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< 7.2 - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
7.4 -The Power of Three >

7.3 - A Town Called Mercy

Rating Votes
10
4%
4
9
5%
6
8
10%
11
7
32%
35
6
24%
26
5
19%
21
4
6%
7
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.5
Votes
110
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 2/7/19 2:36 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode is nothing special but nothing remotely awful, it has rather a lot of moralising talk which is not really bad in itself but it essentially leads nowhere as in the finale the Doctor's moral choices are rendered unimportant due to the choices of others. The story is set in a Western town with aliens who have historic disputes based at the town of Mercy in the 'old West' and endangering the locals. It has a similar cowboy comedy/drama feel to the 1st doctor story The Gunfighters. Similarly to that it is a little bit too uneven in tone with comedy not mixing fully well with dark drama. It takes skilled writing to merge such aspects and in this it does not quite work as well as it could. The dark moral issues are presented a little bit heavy handedly so feel rather grim and scenes feel slightly repetitive and dull whilst the humour popping up does not feel natural enough. There is one scene I have a problem with amongst all the moral judgement themes when the Doctor is so enraged by the awful past immoral behaviour of the alien antagonist Kahler Jex that he throws him physically out to be killed by his enemy and even threatens him with a gun. This is so jarringly out of character for the Doctor and is insufficiently explained given similarly awful death and suffering being caused by so many adversaries he has met before without reacting in such a way. He does not even point guns at Daleks as a rule. This could have been made to work with skillful handling but it is not done in a way that convinces me and having Amy have to act as his moral compass seemed contrived. It seems yet another example of writer Toby Whithouse and Showrunner Steven Moffatt to hammer home their obsession with the 'dark side' of the Doctor.

Apart from that one problematic scene and the climax which I found somewhat unsatisfying this is an OK but unexceptional story. It is well acted and has some good dialogue but somehow drags at some points. Overall I rate it 6.5/10.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: VidaReview Date: 8/2/15 3:29 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is a masterwork. Matt Smith is the Tom Baker of the new series, he can elevate bad material and makes great material unforgettable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/22/15 11:52 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor, Amy, and Rory arrive in the Old West at a town besieged by an alien cyborg out to kill an alien doctor named Kahler-Jex, who has helped the town and who the town’s sheriff protection. The Doctor tries to help but faces a great moral dilemma when he discovers the reason why: the Kahler-Jex is an alien war criminal.

The acting in this is very good, particularly Matt Smith. The standout scene for me is the one in which the Doctor discovers the record of Jex’s activity in his ship. A silent camera shot of the Doctor’s face tells us everything we need to know about the horror of what Jax created. At the same time, it’s an interesting question as to whether the Doctor sees a parallel between him and Jex. Both men who did horrible things in the midst of war for a greater good and who are, in some way, trying to redeem for the mistake through good deeds. The Doctor’s angry pushing Kahler-Jax out of town and Amy’s best companion moment are also key highlights of this story.

The cinematography on this story is superb and really captures the Old West feel. There are flaws, particularly with the end. The biggest flaw is that the Doctor makes a seminal choice and another character’s decision off-screen renders that choice effectively pointless. This would be the first episode in Series 7 that featured contrived writing delivering the Doctor from having to deal with the consequences of his actions which would have been more interesting.

Still, there’s a lot of good to this story.