Sunday, 9 September 2012

Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy - Spoiler-Free Preview

Series 7, Episode 3:
A Town Called Mercy
Guest Starring: Andrew Brooke, Ben Browder and Adrian Scarborough.

Written by: Toby Whithouse.
Directed by: Saul Metzstein.
Produced by: Marcus Wilson.

Executive Producers: Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner.

Broadcast date: Saturday 15th September 2012 at 7:35pm on BBC One.

Reviewed by Tom for The Gallifrey Times.

The Gallifrey Times have seen Series 7, Episode 3: A Town Called Mercy and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

The town's called Mercy for a
reason...
After the very humorous and quite frankly, crazy Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy is set in a Wild West town known as Mercy (surprisingly) and this time The Doctor is back to just having Amy & Rory by his side after having five companions in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship! This is only the second ever Doctor Who episode that has been set in the Wild West (the other being the 1966 third season serial The Gunfighters.) and I can tell you now that they really have brought the 'blockbuster' effect to this particular episode.

The opening of this episode is very Terminator-like and if you just watched the first minute or so, then you'd have no idea that what was to follow would be a Wild West themed adventure.

Kahler-Jex, played by Adrian
Scarborough.
The story follows The Gunslinger, a cyborg who is hunting down its creators one by one. (He also shoots people's hats!) He has surrounded the town and patrols the outskirts, threatening to kill anyone in his path. The last person on the Cyborg's hit list is resident of Mercy, Kahler-Jex (Adrian Scarborough), who also claims to be a time-travelling Doctor (Spoilers) and sports a tattoo on his face similar to the one in The Hangover: Part II.  The Doctor, Amy and Rory are tasked with the challenge of investigating who actually The Gunslinger is and what he wants. The Doctor (who once again sports a stetson) also becomes in charge of the town when he is given the role of Sheriff, as a result of this, at one point he is put into a very scary situation. (Spoilers)

The Doctor on Susan.
The set for this episode looks beautiful and I think Doctor Who producers made the right choice to travel to the Wild West film set in Almeria, Spain. The old-styled Wild West buildings do really look the part as does the surrounding area, which is perfect for shots away from the town such as when The Doctor is riding a horse (which he telepathically finds out is called Susan) through the mountainous and sandy desert. There are excellent camera shots throughout the episode which really showcase this fantastic location.

The Gunslinger is big, scary, has a
gun and a really deep voice.
Onto the acting, a lot of the actors in this episode are (funnily enough) American, and they all portray typical Wild West residents perfectly. (Don't forget that we'll have an interview with Sean Benedict, who plays Dockery, this Tuesday) Matt Smith plays The Doctor brilliantly as always. (His American accent isn't the best though) Although Toby Whithouse hasn't made him as funny as he was in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, he still manages to share a fair few number of jokes. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, as usual, play the investigative couple, Amy & Rory. Finally, Andrew Brooke plays the very scary Gunslinger with an extremely deep voice (Personally, I think it's a little too deep.) and a huge gun.

This episode has been well written by Toby Whithouse and it really shows off the best of Doctor Who. One thing that I did notice in this episode was the brilliant soundtrack. It's typical Wild West music and really is Murray Gold at his best. You will definitely notice the brilliant score in this episode and I'm sure you'll enjoy it also.

This episode really is good and in my opinion could go on for more than 45 minutes and it definitely has that blockbuster look and feel, as Steven Moffat promised for every episode this series. The cast, production team and Murray Gold all deserve credit for creating such a brilliant episode and a fantastic soundtrack.

A Town Called Mercy will not disappoint and you're in for a outstanding Wild West themed adventure with The Doctor, Amy and Rory and not forgetting Susan! This is only the second time that a Doctor Who episode has been Wild West themed and I can tell you now that it is brilliant.

The Gallifrey Times Rating 9/10
Thanks to BBC Pictures for the images.