Sunday, August 3

The Gunfighters Part 3/4: Johnny Ringo

Hello hello! We rejoin the gang in the 19th century Wild West. To recap: the Doctor is in jail, because some cowboys thought he was a guy who shot their brother; Dodo is kind of half-kidnapped, half-adopted by the guy who actually shot the cowboys' brother (and also his morally ambiguous singer girlfriend), and Steven has been accosted by the cowboy brothers and is being used as bait to lure the Doctor out of prison.

The bad-guy cowboys, the Clanton brothers, have gathered up an angry mob who all really dislike Doc Holliday, the guy who they think the Doctor is. They're all milling around outside the jailhouse, and they shout in to the Doctor, the Sheriff and Wyatt Earp (the Marshall/generic good guy) that if they don't send the Doctor out in two minutes, they're going to kill Steven instead. The Doctor, to his credit, is doing his best to try and get out there and talk to the angry mob, but the good-guy cowboys tell him that's a terrible idea. The Doctor calls them 'insufferable' and stands in the corner in a huff.

So Wyatt Earp sneaks outside and creeps up behind one of the Clanton brothers and knocks him out with a terribly anti-climactic light tap on the head. Once the brother (who I think was Phineas but also I'm pretty sure they're just interchangeable) has fallen dramatically forwards into the crowd, Wyatt Earp says something vaguely heroic and frees Steven from the noose that the mob had put around his neck. The other brothers retaliate with some angry things, but they're interrupted by the little timid barman, Charlie, running up to them. He tells them all that the Doctor, who is still huffing away in his corner in the jailhouse, isn't the real Doc Holliday, because the real Doc Holliday just shot their mate Seth in Charlie's bar. The Clanton brothers are suspicious at first, but Charlie wins them over with a stunning display of logic.

IKE CLANTON: What makes you think it ain't him?
CHARLIE: Well on account of Doc Holliday just bein' in the bar!
BILLY CLANTON: You're drunk!
CHARLIE: If I'm drunk, your friend Seth Harper's still alive... which he ain't.


So the Clanton cowboys head back to the bar (after a little more squaring up to Wyatt Earp) and the good guy cowboys (and Steven) pick up an unconscious Phineas Clanton and lock him in a jail cell. The Doctor, as always, acts like the whole thing was his plan and the others just carried it out wrong. He acts very dismissive of the whole thing and haughtily tells Wyatt Earp that they'll be leaving tomorrow. (Why not right then?? Also can these two grown men please wonder where 16-year-old Dodo is?)

Ah, never mind: Steven and the Doctor head back to the bar and talk about how Dodo probably spent the evening in her room (probably doing her hair or something, eh lads?), but Charlie the barman, ever-present, overhears and tells them that, unfortunately, Dodo is now best mates with Doc Holliday and Kate, and left with them when Doc Holliday shot Seth. Steven flounders a little, and says that surely Dodo left a message or something. Charlie gently reminds him that if you're involved in murder, you don't tend to linger.

The Doctor, hilariously, doesn't see a problem with this. The actual line he says:

DOCTOR: Now don't be ridiculous; Doc Holliday's a great friend of mine. He gave me a gun, he extracted my tooth, good gracious me, what more do you want?!

Meanwhile, Doc Holliday, Kate and Dodo have ridden to one town over, a place called Richmond, and I... kind of just want Dodo to run away with them and to become a fierce cowboy lady because that would be super cool. Imagine it! She softens Kate's heart and they have a rockin' mother/daughter-but-best-friend kind of relationship, and Doc Holliday teaches her how to shoot and ride a horse and be badass, and they're like a little family of vicious killer outlaws! THAT WOULD BE SO GOOD. But I digress.

The three of them go into a hotel in Richmond, one town over from Tombstone (where all the rest of the action was happening). Kate is ripping into Doc Holliday a little because she thinks they're not far enough away, but Doc Holliday brushes it off, and tells her that they'll have to go back soon enough. Dodo chimes in and is all, "And I have to go back to my friends!" You're wrong, Dodo, but I appreciate that you're trying.

The brothers Clanton (the two that aren't in prison, anyway) also meet up with Daddy Clanton back in the saloon and tell him what's going on. Clanton Senior is displeased with his wussy sons, and ominously tells them that he's going to have to hire Johnny Ringo, who I'm sure is a real-life infamous cowboy that I've never heard of, but I don't have the internet connection to look that up right now (later edit: yep). After downing like three shots each, the three of them leave. They probably spent less than a minute in the bar. Cowboys are weird.

Later that evening (I assume), who should happen to stop by the bar than Johnny Ringo himself! What a coincidence. Charlie the barman kind of fanboys him a little bit and tells him that the Clanton brothers were here looking for him earlier! Johnny Ringo says that he doesn't really care, he's got stuff to do. Charlie ignores the fact that Ringo definitely doesn't want to talk, and tells him that the Clanton brothers are after Doc Holliday, and Johnny Ringo goes all menacing and says that Doc Holliday is his and the Clanton brothers have to STAY AWAY. Charlie pours a drink all over himself from nerves, and stutters about how he can't wait to see Wyatt Earp's face when he hears Johnny Ringo is going after Doc Holliday too. Johnny Ringo apparently feels like Charlie talks too much, because he jokes with him a little, walks away to go upstairs, and then shoots Charlie dead. Oh, Charlie!

The morning after, the Doctor and Steven come downstairs for breakfast (I still don't understand why they didn't just sleep in the TARDIS but whatever) and are shocked and distressed when they see Charlie still slumped over the bar. Johnny Ringo, who had been lurking ominously in the shadows, springs up and tells them that the only person who would shoot an unarmed barman is definitely Doc Holliday. Steven is all, 'Hey, cool, you know Doc Holliday? Us too!' and Johnny Ringo gets all possessive of Doc Holliday again. The Doctor, for once, seems to actually know what's going on and tries to calm the situation by telling Ringo that they just want their friend back and they're not planning on harming Doc Holliday at all, they just want to reason with him. Johnny Ringo thinks this is pretty funny, and offers to let Steven ride with him.

JOHNNY RINGO: There's just one thing: if you get between me and him, boy, don't go looking for me to hold my fire. I'd blast you down as soon as spit at you.
STEVEN: ... Thanks.
DOCTOR: Disgusting habit.

While Steven and the most feared cowboy in all the land (probably) head off to Richmond, the Doctor goes back to the jailhouse to tell Sheriff Masterson and Wyatt Earp what's going down. They sigh wearily a lot, but nonetheless go to try and stop everyone from killing each other in Richmond, leaving Wyatt Earp's little brother in charge.

Back with the only interesting characters in this thing, Dodo storms into Doc Holliday's hotel room with a cheerful 'Morning! Take me back to my friends today now please." Doc Holliday tells her that he does intend to take her back, but he'll do it on his own time. And then she pulls a gun on him! My dreams of them becoming a cute family of outlaws are becoming a reality! Doc Holliday earns himself a place in my heart by humouring her and agreeing to take her back right away (he later reveals he had a gun himself the whole time), while Kate stays in Richmond.

After what I can only imagine to be a very quiet and awkward ride, Johnny Ringo and Steven arrive in Richmond too. They decide to split up; Steven heads off and Johnny Ringo goes to explore a saloon but before he can, he catches sight of Kate! And it turns out the two of them used to be a thing! (We know this because there's an annoying song that runs through the entire serial that I don't think I've mentioned. It's the same four lines of music and they just put plot-relevant lyrics to it. Three episodes in and it's getting reeeeally old.)

So Johnny Ringo catches Kate's arm and makes some vaguely threatening remarks concerning Doc Holliday. Kate tells him that Doc Holliday left her for Dodo as soon as they left Tombstone, and they're both headed to New Mexico. Johnny Ringo frowns and says that in that case, the new plan is the three of them head back to Tombstone. Kate (who I really like, she gets stuff done) demands to know what any of this has to do with her, and Johnny Ringo basically says that if she doesn't get back with him then he's going to kill her. So he's definitely not as good as the other murderous cowboy that Kate hangs out with - at least Doc Holliday RESPECTS HER AUTONOMY.

Back at the jailhouse where Wyatt Earp's little brother was left in charge, Clanton Brother II (I've given up on names) is still locked up. He's trying to bait Baby Earp, telling him that Wyatt Earp is a bad brother for leaving him behind on his own. Baby Earp says that that's exactly what the other Clantons have done to Clanton II - but then the other Clantons bang through the door! Clanton II smiles smugly.

The other Clantons demand to know where the keys are. Baby Earp hesitantly tells them that they're on the table. They make him pick the keys up, and Baby Earp tries to go for his gun, but one of the other Clantons shoots him dead before he gets chance! Ahh unlucky, he barely had five minutes of screen time. So they free Clanton II from the jail cell and the annoying song comes in to sing the episode closed!

One episode left! I'm still holding out for a Doc Holliday/Kate/Dodo kickass outlaw family. It could happen. You don't know.



  1. I can't believe you made it all the way to part 3 before making a crack about that bloody song. You must have the patience of a saint.

    And that spin off idea sounds very cool. Much better than what they did actually come up[ with to write out poor old Dodo. Still, spoilers...

    Good to see you back by the way. Every time I resign myself to the blog being dead, you pop back up :)

  2. I really hope you pick up the pace. I know, life and all that, but surely you could spend 25 minutes per week?
    A few months ago, I was so anxious to get ahead of you, now I'm way into the Troughton era. Lol.

    1. Hi :) Writing these posts actually takes around two hours; I watch a scene in the show, then pause to write about it, then maybe write out the dialogue/take a screenshot, then reread what I've written already, then repeat. I'm sorry I'm waaaay off my original projection of two posts a week - it does kind of suck and I'd rather do them more often - but ultimately this was a personal project and other things in my life and my own mental wellbeing come first. Hope you understand! And thanks for your patience and continued interest in this old blog!

    2. Hope you are well, and huge support to you dealing with a lot of the issues in the YT community - look forward to reading more of this blog whenever you are able!

    3. Hey, even rereading your old posts is more fun than what they're passing off as a new gritty era of Doctor Who on-screen right noe. Poor Capaldi...
      But yeah, I can't wait for you to actually hit the big guys: Troughton, the Cybermen and all that. It's not that far away...

  3. I LOVE your blog! Great stuff! I never read blogs, ever. But yours caught my eye and I've read every single word now. I hope you find time to watch more and continue to update this now and again. Cheers!