A Merciful Reaction!

Order, order! We’ll have order at the back, the front, the past and the present, ladies and gentlemen, as we bring to book the latest episode of Doctor Who.

Across the interwebs fans have (as ever) left their opinions and thoughts on A Town Called Mercy. Some of the web’s biggest hitters have too, while our own readers (perhaps even you…) have told us what you think.

Audiences for the episode were impressive, as reported earlier in the week, but what did the critics make of it all?

Perhaps the Guardian put it best when they declared:

Again, being a Whithouse script, this was full of paranoid philosophising of the kind we’re used to from Being Human. Jex was great for this – I liked the “We all carry our prisons with us” line in particular. But this was not really one for behind-the-sofa moments. The Gunslinger was cute as much as anything else. In the end, he found a kind of nobility.

Meanwhile Digital Spy picks up on the strange decision by Rory to favour the Gunslinger over Kahler Jex.

One of the few downsides to ‘A Town Called Mercy’ is that Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) don’t get much to do, but the Ponds being drawn into the Doctor’s debate and finding themselves split over Jex’s fate is interesting. That said, it seems strange that Whithouse would choose to have Rory – the nurse, the preserver of lives – be the one who’s more willing to let the Gunslinger find his target.

And what of the guest actors? Our friends at zConnection gave a good account.

I’ll be fair and admit not all of the characters introduced in this episode are uninteresting. Ben Browder chips in a very good performance as a rather sympathetic Marshall called Isaac, and there’s a good effort at creating tension amongst the townspeople. The “alien doctor”, Kahler-Jex (Adrian Scarborough), however, is much less likeable. He shares a few moments alone with Amy that feel like a futile attempt to recreate her sympathy towards Van Gogh in one of the fifth season’s best episodes, and his follow-up manoeuvre is ripped right out of a certain episode of Firefly.

Of course, the most important opinion comes from the our readers. 71.89% of respondents to our poll considered A Town Called Mercy to be “rather good Doctor Who” while 22.49% regarded it as a “typical mid-season story”. A mere 5.62% claimed to have fallen asleep. Interestingly these figures are very close to those of Series 7’s previous episodes…

Don’t miss our own review and recap of the episode.


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