asks the Doctor what happened to his former companions. A shamefaced Doctor admits not everyone makes it. He then asks to stay at the Pond house for a bit, and serves fish fingers and custard. But the blocks are moving again, and Brian spots it first.
Rory’s block has a lid. Amy’s block has spikes and a pulse, and the Doctor’s block can hover, and surf the internet, oh, and shoot. It’s a shootyblock! Run away!
But Rory has to go to work, and takes Brian with him. Meanwhile Amy and the Doctor visit UNIT at the Tower of London. All the cubes are behaving individually, especially the one playing “The Birdy Song.” Except they’ve all stopped. Time for Amy and the Doctor to have a heart to heart. Is it time to stop the traveling? Maybe. Should the Doctor keep running towards every exciting thing in the universe (including Amy and Rory)? Definitely.
Suddenly the power dies. And the cubes begin a countdown. They’ve been observing humanity, searching for weakness, and now they’re ready to make a move. Time to organize a world-wide cube-cull.
Meanwhile at the hospital, the malevolent child is still in reception, Brian has encountered the Darthface nurses, who run off with him while Rory gives chase. The hospital lift is a portal to a spaceship, and that’s where Rory ends up.
The Doctor proposes a one-to-one with a cube, which finally counts down to zero, then opens. It is empty. They are all empty. And suddenly people are collapsing all over the world, with heart failure, including the Doctor. He’s down to just the one heart, and it really hurts. Time to investigate that child in Rory’s hospital.
She’s a droid! The Doctor has collapsed! Amy’s got a defibrillator! She jumpstarts the Doctor’s left heart! Time to get in the lift and go and see Rory, who’s having a lie down. The Doctor spots a man (who looks like an unmasked Darth Vader), and it turns out he’s a digital representation of a Chakri, an ancient race of pest controllers known to all the Time Lords. They are there to stop humanity from colonizing space, there’s going to be a Tally, a judgement of humanity, and humanity will lose.
The Doctor jimmies the spaceship to use the cubes to start everyones hearts again, which naturally blows the spaceship up. Luckily everyone gets out OK, through the lift portal. Humanity is saved!
Then, over dinner, the Doctor announces he’s leaving, and Brian, worrying, loyal Brian, encourages Amy and Rory to go with them. Let’s hope he doesn’t live to regret this…
Next: The Angels Take Manhattan
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic