Review: Doctor Who "Let's Kill Hitler" (Episode 8 Season 6)


picSo....after finding out River Song is Amy’s daughter, and the Doctor dashing off to Who knows where, the series returned on both sides of the Pond with a massive bang, several revelations and a wallop after its Summer break. The "wallop" was thankfully well restrained considering the guest historical figure’s notorious legacy that few of us will ever want to see repeated. Kudos though to actor Albert Welling for making the part of Hitler his own - though I think most of us cheered Rory when he punched him in the face, told him to “shut up!” and locked him up in a cupboard. I know I did. 

Sidelining Hitler as a footnote ensured that this opening episode became a real cascade of revelations for fans who have watched the series revival since 2005. One being the Doctor’s new coat which really makes the Eleventh Doctor all the more dashing, and the cameos from Rose, Martha and Donna in the Tardis. But more so, this was the one that introduced us to River Song meeting the Doctor for the very first time. From the moment Amy’s childhood tearaway friend “Mel” turns up in a red Corvette wanting the Time Lord to take her back in time to kill Hitler, to that regeneration scene after Hitler shoots her, this was Alex Kingston’s most illuminating episode yet.  The post-regeneration scene was hilarious switching from Melody checking out her new assets, to femme fatale as the Order of Silence’s brainwashing kicks in as she tries to kill the Doctor with a banana before sealing his fate with a kiss. 

The solution of Melody giving her remaining regenerations to save the man who one day she’ll fall in love with fitted perfectly into the future Moffat has already mapped out since "Silence in the Library." Talk about complex plotting, which for the casual first time viewer must have been maddening, but rewarding for the rest of us. 
The “bang” of course was the sci-fi element of the Teselecta, who in an atypical Moffat concept, goes around erasing dubious historical figures from history - pity as the anti-body robots were dire, not complimenting the brilliant set design of the Teselecta interior. I know there are budget cuts - it’s bad enough having next series spread over 2012/13 for the 50th Anniversary, but this was the only aspect of this story let down by BBC Wales FX. I’m just glad they do a better job with the Handbots in "The Girl Who Waited." The notion of miniaturized humans operating them was a nice Amazing Fantasy cliché – well realized along with the long time travel paradox of wanting to kill Hitler. 
“Lets Kill Hitler” was a great opening.  Complex. Crazy. Funny and moving. The next few episodes promise a lot more revelations with several truly dark and terrifying moments along the way as Moffat continues his “Ghost Train” season as we follow the Eleventh Doctor towards a mind-blowing multi-time meshed climax as we learn about the Order of Silence, and why they want the Doctor dead. Death and a wedding are just waiting around the corner.  
Darren  CBN Who Reviewer