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This is the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying, a multi-genre simming site, created in August 2010.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Gunman from the Apocalypse (Review: 'Doctor Who' 33.3, "A Town Called Mercy")

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.



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