Doctor Who (2005– )
7.5/10
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A Town Called Mercy 

The Doctor gets a Stetson (and a gun), and finds himself the reluctant Sheriff of a Western town under siege by a relentless cyborg who goes by the name of The Gunslinger. But who is he and what does he want?

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
... The Doctor
... Amy Pond
... Rory Williams
... The Gunslinger
... Kahler-Jex
Dominic Kemp ... Kahler-Mas
Joanne McQuinn ... Sadie
William Byrd Wilkins ... The Preacher (as Byrd Wilkins)
... Abraham
... Isaac
... Dockery
Rob Cavazos ... Walter
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Storyline

The Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves in the American wild west sometime in the 19th century. The small town has a Marshal but they're not that keen on the new arrivals. They are also under threat from an alien, a half-man half-robot hunter who is out to eliminate the Doctor. Not the Doctor we know but another, Kahler Jex, who has escaped from his world. He's done many good things for the local community but his past is somewhat questionable. When the Marshall is killed, it's left to the Doctor to decide how best to proceed. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Details

Release Date:

15 September 2012 (UK)  »

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(DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For this episode, the title logo's texture had a wooden look with gunshots, representing the story's Western setting. See more »

Goofs

When the Doctor and the Gunslinger are facing each other down at high-noon, the clock strikes 12, but all shadows and the brief glimpse of the sun do not indicated it actually being 12 P.M. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: Can I borrow your horse, please? It's official marshal business.
The Preacher: He's called Joshua. It's from the Bible. It means 'The Deliverer.'
The Doctor: No, he isn't.
The Preacher: What?
The Doctor: I speak horse. He's called Susan. And he wants you to respect his life choices.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits sequence Doctor Who logo is rendered in a wood texture. See more »

Connections

References High Noon (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Doctor Who Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

 
The Wild West Sci-fi Adventure
18 September 2012 | by See all my reviews

After two adventures set in the depths of space, Doctor Who comes down to Earth for a historically set adventure, which takes The Doctor to the wild wild west. While on route to Mexico for the Dead of the Day Festival, The Doctor and his companions land in a strange American Frontier town held under siege by a cyborg, The Gunslinger (Andrew Brooke), wanting the alien doctor.

Previous seasons of Doctor Who have had an interlinking, underlining theme/threat, something the series is building up to. The seventh series so far has felt more like a collection of standalone adventures and "A Town Called Mercy" has continued this thread. As a standalone episode, it's fun enough since it takes a humorous approach with the material and theme of the episode.

The biggest strength of this episode is the moral dilemmas along with the themes of guilt, forgiveness, and redemption... even though the writing is very much on the nose. There are big blurs of grey instead of a being a clear line between good & evil. It's easy to sympathise with both the Gunslinger, a creature who had been wronged with a mission of revenge and unwilling to hurt innocent, and Kahler Jex (Adrian Scarborough) who's a character who has done bad things in his past, but has ended up being useful and offered a social good to the town. The conflict and relationship between the two is similar to V and Dr. Surridge from V for Vendetta, one being the creator of the other for an evil cause, but the creator ended up becoming a good guy. That was despite the writer's best efforts to try and make Jex unlikable with his actions.

The episode embraces the western setting and clichés, particularly in the later half as The Doctor becomes the town's marshal or when the Gunslinger demands for Jex and a showdown at high noon. There is also very a Saturday morning cartoon feel to it plotting and action wise.

Previous Doctor Who episodes set in the past have been about some sort of secret alien invasion or aliens hiding in human society. "A Town Called Mercy" fortunately dispenses with this tried premise and just runs with a fun sci-fi Western premise and has no pretence of doing an investigation to find the aliens, they are there right at the beginning and in the foreground.

There is an acknowledge in the episode of previous events in the Doctor Who canon, but this is when The Doctor acts the most out of character, such as being overly angry and aiming a gun at Jex. The Doctor would never use physical force or firearms; what would make Jex so special to break this rule? Especially when The Doctor has faced much worse in the past. "A Town Called Mercy" is at times goofy, but Doctor Who is like that some times. This is simply a light hearted, entertaining little episode with a few flaws.

7.5/10 Please visit www.playeraffinity.com


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