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The Friday Docback Rides Into 'A Town Called Mercy'!! READER REACTION TO DOCTOR WHO S07E03 Begins With A Spoiler-Free Review From Merrick, More!!



@KenPlume with 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy - DragonCon 2012 




Merrick here...


...with a quick, SPOILER FREE mini-review of A Town Called Mercy, the third installment of DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7.  But first...





I love that we live in a world in which Smithsonian does a serious write-up evaluating the scientific merits of a DOCTOR WHO episode called Dinosaurs on a Spaceship...


Find it HERE.  







Asylum of the Daleks (S07E01) HERE in HD and HERE in standard def.

Dinosaus on a Spaceship (S07E02) HERE in HD and HERE in standard def.  

A Town Called Mercy - HERE in HD, HERE in standard def! 






LAST WEEK, we embedded BeyondTheMarquee’s video of 4 year old Lindalee Rose reviewing S7’s opener, Asylum of the Daleks.  



The video was so well received, we thought you might wanna see Lindalee’s assessment of Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - the second episode of this Season/Series.




Sounds like episode-specific  Lindelee videos will continue to be posted on BeyondTheMarquee as S7 progresses, so..if you’re enjoying these... be sure to keep checking that site! 








Docbacks are regularly visited by participants from across the globe - which is tremendously cool.  Global visitors are cool.  Alas, DOCTOR WHO is shown in different times in different places across the world...  


For example, it transmits in the UK early evening  - which is early afternoon US time.  




This Docback will remain a SPOILER FREE ZONE until DOCTOR WHO’s initial UK transmit (which occurs early afternoon Saturday, US time).  


Once DW transmits in the UK, SPOILERS will be allowed in this forum.  Thus, folks wishing to remain unsoiled by Dinosaurs on a Spaceship details until they've seen the episode for themselves may wish to tread very, very carefully if entering this Docback after late morning(ish) North American time.  


Please note the Spoiler Warning Policy posted on the Code of Conduct below.  




A Town Called Mercy  -  SPOILER FREE REVIEW 





Last week’s Dinosaurs on a Spaceship saw the Doctor making a harsh move which rubbed many viewers the wrong direction.  Personally, I don’t think his actions were particularly out of character if you consider the show’s history as a whole.  The concluding moments of Family of Blood (S03E09), for example, brought us a decidedly mean-spirited and unnervingly vengeful Doctor.


And, over the years, there have certainly been many other examples of the Doctor meting out unnerving retribution.  While that one action in Dinosaurs may not be altogether off kilter, it did point to the possibility of bigger questions about the character.  Those questions come to the forefront in a big way in Mercy.


Dinosaurs on a Spaceship director Saul  Metzstein returns to helm this week’s tale as well.  Along with Director of Photography Stephan Pehrsson, the cinematic vibe which show overlord Steven Moffat said he was striving for this year is nicely perpetuated.  Filmed on old Spaghetti Western sets in Spain...



...Mercy has beauty, style, and scope - Murray Gold’s score manages to evoke the Michael Bay/James Bondian WHO ‘sound’ in which he’s been dabbling since The Moff took charge S5, while skillfully integrating  a pointed, propulsive, and haunting Western motif into this week’s score.  This episode ought to bring about a few lovely tracks on an inevitable Season/Series 7 soundtrack. 


FARSCAPE’s Ben Browder appears here as Mercy Sheriff Isaac.  He doesn’t get as much screentime as many FARSCAPE fans might be hoping for, but he’s utterly invested in his part.  Between this commitment...and his appearance...



...I often forgot that Isaac was played by Browder.  The mark of excellent acting work, I should think.  


Adrian Scarborough’s enigmatic and problematic Kahler-Jek is equally well-spun.  The role could’ve descended into stereo-typical goofballery easily and quickly, but Scarborough maintains integrity and nuance throughout, creating a sympathetic personage who is...not either concept, or how we should relate to him.




Which pretty much sums up Mercy in a nutshell.  At no point is the installment content to rest on its Western gimmick.  Much like Dinosaurs last week, Mercy takes a few moments to relish in its highly publicized setting/gag, before it shifts tone to reveals itself to be about ideas which aren’t at all Western-centric, and have far greater implications and ramifications in the long game.  Who are we and how do we define ourselves?  Where is the line between forgiveness and justice?  To what extent should we involve ourselves in bigger picture considerations?  And when is the time to basically say “fuck the universe!” and watch out only for ourselves?  Much like classic STAR TREK, our journey through such issues can be directly reflected into both our recent nd modern world.  And, from the sense of things, may well resonate far deeper into this Season/Series than face value might suggest.


While it’s tempting to draw paralels between this episode and, say, classic TREK’s Spectre of the Gun or DOCTOR WHO’s own The Gunfighters (Hartnell, Story #25), the tone of Mercy struck me as being more akin to William Dear’s under-appreciated TIMERIDER (1982) - i.e. a fun but relatively serious science fiction tale which might be transposed to any time and place, but happens to have landed in the Old West.  Admittedly, TIMERIDER isn't the very best comparison, but I think you'll see what I mean nonetheless.  


This one’s interesting.  When I first learned of Sir The Moff’s manifesto to reshape the show into a more stand alone, brashly cinematic format, I was excited - but also worried that some of DW’s resonance or relevance would be stripped away.  If the first few episodes of this Season/Series are any indication, I’d say the show may be more resonant and relevant than ever - it’s just packaged differently, more accessibly.  And, depending on how the rest of S7 shakes out, perhaps more dangerously.  



A Town Called Mercy -   9/8C BBC America (19:35 BBC One,  9/8pm Space)  






The Power of Three (S07E04)  






Glen Oliver




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[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship 






"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (Story #151) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  







1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
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