2 May 2013

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start... 

Day 122: Don't Shoot the Pianist (The Gunfighters, Episode Two)

Dear diary,

I think The Gunfighters is going to be one of those odd ones where I don't quite know what to make of it. Yesterday's episode was pretty good, and I enjoyed it, but today… I just couldn't really get into it. In the end, I watched the first 15 minutes a bit half-heartedly, went away for an hour or so before dragging myself back to finish the episode off. I don't know what happened, but it did the trick - I was really caught up in the last ten minutes of the story!

There's still an awful lot to like about all of this - Peter Purves is still on top form playing up the comedy in the situation. His American accent may not be great, but it's fun enough to listen to, and it's a darn sight better than many of the others that we've got on display. It's a shame that Dodo isn't being given much to do, though. She spends most of this episode locked up in her hotel room asking questions to further the plot quicker.

Actually, while I've briefly mentioned it… why have they got hotel rooms? The TARDIS is parked just up the street, and at the point yesterday that they decided to book them there was nothing preventing them from returning to the ship. It also came before the Doctor decided that this could be something of a holiday, so it's not as though they'd made an active choice to stay outside the ship. Not that it really matters, of course, but it just seems like an odd excuse to give Dodo her hiding place.

I'm growing to quite like the guest cast in all this, too. Doc Holliday was good enough yesterday during the scene where he pulled the Doctor's tooth (are Time Lord teeth just like human ones? I guess they must be…), but he continues to be great here. Praise especially to the moment he comes down the stairs of the Last Chance Saloon, admits that he's the Doc, and shoots a cowboy. It's moments like that one that helped to bring me back into it toward the end of the episode.

Wyatt Earp is making less of an impression on me (and it doesn't help that every time he turns up on screen, I can't help but wonder why his 'Alien Attax' card is so much more common than the others. I must have about ten of him!), but he's providing a nice sounding board for Hartnell. There's some great dialogue for the Doctor again today ('People keep giving me guns, and I do wish they wouldn't!'), and Hartnell gets to pull a priceless facial expression over the closing credits.

For now, I'm willing to say that I still disagree with the 'worst story ever' moniker (really, Jeremy? Worse that The Space Museum? Really?), but I'm hoping that the second half is as engaging as the latter part of today's episode - I don't want this to be one of those tales that becomes a struggle to enjoy.

Next Episode: Johnny Ringo

Next Episode: Johnny Ringo 
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