Doctor Who News The Doctor attempts to throw Kahler Jex out of A Town Called Mercy

Published on September 18th, 2012 | by Meredith Burdett

The Volatility of Mercy

The Doctor attempts to throw Kahler Jex out of A Town Called MercyA Town Called Mercy: memorable piece of Doctor Who in a setting that has been wholly underused throughout the show’s history (although, of course, plenty of lawless locations have been visited).

It’s rare to see the Doctor displaying what might be considered “callousness” towards someone who is being hunted, but this interesting flip around and the ensuing moral question over the Davros-esque antics of Kahler Jex and the Doctor’s right to be judge and jury.

Thanks to the SFX website you can read writer Toby Whithouse’ s comments regarding Saturday’s episode and the different way that he approached writing the Doctor now that the Time Lord has reached the age of 1200 years old. Whithouse was keen to give the Doctor a more unpredictable side given the fact that he’s not constantly in human company anymore.

The Eleventh Doctor certainly came across as much more dangerous and unpredictable in A Town Called Mercy, perhaps the weight of the world is finally getting to the old Time Lord. Carrying guns, screaming at Kahler-Jex before throwing him to the mercy of the Gunslinger, whilst he may have done the right thing at the end of the day, are we seeing a side of the Doctor that’s going down a darker and darker path? The last time the Doctor decided to travel alone culminated in the unfortunate events that linked through The Waters of Mars and The End of Time.

What direction could the Eleventh Doctor be heading in?


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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

One Response to The Volatility of Mercy

  1. avatar STLShawn says:

    It was truly a wonderful episode. As i said in an earlier comment (and it happened), I am sure I would be discussing the scruples and the issues raised in the episode.

    This episode truly put forth a question without a good answer, something that made it great for thinking adults. The idea that some questions do not have easy answers is also (in my opinion) a great thing for older children to be exposed to. Too often, entertainment is simple “good guy vs bad guy” and never truly gets into the whys and what fors of a conflict. Each side can be justified from a certain point of view, and nobody knows the depth of guilt that someone may or may not feel for something that they have done.

    I must also comment on the setting. To use “the wild west” as a setting for this episode was fantastic. Setting the episode in a location different from the typical urban, space ship, planet of the rock quarry, or historical England setting was a stroke of genius. To a whole generation (or two), the west is becoming shrouded in mystery and tales of the era are fading. To many, this is the first “Western” they have ever seen, and to others (like myself), this is the first in years. Very bold step, very successful step.

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