Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doctor Who Season 7 So Far Part III


"A Town Called Mercy" is the third episode in the first part of "Doctor Who" Season 7, and it is possibly the best. It easily features Matt Smith's best performance from the season thus far, has an interesting premise and plenty of things for the "Doctor Who" fan or the spaghetti-western enthusiast to enjoy.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory (Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill respectively) arrive in the town of Mercy, a desolate town in the American 'Wild West.' They discover that the isolated town has been terrorized by an alien being called the Gunslinger (Andrew Brooke), a being created by the town's resident alien, Kahler-Hex (Adrian Scarborough), who now seeks his revenge. The Doctor must make a moral decision - hand Hex over to the Gunslinger or not?

"A Town Called Mercy" is built off of a rather simple plot. Toby Whithouse, the episode's writer, is wonderful at creating a feeling of eerie suspense throughout, which succeeds in making the Doctor's choice so difficult to make. I felt that the episode showed just how much the Doctor's choice pitted the townsfolk against themselves, which was without a doubt the most interesting aspect of the story. In that respect, the episode felt like "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street," an episode of "The Twilight Zone" written by the famed Rod Serling.

It's a Stetson...Stetsons are cool
Matt Smith is up to challenge in this episode. He portrays the darker side of the Doctor wonderfully, and really captures the vulnerability of the Doctor. His greatest scene is in which he tells Amy that he if he simply left Hex to die at the hands of the Gunslinger, he could right so many wrongs that he has made during his long life. Series Six of "Doctor Who" examined the impact that the Doctor's travels has on universe, and this built upon that theme wonderfully. As usual, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill deliver solid performances, although they probably have less to do here than usual as this episode is really about the Doctor.

I know this review probably isn't as in depth as some others, but I really do not have much more to say about "A Town Called Mercy." It was a very enjoyable episode featuring some interesting writing and fantastic acting. I award "A Town Called Mercy" 4 out of 5 stars.

Coming Next Time: Cubes are falling from the sky, and it is up to the Doctor, Amy and Rory to figure out what is going on in "The Power of Three."

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