Let's Kill Hitler was a perfect and absolutely amazing episode of Doctor Who. This episode was so unsuspecting and really payed off in dividends in regards to character and plot development. I loved how the connection between River Song, Melody Pond, Amy Pond, Rory and The Doctor were all intertwined through time and space. It was interesting to see the events that matured Melody into River. I loved how every thing played out. The Robot Humanoid manned by miniaturized human beings was excellent! It was cool how every thing played out as Melody had poisoned The Doctor and he maintained the balance. I loved when he reappeared in a tux and top hat. There were many twists and turns. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
Other fans have already covered the much too rushed pacing of this episode and the few preceding it. Therefore I will address one of my own peeves.
The 11th Doctor's oh so PC antipathy toward firearms is getting really old.
Memo to series writers: Repeatedly hammering viewers over the head with heavy handed anti-gun messages is only going to alienate them, not convert them.
Your hoplophobia is your own hang up. Take it up with your therapist.
Firearms are merely tools. Tools cannot be either good or evil. Only their users can be good or evil.
A firearm in the hands of a street thug can take the life of an innocent convenience store clerk. The same firearm in the hands of a secretary walking to her car at night can prevent her from being raped and murdered.
Besides, how is using a "sonic screwdriver" to turn an enemy into a puddle of liquid any more peaceful than blowing a hole through them with a handgun?
The title I'll admit is misleading, but by it's nature it's really just a backdrop for River Song to first enter the picture. The begining was a suprise as we see just this girl simply come out of nowhere and then car jacking the Doctor, first thing I thought was "who the hell are you?" Know Steve Moffat's writing I knew somehow this girl coming into the picture was no accident.
I really liked seeing the flashbacks of Amy and Rory and Mel's involvement with them. We see Mels since childhood has always fancied the Doctor, which seems kinda strange but as I said before no accident. I really love how Amy as a child caused Rory some unintentional grief, when Amy and Mels always were playing a game with Rory but then lose interest and accidently leave him out in the dust. However the funnest moment was when they grew up collage aged, we see how both Amy and Rory hit it off, when I hear Amy thinks Rory is gay I couldn't help but laugh my head off. It was really sweet when we see Rory had no interest in any other girl other than Amy, Amy finds this out and her reaction is priceless as she chases after Rory, from that point you know Amy and Rory are solidified.
The twist with Mel was great, I actually did suspect since some of her manerism felt kinda familar when we see as the Doctor states "You named your daughter after your daughter."
It's quite a conundrum, Amy and Rory did raise Melody/River all along, kinda sort of . But also if she wasn't there then both Amy and Rory would never have been together.
I like how banter and interplay with both River and the Doctor as both were seeing one another for the first time (well first time for the version of River we know). I really liked how we also see another example how both are very much alike as both are liked skilled chess players there moves ahead, River is constantly trying to kill the Doctor but the Doctor thwarts her efforts. Unfortunately we see that River wins the chess game as she kissed the Doctor her lipsick was poison. This just makes me feel more sympahty for River as we see not just was most of her childhood stolen but she's brainwashed into killing the man she loves, yeah that really sucks.
The cameo by Adolf doesn't disapoint, I remember when I first saw him the expression on the Doctor, Amy, and Rory were the same as mine, I though "OMG"! They were all face to face with the greatest scumbag in history. When Hitler says, "Thank you, you just saved my life." that just made my skin crawl but the Doctor has a great line he delivers back "Believe me it was an accident." But of course there is this crowd pleasing moment when Rory punches Hitler, I give Rory the Platnum You Got Guts Award for that.
It's true this episode isn't entirely perfect, West Berlin I don't feel is explored enough, it would of been interesting and a lot of fun seeing River just go all "Grand Theft Auto" on 1930's West Berlin, steeling Rose Royces, Tanks, beating up and killing Nazis, stuff like that. As well as Amy and Rory kicking more Nazi butt while pursuing their daughter.
But also some flashbacks of River her escape from that b.... Madam Kovarian, more of her relationship with her mom and dad and how she found them. But most importantly depth as to how her feelings for the doctor developed and first occured. Which is one of the reasons, I would of liked to of seen a part 3 of this two parter but then again that would be stretching things so oh well.
And of course the moment when the Doctor, Amy, and Rory save River's live from the Time Cops was nice. Seeing those Time Cops justifies that a movie based on DC Comics superhero "The Atom" could be made. But most importantly we see the Doctor talking with River and as he is on the brink of death, I really liked seeing the emotion on River of concern and even guilt which causes her to do a sweet and humane thing which is to heal the Doctor with her regenerative powers. In a way this was her first step in the heroine direction she goes.
So here's the thing: I like almost everything that happens in this episode. Conceptually, it's all pretty good. There are great lines here, there are clever sci-fi and time travelling touches, there are a couple of great character moments, too.
But, really, almost none of it works because there is just no time to develop. I mean, come on, be honest, didn't you think there was something off with Mels' character? How she came out of nowhere despite being a major element of Rory and Amy's life? Even the Doctor points out the plot hole. Likewise for The Doctor's plight. It's too conveniently contrived because nobody has set up a type of poison that will block his regeneration. Or the whole regeneration transfer, for that matter.
This episode feels like it contains a season's worth of plotting and none of the emtional payoff to go with any of it. Which is a shame, because last season was about the opposite, all emotional payoff with no plot buildup. Spread across both seasons in a better way, the events of the last couple of years would have been a classic rollercoaster ride. As it is, these things will be remembered by nerds when discussing canon, but don't make for great storytelling.
There's an upside, though. Besides one or two little things, like why River Song is in jail and whether or not The Doctor will really be killed by her (he won't but, you know) there's very little overarching plot left to go through, so maybe we can go back to "monster of the week" episodes for a bit. Frankly, Doctor Who is at its best when travelling around different places having adventures. This whole two seasons-wide story thing has me a bit tired.
So not a bad episode and a lot of good ideas but not great execution. I've seen worse in Moffat's run.
The only thing I really intruly loved about the episode was when the Doctor asked for his interface program to activate and showed a picture of him, He's all "No, no, no show me someone I like." Naturally I'm immediately thinking Amy as everything in the past seems as if it never existed. But was shocked to see Rose Tyler and he's "Great give me guilt", then Martha, "Great more guilt, then lastly Donna and he's "MORE Guilt! Show me someone who I haven't screwed up yet." I liked that he said yet and instead of Amy it was little Amelia.
The thing I found confusing was he was poisoned and...? What he had no way to counteract it? The 10th Doctor was poisoned with cyanide and yet he knew exactly how to counter it. So your saying as big as the TARDIS is and as much technology he has that neither he nor the computer could find a way for him to counteract it? Agatha Christie told the 10th Doctor that cyanide had no cure but he told her he could expel it. But if no way was to be had the why didn't the regeneration cycle begin then? Then again I've always felt this Doctor lost a lot of brain cells and common sense the 9th and 10th Doctor had. Sorry the truth hurts.
So back to this ep, it makes no sense as to why the 11th wouldn't have regenerated. You can't say well he's out of regenerations cause that doesn't work. In moon/astronaut its established that he's at least 100 or so years older than he is now when he was shot by the astronaut the regeneration process took over. So why then and not now when he's poisoned?
I also don't understand why if in moon/astronaut if River was the child in the space suit then why didn't she do something? Did she conveniently forget "Oh, wow looky there, that's me the day...the day I killed the Doctor."
But this episode had major flaws, one being after River poisoned the Doctor why did she eventually change her mind and save him. It never made sense. What did the TARDIS shock her into being good or what?
Great episode. I can see where people would get miffed with it though. Its true that the character of Mel felt a bit forced and the Reveal of River Song felt a bit rushed. I would have liked to see another character capable of regeneration stick around. However, we already know that River dies so clearly this had to be her last form.
Despite all this it was an awesome episode. I went into it a little relunctantly. Except for the Van Gough episode, I don't really enjoy episodes that centre around a historical figure. Considering Moffat wrote the episode I should have known better. His bait and switch with the episode's plot was completely unexpected.
***Spoiler*** From the moment River said she killed a man, I think it was pretty obvious that man was the Doctor right?
Favorite bits: Rory gay :) The scene with the interface and the scene where the Doctor crawls towards the Tardis.
I didn't think Matt Smith could get better but Jeez he's turned out to be an awesome Doctor. The one complaint I used to have about him was that he didn't put enough heart in his scenes. Tennant used to make me cry just with a look. That has changed big time this season and Smith is killing it. David who?
Oh and Mew_Mokuba, the reason he didn't regenerate is because the poison blocked his ability to do so, not because he's lost brain cells.
I really don't get this, River Song's character is built up so slowly during the last seasons. It took ages to begin hinting at River Songs relation to the doctor and that was great.
Now, in a single episode, Rivers whole youth, the identity of the young girl regenerating in the alley and the entire backstory of how River Song was brainwashed by "The Silence" as well as the fact that she CAN regenerate is wasted away "just" to save the Doctor because it isn't his time. Think about it, there have already been myriad instances where the Doctor survived without having to resort to regeneration. (Even "fish fingers and custard" could have provided a useful antidote for just about 200 years, right in time for the doctor to be "killed".)
Think of the potential of having a second regenerating character added to the series with the econo/technical advantage of switching actors for free is gone in a single episode.
It feels to me that someone higher up in the tree has pulled the plug on River because she cannot be allowed to become official Doctor Who canon. :( The store could have kept going for years with the Doctor getting older and her getting younger and eventually either one regenerating if absolutely necessary.
Oh, wow! Here we are again! The Doctor has been out of Amy and Rory's lives for a month looking for thier daughter Melody Pond/River Song.
We meet the best freind of the couple? Bzzzzz Wrong! It's River Song in her second incarnation.
Okay, something River said about her previous life doesn;t make sense. If she started out a toddleras Mels, wouldn;t she be older than she appeared in 2011?
Then again, River said that she could reverse or excel her aging in an incarnation.
So, the Silence is a religion instead of a species (or it could be both) and they want Silence to Fall. Anybody rememebring the Day of the Moon?They told Amy that she would bring the silence and theres a question that she wanted to ask the Doctor in "Space". Anybody else picking up on this or ist just me?
So, the Doctor left River the diary to write their adventures in, huh? So, rightfuly, the Doctor coudl have taken the book at the end ofForest of the Dead and learned about the encounters he was going to have with her.
This is probably what Moffat means about spoilers. Who'd have though the episode would turn out like that?
I can't complain at all. Im not going to moan about any notions of under exploiting the Killing Hitler/ messing with time story potentials, because it really doesn't matter. We just got a feast of info on various mysteries, a bucket of laughs and great production values.
This was probably River Songs finest hour so far, as well as one of The Moffs. I really dont want to ruin the story by going into any depth, but I enjoyed the set up of thid time travelling justice squad. Such a bonkes sci fi idea, the kind people dont really delve into these days, it was a refreshing and fun surprise.
Of course it turns out 1930s Berlin is just the back drop for the story and thats just fine. An episode focusing on the Nazi could have never been this fun or 'delivering' in terms of on going storylines. However Hitlers role in the episodes was still excellent with not a wasted line.
Despite Gavin Fullers complaints I thought it was both poignant and funny that this time justic squad or what ever they were called saw River Song as a bigger target than Hitler. Of course anyone who kills the Doctor will probably be inadvertantnly responisble for the fall of universe! But even if the Doctor Who world doesn't go that far it is still funny - 'Forget Hitler lets kill River Song!' So be quite Gavin and have a laugh!
Special effects were pretty darn good too thou. I'd be scracthing for morsels to pick on anything. Sure any of it could look better, but it didn't look 'wanting' like Doctor Who can do from time to time.
Im still making my mind up, but this might be my favorite episode of this series so far. Whatever the situation series 6 continues to completly outshine season 5
This was a good episode but didn't really feel like a part two more of a stand alone. Also I really think that Steven Moffat just made upRiver being Amy and Rory daughter because he really couldn't come up with anything else.
Also was it me or did the begaining of the episode was jumping the shark a little this friend Mel who Amy and Rory known all there lives just happened to be River andRiver was the little girl all along but some how forgot she was,even when she was in the impossible astronaut and the day of the moon. Come on you wouldthink River would jumpup and say "Oh by the way the creepy little girl in the astronaut suit its me" I really like Matt Smith as the Doctor but I wish they get a better head writer for him. I think its about time for some new companions these ones are getting a little old fast. Let the 11th doctor have some new advantures with some new people. The doctor needs a break from these three and so do we.
Kill the titular character once and it's genius, trying again a mere 7 episodes later you kind of lose some of the charm and shock. It's not that it wasn't effective for tension and or drama, it just created less this time round. Also, now that I think about it, they did it in The Big Bang as well.
While I still throughly enjoyed the episode, Rory and Amy creating a crop circle message with a Min Cooper was a stroke of brilliance, I felt the episode lacked some decisiveness and or clarity regarding River.
While this is not a huge flaw, the fact that Moffat squeezed in River growing up with Amy and Rory through their childhood, cemented their "courtship", a regeneration, her revelation of what River Song meant to the Doctor, her entry into a career in archaeology andher turn 360 from heroin to villain back to heroin was simply put, a little jarring.
The real clincher as to weather you'll love this episode or become frustrated, depends on if you see this pacing as dense or rushed. I'm personally on the fence, I really wanted flashbacks to Amy and Rory as children and teenagers that weren't preoccupied with establishing Mel. Because the scene were Amy confesses that she thought Rory was gay was my favourite scene. Not only was it funny and sweet, but it was the exact moment when they realised they more than just liked each other.
I should really point out some stuff I loved, I've been harking on about the down sides of the pacing for too long already.
The entire cast were at the top of their game and this seems like the first romping adventure Moffat has done since The Eleventh Hour, even the extremely fun series' opener had very dark under tones throughout.
The antagonists here where interesting, I'm sure they'll come up again. Mind you they weren't the villains that the marketing made them out to be, nor did this have any intention utilising Hitler in any real way. All a smoke screen that was intended to hide the true story that was sneakily presented. I didn't honestly mind all that much, we've visited historical figures before and with Nixon already filling that requirement this season, it wasn't all that bad making him the bait and switch.
I'm have to say, I've thought to myself that the odd episode could've been made into a 2 parter, here it really should've been more so than ever before, but I digress. A ridiculously fun, if busy episode that has so much going for it, that I'm flabbergasted how they'll top it in the finale.
EDIT: Forgot to say that the episode flew by in no time, I've seen 20 minute comedies that have felt longer.
the title let's kill hitler is a little misleading, while hitler does appear it is very brief and has little effect on the story. The real story involved river song who has just regenerated and is out to kill the doctor. there's quite a few surprises in this episode such as when we see mel regenerate and when the doctor dies at the end (again) though this time it's resolved as river song uses up her regnerations to heal the doctor. This clears up a few questions such as how the doctor first met river song, their are still a few questions lingering though, like the silence and what is the deal with the doctor dying in the first episode of this season, hopefully we'll get some answers in the coming episodes.
Years ago, the Doctor Who universe was introduced to a character named River Song. All we knew was that she knew more about The Doctor than any of his previous companions. Throughout season five she teased us with a reveal and when season six's "big reveal" came in the mid-season finale "A Good Man Goes to War," Who fans began to wonder if the show had lost it's fire. Rest assured Who fans, the mid-season return of Doctor Who is one of the most brilliantly written episodes in years.
This is the episode where we learn who River Song is and how their cat and mouse romance between them begins. Questions about her Time Lord abilities are answered and for the first time in a long time, the frantic energy that made Doctor Who a joy to watch is back, burying the excessively brooding episodes that have drained this series of life.
The entire premise of "killing Hitler" is merely a back drop for River Song and Doctor Who's romance. Only a show as bold an inventive as this could take a moment in history like this and make you care less about Hitler's demise (which we know can't happened because his death is a fixed point in time) and more about The Doctor and his companion. Producer Steven Moffat has set the bar with this episode. I can't wait to see what's in store next.
**spoilers** This episode goes straight on to my top ten favourite episodes! I mean who would have thought that the little girl from 'The Impossible Astronaut' and 'Day of the Moon' was River?
Well, anyone would have thought with a title like Let's Kill Hitler that something historical happens that involves Hitler, ie his killing, but the episode hardly involves him. He only appears in a few scenes and very briefly.
We don't really understand who Mels is in thebeginning, she just kind of shows up, threatens the Doctor and apparentlyAmy and Rory know her. I personally guessed that Mels-River-regenerating thingy...
But anyway, those tiny details hardly have any effect on the main part of the story. I said above the title has little significance to the episode, but now when I think about it, it kind of makes sense to cover the true plotline. There's no fun if the episode is called 'Let's Make River Regenerate!'.
So, River was 'programmed' to kill the Doctor when she was a baby kidnapped by Madame Kovarian. Nobody saw that coming! Especially after how we've seen how the future River treats the Doctor. We really don't see, well actually don't see at all, how the Doctor originally saved Melody from Madame Kovarian.
But as I said before the whole main plotline is just awesome! I don't want too include too many spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but all in all a simply brilliant episode, and a great start to the second half of the season.
Since last episode, i have been wondering, if River Song is half time lord and can simply regenerate, how would she be "near dead" in the Season 4 David Tennant episode "Forest of the dead", and end up being "saved" into the computer. This explained why. Seems like Steve Moffat still remembers everything he wrote :)
The doctor was wearing the magician outfit again... i wonder if he had been to the wedding day again.