From dinosaurs one week to cowboys the next, A town called Mercy opens like many Doctor Who episodes with a teaser!
A stand off between two aliens, a cyborg on one side and a alien dressed up like a Mad Max reject, the reject dies only for the cyborg to state the Doctor is next.
Post credit roll, the Doctor and Co stand outside Mercy and wonder why the signs say Keep Away. A stroll through town finds the mid-west town has electricity. A run in with the bar finds the town folk oh so happy to see the alien doctor and tosses him out of town just in time for cyborg to appear but the sheriff played by Farscape’s Ben Browder pulls the doctor back in and the cyborg vanishes and the audience gets the info dump.
The cyborg is looking a alien doctor not the Doctor and through several well acted scenes we find out why. The alien doctor has not exactly told the whole truth and the cyborg isn’t a killing machine it is a result of he and his team’s attempt to stop a war by graphing parts onto test subjects. The cyborg went off the rails, killed his team and is now after him.
This episode attempted to deal with the heady subject of: do we toss the war criminal scientist out to get his kermufins or not? DS9 and Voyager episodes already handled this type of episode better several years ago and while the SFX of the alien doctor is nothing to write home about, the writers manage to use it when the showdown at noon finale arrives.
Overall, this episode was not the best. While the Old West tropes are brought out and used, the scenery helps this episode along since it’s not Cardiff, an alien ship or a rock quarry.
I was waiting for a six shooter sonic screwdriver but I guess someone will have to create a drink around the name since it sounds like it’ll lay you flat out.
The SFX for the cyborg is better than most and thankfully its not a random killing machine, it does have a code of honor and in the end manages to redeem itself.
Unlike last weeks episode the Ponds were not whisked away and instead were heading somewhere else when they stumbled into Mercy.
It was nice to see Browder again after a 4 year absence, he has been sorely missed since SG-1/Farscape dropped off the radar (ignoring Bad Kids go to Hell and last season of Chuck) and surprises me a bit he has not shown up on Warehouse 13, yet.
Giving it two and half regenerations out of four. The horse named Susan helped but the rest of it was meh.
Next week: Back to Cardiff and looks to be alien invasion/government stuff rolling up on Pond’s front doorstep with only 2 episode to go until the Ponds leave.
[Doctor Who Review] A town called Mercy
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