A Town Called Mercy


The Doctor along with Amy and Rory have arrived sometime in the old west and stand outside a town called Mercy. For some reason the outskirts of the town are ringed in a pile of wood and stones. Unwittingly, the trio cross over the small barrier and enter the town. They're passage doesn't go unnoticed by the strange cyborg creature watching them from a distance.

While strolling through the town, it isn't hard for the Doctor to notice the electric streetlights that shouldn't even be invented for several more years. Something odd is definitely going on in Mercy.The three strangers stroll into the local saloon and are immediately confronted by townsfolk. As he announces his name is the Doctor, the townspeople get visibly nervous, but when he confirms that yes, he is an alien, they promptly pick him up and toss him past the barrier at the edge of town.

As the strange cyborg figure approaches, the townspeople refuse to let the Doctor back into the town. Only after the Sheriff shows up and admonishes them, do the townspeople let the Doctor back in.

Apparently the town has been terrorized for three weeks when the cyborg first showed up. They woke up one morning to find the wood and stone barrier, and since then nothing gets past it, in or out. No food or water, the town will soon be starving to death. The only demand the cyborg has is to turn over the alien doctor.

Since the sheriff saved him from being tossed out of town, the Doctor realizes there must be another alien doctor in town, and the sheriff knows who it is. Sure enough, Kahler Jex has been hiding in the sheriff's jail cell and now drops the pretense to introduce himself. He is indeed an alien whose spacecraft crashed on earth, yet he has been taken in by the town of Mercy because of his medical and technological contributions.

The Doctor decides he can just return to the TARDIS and then he will be able to pop in and rescue everyone, but he needs to get by the gun-slinging cyborg guarding the town. The Sheriff and Rory get tasked with the job of providing a distraction for the Doctor. The plan works, but the Doctor decides he wants to inspect Jex's crashed spacecraft first. He does so, but the odd thing is, it isn't nearly as damaged as Jex led him to believe. As he breaks into the craft, an alarm sounds that alerts the cyborg as well as Jex.

Once in the ship, the Doctor learns that Jex is a little more than just a simple doctor. It appears that Jex was a scientist on his home planet who experimented on his own people in order to create military technology. The cyborg gunslinger is the result of one of those projects. Catching the Doctor unawares, the cyborg appears next to the ship, but before shooting the Doctor he explains he is seeking justice for what Jex and his co-workers had done to him. Jex is the last of them and the cyborg is growing tired of waiting. He warns the Doctor that his patience is running thin.

Back in town, the Doctor confronts Jex who tries to justify his horrendous experiments by claiming they helped create advantages in war that helped his planet save millions of lives. The Doctor is angered by Jex's remarks and forcibly drags him to the edge of town. He plans to let the cyborg punish him for his crimes. It is only because of Amy that he is convinced to step back from letting Jex be killed. Unfortunately, the cyborg has already shown up. But as he begins to shoot, the sheriff pushes Jex aside and takes the blast meant for the alien doctor. As he lays dying on the ground, he passes his badge onto the Doctor. The Cyborg is fed up and gives them all a warning. If they don't give him Jex by noon tomorrow, he will kill them all.

Later that night, the townspeople confront the new Sheriff Doctor and demand he turn over Jex. He convinces them all that violence is not the answer. It is up to the Doctor to come up with a plan by noon the next day.

Sure enough, at high noon, the cyborg gunslinger shows up and the Doctor is there to greet him in the center of town. But instead of raising his gun, the Doctor raises his sonic screwdriver and temporarily disorients the cyborg. Townspeople dressed to look like Jex then start running around to distract the cyborg as the real Jex slips out of town. Instead of escaping, however, Jex sets his ship to self destruct so that no one else will ever get in the way of the cyborgs vengeance.

With nothing left to live for, the cyborg now plans to go into the desert to self destruct. But before he leaves with Amy and Rory, the Doctor convinces the cyborg to stay on in Mercy as their new sheriff.