Doctor Who: The Gunfighters

The Doctor Who episode “The Gunfighters” is a light-hearted one with lots of comedy. The Doctor and his companions end up in Tombstone in the wild West. There the Doctor gets mistaken for Doc Holliday and deputized by Wyatt Earp (whom he persistently refers to as “Mr. Wearp”) while Stephen and Dodo are forced to offer musical entertainment at the Last Chance Saloon. Since this is an episode which survives, you can watch that scene on YouTube or in the video embedded below.

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There is a lot of open religiosity in this episode, with boozing, gun-slinging cowboys offering an occasional “Amen” or other religious comment. This at the very least tells us something about British perception of American culture, and can serve as a useful starting point for discussion of American cultural Christianity.

The other main point to note is that in this episode, although the Doctor did not yet think that Stetsons are cool, he did wear one nevertheless.


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  • Gary

    Interesting. Says 63-66. I wonder if the Star Trek episode of Kirk and the gang going to the old west (alien planet) copied Dr Who, or the other way around, since the time intervals coincide.

    • Wws3

      Who came first. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

  • James F. McGrath

    Interesting, isn’t it? Doctor Who did the wild west thing first, it did the high-tech travelers as Greek gods first (albeit in something of a reverse fashion to Star Trek). Of course, no one was under the impression that sci-fi doesn’t involve ideas being shared and borrowed, were they?