Eleventh Doctor: A Town Called Mercy

mercyWriter: Toby Whithouse

Director: Saul Metzstein

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill)

Series: 7, episode 3

Summary: The Doctor, Amy, and Rory, arrive in the Wild West town of Mercy in Nevada. The Doctor becomes intrigued when he sees streetlamps, as they are not supposed to be invented yet. The townspeople try to throw him out when he admits to being an alien. That’s when he learns about Kahler-Jex, an alien who’s been hiding out in the town, and also gave them streetlamps, powered by his ship’s generator. He also learns that a cybernetic gunslinger has targeted Kahler-Jex. The Doctor must decide whether to let Kahler-Jex live, or die for interfering with the laws of time.

Review: This is one of my favorite episodes from Matt Smith’s era. Kahler-Jex is a great character, and I like how Amy has to remind the Doctor that he is supposed to be the hero. The gunslinger was a great enemy. This story is why Toby Whithouse is, in my opinion, one of the great unsung writers of Doctor Who. My only complaint is that it seemed as if Rory and Amy didn’t have a lot to do until Amy told the Doctor off.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: The First Doctor has also visited the Old West, and was deputized as well. (The Gunslingers) When the Doctor throws Kahler-Jex to the gunslinger, he tells Amy that he is honoring everyone who has ever died because he showed mercy. The Doctor again asks if anyone’s been looking at his Christmas list, which he said in the previous episode. This is the fourth time the Eleventh Doctor has worn a Stetson. We learn that the Doctor can speak horse, marking the third animal who he can communicate with. Amy tells the Doctor that he shouldn’t travel alone, which had drastic consequences in “The Waters of Mars”. The Doctor claims that Amy would never guess what happened to the monkeys and dogs that were launched into space in the 60’s, which he learned in the audio story “1963: The Space Race” (one of the many stories Big Finish published in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary).

Trivia: The logo for Doctor Who was given a wooden look for this episode to fit its Western motif. The episode had two working titles, “Gunslinger” (which was dropped because of its similarity with the First Doctor episode “The Gunslingers”) and “Mercy”.

 

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