RECAP: 'Doctor Who' Goes To The Old West
The BBC America sci-fi drama Doctor Who took viewers to a world of six-shooters and saloons in the third installment of the show's seventh season, "A Town Called Mercy."
In the episode, the time-traveling star, the Doctor (Matt Smith), along with Amy Pond (Karen Gillian) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) venture to the old west where a cyborg, referred to as the Gunslinger (Andrew Brooke), has been haunting a small town in search of an alien doctor named Kahler-Jex (Adrian Scarborough) who crash-landed on the planet and has been hiding in the town. When the town enlists the Doctor’s help to fix their cyborg problem, the Doctor travels out to Jex’s abandoned spaceship. There he discovers that Jex is a war criminal and that the Gunslinger is a creation of Jex’s who now wants him dead.
Upon returning to the ship, the Doctor demands Jex should die for his crimes and for leading the Gunslinger to the town, a sharp change from his usually merciful attitude. But, after some convincing from Amy, the Doctor regains his composure. Still, someone has to die, it seems, and when the Gunslinger goes to shoot Jex, the town’s marshal, Isaac (Ben Browder), sacrifices himself. He then gives his badge to the Doctor, making him responsible for the townspeople.
The townspeople believe Jex must be killed, however the Doctor elects to free him instead. When Jex escapes to his spaceship, he realizes the Gunslinger will never stop chasing him and so he blows up the ship, killing himself. The Gunslinger, about to self-destruct now that Jex is dead, is saved by the Doctor, who gives him the marshal badge, effectively putting him in charge of the town.
Doctor Who holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the longest-running science fiction show on television, as well as the most successful science fiction show, based on its ratings and sales. Doctor Who initially aired from 1963-1989, and was then brought back in 2005, where it has since earned widespread critical acclaim and nabbed 18 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards, as well as 16 Hugo Awards, which honor the genre of science fiction and fantasy. Currently in its seventh season since its revival, Doctor Who airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. –Hal Sundt
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