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Episode 233

A Mild-Mannered Josef Mengele

This week, we’re in the Wild West for some down-home, old-fashioned, country-style moral philosophy. The burning question: is it permissible to let that well-spoken middle-aged country doctor get killed just because he sawed up a bunch of people and turned them into psychopathic gun-wielding maniacs? Steven B joins us to discuss a well-shot, well-acted, well-written and thought-provoking episode: A Town Called Mercy.

The Trolley Problem is a well-known thought experiment which interrogates whether we think that the greatest good for the greatest number is a reliable way to determine the correct course of action, a moral position called utilitarianism. It’s illustrated in this video here.

We hear Kahler-Jex narrating the making of the Gunslinger, in the aptly titled prequel minisode The Making of the Gunslinger.

Dante’s Divine Comedy depicts Purgatory as an island-mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, which the souls of the saved must climb in order to be cleansed in preparation for their ascension into heaven.

Steven feels like this episode doesn’t quite have the ability to bring together all of its moral issues into a coherent whole. He is reminded of T S Eliot’s essay Hamlet and His Problems (1921), in which Eliot complains that Shakespeare is unable to create an “objective correlative”, a means of successfully expressing Hamlet’s emotions through the depiction of a concrete series of events on stage.

Follow us

Nathan is on Twitter as @nathanbottomley, James is @ohjamessellwood and Steven is @steedstylin. The Flight Through Entirety theme was arranged by Cameron Lam. You can follow the podcast on Twitter at @FTEpodcast.

You can find Steven on New to Who podcast, which is on Twitter at @NewToWhoPodcast.

We’re also on Facebook, and you can check out our website at flightthroughentirety.com. Please consider rating or reviewing us on Apple Podcasts, or the next time you’re at the head of an angry mob, we’ll spoil all your fun by moralising about the state of your immortal soul.

And more

You can find Jodie into Terror, our flashcast on the Whittaker Era of Doctor Who, at jodieintoterror.com, at @JodieIntoTerror on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be found. We released our Legend of the Sea Devils episode just a few days ago.

Our James Bond commentary podcast is called Bondfinger, and you can find that at bondfinger.com, at @bondfingercast on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else as well.

We can also be heard on the Blakes 7 podcast Maximum Power, which will be returning soon with its coverage of Series B.

And finally, there’s our new Star Trek commentary podcast, Untitled Star Trek Project, featuring Nathan and friend-of-the-podcast Joe Ford. In our most recent episode, we watched the justly-overlooked Star Trek: The Next Generation classic Power Play.

Episode 233: A Mild-Mannered Josef Mengele · Recorded on Sunday, 20 March 2022 · Duration 0:54:52 · Download · Open in new window

Series 7The Eleventh Doctor