Eyes On The Box//Doctor Who - A Town Called Mercy

So it's the third episode of the seventh season of what the Guardian (and liberal minded folks like ourselves) like to call Nu-Who. Following the somewhat silly yet buried-down-below darkness of last weeks Dinosaurs On a Spaceship it was a complete change of tone this week. And, it felt good. (Spoilers ahead!)

With the imminent departure of companions Amy and Rory you'd expect a bigger build up but as they were hardly in the episode but for some short but key moments it's a bet that there's a long game being played here. The scenes likely to upset longtime fandom involve guns and The Doctor continuing his callous streak rediscovered last week but it's addressed in away that sets up possible later events. (We think so, anyway.)

The standout moments in this admittedly slower paced yet none the less very watchable episode were those where the action pulled you in and thoughts were provoked  in the viewers mind. The moral issues at the core of the episode created some tense moments between the leads and guest stars and some moments that really reminded us of The Terminator. That is, if he appeared in small town America in the 1870's and threatened to kill all the residents. 

But most of all it seems as if the dark side is being emphasized once more, always a good angle for iconic characters such as The Doctor. There were some moments were we saw a very different Doctor, nothing like the smiley faced joker of previous episodes. Frankly, it was refreshing change and if, as the implications signposted were correctly read, the Doctor travelling alone causes such bitterness and guilt then we're in for some dark times ahead as we wave good bye to the Ponds and hello to the new face of Oswin, if that truly shall be her name.  

Next week brings boxes from sky and a more Pond focused story. What will occur and how will they follow Daleks, Dinosaurs and Cowboys? Tune in next week and all will be revealed...

Reviewed by Seba Rashii Culture

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