Timestamp #25: The Gunfighters

Doctor Who: The Gunfighters
(4 episodes, s03e34-e37, 1966)

Timestamp 025 The Gunfighters

“Oh my dear Dodo, my dear Dodo. You know, you’re fast becoming a prey to every cliché-ridden convention in the American West.”

With the closing line, this serial openly nods to the satire that it just completed. It opens just like a 1950s Western, and plays off quite a few of the Western genre tropes, including using guns with unlimited ammunition (until the plot requires an empty revolver). Our heroes, two of which pull a complete Marty McFly with the costumes, are totally inept with guns. The Doctor, who fits right in with his normal costume, keeps getting handed guns in spite of his intense dislike of them.

“Doctor who?” Quite right. I loved the opening episode’s title, “A Holiday for the Doctor”, for its play on words around the mistaken identity that drove the plot.

On the downside, the serial’s special ballad was vastly overplayed. Even though it was supposed to compliment the narrative, it was annoying after the first half of the first episode.

Regardless, the parody was fun, and I feel that the intense dislike that this serial garners in fandom is a bit much. Episodes like this are nice breaks, but I don’t want them all the time.


Rating: 3/5 – “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.”


UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Savages


The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.





8 thoughts on “Timestamp #25: The Gunfighters

  1. I think that most people who see The Gunfighters see it out of context rather than as part of a marathon run like you have. As you point out it’s a nice change of pace and really is just another highlight on why Dodo’s such a lovable character. Yeah the accents are bad and that ballad of the Last Chance Saloon is annoying but otherwise this is a pretty good one.

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