Almost perfect episodes

I just watched The Power of Three and it is frustratingly close to being a perfect episode of Doctor Who. It has a fun premise, interesting characters, and character development and feels different. But don’t manage to stick the landing and the solution to the problem is just to wave the sonic at a screen and everybody lives.

Wrote this because I just rewatched it and got angry that they didn’t manage to close the story. Do you have other examples of episodes that are almost perfect? Do you agree with me about the power of three?


To be fair to The Power of Three you need to be angry with Steven Berkoff because he apparently acted like a complete dick during filming and what we ended up with was all they could salvage from his material.


Woah, I watched The Power of Three today also, and I found myself thinking that is the perfect example of everything I find frustrating in a Chibnall episode - the premise and everything is awesome, but then the ending just fizzles out and means nothing at all.

I still love the episode, but I totally agree with you.

My biggest example of an episode like this is Gallifrey: Unity which, in short, asks some really interesting questions about Leela and her relationship to Gallifrey and then commits massive character assassination and is deeply frustrating :confused:

I’m sure I feel this way about other TV episodes too, but I can’t think of any right now.


He seems so sweet. You can’t trust anyone…

Interesting that you watched the same episode and more or less got the same feeling today.

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I’ve heard this a lot and while I’m sure there must be some truth to it, when I read the script just now, it seems to have been televised exactly how it was written, so how can we blame an actor for the badly written ending and not the writer?

As for nearly perfect episodes, I’ll have to have a think!


One thing I do notice on that script is that the actual name of the file says “Post Production” in it. So this is pretty much the last version of the script written, and if it’s after production, it’s probably what they actually shot.

Scripts are going to go through a number of drafts, and it’s the early ones that get interesting.

(I happen to have downloaded a bunch of leaked My Little Pony stuff that had things like not only the final script of an episode, but the outline and multiple drafts before it, and it’s fascinating how much episodes can change in the course of writing. At least one of them got handed over to a different writer for a major rewrite…)


Yeah that’s the only thing I thought which might explain it, but do they really rewrite scripts after filming? I didn’t know that

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Well, figure after they shoot it, they’ll be editing it, and may remove and rearrange scenes, etc… but then they’ll need to subtitle it. And to subtitle it, they’ll need an accurate copy of what is actually airing.

I could also see it being useful for a readover to make sure no major issues slipped it due to improvised lines and such…


Makes sense. I really wanna know what was supposed to happen!

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Yeah, I’d rather read the early drafts and see the stuff they decided against.

In my little pony, one of the drafts was for a story when Twilight finds out her brother’s getting married in a big fancy expensive wedding, doesn’t trust the bride and thinks she’s a gold digger taking advantage of her brother. She hears from some other people things that seem to confirm this, confronts her in a screaming outburst… and it turns out that the things she heard were just made up, and she wasn’t actually comfortable about how big the wedding was, etc, they make up and such. One episode story.

All the names got changed, and it turned into a big two episode season finale. In the final version, after the confrontation, it turns out the bride was actually a changeling queen impersonating her, Twilight gets captured and imprisoned with the real bride, they fight their way out, stop the wedding and have to fend off a changeling invasion, then we have a wedding with the actual bride. With several songs added in the mix.

So, yeah, it’s really amazing how things evolve sometimes.


You know that sounds like it could work as a really good Doctor Who story :thinking:


Maybe an almost-perfect episode

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Well played :wink:

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Definitely, and they did some interesting things. They actually worked a rather subtle joke in. The name of the bride was Princess Cadence. Twilight sings a song about her brother early on, and it gets reprised later after the screaming match in a deceptive cadence, at which point, we find out she’s a changeling.

They’ve done other things in mlp of note, too. Twilight traveled back in time to give herself a message once, didn’t manage to give most of the message, and it led to a whole sequence events eventually ending with her doing the initial attempt to give herself the message in a time loop.

Or another time, time got altered several times by a villain, creating various bad futures she had to prevent…

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Sounds great with that change of cadence. I love subtleties such as that.

I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything of MLP, just never pinged on either me or my boys’ radar.
But how you describe it is not what I imagined from the still images you come across online


That’s interesting. Even the ‘he’s a hologram’ stuff? I’ll have to dig out Andrew Pixley’s article on its production.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of more mundane, slice of life stuff as well.

It had a few things going for it , though (specifically My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, G4. G5 is a whole different matter.):

First, we start with a main character who is a nerd with no friends who loves books, which is pretty relatable. By the end of the initial two-parter, we have a six pony ensemble of friends for the main cast who all are very different people, to the point that you could stick two of them in a room, and a story practically writes itself. (And they did that on more then one occasion.)

We also gained a rather entertaining secondary main cast of three younger ponies as well.

There were some great writers initially, though a lot left after a few seasons. (The show was cancelled after three seasons, and then suddenly it wasn’t.) The musician doing all the songs, Daniel Ingram, is also fantastic, and it had a lot of good songs. Of course, a few were notably more than a little inspired by Broadway. (“The Art of the Dress” was very clearly “Putting It Together”, and “At The Gala” was very much “Ever After”, for example…)

Unfortunately, G5 didn’t manage to replicate most of this. It’s okay, but not on the same level…

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It is pretty relatable … OR it’s a villain’s origin story. Take your pick :wink:

Might give the Doctor Whooves videos a try :+1:

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Well, nothing saying villains can’t be relatable.