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Series 7 > A Town Called Mercy - SPOILERS AHEAD

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CaptKirk42 Classic Whovian (klandersen) | 1146 comments Mod
Time for "A Town Called Mercy".

I liked this episode but I think it is sort of a sleeper, not as exciting as the previous two. Part of it is I'm not really big into Westerns but this wasn't like most Westerns.

The episode could have also been titled "Second Chances" because a couple of the characters do get a second chance.

Sci-Fi fans probably recognized American Actor Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG:1) as Isaac. Fans of his might have been a little disappointed he didn't get as much screen-time. I saw one review/reaction where the writer thought he should have been used more and had a more exciting role. I think he was mostly cast for his recognition from those other series he had done.

message 2: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) I liked it well enough. Any episode that gets me pondering the meaning of justice, proper punishments, and the quality of mercy wins my affection. As someone who grew up watching a lot of Westerns as a kid, this episode also pleased me because of its atmosphere. Plus, the Doctor got his Stetson back.

message 3: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) I totally enjoyed it. Some of the lines were so good and I got the feeling that Matt Smith was enjoying his role as well. He reminds me of a little boy playing in certain episodes. I did not recognize Ben and that annoys me because I loved him on Stargate SG-1. But the separation of the Ponds and the Doctor is being set up. I liked that Amy pointed out that he can't travel by himself for long periods of time. He needs a companion.

message 4: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 38 comments So he is over 1200 years old now -- no wonder he has changed a lot...

CaptKirk42 Classic Whovian (klandersen) | 1146 comments Mod
Terri wrote: "So he is over 1200 years old now -- no wonder he has changed a lot..."

Talk about your Mid-Life Crisis.

message 6: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments He's aged 200 years in one season. If they keep this up, soon he'll be too old to live.

message 7: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) Nah, Time Lords don't work like that, because they age differently than humans. 50 years is like being a teenager to them, and with every regeneration they get a whole new life cycle.

message 8: by Leyah (last edited Sep 18, 2012 09:17PM) (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments Really? that's awesome!

message 9: by Axela (new)

Axela | 415 comments Eris ~ Time Lord Unvictorious wrote: "Nah, Time Lords don't work like that, because they age differently than humans. 50 years is like being a teenager to them, and with every regeneration they get a whole new life cycle."

Actually... 90 years is still considered childhood. Senility becomes possible at around 12,000 years old. 1200 is about late teens/early twenties.

message 10: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments Ok, that's weird. Cool, but weird.

message 11: by Axela (new)

Axela | 415 comments It's awesome, eh? But who'd really want to live that long?

message 12: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments The crazy people in this world. I'm not one of them.

It does mean that the Fourth Doctor was in his early teens when he became President of the Time Lords. Or something like that. I don't really watch much Classic Who.

message 13: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) That must mean that the First Doctor was a tween, even though he acted like a grumpy grandma. O_O I don't know what to think...

message 14: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments I wonder what he was going through his head when he regenerated into the First Doctor

message 15: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) No, he didn't regenerate into the First Doctor - his first regeneration was into the Second Doctor. The First Doctor was the original, I supposed you could say.

message 16: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments Oh okay. Maybe he didn't need to regenerate so he just aged like a normal human - well, sort of aged. He did have a family

message 17: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 38 comments Or aged REALLY slowly

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Actually, A Town Called Mercy has been my favorite so far, or at least tied with Dinosaurs on a Spaceship!

My thoughts;

1. The Doctor has changed so much. He killed Soloman in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship without any mercy and then goes and nearly sacrifices Jex after he himself was almost sacrificed and pleaded for mercy! Talk about contradictions.

2. Jex and the Doctor are both alien doctors. It's striking to me because even though there are no more time lords (or so we think!), he's not alone. Yes, he has companions, but those come and go. He needs someone he can really connect with. Though Jex is a war criminal, can't it be argued that the Doctor is also a war criminal?

3. The Sheriff gave the Doctor a second chance. I think that really affected him. You could see it in his eyes that he realized the message behind the second chance.

4. The Gunslinger got to be the Sheriff. I loved this. It just emphasises the whole "second chances" theme.

5. I didn't like the narration though. It confused me. Why? What was the purpose? I think it clafifyed too much. I don't know about you, but I like a little mystery. I like to fill in the spaces.

6. Amy was so right. When he travels alone, his humanity slowly fades away. Granted, he's not human, but I hope you get what I mean. Look what happened in The Waters of Mars! Let's hope we don't get another "Time Lord Victorious".

message 19: by Janeen-san (last edited Sep 20, 2012 05:42PM) (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 1507 comments I'm glad its one of your favorites, too! I like it way better than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and is my absolute favorite of Season 7 so far, and one of my favorites of 11's altogether. I thought it was perfect. 5/5.
I really loved it when the Doctor got angry; pointing a gun at Jex, swinging it around at the crowd and, we think, probably willing to shoot, although according to him, "...I genuinely don't know." Brilliant. He didn't say he was the Oncoming Storm, he showed us.
Even when they were interrogating Jex, the Doctor paced back and forth, coming to rest and leaning against a wall, alone with his dark and swirling thoughts. During times like this we get to see another side of his personality. I really wish he had been this serious from the start. It was just perfect. My mom and sister both liked it, although my sister denied he was getting darker! (She just needs to see more Ten!) I think the change in his personality is brilliant. Although, in Seasons 5, 6, and now 7, the Doctor hasn't told Amy and Rory about his past companions--at least he told Martha about Rose and Donna about Martha--but seriously, he has to tell them sometime. Because he didn't tell them, its hurting him; they could leave him without any clue to how lonely he would be if they left. If he told them, they would be aware of what they'd be doing to him and stay at least a little longer! I feel so sorry for the Doctor.
Returning to the dark side of the Doctor, I mentioned to my mom how I thought it was dramatic and intense when he snatched up a gun. She just said it was because of the setting, and because it was common for people to use guns, he did, but that's SO not it. In the old series when they went to the Wild West, they dressed up to fit the time period, but that doesn't happen now. The Doctor doesn't just use a gun because it happens to be there. *sigh* My mom just doesn't get what a big deal violence is for the Doctor, like when the townspeople wanted to hand Jex over to the cyborg, and the Doctor lifted back his jacket to reveal a gun. He didn't handle it then, but even so it was terrifying. In this way he's even darker than Ten, threatening people with a weapon...
Also: Amy. She can't leave the Doctor! "This is what happens when you travel alone for too long." He really wanted to shoot Jex, he really did, but once again, his human companion saved him from becoming as bad as The Master, which he would have become long ago had it not been for his human companions. All the powers over Time and the universe itself, and nothing in the way but your own conscious. That's scary. That's why he needs someone to stop him. He changes his companions, but they change him, too. Or rather, they save him from himself. In this way, Rose and Amy are similar. Side note: they both have really bright-colored hair, which could be thought of as their influence on the Doctor....

message 20: by Maitrayee (new)

Maitrayee | 62 comments I really liked this episode. I am actually liking this season very much since its all about standalone episodes and a story arc hasn't been set. Or it may have been set but its not very apparent right now.

This episode showed how old the Doctor has become, and he is susceptible to violence if not stopped. Love that scene when Amy says "What has happened to you Doctor? When did killing someone become an option?" And right there, thats what my Doctor is. He is this what I introduce to my friends. A superhero who doesn't believe in killing. And yet because of what he has gone through, he questions himself, whether he has doing the right thing all along. So many layers to the character. Its Beautiful!

The best part is that all these characters have really grown up on me. It would be sad to see them go.

message 21: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 1507 comments I loved that scene, too! GOSH, this is a brilliant episode.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

What did you guys think about the narration at the beginning and end?

CaptKirk42 Classic Whovian (klandersen) | 1146 comments Mod
Kirsty ~ The Doctor-Donna wrote: "What did you guys think about the narration at the beginning and end?"

I can do without them and Doctor Who the series went it's entire Classic period without using any (at least I can't recall it being done.)

Now that I think about it I think the reason it was used in this case was to make the entire story feel like an old "Urban Legend" being told by someone who witnessed the events and telling it to her grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. The only indication the narrator was part of the story was a the very end when she was wrapping things up and you saw the Cyborg standing on the Clifftop in the distance and the little girl watching him. I know the little girl was the one who knocked over the stack of books when they were huddling in the church, but other than that I don't recall what she had witnessed.

message 24: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) I liked the narration right from the beginning. It gave the connectedness of the cultures; Mercy had their doctor as Amy had her doctor. I think he was both dark here and having a heck of a lot of fun with the hat, the swaggering into the bar and ordering the tea. I want to see River in an episode too. I miss the whole "spoilers, sweetie". I don't know why, but I just get a feeling that Matt Smith loves the whole US western aspect. I sometimes see this little boy who is having a heck of a good time playing the Doctor.

message 25: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 1507 comments I loved the part when he went into the bar ^^

message 26: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) Janeen-san wrote: "I loved the part when he went into the bar ^^"

And ordered a cup of tea. Strong, and leave the bag in. :D

message 27: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Oh yes, that's where I say Matthew was loving the part

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

The Doctor is kind of like a cup of tea though because...

1. The more he lives, the stronger he gets just like the longer you leave a tea bag in the stronger it gets.

2. You are almost always in the mood for him just like you are always in the mood for tea whether it's drinking it hot in the winter and iced in the summer.

3. He's versatile. He can be dark and brooding, then comical and fun loving just like tea can be strong black tea or light, green tea.

4. He's good for you. As in, his ideals rub off on you, making you a better person just like tea is good for you with all its antioxidants. Just make sure not to over do the "sugar" like Martha did or the good of it disappears!

I don't know, that's just how my mind works!

message 29: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 1507 comments What do you mean 'like Martha did'?
She's cool!

message 30: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) I second that. Martha was awesome! And your metaphor can be a tad problematic, as having too much sugar in tea is not a problem - my mom liked her tea like that. The problem is if you have too much strong black tea with a bit of milk added in, you can get kidney stones. That's what happened to my parents, and my mom almost died because of kidney stones caused by tea. So... I guess that means don't overdo it on Doctor Who?

message 31: by Janeen-san (new)

Janeen-san  (misswannareadalot) | 1507 comments Your mom almost died?! Yikes!

message 32: by Leyah (last edited Oct 13, 2012 10:04PM) (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments Ditto

message 33: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) Yeah, it was not a happy time that day. :( Went to the emergency room and everything after my mom started going into severe shock. The kidney stone just wouldn't pass. Fortunately my dad had given her these mega painkillers which helped her a bit. They've had to give up drinking tea, and they now drink coffee. My brother and I are still big tea-drinkers, though. :)

message 34: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments I love herbal teas, but not with milk in :)

message 35: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Eris, wow. What a difficult time. I have never heard of tea being related to kidney stones. I drink tea (iced) all day long. I love my tea. When I drink hot tea I do like milk in it. I am glad that is behind you now though.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Janeen-san wrote: "What do you mean 'like Martha did'?
She's cool!"

I just meant that Martha was flirty (sugary) and too much will earn you nothing. (Martha choosing to leave)

message 37: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Kirsty I know what you mean. Martha was falling in love with him. But she also had that flair that Rose and later Donna had of curiosity about what was out there and loved the chance to see it all. I think Martha saw that it was only causing her more pain and that's why she had to stop going with him.

message 38: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Ocampo (seeyouspacecowboy) Martha was thoroughly abused as a character by Russell T. Davies in my opinion. She was a wonderful companion and Davies could've done so much more with her. I much prefer Steven Moffat's writing, to be honest.

message 39: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) I agree in saying that Martha was thoroughly abused by the writer. Maybe it's just that I am so partial to David Tennant but I do like Russell T. Davies writing a little better. And I liked the first two seasons of Steven Moffat's versions. I can't say exactly why. I do like to see the silly side of the doctor as well as the more serious. The little bits of humor that Davies threw in are ones that still stay with me...things like Donna's repartee with the Doctor. There are some Moffat's writing too. Off the top of my head when the Doctor says that the baby wants to be called Stormageddon.

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound anti-Martha in that context. Maybe it was just a bad analogy....

message 41: by Leyah (new)

Leyah (serferrant) | 365 comments I love Martha, I love all the companions, but I do agree with you, she really didn't need that lovey dovey thing. I think more people would like her if there was none of that

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