Let's Kill Hitler
More on Doctor Who
Here be spoilers, so beware!
First episode of the new half-series! Are you excited? I’m very excited. Are you caught up? If not, head over here and remind yourself what happened last series. I’ll wait.
Caught up? Good.
So, summary of the episode. Amy, Rory and the Doctor are almost run over by a gun-toting, Ferrari driving woman who is shown through a series of flashbacks to be Amy and Rory’s best friend since childhood, Mels. Mels was even more obsessed with the Doctor than Amy, and always getting in trouble — first with teachers, then with the law. She points a gun at the Doctor and declares “You’ve got a time machine, I’ve got a gun, let’s kill Hitler”
When the TARDIS arrives in 1938, it accidentally knocks out the person who is trying to kill Hitler. Well, I say a person, I mean a robot human capable of tessellating into a replica of anything it scans, operated by an enormous number of teeny tiny people who call themselves The Justice League. Yes, you did read that correctly.
Anyway, Hitler tries to shoot his would-be assassin but actually shoots Mels, so Rory punches him and locks him in a cupboard. Mels promptly regenerates into the River Song we recognise and repeatedly attempts to shoot the Doctor. Although she looks the same this isn’t the River we know; she looks the same but doesn’t know who River Song is, doesn’t know what spoilers are and has been brainwashed into a psychopath hell-bent on killing the Doctor.
There are flashes of our River though — she’s as gleefully delicious as River ever is, calls the Doctor “my love” and even cheekily kisses him before jumping out of a window. Although that kiss was actually just to poison him — he collapses, but orders Amy and Rory to go after Melody.
The tessellating robot is still around, though; it becomes a copy of Amy and sucks Rory and Amy inside. They can only watch as Robot Amy confronts Melody and tortures her. Thankfully the Doctor turns up and Amy uses the Doctor’s screwdriver to turn the Robot’s security against the staff members. They stop torturing Melody and teleport out, leaving Amy and Rory trapped inside.
The Doctor begs Melody to save them — which she does. He then asks her to pass a message, which we don't hear, onto River Song and dies. When Melody finds out that she is River Song she starts to glow and kisses the Doctor. When he opens his eyes, she smiles and says “Hello, sweetie”. She had used her regeneration energy and given all her later regenerations to save him, and it seems that she's just beginning to be the River Song we know and love.
This episode seems to have really divided opinion. Personally, I loved it. I thought it was classic Doctor Who — very fast paced, very exciting and totally barmy. Seriously, it’s one of the weirdest episodes I’ve ever seen, but is all the better for it.
There were so many little good things that made this episode great. The idea of Mels was brilliant (And I sort of predicted it — you can’t see, but I’m victory dancing here) and the fact that Melody was essentially named after herself is both genius and pure Steven Moffat. I also love how the Ferrari rocks up and everyone thinks “Oop, River Song” and then it’s not, but then later we find out is also is. Ridiculous. I love it.
I also love how for months we’ve been expecting an episode about Adolf Hitler, wondering how they’re going to do it, arguing the ethics of making Hitler a main character in a children’s TV show and then he’s only actually in it for five minutes. He spends most of the episode locked in a cupboard.
By Rory! Rory punched Hitler! We should have seen the fact that River is Rory’s daughter much soon; the trait of complete freaking awesome clearly runs from father to daughter. Whilst it's no secret how much I adore River Song — who, by the way, was clearly played in evil-mode with relish by Alex Kingston; she was fantastic and delectable in every scene — my admiration for Rory is growing every time I see him.
He was cracking in this episode — completely bewildered but kicking arse, with some killer one liners. I can’t decide whether “Can you ride a motorbike?” “I expect so. It’s that sort of day” or ”I’m trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife. I’m trying not to see that as a metaphor” is my favourite.
Mind you, it doesn’t win my favourite line of the episode; that honour goes to the Doctor and “She did kill me. Then she used her remaining lives to bring me back. As far as first dates go, I’d say that’s mixed signals”. Excellent.
The flashback sequence was just lovely, too. Tiny Rory is possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, a title previously held by Amelia. The scene of Amy and Rory getting together with Mels’ help was also just brilliant; the totally human love between Amy and Rory is one of the best things about this series. And of course we got to see Amy Pond in a school uniform, which I’m sure delighted male viewers across the country. Bah.
It would, however, have been way more impressive if Mels had been mentioned or shown before. She wasn’t at the wedding — something that was explained away by her saying “I don’t do weddings” — but even a mention of her would have made her existence not only fantastic but pure genius. A lot of people saw River Song being Melody Pond coming; I don’t think anyone would have predicted this.
But now some speculation. What is going to happen with River? She says that the last time she regenerated became a toddler and was trapped in New York. Is that supposed to be when we saw the little girl regenerating in The Day of the Moon? Surely it can’t be — if River ages as a human does, as she appears to from the flashbacks, then the times don’t match up. So maybe my theory is still correct, and we can have different versions of Melody Pond as recurrent characters. Or maybe...oh, I don't know.
But that still doesn’t seem right, because Melody was brainwashed to kill him and knew nothing about him. Melody would have to be lost and recaptured for this to work. But...well, I suppose that’s possible.
One sad thing is when Mels says something along the lines of “See, you did get to bring me up” to Amy. Does this mean that Amy and Rory just don’t get to bring baby-Melody up? Are they supposed to just be okay with this, because they got to see their daughter grow up whilst they themselves were kids? That hardly seems fair. And I highly doubt it’s something that Amy would accept. If Steven Moffat is trying to make us accept it, it’s going to be highly disappointing.
Oh, I don't know. It’s all very confusing. But I’m sure we’ll find out what’s going on by the end of the series — we usually do.