Posts tagged Let’s Kill Hitler
Warning: Spoilers, Sweetie.
Doctor Who returns from the mid-series break with what seems at first glance to be nearly a Mel Brooks-style romp. “Let’s Kill Hitler,” opens with crop circles as a means of communication, stolen cars, the Doctor at gunpoint and what comes down to a timey-wimey extravaganza of answering questions that still leaves the viewer scratching their heads.
While the Doctor has been off in search of baby Melody Pond, we learn about her namesake. Watching Amy, Rory, and best mate Mels (played by Maya Glace-Green as a child and Nina Toussaint-White as an adolescent and adult,) grow up, is interesting. Mels, (who seems to have taken up the role of rebel in this timeline where Amelia Pond might not be biting her psychiatrists, but also thinks Rory is gay until Mels sets her straight,) is the embodiment of flirty, cheeky and dubiously moral. It’s a nice glimpse into the rebooted universe, but is later revealed to have implications that are both strange and hilarious.
Meanwhile, in 1938 Germany, an attempt is made on Hitler’s life by tiny life-forms in a robotic, shape-shifting body. Foiled by the appearance of the TARDIS, there’s a bit of uncomfortable notice of the importance of timelines and how rewriting history isn’t always something that should be embraced. I suspect this will be important later in the series.
The zippy dialogue soon gives way to River Song before she’s River Song. As the Doctor calls her, “My bespoke psychopath.”
River, meanwhile, gives us, “It was never going to be a gun for you, Doctor: The man of peace, who understands every kind of warfare except perhaps, the cruelest.”
Yes, hijinks ensue. Steven Moffat is determined to fill every second of the script with digs both subtle and explicit. Shoving Hitler in a cupboard, and River’s reply to an SS officer, “Well, I was on my way to this gay, gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, ‘Gosh, the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish, I think I’ll kill the Fuhrer.’ Who’s with me?”
Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan manage to show us that Amy and Rory are both the madcap companions and a couple tempered by the loss of their child. They’re also parents who have to figure out how to parent a child who isn’t one. Investing the slapstick and banter with necessary gravity. In fact, it seems we’ve finally got an Amy and Rory who are on completely equal footing. Rory’s journey from insecurity to centurion in the first half of the series has paid off.
The robot/vehicle, the Tesalecta, is on a justice mission and, as such, isn’t so much a villain as an obstacle. Yet its eventual role in bringing the timeline to something resembling equilibrium is critical. Revealing that the Silence are not a species, but a, “religious order or movement,” and that there is an unknown but, “hidden in plain sight,” it is, “the oldest question in the universe.”
Threads are coming together, and the sense that Moffat is playing a much longer game, reminiscent of the arcs seen since the beginning of Doctor Who, is certainly reinforced in LKH.
For anyone who has complained that River Song is too arch, too meta, here we see River as both weapon and a vulnerable fledgling. This is her beginning, where the Doctor is the one saying, “Spoilers,” rather than the other way round. Now we get to see that the perils of opposite timelines go both ways. Melody Pond kills the Doctor at Lake Silencio in 2011, and that is, as the captain of the Tessalecta says, “Fixed.” The Doctor knows this and yet he’s still trying to protect River, protect Melody, protect Amy and Rory even if it costs him his life.
We’re still left with mysteries aplenty about how the series arc is going to tie together, but “Let’s Kill Hitler,” is certainly starting the second half of the series with a bang.
While leaving Hitler in a cupboard.