Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 2/10/17 1:27 am
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The Gunfighters has been an oft-maligned story for years. The premise is bizarre: Doctor Who as a Musical Western Comedy Drama with the events leading up to the Gun Fight at the OK Corral.
I was surprised to find it was very well-done. Well, there are a few dubious accents, most were as plausible as accents you'd see on American television at the time. The first two episodes were played more for comedy and there were very well done with some hilarious moments. The final episode in particular is more dramatic and despite being a bit over-the-top by today's standards, it'd stand up against most Westerns being made in America at the time.
While Steven has a couple off, this is one of William Hartnell's best performances as the Doctor. He's obviously enjoying the story which makes it even that more pleasurable to watch. Dodo is also far better than usual in this. The guest cast is also generally strong, with special plaudits going to Anthony Jacobs as Doc Holiday. He makes every scene he's in so much better.
For a soundstage Western, everything looks superb. The direction is great as all the key scenes look authentic. Most importantly, the gun fight is very well staged.
Even the maligned musical number works, as it gives the story some Western atmosphere. Of course, it's a bit of an ear worm and it's odd that there's only one song across all four episodes, a fact the series mocks at the start of Episode 2 in a very self-aware story.
Overall, one of my favorite of the historicals.