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13 August 2015 @ 09:44 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Let's Kill Hitler  
I recall being mildly disappointed by Let's Kill Hitler on first viewing (though looking back at my my review at time I see I loved it but thought it was a bit of an acquired taste). But it doesn't really continue on from A Good Man Goes to War tonally, even if it does carry the plot forward. I think that may suffer from the the burden of expectations. We'd had to wait over the summer before the episode aired and we were expecting more of the same epic scope and spectacle. Instead Let's Kill Hitler is primarily a frothy comedy.

We've jumped ahead several months in time. Amy and Rory have, apparently, grown tired of waiting for the Doctor and resolve to summon him, a la River Song, by leaving conspicuous graffiti somewhere. This is interrupted by their best friend Mels who more or less hijacks the Tardis, takes them back to World War II (allegedly in order to kill Hitler), regenerates into River Song and attempts to murder the Doctor. This is all played with a deft comic touch, particularly Amy, Rory and the Doctor's reactions to Mels and River. NLSS Child was genuinely surprised and delighted by the reveal of Mels identity, having been prepared for previous revelations by her "How to be a Time Lord" book. She also loved the flashbacks to Amy, Rory and Mels as children.

In continued arc plot nit-picking, I feel bound to note that it is strongly implied that Melody Pond is the result of the child's regeneration we saw at the end of Day of the Moon. This entirely fails to explain how, as a toddler, she got from New York 1969, to Leadworth in, presumably the early 21st century. It also doesn't tie in well with River's description of her first meeting with the Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut which implied strongly that she, like Amy, had been a child at the time. It is just about possible, I think, that the Doctor did actually find her in 1969 and bring her forward to Leadworth, but I think you have to read a lot into what we get to draw that conclusion.

There was a discussion in the comments to my review of The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon about whether it was the regeneration that triggered River's conditioning to kill the Doctor. I think it is difficult to say, particularly without knowing much of Mels' back story. It is true she doesn't immediately attempt to kill the Doctor, but she does point a gun at him, and apparently fires it within the Tardis, and River (like the Doctor) rarely takes the shortest path between two points. The flashbacks establish her interest in using time travel to meddle with history so it is plausible that she was waiting to make her move until the Doctor had brought her to Berlin. Again this is really not at all clear and adds to my feeling that River's story was presented in a very confused fashion.

daniel_saunders, I know, feels that the aftermath of the events in A Good Man Goes to War, particularly as they effect Rory and Amy, were never really dealt with. I think we do see the repercussions, particularly in the way Amy reacts to discovering she is now infertile in season 7. However I think it is fair to say that the production team shied away from ever explicitly showing us their distress. Let's Kill Hitler skips us forward several months from the events of Demon's Run, giving them time to start coming to terms with the situation, and then gives us a comedy in which any direct exploration of Amy and Rory's emotional state would be inappropriate. Like the Doctor's own awkwardness around human emotion, the show seems uncomfortable with actually confronting how Amy and Rory feel, preferring that we should infer this from small clues. I suppose, in a way, the whole thing is terribly British.

Like so much of this season, Let's Kill Hitler, is very good in isolation. I think a comedy was also the only logical direction to take after A Good Man Goes to War if the show didn't want to directly present Amy and Rory's grief. Whether that was, overall, a good way to drive the ongoing drama is less clear.

metanews coding: <a href=http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/167025.html>NuWho Rewatch: Let's Kill Hitler</a> (DW) <i>Discussion of the sixth series episode</i>

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/167025.html.