This series of Doctor Who is really throwing me all over the place.  Luckily, this week brings it back on track after last week’s nonsense.  True enough, there were a handful of Western cliches, such as stopping the music when the Doctor walked into the bar, but all in all, “A Town Called Mercy” has a much better tone than “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” and more importantly is a much better episode.  Unlike many past episodes, this week’s did not focus on Amy and Rory, and seeing as they seem to be next week’s focus, I’m glad to get as much time as possible to watch the Doctor rather than the marital issues of the Ponds (really, just give them their own show, as they’ve pretty much taken over Doctor Who).

The Doctor and Susan

Seeing the Doctor have an emotion other than annoyingly happy is a nice change from last week and really is back on to what it should be (sorry, but last week was just an annoying episode).  I was actually a little shocked to see Matt Smith show anger as the Doctor, as he has not really done that since “The Beast Below” and a little when yelling at River in “A Good Man Goes to War.”  Just as it was about to get out of hand, Amy played the role of companion for once and made the Doctor stop (much like Donna did in her first appearance with the Tenth Doctor).

I’m also glad the quick talking Doctor came back.  By this I mean when he goes on his quick deduction and explanation of a situation.  True enough this has happened a lot in Sherlock (also a Moffat driven show) but it’s something that Smith does so well that when it happens it’s very entertaining.  Now if they’d do a special with the Doctor and Sherlock I’m sure the Ponds and John would be able to solve the case before the two of them get done arguing, though it would be fun to watch.

This was not at the least due to the fact it was a very good episode.  I’m not a huge fan of Westerns, but it was well done.  Bringing back an android as the villain was nice, as I’m tired of seeing recurring villains.  The complexity of morality came into play, and it made for a great addition to this series of stand-alone episodes with their own themes (granted, there are some recurring themes such as the whole thing about remembering introduced in “Asylum of the Daleks”).

I think the most important thing about this episode is that I was reminded of Classic Who.  The Doctor finally took center stage as he should and the Ponds were secondary characters, as they should be.  Sure, the story wasn’t anything overly complicated, but it allowed the Doctor to show a variety of emotions, which was largely absent last week and for a lot of the last series.  Though, I think that has to do with the Ponds taking over the show, and again I have to say it may have been a bad thing introducing Jenna Louise-Coleman so early, as I cannot wait to get done with the Ponds and at this point River Song as well.

So what did this episode do?  It showed Matt Smith has sides of the Doctor he has yet to fully explore due to Amy and Rory getting in the way, and these are sides I want to see.  With Smith showing he can still talk up a storm, I can only imagine how he and Coleman will be on screen together.  So yes, definitely watch this episode, as it’s a lot better than last week and right up there with the series opener.

Now roll on next week’s episode, with it’s only positive so far being Rory’s dad, as it looks to be a Pond-centered episode, but who knows, “The Girl Who Waited” was a Pond-centered episode and ended up being one of the best ones of the last series.  I posted both the BBC and BBC America trailers, as they show different clips from next weeks “The Power of Three.”

BBC Trailer:

BBC America Trailer: