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Doctor Who: 2012 Season One episode 3: A Town Called Mercy.

Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better

Essentially, the Doctor meets the Wild West meets the Terminator meets High Noon. What should have been cliché becomes a visual Spartacus moment. How scriptwriter Toby Whithouse avoids that is anyone’s guess but just cos he gets away with it, makes me a little uneasy that future (sic) scriptwriters will use this as a template instead of seeking original ideas.

Dr Who Poster 2.
Slinging a sonic screwdriver.

Nice to see actor Ben Browder on the screen again. It is actually a nice play and allows the Doctor to wear a Stetson again. It’s a shame the Ponds weren’t allowed the same thing. Wouldn’t you want to play cowboy if you arrived in such an environment? The cyborg is a tad clichéd but as comments above, the premise makes it work although quite how a barrier of stones and wood as described by the Doctor, when everything else is run by electric, keeps him out is anybody’s guess. Then again, is it me or do you find it odd also that these people in the old wild west accept technology that isn’t even common in our own century?

Whatever, the sonic screwdriver is back in Swiss pocketknife mode, able to do anything that’s required.

One important thing that is learnt is that without companions, the Doctor gets callous which would explain why he killed in the previous episode. Is this why Time Lords didn’t do much travelling, that they would become homicidal? Does this put the likes of the Master, the Rani, etc into a different perspective? They just went bad cos they travelled alone? Now that is a scary thought.

Another reference to the Ponds are aging at a faster rate than their parents. Ever since Rose Tyler, the connection to family on Earth has become commonplace. When are we going to go back to go back to the old times when there’s no regard to local Earth events? Maybe that’s the hint about the next companion?

Be quick on the draw.

 Geoff Willmetts

September 2012




Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

One thought on “Doctor Who: 2012 Season One episode 3: A Town Called Mercy.

  • Not my fave episode so far. A bit obvious and self-referential to Westerns and classic SF like the Terminator.


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