A Town Called Mercy

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I thought that this was a great performance by adrian scarborough as the alien doctor. He is most known as a comedy actor (most famously for Gavin and Stacey) and I think he took on the me dramatic role really well.
 

Kiyeri

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I actually really did like this episode. The Doctor's dilemma with sacrificing Jex or not (especially his not being sure whether he'd actually shoot him or not) was really interesting to show how his character has developed. Amy's righteous speech I'd rather not talk about, but I don't like her either way so that's probably just my bias. I won't say worst episode this season (Doctor Who? Doctor Who? DOCTOR WHO? ...oh daleks...), but it'll be interesting to see if it impacts later episodes.
 

Albino Boo

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Vault Citizen said:
I thought that this was a great performance by adrian scarborough as the alien doctor. He is most known as a comedy actor (most famously for Gavin and Stacey) and I think he took on the me dramatic role really well.

Adrian Scarborough has far longer history of dramatic roles than comedy, the first thing I remember him in was in Gosford park in about 2000 but he was in Madness of King George in the early 90s in a small role. I have seen him on stage a few times in dramatic roles most recently in Hedda Gabler (bad production, Sheridan Smith sucks in the title role). Scarborough is good old fashioned British character actor, of the type that used appear in Dr Who.


Susan Arendt said:
. It's times like this I regret committing to doing this on a weekly basis.
Don't worry not that many to go before the end the season.



Personally I thought the episode wasn't that bad, but not that great either. It felt like a number episodes of American Sci-Fi shows had been cut up and thrown against a wall and what ever stuck was the story. What lifted it was the interplay between Scarborough and Smith but not enough to make it a good story. C- a gallant attempt, is my verdict

ps
[B/] BRING BACK TOM BAKER[/B]
 

Vault Citizen

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albino boo said:
Vault Citizen said:
I thought that this was a great performance by adrian scarborough as the alien doctor. He is most known as a comedy actor (most famously for Gavin and Stacey) and I think he took on the me dramatic role really well.

Adrian Scarborough has far longer history of dramatic roles than comedy.
I did not know that.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

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Nowhere near as good as Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. However, nowhere near as bad as Asylum of the Daleks (God that episode sucked balls).
 

Susan Arendt

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Vault Citizen said:
I thought that this was a great performance by adrian scarborough as the alien doctor. He is most known as a comedy actor (most famously for Gavin and Stacey) and I think he took on the me dramatic role really well.
I absolutely agree with that. He managed to portray a tortured soul without overdoing it. He was quite believable both as a monster and a savior. Which is to say he was a man, with all his faults and virtues.
 

JoJo

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I have to say I quite liked this episode but different strokes for different folks I guess, the moral corundum was interesting even if it was fixed rather conveniently at the end.
 

TimeLord

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What's worse is that the episode dodged what could've been a very intriguing and deep question - when it came right down to it, would the Doctor sacrifice Jex if it meant saving a town full of innocents? He's more than happy to serve Jex up on a platter before Amy steps in and chastises him in a tone so condescendingly preachy that I found myself hoping she might "accidentally" find herself outside the boundary. Yes, Amy is meant to serve as the Doctor's conscience - that was established way back in The Beast Below (2010) - but as that episode also proves, she's certainly not above a dark act if it saves the greater good. She pushed that "Forget" button, right? That entire "We have to be better than him" speech came off forced and fake, something that was said not because it's how Amy would actually react but because someone had to say it or else the episode would end up about 22 minutes too short.
I think the Doctor only made the decision to throw Jex to the wolves because of his comment about the Doctor not having the courage to do what must be done. Obviously a bad move considering his actions in the Time War. While Amy's little chastisement was poor, it highlights the problem that Tennant came across before the end of his life in that he realised that if he wants to then he can do anything without punishment. He has no companions/humans to balance him out. I thought the balance shift was disgraceful though. From an interesting 2 minutes where the Doctor is threatening Jex with a gun, he spends the rest of the episode as the "good guy" with not a single comment about what transpired earlier.
I'm more interested in Rory's actions in this episode, he got a woefully small script but he is more than happy to sacrifice Jex when the Doctor wants to, but then follow Amy and the Doctor in saving him. It's very much the Doctor and Amy show and Rory (like Mickey) is pushed to the sidelines.

Yeah the episode wrote itself into a corner halfway through.

Sure, it fit the genre, but it didn't fit the man
Did it? The Doctor has dealt judgement to his fair share of enemies and people over the years

 

ctear

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I guess it is true that one man's treasure is another's trash. I have been reading so many reviews for the episodes this season and yet this is the only one that dumps on it over and over again. I guess as a "Newvian" I can't appreciate the series at the same level you do, so my enjoying it is obviously an atrocity. What is it with fans of any series always feeling that they are superior to others. Watching and enjoying a tv series is not a competition.

This episode did a great job at exploring the constant struggle the Doctor has had to not become the killer which he often becomes without his companions. If you look past the western scenes (which were great if you were fans of that genre too), you will see that Issac and Jex were actually the moral compass the doctor must balance between. Travel too far to either side and he ends up getting killed and force to regenerate.
 

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albino boo said:
ps
[B/] BRING BACK TOM BAKER[/B]
Tom Baker is about 150 now however he has been confirmed to be back for the 50th anniversary thing next year!
 

Azuaron

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The problem with this episode, for me, was that it didn't really address (explicitly or subtly) the fact that what Jex did is not overly dissimilar from how the Doctor ended the Time War (sure, the Doctor didn't experiment on people against their will, but he did trap two races--the Time Lords and the Daleks--within a bubble of perpetual war against their will. If that's not a war crime, I don't know what is.)

There was a real opportunity here for the Doctor to examine his place between "savior" and "judge" (which has already been done with David Tennant a few times) that did not involve Amy preaching against her own character. She's always been the one (between her and Rory) to make harsh decisions, and that she was like, "Whatevs, war crimes are cool," while Rory was fighting to hand the guy over just seemed dissonant to both their characters (Rory much less so, admittedly, but if one of them "had to" fight to save him, it should have been Rory).

I feel like this episode was a first draft that just got pushed out. They said, "Let's make a western!" pulled together a "standard" western outline, wrote the pieces as "required" by the outline, then left it as is instead of examining would would make it better and truer to Who.
 

ozmasis

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I thought this episode was terrible too, boring characters, stupid plot, Doctor being serious. Matt Smith needs to be crazy and excited, his serious Doctor is so bad compared to David Tennant's. Though every season seems to have one episode you just throw away and move on from.
 

Scorched_Cascade

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Things I found interesting about the episode: The Doctor claims to be 1,200 years old, that is 97 years have passed (for him) since the Wedding of River Song (Last season's finale)

TimeLord said:
Sure, it fit the genre, but it didn't fit the man
Did it? The Doctor has dealt judgement to his fair share of enemies and people over the years

Off the top of my head, no doubt some wiki of the actual fact or your knowledge will prove me wrong, I can't think of a single time the doctor has taken up an actual firearm/gun since the new series started? I can think of at least 5 occasions where he has poured scorn on people suggesting the use of guns/threatning him with guns and two occasions where a companion's gun has "mysteriously disappeared". I'd gathered that since the Time War the Doctor had become batman and developed a fear/hatred of guns. Proven wrong as predicted.

It's rather telling that of all the fanciful places he choses to wear a gun he does it in America....

In response to the original thread question:
Parts I didn't like:

-The doctor with a gun, he's killed/threatened/kept people in place with far more creative means than waving a firearm around before

-The whole mother back and forth with Amy and Jex; we know she was a mother, we had a whole season about it and this dialogue doesn't actually teach us anything more about either character i.e. it's extraneous dialogue. Originally I thought (when he started talking) that it would be an attempt to win Amy to his side but it didn't really come off like that.

-Amy's out of place speech. Timing? Fine. Sentiment? Passable seeing as she's his Jimney Cricket. Wording and tone? Preeeaaachy and flow breaking.
 

Plinglebob

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ctear said:
This episode did a great job at exploring the constant struggle the Doctor has had to not become the killer which he often becomes without his companions. If you look past the western scenes (which were great if you were fans of that genre too), you will see that Issac and Jex were actually the moral compass the doctor must balance between. Travel too far to either side and he ends up getting killed and force to regenerate.
This is why I liked the episode. Like the God Complex, it gives us a view of the Doctor by showing as how close he is to the things he fights. On the one hand we have the man who will sacrifice others (or get people to sacrifice themselves) for the perceived "Greater Good". On the other is the law man punishing those he thinks deserve it.

Jex resolves the mess by blowing himself up and the Gunslinger slinks into the desert to become Mercy's unseen protector. It's all too simple and clean. The Doctor is off the moral hook, the people are saved, the bad guy is punished, huzzah.
First of all, as I've said previously, as much as some of the fan base may not want it this is a Family show leaning more towards the kids and so it generally has to be "Simple and Clean" Yes there is gray if you look at it more closely, but overall things have to remain pretty black and white with the good guys winning and a new lesson learned.

Secondly, committing suicide is perfectly in character for Jax. This is a scientist who always did what he thought was the best thing to help people, but scared of his own death as it would mean facing the consequences of his actions. His suicide is him conquering his fear of facing what he's done. He could see that killing himself was the best way to help people so went and did it knowing that he would be forced to finally answer for what he did.

Finally, going back to what was said before about each villain being the Doctor, I think Jax's suicide is the final point in this. There's part of me that thinks the Doctor wants to die and not regenerate, but he's too scared to. Partly because his ego means he's worried what will happen if he's not around, and partly because he's too scared to accept death as that would mean reflecting and accepting everything that he has done instead of just running away.
 

Roganzar

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TimeLord said:
albino boo said:
ps
[B/] BRING BACK TOM BAKER[/B]
Tom Baker is about 150 now however he has been confirmed to be back for the 50th anniversary thing next year!
So if they get all the Doctors back to him, there are going to be some fat Doctors there. Lol

Anyway, I thought it was an okay episode. Nothing spectacular, kind of forgettable even. They missed the mark a few times that's for sure. Though the unrepentantly shoving Jex out to the Gunslinger was a great moment that could have lead to some better story. Though I thought Amy's speech a bit much and could have been better if it was just the one line of "We are supposed to be better than that." Or however that went.

A Town Called Mercy could have been much worse, they could have inexplicably brought Adric back.
 

TimeLord

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Scorched_Cascade said:
TimeLord said:
Sure, it fit the genre, but it didn't fit the man
Did it? The Doctor has dealt judgement to his fair share of enemies and people over the years

Off the top of my head, no doubt some wiki of the actual fact or your knowledge will prove me wrong, I can't think of a single time the doctor has taken up an actual firearm/gun since the new series started?
Off the top of my head; Dalek, Bad Wolf, Doctor's Daughter, End of Time (!!!), Time Of Angels, A Town Called Mercy
 

Scorched_Cascade

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TimeLord said:
Scorched_Cascade said:
TimeLord said:
Sure, it fit the genre, but it didn't fit the man
Did it? The Doctor has dealt judgement to his fair share of enemies and people over the years

Off the top of my head, no doubt some wiki of the actual fact or your knowledge will prove me wrong, I can't think of a single time the doctor has taken up an actual firearm/gun since the new series started?
Off the top of my head; Dalek, Bad Wolf, Doctor's Daughter, End of Time (!!!), Time Of Angels, Town Called Mercy
Then I retract what I said ^^ I still don't remember the specific scenes but I trust that you do.

I still think that a) He doesn't need a gun (he's quite capable of murder without one) and b)He looks weird with one though.