Thoughts on Doctor Who Series 6.5 Premiere Let’s Kill Hitler

by Amy Yen

“No, she will be amazing.”

Oh, the twisty-turny, timey-wimey, crazy, tragic, brilliant, impossible life of River Song. How do we even begin to talk about River Song?

So it turns out, everything about the River Song we know is a paradox. Her TARDIS blue diary, the “spoilers” she always warns about, “Rule 1: The Doctor Lies,” all of it came from the Doctor himself, who got it from River. Even her name, both of her names, are paradoxes. Amy names her baby after Mel, who is her baby. River takes her name from the Doctor, after the Doctor knows her as River. It’s impossible. She‘s impossible.

So we finally meet River at the start of her story, so long after meeting her at the end. She’s been hiding in plain sight this whole time. “You got to raise me after all,” she tells Amy & Rory, & it’s an awesome idea, the girl who grew up with Amy & her imaginary friend. It’s such an awesome idea, I only wish there had been a few more plants for it. As it is, it does seem odd their best friend isn’t at their wedding or in any of the many scenes of their life in Leadworth, particularly in “The Eleventh Hour.”

So “Mel” regenerates into the future River & man, does Alex Kingston so clearly have a blast with Regeneration Cycle River, who is as spazzy & insane & fantastic as Eleven was when he first appeared. And she uses all of her remaining regenerations in one go, which doesn’t make sense on a number of levels, not the least of which is that it was established in the Sarah Jane Adventures last year that time lords can most likely continue regenerating indefinitely. But it does conveniently explain why River doesn’t renegerate in the Library, so I guess that’s a plot hole we’ll ignore.

“Let’s Kill Hitler” was full of answers, sometimes almost to a surreal degree (particularly when the Doctor accesses the Justice Department robot’s records on the Silence). But there are still plenty more left. The Silence is a movement based around the oldest question in the universe, hiding in plain sight (a familiar Moffat theme). Which is what? The Doctor now knows of his impending death, which we knew was going to happen since he has to set up the blue envelopes. But we still don’t know the goal of that exercise, since it still can’t be to save him, because we know now the Doctor’s death is apparently a fixed point in time. So how are they going to get out of this now?

More random thoughts on “Let’s Kill Hitler“:

  • Love Amy & Rory’s crop circle signal to the Doctor. It’s interesting that this is the first I think we’ve seen companions getting extended breaks on Earth in the middle of their adventures & getting the Doctor’s attention this way. If I remember right, before the Doctor had Martha’s phone, companions on Earth never had a way of contacting him again. Or I guess they did, but they just weren’t as clever as Amy & Rory.
  • “Permission?” “Granted.” I do love Rory & the Doctor’s revolving mutual perception of each other. The Doctor respecting Rory more & more, Rory accepting the Doctor’s role in Amy’s (& his) life.
  • The Justice Department robot thing is really cool, such a neat idea. Executed wonderfully, like Mystique in the X-Men movies. And for another comparison, the inside control room was totally Enterprise all the way.
  • Rory was extra awesome this episode & I can’t tell you how nice it is to see him taking a more active part in all these adventures. “Shut up, Hitler!” “Right, putting Hitler in the cupboard. In you go!”
  • “Time can be rewritten. Remember Kennedy?” Wait, what?
  • Guiltalso guiltmore guilt!” Man, Ten’s companions were emotionally scarring for him. Also, interesting moment when he rejects the image of himself, “No, give me someone I like!” The Dream Lord was right after all.
  • The TARDIS tells the Doctor regeneration has been disabled. Why? How? This is never explained & it’s a troublesome plot hole.
  • “I’m trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife. I’m really trying not to see this as a metaphor.” HA! Also, Robot Amy? Exceptionally creepy. And nice job with the dead eyes, Karen Gillan.
  • Sonic cane!
  • River is the child of the TARDIS…so the TARDIS teaches her how to fly. It’s lovely & makes perfect sense.
  • This was Matt Smith’s best performance yet. He’s just so brilliant.
  • “As far as first dates go, I’d say that was mixed signals.” I can’t even put into words how fantastic the dialogue Steven Moffat writes is sometimes.
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4 Responses

  1. I loved last nights episode because i love twists, however all these twists may be taking doctor who away from being a kids show because i know for a fact my cousins and brother didnt understand it. On a better note though- i loved it! It’s nice to know that the doctor might have met his match but their on the same side so its a partnership. The chemistry is great, and the twists just make it all the more interesting. I love twists but kids find it confusing.

    • I agree. There’s no way a kid can understand Moffat’s storylines. I wonder though, is it still watchable for them? Is it still fun just to watch the Doctor run around being hilarious without understanding all the nuances? Because they do still have a bunch of these episodes like the pirates one that ARE still clearly for the kids…respectively, those tend to be my least favorite episodes. It’s a really tough balance to strike.

      PS: next week’s episode looks unbelievably terrifying. Like it looks like it will give ME nightmares, let alone kids.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment!

  2. I loved this episode, and was glad to finally get some answers (along with a few more questions). The whole thing was hilarious, especially the scenes with Mel, though newly regenerated River was also quite fun (“I thought I’d hit up a gay, Gypsy bar-mitzvah then kill the Fuhrer!”) Oh, and I liked the nod to Hitchhiker’s Guide with the unknown ultimate question.

    I did find it odd that River can absorb bullets “while she’s regenerating” (that’s what she said anyway, though she had already changed), while the Doctor couldn’t absorb whatever he got shot with “while he was regenerating” (before he changed). Why?

    • The way I understand it is after the time lord has finished regenerating, they’re still giving off a ton of regenerative energy which must give them some amount of protection, but DURING the regeneration, they are vulnerable. I think that makes sense, but you have a good point, it just seemed like River had way more control over her regenerative energy than the Doctor ever did.

      Thanks for the comment!

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