‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ (TV)

 

‘LET’S KILL HITLER’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Hitler in the Cupboard

N.B. Watch the prequel for ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ before this episode.

It was strange going back to watching ‘Doctor Who’ again for Part 2 of Series 6, after a few months between ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ and ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. I recall watching the first few episodes of the second half of Series 6 whilst I was on holiday with my parents, first in Scotland and then in York.

The problem with having a ‘Doctor Who’ season split into two halves with one half in the spring and the other in the autumn, is that you lose a sense of momentum of what happened in the mid-season finale. That’s how I felt when I watched ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’, since it didn’t fulfil my expectations.

Also there were still a lot of unanswered questions about what occurred in the first half of Series 6 of ‘Doctor Who’, since there was this big jigsaw puzzle created by showrunner Steven Moffat. First there was the Doctor’s death at the season’s start and there was the reveal of River Song’s identity.

All the questions would be answered in the second half of Series 6, especially in the season finale episode. But I was dismayed since I felt cheated on what was going on with River Song. She turned out to be Amy and Rory’s daughter Melody Pond and is also connected to how the Doctor died in Series 6.

Series 6 continues with ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ by Steven Moffat. The episode begins with Amy and Rory driving a car, in a cornfield in Leadworth where they live, as they try to attract the Doctor’s attention.

The Doctor responds after seeing the word ‘DOCTOR’ in the cornfield reported in a newspaper. Amy and Rory want to know whether he has found their daughter yet since ‘A Good Man Goes To War’.

They’re eventually interrupted as a red corvette drives into the cornfield where they are. It turns out to be…Nina Toussaint-White as Mels, who I’ve met the ‘Collectormania Glasgow 2012’ convention.

Mels is a life-long school-friend of Amy and Rory’s. She turns up wanting to meet the Doctor, since she was told about him by Amy and Rory when they were kids. Mels then points a gun at the Doctor.

It turns out that Mels actually stole the red corvette and is rather a hot-head. She wants to escape the police and she suggests a place for the Doctor to take her in the TARDIS, saying “Let’s Kill Hitler!”

I first saw this episode at a hotel in Scotland where my parents and I were staying for a weekend on our summer holidays. I have mixed feelings about this ‘Doctor Who’ story and I’ll explain why that is.

Frankly, I was hoping for a full-on ‘Doctor Who’ episode into Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, as that was what it seemed to be promising in the episode’s title. But the episode isn’t about Hitler after all!

The episode is really about River Song, as the Doctor, Amy and Rory find out the truth about what she is and why she was made to kill the Doctor. I was very disappointed after seeing the episode for the first time.

The actor that plays Hitler, Albert Welling, doesn’t get a lot of screen time. He gets punched by Rory, gets a gun pointed at him by Rory, gets told to shut up by Rory and is then thrown into a cupboard by Rory!

I was really hoping for an exciting historical extravaganza with Hitler and Nazi Germany to settle back into the season. But the episode’s title ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ is merely a ruse to get us fans back into the series!

After re-watching the episode a few times later, I was able to appreciate the River Song aspects of the story. It transpires that Mels…is really Melody Pond, Amy and Rory’s daughter. But that means…

Mels soon regenerates into Alex Kingston as River Song herself, after getting shot by Hitler. This seems to be where River Song starts her life, but this is before the Doctor, Amy and Rory meet her.

If you’re confused by this point, I don’t blame you. This highlights why Series 6 is so convoluted and why there are so many elements to deal with in terms of telling the story with River Song and the Doctor.

There are some good things about this episode though. I enjoyed the flashback scenes with Amy and Rory when they’re with Mels and growing up. It was nice to see a younger Amy and Rory before the Doctor.

Caitlin Blackwood returns as Amelia Pond in this story, who I’ve also met at ‘Collectormania Glasgow 2012’. There’s also Maya Glace-Green as Young Mels as well as Ezekiel Wigglesworth as Young Rory.

And I mustn’t forget mentioning about the Teselecta spaceship-styled robot that can disguise itself as anyone in the episode. There’s also those robot jellyfish-like Antibodies that I found uninspiring.

‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ is okay as the opening episode to Part 2 of Series 6. I was unhappy that this episode wasn’t about Adolf Hitler, but I soon later enjoyed the River Song story after I watched the episode again.

The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Series 6 – Part 2’, there’s the ‘Monster File: The Antibodies’, which looks into the creation and development of these monsters.

On Disc 4 of ‘The Complete Series 6’ of ‘Doctor Who’, the ‘Monster File: The Antibodies’ can also be found on there. There’s the prequel for ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘River Runs Wild’.

‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ rating – 6/10


The previous story

For the Eleventh Doctor was

For Amy was

For Rory was

For River Song was

  • ‘Imaginary Enemies’ (Comic)
The next story

For the Eleventh Doctor is

For Amy is

For Rory is

For River Song is

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Return to River Song’s Timeline
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5 thoughts on “‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    The tone & pacing of this sixth series is all over the place & this episode i felt was a underwhelming start to the second half of this season.

    Again Moffat throws too many arcs at the screen hoping for one of them to stick, can’t he just focus on one plot thread? He got 13 episodes to play with.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Glad you agree with my thoughts on this episode of ‘Doctor Who’, Simon. This was a let down as the start to the second half of the series. I really hoped Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany would be a major part of the story and was disappointed that it was a ruse for a River Song story instead.

    I don’t know what goes on in Steven Moffat’s mind when he’s writing these episodes of ‘Doctor Who’. All I can say is…bring on Chris Chibnall for Series 11 in 2018! 😀

    Thanks Simon.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  3. Timelord007

    He is the most overrated writer In Doctor Who, when I hear his stories highly praised on the forums I wonder if I’m watching the same episode as they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Williams Fan 92

    Good review Tim.

    I agree with most of what you’ve said. The title is slightly misleading but despite that, the River Song part of the story was gripping as well as emotional. I should probably watch more of the 11th Doctor era to get a better understanding.

    It’s funny you should criticise Moffat’s writing. I found someone on either the Divergent Universe or the Doctor Who wiki forum saying that Matt Smith’s acting didn’t help things and therefore Moffat isn’t entirely to blame. What do you think? I’d have to watch more 11th Doctor episodes to get my view.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this episode, but I still wish this episode was about Adolf Hitler as well as being about River Song. You’re right in saying that the episode’s title is slightly misleading. Maybe if ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ was a two-parter, it would have accommodated more of Hitler as well as River Song rather than just have him stuffed in the cupboard by Rory as well as getting punched by him. 😀

      It might be a combination of both in terms of Matt Smith’s acting and Steven Moffat’s writing since the actor has to do his interpretation of the lines given to him which may not be always what Steven Moffat intended. It’s a contrast to how actors like Chris Eccleston and David Tennant would say Steven Moffat’s lines in the stories he wrote for their Doctors. It also might be down to how the director and editor of certain episodes might portray how Matt Smith says his lines, whether that’s on the instruction of Steven Moffat or not. It’s unclear. I don’t feel the current behind-the-scenes documentaries provide enough information on how a certain episode is written, performed, directed and edited, but then again, I haven’t seen the full ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode on ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ to be sure of that. Interesting how you’ve heard from another person or the DU forum or a DW wiki that Matt Smith’s acting might be to blame compared to Steven Moffat’s writings. These days, I’m not sure who to blame anymore, although Steven Moffat was in creative charge and he has the final say on how a final edit of an episode should be put out including an actor’s performance. There also might be an executive edict from the BBC above Steven Moffat involved.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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