Television: Doctor Who and a Town Called Mercy

"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? The answer seems to lie with the mysterious, Kahler-Jex, an alien doctor (yes another one!) whose initial appearance is hiding a dark secret.

This is the weakest Doctor Who episode of the series so far. Personal opinion, of course. Then again, we can’t have adventures and explosions every single week–oh wait, there was an explosion in this episode too.

Overall, it’s still a solid episode. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill continue to make it harder for me to imagine life without the Ponds because of their screen presence alone. But as I said last week, I’m ready to let them go. It’s just that–this episode did nothing to push along that fact, save for a throwaway line in the end of the episode. Which should’ve had a different reaction this time ’round, considering how the Doctor reacted in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

Now, while I’m not singing praises for A Town Called Mercy–which is mostly because the story doesn’t appeal that much to me–I must say, Matt Smith was in fine form this episode. He really busted out his acting chops, and I love the wide range of emotions he showed–especially when Amy called him out on his willingness to sacrifice a life for the good of all. As she said in the episode, that’s not how Eleven and the Ponds roll. Of course, she didn’t know what the Doctor did in the end of Series 7 Episode 2. But going back to Matt Smith’s acting, I love the thing he does where you can see his anguish, his guilt–and his resolve all with one expression. Three years in, he’s still proving to the world that he was the perfect choice to play the millennium-old Doctor.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say for this episode.

That, and that I can’t wait for next week’s. From the short teaser they showed, it looks to be a very dramatic episode for Eleven and the Ponds.


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