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Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Preview Review: A Town Called Mercy

Yeah. A LOT later than planned, I know. But we're still 6 hours away from the premiere so here goes:

After, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship caused many people to be a bit disappointed (though I still say I liked it), A Town Called Mercy, written by Toby Whithouse, should be your pick-up of the series, simply because, it's unlike Dino in so many ways.

The plot of the episode as a whole is far slower, despite being spread across a larger time period, (ie. around 24 hours rather than 6), also allowing for scenes that you'd expect to see from a western. But there are most certainty less elements to this episode (probably why this review is so short). It also does feel a lot slower, especially after Asylum and Dinosaurs.

What may bother some people in this episode is the way that Whithouse seems to have gone through a lot of westerns, or maybe none at all, and picked up a few clichés from the theme. The entire episode is practically full of them, be it from a stand-off at mid-day, or a town beginning to turn against itself. Though it's usually up to the individual viewer as to whether this bothers them, personally, most of them didn't bother me that much, but one or two did irk me. On the other hand though, some may be excited that it's Doctor Who's turn to do these things.

Having said that, the story does make complete sense, without needing to suspend knowledge, as some had to for Dinos. It also includes a little bit of humour, but for the majority of the episode's last half, the tone of the episode is much darker. Especially on The Doctor's end.

The Doctor's actions in the episode are probably the most scariest of the episode, despite everything that is discovered. Was The Doctor right to kill Solomon in the previous episode? It's his actions in this episode that may cause the viewer a bit of distress. Amy, however, shows what the true purpose of a companion is. Again. Having said, The Doctor's scene later on does somewhat make up for his actions. It does give us a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

The acting of both the regular cast and the guest members of the cast was perfect, be it from pretending to be someone else to persuading the town (with a quick hint of a western accent in there).

The episode was filmed on-location in an already built town in Spain, so they are as you'd expect, perfect, as they have been used in more than a hundred films previously. They really make it work when you can go off to another country to film, and make it slot right in very well with the story. Likewise, the costumes are also great.

The music is something I must point out in this episode. Unlike the previous one, we have new and obvious tracks in this episode. The contrast between the music and the speech and SFX works so much better here as you can actually hear the pieces that are not just I am The Doctor replays/variations. On which note, I loved the I am The Doctor in the West variation, though it was a bit short. And the music towards the end is almost heart-breaking.

And on the note of the sounds, I found the voice of the Gunslinger to be nice and creepy, suiting the purpose really well.

As another contrast to Dinos, there is almost no CGI during this episode, besides from a couple of small ones. Instead, it's mostly real effects. And even then, there's very few. It works rather well actually by allowing more time for those precious dramatic scenes.

As an overall, I would rate this episode 7.5/10. But I'm sure other people's will vary.

Teasers will be up in 3 hours.

1 comment :

theoncominghope said...

I'd give it a 9/10! This was a terrific episode, which delved into human morality and free will in a way that Doctor Who has always done best.


As usual, I had far too many thoughts, so I wrote a whole post about the episode: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-town-called-mercy-or-doctor-grapples.html