Dee Discusses: Doctor Who 7.3

Posted: September 24, 2012 by Dee in Dee, Doctor Who, General Media, Recaps, Television
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We’re jumping from dinosaurs in space to cyborgs in the old west. Man I love this show. Even when I hate this show I love this show. It’s fantastic it’s the kind of thing you can do that and it feels natural and right. I don’t like westerns, but I was ready to sit back and be amused. Maybe it would be a little like Firefly! Not really, but still, I am warmer to westerns in space thanks to Firefly. In this episode, titled “A Town Called Mercy,” the Doctor promised the Ponds to bring them to Mexico for the Day of the Dead, but instead they are in this tiny old fashioned town. It doesn’t look like it’s had festivities in a very long time. The Doctor is psyched though because he loves westerns so he saunters in with his hat and orders a tea. When he says he’s an alien doctor, the people grab him and throw him out of town, over this strange little stone wall that’s been built around it. Mind you in the beginning of the episode we did see this man with strange tattoos on his face murdered by a cyborg, sorry I forgot to put that at the front. I’m jumping around all timey wimey like the show!

They plan to leave the Doctor out there as the cyborg comes for him, but the Sheriff Isaac demands they bring him back over the line. He figures out pretty quickly that Isaac is protecting the real alien doctor, named Kahler-Jex, who has the same tattoo-like symbols on his face. He’s cryptic about why he’s there, but he admits they crash landed and he’s been helping the town out by healing them and giving it electricity. The cyborg is keeping them all inside and refusing to let food and water come in until they give him the doctor. So the Doctor claims they can move everyone out through the TARDIS and fix it that way. He ends up at the broken ship though and finds it capable of flying, and looks into the files. Jex was a scientist who experimented on his own people to turn them into cyborg warriors to win a war. The soldiers didn’t know what they were signing up for and it appears to be insanely brutal what was done to them. The cyborg hasn’t crossed into the town because he doesn’t want to hurt innocent people, he just wants revenge against the man who turned him into a monster.

The Doctor is not a happy camper. He loses it at Jex and drags him out, planning to throw him right out to the cyborg. Amy talks him down from intentionally killing the man, because they don’t do that (meeeeh up to interpretation Amy). Isaac sacrifices his life to save his friend Jex, and the cyborg says either they give him Jex or he’ll kill everyone in town. The townspeople try to go up against new Sheriff Doctor, but he talks them down too and states he’s trying to protect them from being killers, not war criminal Jex. He plans to let Jex go so the cyborg will follow him and leave everyone alone. They trick the cyborg by painting their faces and Jex goes for his ship. Instead of leaving though he commits suicide to free himself and the cyborg of their battle. The Doctor suggests the cyborg stay in the town and become their new protector.

I’m not entirely sure how I felt about this episode in the end. I liked it. I’m not a big fan of westerns as I said above, but I enjoyed the setting. I think maybe I feel like we’ve seen this before? It’s been more than a few times that the Doctor relates to the ambiguous villain and it makes him reflect on his own self-loathing. It’s not a bad plot idea, but once it’s been done so much it gets to a point where it feels overplayed. The acting was great, I loved the stand off with him and Amy, although they didn’t seem to use Rory much at all this episode. I think we can see that the Doctor is on an edge, which is something we already knew, and Amy pointed out it’s partly because of him traveling alone that this happens. We know the Ponds are leaving soon, and his new companion is coming in. I guess overall I’d say this is a good solid entertaining episode, but not one I’d consider highly memorable. The ending was pretty obvious and it wasn’t really a unique story, but that’s my only criticism. The rest was fun and I liked the costumes and set and the guest actors.

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