2MTL 280: "A Town Called Mercy" Reviewed

Well, pardners, there's no song 'n dance in "A Town Called Mercy," DOCTOR WHO's first Western since "The Gunfighters." It ain't a barrel of laughs for the Doctor this time, either. This is why y'all can't have long hiatuses in this TV show anymore; the hero tends to go rogue after them!

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1 Comment

  1. Nice to hear your review as ever Chip. However, for once I think I have a different take on the story.
    I think the point I fundamentally disagree with your review is when you suggest the Doctor is prepared to cold bloodedly kill Jex. The very last word you could apply to the Doctor’s state at that point is cold blooded. A particular trait of this Doctor, long before any hiatus or solo travels, is his righteous anger. Recall “Nobody human has anything to say to me today!”. Unlike Amy (who has herself been shown to be capable of leaving someone to a certain death at the end of last season), the Doctor has just been shown all the horror of Jex’s work.
    Further – and few people seem to be picking up on this – Jex is deliberately goading the Doctor into this anger. He wants to die, at the hand of the righteous. He has spotted the similarities with the Doctor, and is using him, because he want to atone. His story arc is takes him to the place where he can have the courage to end things himself. (There's some history in this idea of atonement through sacrifice I understand.)
    And importantly, the Doctor does not shoot him. He is fighting with himself, and realizes he could, but he has not given himself over completely to his anger.
    I’m not sure you will ever get a version of the Doctor that does not have these moments of angst and conflict for the Doctor. Indeed, I think it was you who was recently pointing out that the Doctor is a flawed good man, and thereby so much more interesting than a simple hero. What is more, each new wave of kids watching need to see some of the complexity of good and evil; good people do bad things, bad people do good things, doing the right thing can be seen as being weak.
    And in this case, at root all good westerns are morality tales.

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