August 29th, 2011


Doctor Who: "Let's Kill Hitler"

(No spoilers here, but some are bound to pop up in the comments.)

Doctor Who is back! Hooray! And now that stupid Cablevision has finally gotten around to carrying BBC America (I credit my recent signing of the online petition that's been up for years now; you're welcome!), I don't have to bother my Time-Warner-watching friends to DVR it for me anymore! Double hooray!

"Let's Kill Hitler," episode 8 of season 6 (or season 32 if you're counting from the beginning!), lives up to its madcap name by being a mostly madcap episode. One thing I've noticed about Steven Moffat's writing is that he's great when it comes to humor ("So I was on my way to this gay Gypsy bar-mitzvah for the disabled when I thought, the Third Reich's a bit rubbish…") and he's got a vivid imagination, but his plots tend not to hold up to too much scrutiny. One is better off just going along for the ride instead of analyzing what's on the screen. For instance, at the end of "A Good Man Goes to War," the Doctor announces he knows exactly where the stolen baby is being taken, but at the start of "Let's Kill Hitler," he's been looking for ages and still hasn't found her. (That's the least spoilery example I can come up with here.)

The episode also introduces a friend of Amy and Rory's named Mels, about whom there has been some Internet speculation that she would be the Doctor's next companion after Amy and Rory leave. I am delighted to report that this is not the case, mostly because I found Mels' brief screen time insufferable. She reminded me way too much of Ace, whom I also found insufferable. (Anybody remember Ace carrying that giant 1980s boombox around at the start of 1988's "Remembrance of the Daleks"? Or her ridiculous, ham-handed "seduction" of the Soviet guard in "The Curse of Fenric"? Please, someone save me from Ace!)

Lastly, a note about River Song. She is, without a doubt, one of the best recurring characters in Doctor Who ever. However, I'm starting to feel like the more I learn about her, the less interesting she becomes. She was a brilliant creation in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" in season 4 because she was a tantalizing hint of the Doctor's future. At last, after hundreds of years of traveling through time and space, he meets someone important to him out of order, just as a time traveler would, eventually. Her mystery is what made her such a magical character, but in my opinion that magic is in danger of being sapped away by too many answers. The old lesson that less is more should be applied here, and River Song ought to be given a break from the series for a while, but that's clearly not going to happen, as season 6 seems to be almost entirely about her.

But anyway, tangents aside, "Let's Kill Hitler" is a very fun episode with a lot of laugh out loud moments, one or two revelations that took me completely by surprise, and some nice cameos by familiar faces. It's not a filler episode, certainly, but to me it did feel rather lightweight when all was said and done.