Monday, May 23, 2016

NuWho Reviews: A Town Called Mercy, The Power of Three, and The Angels Take Manhattan

A Town Called Mercy

There is a town. It is called Mercy. It is in the Wild West, so obviously we have some visual and verbal irony going on!

The town is surrounded by a bloodstone ring stone and wood that seems to mark some kind of boundary. Meanwhile, the inhabitants are being menaced by someone called the Gunslinger.

It appears that the Gunslinger has alien weapons, and threatens anyone who walks past the bloodstone ring boundary. The Gunslinger wants the town to hand over the doctor.

But no, it's not the Doctor, it's the doctor. The town doctor.

No, the doctor is just a little humanoid alien dude. Kahler-Jex had crashed ten years before, helped cure the town of cholera, and even set up electricity. With the town running out of food, and the marshal unwilling to turn over Jex, the Doctor takes action.

While the town distracts the Gunslinger, the Doctor makes his way to Jex's craft. There he discovers that Jex is an ex-Nazi.

Basically, on Jex's planet, he and other scientists turned people into cyborgs, partly to win the war and partly for SCIENCE. The Gunslinger is one of these cyborgs. He doesn't want to harm the town; just take revenge on Jex.

The Doctor returns to the town and, enraged, tries to force Jex across the line, and pulls a gun, planning to shoot him if he doesn't. Amy snaps him out of it. Just as the Gunslinger prepares to fire, the marshal Isaac pushes him out of the way and dies. That night, Jex explains his reasons for staying alive: he believes that in the afterlife, one must carry the souls of everyone they have wronged up a mountain. Jex is trying to make up for the bad he has done with the good. hooray for legalism

The Doctor, meanwhile, comes up with a plan to save Jex. He increases the electricity in the town, and the people all wear similar facial markings to Jex to confuse the cyborg. Jex flees, but instead of flying away, hits the self-destruct button, reasoning that if he runs, the Gunslinger may hurt other innocents to get to him.

The Gunslinger has a moment of realization that his quest for revenge has made him as bad as Jex. The Doctor suggests that, instead of following Jex's last example, he should instead take his place to protect the town as the new marshal.

This was an okay serial. It did give us a little bit more about the Doctor characterization via Jex and the Gunslinger, and the cycle of violence. I considered the Eleventh Doctor to be more of a goof than the others, but looking back, he is actually one of the darker Doctors. In hindsight, it's easy to see how he became the grimmer Twelfth Doctor. It also illustrates the a common theme: the Doctor's companions have kept him from crossing the line, ever since the very first serial when Ian and Barbara stopped him from beating a wounded caveman's head in.

The Power of Three

Amy and Rory have been trying to live a normal life. Lol, that's ridiculous in this universe. Suddenly, small black boxes appear everywhere.

They may or may not be named Tiny Box Tim.

The Doctor shows up to see what's going on, and UNIT is notified.


Hello, I'm here to make things 1000% better, box with wings, five rounds rapid.

For the record, no one can figure anything out, so they figure they should just move on.

A year passes, the Doctor occasionally pops up to take Amy and Rory on trips. Concerned Brian is Concerned, because companions tend to be fridged more than superheroes' girlfriends.

Also, some girl is controlling identical orderlies with a box at Rory's workplace, move on kids, nothing to see here.

And then the cubes activate.

Michael Bay feverishly scribbles another Transformers script, and I eat ice cream and cry and watch G1.

The cubes scan defense networks and attack people (and I accidentally wrote that as "cubs" at first, which brings up hilarious images-hey did you know they're actually doing well this year???), and while Rory and Brian work to help people at the hospital, the Doctor and Amy go to UNIT headquarters, which is beneath the Tower of London. I immediately want to move to England and join UNIT.

The cubes start counting down, Brian is kidnapped and Rory follows him through a portal to a spaceship, and when the countdown hits zero, people start dying of cardiac arrest. One of the Doctor's hearts stops, and when they trace a signal to Rory's hospital, Amy defibs the Doctor, because that's what you do if you're at the hospital. You play with the defibrillator.

When they find the spaceship, the Doctor explains it belongs to the Shakri, who basically eradicate "pests" from the  universe. The fact that they targeted humanity but have yet to do anything about the millions of spiders on Z'ha'dum makes me think they have their priorities skewed. The Doctor reverses the polarity, or something, to send the signal back into the Shakri outposts, and the day is saved!

When the Doctor goes to leave, Amy and Rory decide to go with him, figuring they won't get fun like this again. Brian asks the Doctor to keep them safe, and everyone throws things at him for saying the one thing that is guaranteed to ruin their lives forever.


The Angels Take Manhattan

Our heroes are having a pleasant picnic in New York. They're so happy! Everyone is happy! The day is sunny and cheerful! IT'S LIES IT'S ALL LIES

I can get through this. I can do it.

The Doctor is reading a book about a female P.I. with large breasts. This P.I. is named Melody. The Doctor doesn't get it, even when everyone else does. Amy wants him to read the last page and the Doctor refuses, because only monsters read the last page before they read the rest.

Rory goes to get coffee. Suddenly, he is in the 1930s.

Don't worry, that happens to me when I get coffee too.

He runs into "Melody Malone" who, to everyone's OBVIOUS SURPRISE, is River!

In the present, Amy and the Doctor discover Rory is in the book. Amy wants to read ahead, but the Doctor warns her that anything she reads will cement it as reality.


Rory and River, investigating the Weeping Angels, fall into the hands of the evil Mr. Grayle, who has an injured Weeping Angel locked up in his house. Rory is thrown into the basement with BABY WEEPING ANGELS, and THEIR GIGGLES ARE THE CREEPIEST THING EVER, WHY MOFFAT WHY WE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO YOU WHY ARE WE HERE WHY DO WE HAVE TO PUT THE LOTION IN THE BASKET

I'm sorry I went to a dark place there.

Grayle shuts off the lights briefly to leave River in the grip of the Weeping Angel and starts to interrogate her, but luckily River has set a beacon so the TARDIS can find them. Once the Doctor and Amy arrive, after some trouble since there have been a lot of time distortions in that time period, Amy reads the table of contents to find out what is going to happen. River's wrist is going to get broken, and the final chapter is "Amelia's Last Farewell".

River must break her wrist to get away from the Weeping Angel. The Doctor uses some regeneration energy to heal her, but River is angry.

I still don't quite understand why? She says something about the Doctor feeling uncomfortable with weakness, but even though he has a baby face he's like 1000 years old and should be forced to handle uncomfortable things like being reminded that he stranded someone in Scotland and never came back for them?

Anyways, with that weirdness over, we also find out that River was pardoned and released from Stormcage (officially this time) because the Doctor has been erasing himself from databases across the universe.

The group goes to the Winterquay Apartment Buildings, where Rory has been zapped. It's a Weeping Angel nesting ground; the victims are confined there, to die in obscurity and misery.

You know, the Weeping Angels are becoming bigger jerks every time they show up.

Unfortunately, Rory walks into a room with his name on it. Why? I don't know. The power of Moffat compelled him. Anyways, the Doctor says that Rory can't change his future, but he and Amy don't accept it. They run to the roof, WHERE THE FREAKING STATUE OF LIBERTY IS A WEEPING ANGEL, WTF.

Rory decides to break the cycle by jumping off the roof, and Amy agrees to go with him.

The approaching sadness is averted when the paradox of Rory's death destroys the battery and stops the Weeping Angels' plan.

Everyone arrives back at a graveyard in New York in 2012.

It's sunny and cheerful and happy.

Then Rory sees a grave.

His own.

A Weeping Angel appears, and Rory is transported away. The paradox in the 30's has completed the damage to the time stream. The TARDIS can't go back for him.

A Weeping Angel appears behind the Doctor.

Amy tells the Doctor a chance of life with Rory is better than no chance at all.

Amy blinks. And she is gone.

Her name appears on the gravestone.

River takes a final trip back to say goodbye to her parents and to help write the book.

The Doctor finally reads the epilogue of the book. It's a letter from Amy, describing her happy life with Rory. And how she never saw him again. And if he hadn't read that THEN THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN TRUE ANYWAYS, BUT HE READ IT AND BROKE EVERYTHING.


Fun fact: I kept a window open with the image search "Evil Moffat Meme".

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