Sunday, July 14, 2013

Doctor Who-The Gunfighters

                 The last ballad of the Last Chance Saloon is about to be sung as the doctor,Steven and Dodo arrive in Tombstone just in time for the infamous gunfight between the Earps and the Clanton's at the O.K. Corral. Of course upon arriving the doctor,suffering from a toothache is recommended by Bat Masterson himself to visit Doc Holiday. Steven and Dodo,masquerading as a musical troupe, wind up entertaining the Clanton's at the saloon. During the extraction,the doctor distracts the Clanton's who've paid a visit by making them think he is holiday. Holiday gets the idea to skip town before the ensuing shootout with his fiancee Kate. Meanwhile the doctor maintains the guise while making the entire Clanton family think hes on their side when entering the saloon. When she becomes aware of the trickery,Holiday holds Dodo hostage while he and Kate skip town until,in the end Dodo holds Holiday up holiday with his his rifle and forces him to return her to Tombstone.

                       Meanwhile fellow outlaw and ex lover of Kate,non other than Johnny Ringo returns to town-killing the Last Chance's barkeep Charlie for knowing his name,thinking he would foil his plans. Steven himself is almost hung in the ensuing confusion over the true identity of the doctor. When Wyatt Earp himself sees how well the doctor has handled the situation, he deputizes him and he elects to attempt to talk piece to the Clanton's before the inevitable bloodshed he despises. Ringo meanwhile is raising distrust between the Clanton's and the Earps-playing each side against the other until Holiday's return with Dodo. Holiday of course learns of Kate rekindling of her relationship with Ringo and desides to join the Clantons side in the ensuing conflict-heated up further when Warren Earp is gunned down. Steven,held by Pa Clanton, is given back over the the doctor and Dodo during the shootout-after which they escape following Ringo's murder by Holiday to the TARDIS-where he and Kate thank the doctor and his companions before they depart.

                       One of the few purely farcical historical stories Doctor Who ever did,this does an excellent job at pointing out the highly absurd "clishe ridden convention of the American West",as the doctor himself calls it in the conclusion of the story. And this story is full of them. Actors seemingly flubbing their Western accents on purpose,the narrative song "Ballad Of The Last Chance Saloon" that seems to annoy some Whovians (but which I personally find a hoot) and the characters constant emphasis on their guns. Of course within the story,the doctors adamantly maintained dislike of firearms projected throughout this story point to a very implied anti gun message. Every character,even the Earp's themselves are continually shown behaving totally irresponsibly when handling their six shooters. Of course its the 19th century American West-that was part of both the charm and the impropriety of the era. Of course its an era the doctor,unlike the very enthusiastic Dodo and Steven, is not particularly fond of and is all too willing to leave-even with the story playing out with all its comical ironies. Overall,this story is a good deal of fun.  

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