The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in the Wild West, where the small town of Mercy is besieged by an alien gunslinger on the search for a Doctor…
This one’s a lot more thoughtful and smaller than the first episodes of this run, which isn’t a bad thing. Whithouse has produced some good stuff in the past and he hasn’t let us down here.
· If there’s any reminder needed that the Doctor, who has terminated millions of creatures directly or indirectly in his 1,200 years, is a very complex character, this episode certainly provides it. Matt Smith delivers a complex and nuanced performance here.
· Amy reminds us why the Doctor is best with companions – someone has to stop him.
· There’s some nice flashes of humour in this story – the Doctor speaking horse for example, but they don’t overshadow a good story.
· A lot of thought-provoking stuff here on guilt, justice and the death penalty. While I was immediately reminded of Josef Mengele, you can see elements of other projects that caused a lot harm to end a war e.g. the Manhattan Project. Kahler-Jex was a great, layered character, played in a way that made you both loathe him and feel sorry for him.
· Great job from Ben Browder as Isaac. He could have brought out the ham (as could anyone), but chose not to.
· I did find my attention wandering a little at the beginning, but not at the end. The climax was very good indeed.
· The use of the Spanish western set that features in a lot of the classics was an inspired choice – it was instantly recognisable.
· The Gunslinger – superb character. Performing in that much latex is always a challenge and the actor did a great job. The font on the display, as was pointed out on GB, was a nice nod to Terminator.
· Ending was a bit of a cop-out for my liking.
· This is a show that is highly confident in itself and its continuity. Long may this confidence continue.
Good, but by no means a classic.