Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Let's Kill Hitler

Episode 8 of Doctor Who series 6 finally aired last Saturday! In case my previous posts didn't quite convey the message, I was pretty excited about it. I was even lucky enough that dear ol' hurricane Irene waited until AFTER the episode was over to kill the power in my area. But let's get on to the review. From here on in there are, as River likes to say, SPOILERS. So don't read on if you don't want to know details about the episode. I had thought to do a spoiler free review, but it just didn't seem possible.

It's hard to know where to start with this episode because there was just so much to it. I guess I'll start by saying that it completely lived up to my hopes for the episode, including by being the complete opposite of what I had been expecting based on how "A Good Man Goes to War" ended. It's hard to really expect anything from Doctor Who because it inevitably takes its own path which I find pretty impossible to predict.

That said, do I start with the introduction of Mels? Or the weird robot walking around designed to give war criminals 'hell'? Or how "Let's Kill Hitler" doesn't actually turn out to be about killing Hitler? Or do I start with River regenerating? Or how the Doctor's death is a 'fixed point in time'? The flashbacks of Amy and Rory as kids? Fierfek, hard choices.

Let me start with Mels. As in Melody. "I named my daughter for her." "You named your daughter for... your daughter." I think it's brilliant even if I don't want to get into just how confusing that is for the whole time travel thing. I'd also like to note that when I was watching the episode with my mom and we first saw that shiny Corvette driving at them at high speed I said, "It's River!" And I actually turned out to be right.

Now, continuing on with the Melody/River thing, here's something that is still bugging me and if someone can clear it up for me I'd be deeply grateful. The Doctor, Amy and Rory all saw Mels regenerate into who we are familiar with as River Song. The way I've understood the Doctor and River's meetings up until this point is that we progressively see her effectively getting 'younger' in the sense that each meeting with her is the meeting she had previously with the Doctor. That would go with why in "Flesh and Stone" at the end of the episode River tells them that they will see her again when the Pandorica opens. Now, assuming I'm right about that, wouldn't that mean that now that we've seen how River 'began' means that we wouldn't be seeing any more of River? Because in her time stream her next meeting with everyone is at Demons Run after the battle when she tells the Doctor who she is. However, thanks to the trailer we know that we do see River again. Here's the photo for proof:

So I guess my question is... are we then crossing 'back in time' in River's time stream? Meaning that when we see her again it is obviously after she regenerates in "Let's Kill Hitler", which would imply that for once, River and the Doctor meet in the correct order. At least, that's  how I think I've wrapped my head around it.

I think my favorite part about River in this episode was that it finally answered a question that I've been going over and over in my head since we learned that River can regenerate. Why didn't River just regenerate when she died in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead". Well, now we know. She gave up the rest of her regenerations to save the Doctor from the early death she caused.

And, true to form, with that question answered another question is left: if River didn't kill the Doctor in 1938, does she still kill him in 2011 at Silencio Lake? And if that is her, when does that happen in her time stream? Because if she'd already done it as a small girl, why was she still trying to as Mels when she was older?

Anyway, on to other things. Thinking back on it I felt slightly gypped that "Let's Kill Hitler" wasn't actually what was said. But then I thought back on how much we learned about the Silence, about River and about the Doctor's death that it's hard for me to really be too upset about it. After all, we got an awesome scene of Rory punching Hitler right in the jaw, and Rory shoving Hitler into a cupboard to be completely forgotten about. Every time I think it's impossible for Rory to top his awesomeness, he somehow manages it. He is now not only the Last Centurion, Rory the Roman, the faithful 'boy who waited' for two-thousand years, plus their entire childhood, he is also the man who punched Adolf Hitler in the face and locked him in a cupboard. Fantastic! That deserves a screen capture.

Speaking of Rory waiting for Amy their entire childhood, it deserves mention that those flashbacks were not only a clever way of introducing Mels but adorable views into the way Rory and Amy grew up. I love that Amy 'counts as a boy' when it comes to how often she ends up in trouble. I do think that it's a little sad that the Doctor mentioned that Amy and Rory DID get to see Melody grow up. That seems like a bit of a cop out to me. I'm still holding on to the fact that while at the orphanage in America Amy saw the picture of her holding baby Melody and she looked happy. I hope that Amy and Rory to get to deal a little bit more with baby Melody, but I guess we'll have to see about that.

Now, about the Silence. If that time-traveling-shape-shifting-hell-giving robot is to be believed, the Silence isn't a race of aliens, it's a movement. Interesting. I have no real idea what that means for the future of the series aside from the fact that as a movement their goal or goals obviously has something to do with bringing down the Doctor, but it's interesting nonetheless.

"Let's Kill Hitler" may have only had Hitler in it for about 3 minutes tops, but it was still everything I could possibly have hoped for from the start of this half of the season. It was funny, it was touching, and it was nerve-wracking and I loved every minute of it. I'm looking forward to "Night Terrors" more than anything. However, I won't be doing a review on that until much later because I am back in the city for school and not going home this weekend. As soon as I see it, though, I plan on doing another review.

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