25 September 2012

Doctor Who - A Town Called Mercy

I'm afraid this post is a little late, I've been suffering from a cold the last few days so I haven't quite keep up with my Doctor Who blogging. Here are my slightly belated thoughts on 'A Town Called Mercy' which aired (in the UK) over a week ago.

We're in the Wild West and in the first couple of minutes me and my husband have concluded that it won't be Firefly, it could be like Muse's 'Knights of Cydonia' music video, and that the cyborg has the right shape head to be reminiscent of Kryten in that Red Dwarf Wild West episode. My husband also mentioned Westworld, but I've not seen that.

The Western version of the Terminator is terrorising a town and asks for the alien Doctor. So when the TARDIS landsand the Doctor introduces himself to the townsfolk they're all for throwing him over the line of sticks and pebbles that somehow keeps the killer cyborg out. Then it turns out that the town's much-loved doctor is an alien himself and the cyborg is bent on revenge and the situation gets complex.

Ben Browder dons a moustache, a cowboy hat and an accent to play the sheriff. It was good to have a big name sci-fi actor turn up, especially in a different sort of role to usual.
I must admit I failed to realise who he was without hints from my husband. I knew he looked familiar but couldn't tell who he was, then again I've not watched that much Farscape and can be confused by actors changing hair colour. I knew that Adrain Scarborough looked very familiar from UK TV, but had to look him up to figure out what I'd seen him in.

I quite liked the way the Jex doctor was very English and seemed terribly civilised, until he was cornered and had to admit what he had done. I also liked the way the cyborg seemed like a scary killer, but could barely bring himself to kill any innocents. The moral dilemmas presented were interesting and showed a lot more nuance than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship with it's 1D villain.

I wasn't sure about the framing device. The voiceover would have worked better if we'd met the narrator, if she'd been a main character. She never actually appears and we don't particularly care about her ancestor either. I can understand that they wanted to convey the idea of the cyborg being a long term protector, but there were better ways of doing that.

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