Doctor Who (Matt Smith) – A Town Called Mercy, and The Power of Three

It’s time for a Western Doctor Who as the Doctor (Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) travel to A Town Called Mercy. Written by Toby Whithouse, the episode first aired on 15 September, 2012.

When the Time Lord and his Companions arrive in the American Old West, they find themselves confronting a town held captive by an alien cyborg, known only as The Gunslinger (Andrew Brooke).

It seems this Gunslinger is seeking vengeance on those who created he and his fellows; made as war machines to fight in a civil war. The doctor that the the Gunslinger is actually seeking is an alien scientist, Kahler-Jex (Adrian Scarborough) that was involved in his creation.

The Doctor and the town’s sheriff, Isaac (Ben Browder) must come up with a way to save the town, even as they learn the truth about Kahler-Jex who, when he first arrived aided the town by providing them with electricity and cured an outbreak of cholera.

No matter what one thinks of the story, and I could take or leave most of it (Susan the horse is fun), the fact that they got to shoot on location, in Spain, makes this a very impressive looking episode.

And I have to admit, I always enjoy any time that the Doctor gets righteously angry, and I also delight in those moments when his Companions, in this case, Amy, bring him back from the edge.

I do love the message that the Doctor shares, “Violence doesn’t end violence. It extends it.”

The story comes to an enjoyable conclusion and while it toys with Western tropes, it never exploits them.


The Power of Three is a bit of a unique episode, written by Chris Chibnall that debuted on 22 September, 2012.

The episode is mainly told from Amy and Rory’s point of view, as they worry about their separate lives, their real lives, and their Doctor lives, and how at some point they may have to choose.

With what Amy calls “The Year of the Slow Invasion” the Doctor stays and studies the events, an arrival of tiny cubes all over the planet. Brian (Mark Williams), Rory’s dad, shows up again, as the Doctor crashes with them trying to figure everything out.

The Time Lord is rather disgusted and put-off by the domesticity of Pond life, but gets even more caught up in events when UNIT arrives, led by Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), the late Brigadier’s daughter.

Still, the Doctor can’t take the linear progression of time and larks off for an adventure or two, while we stay with the Ponds, the mysterious cubes, and the growth of their real lives, until things go sideways…

It’s a fun episode, and hints at what is to come when Brian asks what has happened to previous Companions.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll be ready for the Angels of Manhattan next week…


power of three

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