REPLACEMENT Whovian Daniel Jaines takes over from regular Doctor Who reviewer Darren Sykes as the latter takes a trip in his own TARDIS to Scotland.
This week’s episode, A Town Called Mercy, was another of those episodes which, to put it bluntly, did exactly what it said on the tin.
The episode took viewers to the Wild West frontier, and let loose with the stereotypes of the genre with glee, from the trusted sheriff, the unknown outsider, the stetson and the spurs.
While again ever-present, the Ponds in this episode were... apart from one scene where the Doctor holds a gun (which we all knew he wouldn’t use)... blatantly a bit of a plot device this time.
The main action focussed (and not for the first time for the Doctor) around the concept of good, evil and the grey in between with a Frankenstein story of a scientist turned doctor seeking ‘forgiveness’ for his ‘evil’ creation which is now hunting him down.
Of course the creature turns out to be not as evil as first made out.
The theme was a continuation of this dark Doctor which seems to be seeping into the storyline following on from last year where he effectively killed a foe by allowing him to be blown up.
It also follows a theme of war and genocide - first the Dalek asylym, then the Silurians - and now the alien species known as the Kahler who’s war resulted in the creation of the monster cyborg.
Note, that I may seem to be being negative, however I’m not, I just wanted to get that out the way the episode was, in itself, and following on from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, brilliant and allowed Matt Smith to show a darker side to the Doctor as he vied for a sort of power with Adrian Scarborough’s Kahler-Jex.
The random conflict between the Doctor and the gunslingers (with what I can only call the ‘townswomen’ to the side) provided a bit of light relief to the dark side.
Only one thing confused me though, the ring around the town. I think this was for the electric current but I may be wrong, can anyone explain?
I would give this four TARDISes out of five.
Darren returns to the controls next week...