Musings on “Let’s Kill Hitler” – Doctor Who
This is your spoiler warning, ladies and gentlemen. If you haven’t seen the episode, move along. If you have, I’ll see you after the jump.
Once again, Moffat gave us the bait and switch, this time right in the title. Aside from a few jokes (By the way, “gay gypsy bar mitzvah” is going to be the theme at my next party), this episode had nothing to do with Hitler. It could have taken place anywhere in time, which is a bit sad. But ah well, it was still a lot of fun, and Hitler is still in that cupboard.
Getting to the character of Mels. When that hot rod pulled up to the TARDIS, I was quite certain that River Song was inside. But it wasn’t. Yet it was. It was the irksome character of Mels. From the moment she was introduced I couldn’t stand her. From hijacking the TARDIS, to growing up obsessed with Amelia’s Doctor, she seemed contrite and shoe-horned in. She’s never been mentioned before, despite being the best friend since childhood.
And if Mels has been the best friend since childhood, how did she get there? During her regeneration, Mels said, “It took me years to find you two.” This makes sense, of course, she sought them out because eventually they’d lead her to the Doctor. And yet, the last time we saw young River/Melody (if that was in fact her) she was regenerating in an alley in 1969. Did she stop aging for 30 years until she found them? She made some mention of aging in reverse to freak people out, but that seemed more like a joke rather than something an Almost-Time-Lord could do.
I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy this episode. I really did. As usual, Moffat raises ten questions whenever he answers one. and seems to create ten new plot holes in the meantime, which I’ll address in a bit.
Let’s Kill Hitler was hilarious and heart-breaking. The banter between Melody and the Doctor was great, as was their continued one-up-manship. When the Doctor was dying in his TARDIS and asked for a projection of someone he likes, (“Guilt. Guilt. MORE GUILT!”) was easily my favorite moment of the episode thanks to Matt Smith’s incredible performance. Though Rory punching Hitler was pretty sweet, too.
Another problem this episode is that it introduces yet another Doctor-Death possibility. There are robots out there that can look like anyone. I don’t think that’s the case here, I believe that really was the Doctor killed in Utah, and yet it’s still possible. Between Autons, Gangers, and now Meet-Dave-Bots, anything is possible. We can’t assume that anyone is who they say they are. In fact, when the Doctor died in this episode, I turned to my friend and asked, “Ganger?”
If we can’t assume that our beloved characters are who they should be, these deaths don’t pack as much punch. “Bah, that’s not him, he didn’t really die.” We lose out on that emotional connection because we’ve been given so many “deaths” of so many “people,” that they’re meaningless. We KNOW the Doctor isn’t really going to die in Utah. Not forever.
Speaking of Utah, the Doctor died when he was shot during his regeneration. River herself pointed out that this would kill him completely.YET when Melody was shot by the Nazis and was doubled over, she looked up and said, “Never shoot a girl during her regeneration.” So what does that mean?
Here’s another question: Why the tux? The Doctor had 32 minutes to live, and got all excited about fish fingers and custard. He returns in his tuxedo, and “dies” shortly after. This is about 20 minutes lost somewhere. The last time we saw him in that tux was the Williams’ wedding. Did he go back there? If so, why? If not, WTF is going on??
This episode also seems to cement the fact that River Song killed the Doctor in Utah. The Justice Department robot pretty much confirmed it. But now there is the question of which River? If very young 1969 River pulled the trigger, then why assume the role of BFF Mels to do it again?
And if the Silence is this religious order that wanted the Doctor dead, why did they imprison her for doing what she was told? Remember in the Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, Father Octavian seemed genuinely upset with her for killing a Good Man. And where does the Silence as the creepy alien race fit into all this??
I know. My head is spinning, too. I am all out of theories.
But yes, for all my nerdy nit-picking this was a terrific episode and I had a wonderful, fun time watching it. Leave your reaction and thoughts in the comments below!