If there’s anything the Doctor hates, it’s life on the slow path. But due to a particularly slow invasion and a hint of nostalgia, he gets a taste of it anyway.
Mysterious black cubes arrive all over the planet, piquing the Doctor’s interest. Before he can learn anything about them, UNIT, led by Kate Stewart (Classic Who fans take note: she’s the Brigadier’s daughter!) storms the Pond house–catching Rory with his trousers down!
Four days later, the Doctor is still observing the stationary cubes. Bored out of his mind, he proceeds to do every chore known to mankind, replacing the Ood as the Ponds’ butler. An hour later, he’s back in the TARDIS, anxious to leave, only to find Brian Williams still sitting in the TARDIS, watching the cubes. The Doctor invites Amy and Rory to join him, but, finally entrenched in a normal life, they refuse.
Months pass. Rory’s agreed to take a full time position at the hospital and Amy’s agreed to be a bridesmaid. At the Doctor’s behest, Brian continues to watch the cubes for signs of activity.
The Doctor returns for the Ponds’ wedding anniversary, and, as a gift, brings them to the 1890, where Amy accidentally marries Henry VIII. They return to their anniversary party after weeks spent with the Doctor, much to Brian’s chagrin. The Doctor admits that he’s lost companions to death before, but refuses to consider that Amy and Rory might die on their journeys with him.
Having missed the Ponds (he’s been visiting them on and off for 10 years!), he decides to stay as a houseguest. Much more patient this time around, he joins the couple for reality TV, and becomes obsessed with the Wii.
Suddenly, the cubes activate worldwide. One attacks the Doctor mid-Wii game, another takes a blood sample from Amy, and, after an entire year of observation, Brian’s finally moves! Rory gets called into the hospital to deal with the fallout, and Brian joins him.
Meanwhile, Amy and the Doctor are called to the Tower of London by UNIT. There, fifty cubes are being monitored, with no two behaving alike. Some create mood swings, others spontaneously exert flames, and, most disturbingly of all…one plays the Chicken Dance song!
Sitting outside the Tower, Amy and the Doctor have a heart to heart. Amy accuses the Doctor of running away, but she is wrong. Rather, the Doctor is running toward pieces of the universe before they fade away…and now he is running toward the Ponds before they do the same.
Suddenly, the cubes begin to countdown from seven. At the end of the countdown, they open…but there’s nothing inside. Within minutes, people across the world are dying from cardiac arrest, and the Doctor loses function in one of his hearts. He proceeds to complain about the ridiculousness of having only a single heart…and seemingly forgets that all his companions need to do is hit him in the chest and back to make it work again (His second heart was restarted in this manner back in series 3).
He and Amy rush to the hospital, where a wormhole has opened. While there, Amy grabs a defibrillator and, ripping the Doctor’s shirt open, jolts his second heart back to life. Overjoyed, the Doctor mistakes himself for a Broadway showman, striking a pose at the end of his happy dance.
Inside an elevator, Amy and the Doctor discover a portal to a spaceship, wherein they find Rory and Brian unconscious. They wake the pair, and the Doctor confronts the alien responsible for the black boxes–a galactic exterminator, trying to wipe out the pestilent human race before it can spread.
The Doctor reprograms the boxes to defibrillate the people whose hearts they stopped, and the foursome return to the Ponds’ house for dinner. When the Doctor invites the pair to accompany him, Brian convinces them to go, having had a change of heart. He asks the Doctor to keep them safe, a promise that may go unanswered when the Ponds make their final departure in next week’s midseason finale.
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