Doctor Who – A Town Called Mercy

Here we go again with my mutterings and mumblings about the latest episode. And while this won’t be a fully plot run-through, it may contain details that people who haven’t seen it yet[1] might not want to see just yet. Or, as I prefer to put it:

Here be spoliers!

So, if you’re still with me, let’s get on with it. It all begins when the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in a nicely authentic Wild West town. Well, authentic in a cinematic sort of way, as it was the same Spanish set used for numerous actual Hollyweird westerns. But this wouldn’t be modern doctor who if there wasn’t something strange about a historical location, would it[2]? For instance, isn’t it a decade or so too early for electric lighting? And what is that barrier around the town? And who is the mysterious alien doctor who’s been helping out? Not to mention wondering where the rather large cyborg with the very large gun for an arm came from.

As with Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, we’re treated to a darker view of the Doctor. It takes Amy to stop him from doing something very un-Doctorlike. Like Donna quite some time ago, she knows that he needs to have someone with him:

You see, that’s what happens when you travel alone too long

And while this time round, everything gets sorted out with a remarkably low body count, considering the guns, the cyborg, and all that kind of thing, we can see that all is not well with the crew. Amy and Rory again ask to be taken home, and for the Doctor to leave it a bit longer next time. More of that to come next week, it seems. And it seems the Doctor is keeping busy doing something when he’s not picking up the Ponds for an adventure. He mentions being over 1,200 years old now, which makes me wonder where he’s been going and what he’s been doing, other than breaking River Song out of jail on a regular basis, of course…

But it’s not all dark and foreboding. There’s lots of fun when Amy picks up a gun – she really shouldn’t do that. And another great Amy line:

Why would he want to kill you? Unless he’s met you…

Altogether, an nice bit of writing from Being Human creator Toby Whithouse, which works as an individual story, while leading us up to The End of the Ponds.

[1] And what is your excuse? Hmm?
[2] Note to people not familiar with classic Doctor Who – in the early days, numerous straight historical stories were featured, including the remarkably silly  The Gunfighters.