Not review: Doctor Who – 7×3 – A Town Called Mercy

A Town Called Mercy  

In the UK: It was on Saturday. It’s on the iPlayer now
In the US: It was also on Saturday.

Erm, I haven’t watched it yet. Busy, busy, busy. Frank has and so has Stuart, so I’d suggest you read their reviews, which undoubtedly will be better than what I would have thrown together.

But cowboys, filmed in the US, Toby Whithouse, Ben Browder – sounds like it could have been good. Was it? Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick – or two Chris Chibnall scripts in a row? What did you think?

  • Mark Carroll

    I don't know what I thought. It didn't have the silliness of the previous; they at least aimed more at actual plausibility, which I think is an important part of the appeal of the “original” show. It was generally well-produced and well-paced. However, it didn't glue the kids to the screen, and in the same weekend we watched The Dominators which, while inadvertently silly in various ways, I actually found more engaging. This episode seemed overall like it should be quite good, but for me it was a little let down by being somewhat predictable at times (in contrast to that first Dalek one we had, wherein I didn't see the twist toward the end) and being rather heavy handed about the moral dimension (in particular, there was a related conversation that bored me rigid). The Doctor does seem to have had a couple of fairly merciless moments lately.

  • SK

    Filmed in Spain, not the US. But abroad is abroad, on a BBC budget.

    I thought it wasn't bad:� probably as good as it could have been given the new format.

    Actually I find these good-and-almost-great ones really show the limits of the forty-five minute format. This, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex all were good but rather hamstrung by the fact that, with only forty-five minutes to play with, they had to set up their situations in a really contrived way. With The Girl Who Waited, for example, it was that brain-dead sequence with the buttons and the doors; here, where what we really needed was a good twenty minutes of getting to know the townspeople as we realise Something Is Wrong (why are they all so scared? Why do they not trust visitors from outside? And why does the town doctor seem so odd?) instead we have five minutes of bloody-obvious 'there's a ring around the town, here is the Alien Doctor' and then into the moral dilemmas and story proper.

    And as a result we don't really know any of the townspeople, we don't really care about them, and — while it manages to be pretty good despite that — it fails to really achieve greatness. And later on, that lack of time manifests itself in the heavy-handed moral conversations where the meaning is spelt out, that so bored Mark: with more time that could have been put into actions, but with only forty-five minutes and a shoot-out to get in, it has to be delivered straight at the audience.

    The best so far this year; but the best ones are the ones that really are starting to show the limits of the format, and so are annoying me for the ways they fall short of greatness, not through their own flaws, but through the inevitable result of fitting them into the time available.

  • Toby O'Brien

    Basically, it was “QB VII” set in the old West, but I enjoyed that.� And it gave me stuff to work with at Inner Toob… eventually…..

  • Toby O'Brien

    Basically, it was “QB VII” set in the old West, but I enjoyed that.� And it gave me stuff to work with at Inner Toob… eventually…..

  • Toby O'Brien

    Basically, it was “QB VII” set in the old West, but I enjoyed that.� And it gave me stuff to work with at Inner Toob… eventually…..

  • I loved it. But am a sucker for Wild West stories. And I have been there!! You can go and visit the old Spaghetti Western sets in Almeria. There's more then one, I think. We went years ago, when the last exciting thing filmed there was the Milky Bar kid adverts. Nice to see it getting some proper use:-)

    I liked the moral dilemma, thought Amy & Rory woefully underused (apart from Amy being the Doctor's conscience), Ben Browder was wonderful, and I loved the joke about the horse. It looked stunning too.

  • Lisa Rullsenberg

    Am easily delighted and I loved Susan the horse. Much chuckles.

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