A Robocop prequel unfolds as The Doctor turns innocent bystanders into human shields to protect a fellow war criminal
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The Doctor, Amy and Rory aim for Mexico, but thanks to Rory’s one act of agency in this episode, via some misplaced breadcrumbs, they end up in the desert nowhere-town of Mercy, population 81.
They ain’t the first cowpokes to mosey on into this town, nor even the first inter-spatial apothecary. Years prior, a Doctor / mad scientist from the planet Kahler crashed, strung up a few lightbulbs, cured your garden-variety cholera and wowed those hicks.
Once across the suspiciously makeshift town borders, there’s no getting back out again, though, because a robot gunslinger stalks the badlands surrounding Mercy, ready to arm-cannon any bad hombre with a face tattoo.
With the real sheriff out of action, the magnificent 11 sports a badge and a stetson, and must think of a plan before high noon, or them folks gonna be all out o’ mercy.
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Things I liked:
• Wild West stuff!
• Fantastic music! (my most listened to tunes in the Series 7 Soundtrack!)
• Bad-ass Terminator baddie with a cool gun, boomy voice and awesome catchphrase: I open work meetings by telling people I hate (most people): “Make peace with your gods!”
• The Doctor behaving like a total buttface when he unleashes on Kahler-Jex. Threatening him with a gun! Really Doctor? The Seventh Doctor would merely have given him The-Seventh Doctor-look-of-disapproval and Jex would have topped himself there and then.
• Why is no one telling Kahler-Jex he has pen on his face?
• If the Gunslinger can only identify Kahler-Jex by the pen on his face, why doesn’t Jex wear a balaclava?
• It’s just supposed to be a SCREWDRIVER!
Summary: mostly inoffensive.
Rating: 2.7/5 people being turned into Cyborgs thus ending a war that was killing millions of people, Doctor. Get a f**cking hold of yourself! How many people did you kill in the Time War eh? That’s right, Billions! But at least your immoral actions ended the Time War. Oh wait, they didn’t! Hypocrite!
I actually considered sending you only these words: “I like the horse named Susan,” signed, Star Wars Syl.
But then I realized that I was a little bit less bored watching this episode than I was watching Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and if I managed to find a rating for that, surely a rating can be found for this. One that’s point two more than for Dinosaurs. Ready?
1.6 for an episode that was nice, but not fantastic. Though I grew up on old black-and-white cowboy movies, so maybe I expect more from them than… what happened here. Maybe I’m a cowboy movie snob. It’s possible.
I did like that they called the cyborg their own special angel at the end. That was neat.
Hi gang! I’m going to have trouble rating this episode. There’s a lot of good story elements which ultimately hang together in an oddly unbalanced fashion. Perhaps my biggest problem is, as a Farscape fan Ben Browder really pulls me out of it.
We revisit some of the heavier Doctor Who themes; what sort of man is the Doctor? when is it ok to take a life/lives? what does justice look like? It’s a darker episode than I usually enjoy.
I’m actually really glad Amy was identified as a mother by the kind, sad, ferocity in her eyes, WHICH she immediately turns around to ask Jex if he’s a father. I find this important because parents of any gender can exemplify the kindness and ferociousness necessary to protect something small and vulnerable. And it’s worth noting that Amy is recognized as being a mother in the absence of her child. I don’t think one needs to have a child in order to act as loving and protective as a parent.
The horse is named Susan! Is there anything the Doctor doesn’t speak?
Lastly, this episode could really use a slightly off-key piano ballad about a town landmark. Maybe I just miss Peter Purves?
Rating: It’s your last chance of rating, at the unnamed saloon!