Some Thoughts on “A Town Called Mercy”

Sci-fi and westerns are not, generally, things that mix well, yet just about every science fiction series seems to feel the need to try and mix them at least once. Doctor Who did it back in the day with “The Gunfighters”, Star Trek did it, Star Trek: The Next Generation did it, Star Trek: Enterprise did it. Red Dwarf even did it, and of the shows listed on here, it’s their effort that was the best, most watchable. At least until now.

This is the second time Doctor Who has done a western, and I must point out that this time, it’s much, much better than last time. It still wasn’t a perfect episode, but as a good, solid, stand-alone, non-arc episode, I really liked it. The cyborg had some reasonable motivation (even if his “morality” was a bit inconsistent at times), the townsfolk were well-rendered and the “mad scientist” was an interesting character who could, indeed, be quite sympathetic.

I would have liked to have seen him be more sympathetic, in fact. What he did was evil and wrong, but let’s not forget the however billions of innocent Time Lords and other Gallifreyans the Doctor killed off to end a war, not to mention the countless billions of Daleks. We still accept him as a force for good in the universe, and I would have liked to have seen the alien doctor treated much the same.

But those complaints aside, this was a really fun story. I especially liked the location filming in Spain, which I suppose makes this a Tapas Western. I liked the music. I liked the cinematography. I have no real issues. I’d give this episode a solid four stars, which means that, so far at least, this season is shaping up to be something really good.


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