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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Let's Kill Hitler

Okay! Now that I've seen the episode I can comment properly. And oh boy do I have comment! We've all just watched the opener to the Autumn run of Doctor Who Series Six; Let's Kill Hitler and, as far as I can tell, the majority of us loved it! I did. It's amazing. My second favourite story of the Moffat/Smith run.

From the second the Doctor is dragged back into their lives, via a pretty awesome "Crop Circle" method of contact, Amy and Rory's lives are once again thrown upside down. And this time, they have another friend with them in the shape of Mels, who grew up with them.

And "shape" is really the right word to use! After she hi-jacks the TARDIS and forces the Doctor toward Nazi Germany ("You've got a time machine, I've got a gun; let's kill Hitler!") she's hit by a stray bullet and regenerates into River bloody Song! Too fast? Well, a little recap then: Melody Pond, Amy and Rory's daughter, IS River Song as revealed at the end of A Good Man Goes To War. The kid they chased about the warehouse in The Impossible Astronaut - the one who regenerates at the end of Day of the Moon - is also River/Melody. So, at some point a regenerated Melody makes her way to a sleepy little village just outside Gloucestershire and befriends her parents. They grow up together, sharing tales of the Doctor and his wonderful machine. 

So, when Amy and Rory get together (he's definitely not gay) and marry, have a "big bang" in the TARDIS on their wedding night and spawn baby Melody, who is whisked off by Kovarian and ends up - somehow - in 1960s USA, we find ourselves back at the start.

Let's Kill Hitler really wasn't about Hitler at all - he spend most of the episode nursing a broken nose in a book cupboard. And quite rightly so! This one was ALL River's. So, Mels regenerates into River and River meets the Doctor for the very first time -and thanks to a brainwashing she's received from the Silence (a religious order, not a race, don't you know?) she's on a mission to kill the Doctor. Which she does. With a kiss. Naughty. And off she trots into 1930s Berlin for a bit of fun and a change of clothes.

On the surface this episode is a romp. It's a big, action-packed, explosive romp. It's very, very funny - it actually has some of the best lines since Moffat took the controls, most of them from Rory - and although it is emotional at times it's handled in such a way as to not be mawkish or OTT.

But under the surface this could be the most important story in the "River Song Saga" - without us even getting a chance to think about it Moffat clears up some of the biggest questions posed this year and last: Who/What are the Silence? Why will they fall? Who is River? How does she meet the Doctor? What sort of weapon does Kovarian want her to be and how will she make her into it? Is River the girl? Will Amy and Rory get to know their daughter as a child or see her grow up? How come River can die in the Library if she's part Time Lord? The list goes on... and the answers are here!

We also get questions raised, though, such as what is the First Question, "hiding in plain sight"? And just WHY does Kovarian want the Doctor dead? These, too - no doubt - will be answered in good time. 

Throw in a murderous robot filled with miniature people and a heap of conveniently filed information on this year's story arc, some Nazis and enough nods to River's past/future (depending on which time line we're looking at, her's or the Doctor's) and some "mild peril" for the Doctor and you have one hell of an adventure. LKH ties up the River story well, for now - we have a beginning now, at least. It also throws us all into a brand new run of time travel fun with the best TARDIS team the show has seen since its 2005 return, in my opinion. And, as always, I'm already getting impatient about seeing next week's offering.

All in all Let's Kill Hitler delivers. It fixes the cliffhanger of the last episode, it sets the trail to follow for the Autumn and it brings us one step closer to finding out what really happened at Lake Silencio. Let's Kill Hitler. It. Is. Brilliant! So, Six weeks to go, doesn't seem long does it? It'll soon pass us by. Is it next Saturday yet?