So, true story, I was too busy to write a proper review of A Town Called Mercy. (I had some things to do. Things are important!) But obviously not too busy to spent a million years on Tumblr drooling over gifs! So in lieu of an actual it-would-take-time-to-write review, with consent from all parties I'm going to share with you this conversation I had with my friend Amelia Pond.
This has been mildly edited to correct for us talking over each other, and to insert relevant gifs/links. As ever, spoilers behind the cut.
This isn't a whine, just to get that out of the way.
I stayed up until 7:30 AM doing data analysis. Not because I had to get it done right then, but because the data were so beautiful that I couldn't tear myself away. I have a marvelously sexy provisional interpretation, and I really hope that this trend holds as I increase my n so that I have appropriate power for the analysis.
YOU GUYS IT LOOKS LIKE MY SCIENCE IS WORKING.
I HAVE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE.
Which means, of course, I now get to figure out the stats, graph it a million ways to see which is the best at showing it, make a poster, present it at a conference, make a powerpoint, present it in our meetings, (all of the previous concurrently with collecting additional data, processing it, and updating all results/discussion appropriately), make a final powerpoint, present that at our lab meeting, revise that powerpoint, finish the thesis writeup including formatting, present both to my committee, and present it in front of the department. Take feedback, refine interpretation, write paper, publish paper.
That's if it works.
If it doesn't work, add "drinking" and "performing exploratory analyses" and "flailing for a narrative that explains this 4-way interaction" and "please don't let this Bonferonni correction destroy my effect", and probably some "almost crying in lab meetings as the co-PI destroys my flimsy rationalizations".
Science is a demanding lover, but he's more than worth it.
I can't even attempt a spoiler-free review. I just, it's so, I mean, I just can't.
Oh, alright. This much I can say: The villain was good, the monsters were great, Queen Nefertiti was a standard issue Moffat Strong Woman. It hit all of my Good Doctor Who Episode feels in just the right spots. But that's not what makes this episode great.
This episode is great because of the beautiful, unexpected, holy shit moments.
No, it's not great, it's fucking magical.
The only thing I can say about that without spoiling one touch of the magic is:
As Moffat had previously declared, he wanted big sexy movie-poster-worthy episodes, and this does NOT disappoint in this, at all. But I have to disagree with the Moff's belief that no story is too big to tell in 45 minutes. This was a story too big to tell in 45 minutes, and it should have been 60-75 minutes long. As-is, it felt very Michael-Bay-on-adderall, jumping from big flashy scene to big flashy scene, while cramming all the 'bits in between' into the edges with a shoehorn. The companions' development were severely shrifted short, especially considering the Pond Life teasers. All of the best Doctor Who episodes make me cry (ok, so more almost all of new-Who makes me cry), but this one got nary a sniffle.
But then again, it's an all-ages sci-fi show. It's not necessarily supposed to get all caught up in the everyday soap-opera emo stuff of life. It's supposed to be VSSWHHhhooooooaaaaa PTEW PTEW OH NO RUN! WE NEED A DOCTOR SRSLY HELP! DOCTORRRR--oh there he is. And what sort of time do you call this? and then the Doctor is TOTALLY NERDCORE BADASS and his companions are brilliant and brave and the best of humanity, and sometimes also the worst.
On that measure, this was a good episode. Do watch. When you do, come back here and read the rest of this, and let's talk about it in the comments, because thathas only begun to scratch the surface of my giant mountain of thoughts about this episode.