Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 267: Smith Yr3 Ep 4 - The Power Of Three

The Cube is a BAFTA Award–winning British game show which first aired on ITV on 22 August 2009. Presented by Phillip Schofield, it offers contestants the chance to win a top prize of £250,000[1] by completing challenges from within a 4m × 4m × 4m Perspex cube. The show is based on the idea that even straightforward tasks become extremely challenging when confined and put under pressure in front of a large live studio audience. Once inside contestants can feel both claustrophobic and disorientated. Using "state-of-the-art filming techniques"[2] the show aims to demonstrate the intense anxiety which contestants undergo as they progress through each task. Colin McFarlane provides the disembodied voice of The Cube, who explains the rules of the games.

"The Power of Three"[3] is the fourth episode of the seventh series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who that will air on BBC One and BBC One HD on 22 September 2012. It was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Douglas Mackinnon.

The story will feature Matt Smith as alien time traveller the Doctor and his companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her husband Rory (Arthur Darvill). It will be Amy and Rory's penultimate episode. It will also feature UNIT[1] and will celebrate Amy and Rory's time with the Doctor by telling it from their point of view and examining his influence on their lives.


The episode's title was originally reported as "Cubed",[4] but was later announced as "The Power of Three".[3] Chris Chibnall had previously written the Doctor Who episodes "42" (2007), "The Hungry Earth"/"Cold Blood" (2010), and the second episode of the series, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". He was also a major contributor to the spinoff series Torchwood.[5][6] "The Power of Three" is his second contribution to Doctor Who's seventh series, after "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".[7] Chibnall described "The Power of Three" as "a lovely big Earth invasion story" but different than the ones done before, as it focused on Amy and Rory's time with the Doctor and the impact of him on their lives.[7] He stated it is told more from Amy and Rory's point of view than ever before, and is about celebrating them before they leave in the following episode.[7] Chibnall's brief from showrunner Steven Moffat was to "live with the Doctor — The Man Who Came to Dinner, Doctor Who style.[7] Chibnall was also inspired by the story of the MSC Napoli.[7] Smith put disgust into the Doctor's remark concerning Twitter in the episode, reflecting his real-life decision to stay off the social network.[8]

"The Power of Three" was filmed by itself in the series' third production block.[9] Because of this schedule, it was the final episode Gillan and Darvill filmed as Amy and Rory.[10] Their last scene filmed together was getting into the TARDIS with the Doctor; when the doors closed Gillan, Darvill, and Smith hugged and started crying.[11][12] Some exterior scenes at Amy and Rory's house were re-shot in June and July 2012, with Darvill briefly returning for the June re-shoot.[4][13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Doctor Who Series 7 News Accumulator". SFX. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "The Power of Three and The Angels Take Manhattan". BBC. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Doctor Who Series 7: New Episode 4 Reshoot Pics". SFX. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  5. ^ Golder, Dave (8 February 2012). "Two Writers Confirmed For Doctor Who Series 7". SFX. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  6. ^ "The Hungry Earth: The Fourth Dimension". BBC. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e Cook, Benjamin (26 July 2012). "Life with the Doctor". Doctor Who Magazine (Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Panini Comics) (450): 36-39.
  8. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (15 August 2012). "Doctor Who premiere — new title sequences, Matt Smith on Twitter and a Big Surprise". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  9. ^ Doctor Who Magazine (Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Panini Comics) (446). 5 April 2012.
  10. ^ Hogan, Michael (14 August 2012). "Karen Gillan 'in denial' about leaving Doctor Who". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  11. ^ Eames, Tom (19 July 2012). "'Doctor Who' stars: There were tears after final scenes together'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. ^ Fulton, Rick (18 May 2012). "Karen Gillan talks tears at end of Dr Who and her excitement at making new Scots film". Daily Record. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Doctor Who Series 7: New Official Pic & New Filming Pics". SFX. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.



All of the games take place from inside The Cube. Contestants are set a task to complete which can range from testing their agility to more simple procedures such as stopping a stopwatch after 10 seconds or building a tower of blocks. If they successfully complete the task, they will move up the money ladder and closer to the top prize. Each contestant is given nine lives. Each time a contestant fails a game, one life is lost, and the contestant must repeat the game. Any contestant who runs out of lives while trying to win a game loses all of the money he or she accumulated. Contestants may stop after any game and take the money they have won, but once a contestant decides to play, he or she cannot back out until after completing that game. Before each game, there is a short demonstration by "The Body", a faceless female character described as an expert in all the games. Her demonstrations allow the contestant to see how the game is played and formulate a strategy to succeed. Her face has not been seen; her outfit is a metal plate over her face, revealing just shoulder-length hair, and at one time, she lifted part of the mask, revealing her mouth and chin, to demonstrate Drift.

1 £1,000
2 £2,000
3 £10,000
4 £20,000
5 £50,000
6 £100,000
7 £250,000

The Cube offers each contestant two aids, each of which may be used only once. They may use a Simplify, which will make a certain game easier to complete. It remains in effect for all future attempts of the game until the contestant completes it. They also have the aid of a Trial Run, which is only available from the second game onwards. It gives the contestant a chance to attempt the game without any consequences. Even if the contestant completes the game, to advance to the next game, they must complete it again under the usual circumstances. However, if the contestant fails to complete the game, they will not be penalised for it. To assist contestants in making a decision on whether to play a game, the host can provide the player with statistics about the game they are facing, such as the average number of lives it takes for players to win the game, the percentage of people that completed the game on their first try, or whether one group of people was better at the game than another. With the exception of four episodes (two of which are Celebrity Specials), each episode generally features two contestants.


Objective Productions first approached Channel 4 in 2008 with the format. It was made into a non-televised pilot by the channel,[3] and was hosted by Justin Lee Collins. Channel 4 eventually decided not to commission the show because it would have been too expensive.[4] In February 2009, ITV purchased the rights to the show and filming began during April 2009 at Wembley's Fountain Studios. The Cube is one of the first shows to use the game freeze filming technique on a frequent basis, such as when a contestant jumps. Using specially designed cameras, it allows the viewer to see one side of the Cube before the action is frozen, spun to another face of the Cube and then resumed. Slow-motion shots are again common to show action replays of the task a contestant just completed, or the critical moment of a game, to heighten the excitement of whether the contestant will succeed or fail. The show makes extensive use of CGI to project images onto the walls and ceiling of the Cube, while a screen on the floor is also capable of showing images. These film techniques make the seemingly simple tasks that are put before the contestants seem much more exciting than they would normally be.

The 5th and 6th series of The Cube were filmed from 26 January 2012. On 30 January, long-distance runner, Mo Farah took part in filming an Olympian special - which aired on Saturday 14 July. He became the first £250,000 jackpot winner with six lives remaining.[5] Filming is known to be taking place as Schofield has annnouced it on Twitter. Additionally, filming of series 5 was announced on This Morning on 6 February 2012.

Celebrity specials

Celebrity specials of The Cube so far feature two contestants in each episode, except for two specials. Celebrity contestants that are defeated by The Cube are given £1,000 for their charities.

Dame Kelly Holmes played The Cube but only took £1,000 for DKH Legacy Trust. Jenni Falconer won £20,000 for Breast Cancer BC2000.

Joe Swash played for the Ben Kinsella Trust, he lost a game but took £1,000 away for them. Kelly Osbourne took £10,000 from the Cube for The Prince's Trust.

Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine lost against The Cube but took £1,000 for Mood Swing. Boxer Ricky Hatton played and won £20,000 for Genesis Breast Cancer.

McFly star Tom Fletcher (the first celebrity that took a whole episode) won £100,000, splitting it between 2 charities, Comic Relief and BIRT .

In a Coronation Street special of The Cube on Christmas Eve of 2011, Julie Hesmondhalgh took £20,000 for Maundy Relief and Ryan Thomas played for Christie's and won £10k for them.

In an Olympians special Denise Lewis took away £10,000 from The Cube for her charity Breast Cancer Care and Sally Gunnell won £20,000 for Chestnut Tree Children's Hospital

In the third edition of the Olympians Specials Fatima Whitbread took away £20,000 for 21st Century Youth and Dai Greene won £50,000 for his charity.

Other celebrities who took in The Cube in January were Ashley Banjo and David Haye. These episodes will also air later this year on ITV1.


In the first series, Jonny Lowery became the first person to reach the final game, having only three lives left. For his final game, he was given a more difficult version of Direction, the first game he faced in The Cube, losing three lives and using his Simplify. In the more difficult version, the path had been narrowed to just 20 centimetres. He decided to leave with £100,000.

In the second series, Paul McDonald became the second person to reach the final game, having five lives left. For his final game, he was given a more difficult version of Structure, in which he had to build a construction of blocks within a time limit of twelve seconds, three seconds less than his original attempt. He also decided to leave with £100,000.

In the third series, Tom Fletcher of boyband McFly managed to reach the final game, having four lives left. For his final game, he was given a more difficult version of Barrier, in which he had to cross three barriers instead of the original two. He also decided to leave with £100,000. The Fourth person to get to the final game was Luke who was given a more difficult version of Rebound. At the jackpot setting the target zone the ball had to land in was reduced by a significant amount but he also left with £100,000.

Teresa was the first person to retire from the game due to injuring her foot in celebration after completing Dual Reflex.

In the fifth series, Mo Farah, Olympic 5000 and 10000 metre runner, managed to not only reach the final game but also played the game, starting the final game with seven lives left (He had lost two lives in his first game Response.). For his final game, he guessed that Response would be his final game but was given a more difficult version of Barrier instead, in which he had to cross three barriers instead of the original two, which he had previously beaten on his first attempt. He won £250,000 only losing one more life in the final game.

Defeated contestants

So far, eighteen contestants have lost all their lives:

  • Rhian lost £2,000 on the first episode of Series 1 playing Drop Zone.
  • Martin lost £20,000 on the third episode of Series 2 playing Side-Track.
  • Alex lost £2,000 on the fifth episode of Series 2 playing Descent.
  • Christian lost £20,000 on the eighth episode of Series 2 playing Pinpoint.
  • Zoe lost £1,000 on the ninth episode of Series 2 playing Stabilise.
  • Dame Kelly Holmes lost £1,000 on the tenth episode of Series 2 playing Gradient.
  • Joe Swash lost £20,000 on the eleventh episode of Series 2 playing Pinpoint.
  • Jennie McAlpine lost £1,000 on the twelfth episode of Series 2 playing Blind-Shot.
  • Paul lost £2,000 on the first episode of Series 3 playing new game Vault.
  • Aaron lost £2,000 on the fourth episode of Series 3 playing Cylinder.
  • Yolanda lost £10,000 on the fifth episode of Series 3 playing Spike.
  • Debbie lost £10,000 on the second episode of Series 4 playing Tilt.
  • Sarah lost £1,000 on the third episode of Series 4 playing Revolving Shot.
  • Jim lost £10,000 on the fourth episode of Series 4 playing Shatter.
  • Isaac lost £2,000 on the fifth episode of Series 4 playing Placement.
  • Karen lost £20,000 on the fifth episode of Series 4 playing Construction.
  • Neil lost £1,000 on the seventh episode of Series 4 playing Pendulum.
  • Graham lost £2,000 on the fourth episode of Series 5 playing Succession.

Top prize winner (£250,000 - Beat The Cube)

  • Mo Farah: Celebrity special - Mo Farah Foundation; 6 lives remaining - 14 July 2012 [6]


The games are placed in the categories by when they were first introduced. If the game has been played at any other levels, the levels they have been played at have been placed in brackets. When The Cube was first made, 50 games were designed. However, they have added new games every new season. Currently, there are a total of 124 different games that have been played so far. Games featured in the show so far include:

On The Cube board games, there are games that aren't played on shows such as Bullseye Throw - they had to launch a ball of a catapult thrower so it goes through a small ring without making contact.


SeriesStart dateEnd dateEpisodes
1 22 August 2009 3 October 2009 7
2 19 September 2010 2 January 2011 12
3 3 April 2011 11 June 2011 9
4 30 October 2011 31 December 2011 9
5 14 April 2012


Episode ratings from BARB.[7]

Series 1

Episode No.AirdateTotal ViewersITV1 Weekly Ranking
1 22 August 2009 5,850,000 11
2 29 August 2009 5,120,000 11
3 5 September 2009 5,260,000 15
4 12 September 2009 5,060,000 15
5 19 September 2009 4,830,000 17
6 26 September 2009 4,810,000 20
7 3 October 2009 4,710,000 19

Series 2

Episode No.AirdateTotal ViewersITV1 Weekly Ranking
1 19 September 2010 4,980,000 15
2 26 September 2010 5,090,000 16
3 3 October 2010 5,780,000 16
4 10 October 2010 5,190,000 18
5 17 October 2010 5,210,000 20
6 24 October 2010 5,510,000 17
7 31 October 2010 5,210,000 18
8 7 November 2010 5,510,000 17
9 14 November 2010 5,530,000 19
10 21 November 2010 5,420,000 22
11 18 December 2010 3,920,000 22
12 2 January 2011 4,180,000 20

Series 3

Episode No.AirdateTotal ViewersITV1 Weekly Ranking
1 3 April 2011 3,640,000 22
2 10 April 2011 3,310,000 24
3 17 April 2011 3,320,000 23
4 24 April 2011 2,770,000 27
5 1 May 2011 3,500,000 24
6 8 May 2011 3,940,000 18
7 15 May 2011 4,020,000 17
8 22 May 2011 3,960,000 18
9 11 June 2011 3,350,000 22

Series 4

Episode No.AirdateTotal ViewersITV1 Weekly Ranking
1 30 October 2011 3,960,000 20
2 6 November 2011 4,000,000 20
3 13 November 2011 4,080,000 26
4 20 November 2011 4,060,000 23
5 27 November 2011 4,080,000 20
6 4 December 2011 4,090,000 21
7 11 December 2011 3,190,000 25
8 24 December 2011 4,960,000 16
9 31 December 2011 2,870,000 29

Series 5

Episode No.AirdateTotal ViewersITV1 Weekly Ranking
1 14 April 2012 3,990,000 14
2 21 April 2012 2,780,000 28
3 28 April 2012 2,820,000 25
4 5 May 2012 3,140,000 24
5 12 May 2012 3,000,000 30
6 2 June 2012 3,450,850
7 14 July 2012 5,415,240 24
8 21 July 2012 4,587,120

International versions

CountryNameHostChannelTop prizePremiere/air dates
 China 梦立方
Dream Cube
Cheng Lei Dragon TV To achieve the contestant's dream[8] 13 May 2012
 Germany The Cube–Besiege den Würfel! Nazan Eckes RTL 250,000 29 April 2011[9]
 Italy The Cube - La Sfida Teo Mammucari Italia 1 100,000 7 September 2011[10]
 Portugal O Cubo Jorge Gabriel RTP 30,000 16 May–11 July 2010
 Saudi Arabia المكعب
Al Moukaab
Faisal Al Issa Saudi TV 1 SR250,000 24 March–8 July 2010
 Spain El Cubo Raquel Sánchez Silva Cuatro 150,000 8 February 2012[11]
 Ukraine Куб
Maksim Chmerkovskiy STB 250,000 21 November 2011[12]
 United States The Cube Neil Patrick Harris CBS $500,000 2010 Pilot


An electronic board game based on the series was made available in stores from November 2010.[13] As of June 2011, the game has been discontinued by most main retailers.[14] The game comes with an electronic handheld system featuring games such as Time Freeze and Stop Zone, as well as 9 balls- six 18mm blow moulded balls, 1 30mm EVA foam ball, 1 25mm hard ball and one 50mm hard ball. The balls are used for different reasons and the foam ball is used for most games with a ball. For Multisphere, all balls are used unless it is being played in a room with hard floors, in that case eight balls are used. Tubes are used for almost evry physical game for starting positions, voids, tubes, towers and columns. Other equipment in the board game are track pieces, discs, clips, z shaped platform pieces, cannons, blocks, a ball flipper, a beam and card pieces,and a 7x7x7 plastic cube for playing a series of sixty physical games. The cube is used for a conatiner and to connect onto the cube platform for the electronic games. A reducer also comes with the cube allowing it to reduce the size of it. The Simplify for games with the reducer generally remove it. Many well known and classic games are here as well as new games, everyday life games and interesting and complex games. Around the time of the release of the board game, a computerised version of the series was made available via the iTunes store for use on the iPod and iPhone. This version features eighteen games from the series: Angular, Balance, Cylinder, Descent, Drop Zone, Focus, Multisphere, Perimeter, Precision, Pulse, Quantity, Reaction, Revolution, Shatter, Stabilise, Stop Zone, Time Freeze and Velocity. An update for the game was made available in January 2011, adding a further free game, Succession, and making four further games available at a cost: Exact, Pathfinder, Totalise and Tower.[15] A second update was made available in March 2011, adding a further free game, Axis, and making four further games available at a cost: Invert, Composure, Calculate and Classify. A free online game has also been created, allowing viewers to attempt three games for free. The games that are available are Stop Zone, Cylinder and Multisphere. The player starts with three lives and has three attempts to beat The Cube. Players also have the opportunity to save their high scores in the games and also use Facebook to challenge friends.[16] On October 5 a Cube game will be released on consoles for the first time. Nintendo 3DS has games such as Vault, Calculate, Pendulum and Pathfinder and many more. If you beat the Cube, then you unlock Extreme Mode, Where you play games never seen on TV. Features: The Body and The Voice on the Hit Show. Demonstrations of each Game. Features 33 games. Extreme Mode includes not seen challenges. Profiles letting multiple people track their wins and losses. Stats for each game. Multiplayer and Head to Head modes. The features are the same for Wii. The PS3 version is different to the 3DS and Wii because you have more ways to play. The PS3 version has games like Memory Flash, Dead Stop, Accelerate, Perimeter, Reflex, Drop Shot and many more. Here are features of the PS3 version of the Cube! Includes the Voice and the Body featured in the hit show. Cut scene demonstration for each game. Features 30 games. Extra DLC available for 10 more challenges. Extreme Mode which includes never seen challenges. Profiles making multiple players track their wins and losses. Stats for each game showing average lives used. Multiplayer Challenge and Head to Head modes. PlayStation Move compatible.


Direct download: TDP_267_The_Power_of_Three.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:34am UTC