Monday, 29 August 2011

Doctor Who - Let's Kill Hitler (review with spoilers)

Or perhaps just use a slightly inflammatory episode title to dangle everyone for the summer into thinking the Doctor could actually change Europe’s darkest hour. 

Yes maybe I am thinking about this too deeply but first off what a waste of the setting Berlin and secondly if you’re going to make a farce of Hitler, don’t just stick him in a broom cupboard,  at least have the backbone to do it Basil Fawlty style and offend a few people.

And then hurtle onward with the drama and introduce another little girl that had dreams of marrying the doctor in the form of Amy’s best friend Mels, who then turns out to be Melody Pond. Link in a few clips of them in history lessons, her claims that the Doctor didn't save the Titanic or stop Hitler and her subsequent ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ line in a crop circle after stealing a flash car in a ‘Back to the Future’ appear from nowhere moment…exhausted yet? Too much, too soon really.

The other dangler from the half series finale was that River Song was Amy and Rory’s daughter. There had been a slow build up of hints and trickery as to what was going on and I think leaping straight into her childhood could have waited. 

Amy and Rory have basically lost a baby and then gained an adult daughter, kind of a lot for the viewer to take on and clever writing could have created a believable bond between the three. However, rushing into her childhood, a speedy regeneration and revelation Melody had been around them all the time just made the bond look weak and unbelievable. Every time the young Melody or River says ‘mummy’ to Amy, it sounds ridiculous and lacks the depth for you to even care anymore whether the parents ever get their child back (accept they have) flimsy plot really that had a promising start. If anyone questions it, just shout ‘Silence’ and all will be OK and explained.

Anyway, enough moaning, the first ten minutes of nonsense was quickly remedied by impressive metamorphosis robots powered by teeny tiny people, the Doctor got a big improvement in the wardrobe department, although again, completely unexplained, the change into top hat and tails and choreographed staggering was very entertaining. 

River Song was as feisty and flirtatious as always with lots of innuendo ‘never shoot a girl when she’s regenerating’ yes very good along with the jodhpurs tease.

Berlin on the eve of war. A world about to tear itself apart. Now that’s my kind of town’ 

Great line but the setting didn’t portray this although River does seem to get the best ones; how many of us have wanted to say ‘Hello boys’ to a bunch of Nazi soldiers?

I loved the robotic Amy, especially when she turned her squeaky head to blankly look at herself and Rory reminding me of the wooden Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge. Wooden is clearly one of her specialist areas. Rory finally got his balls thumping a few soldiers, riding off on a motorbike and quipping amusingly about the ‘miniaturisation ray’ shortly before the deadly jellyfish – esque exterminators turned up.

Again the bond between Amy, Rory and River is flawed as they allow River, without question, to save the Doctor at the expense of her own regeneration power. Of course they wouldn’t have known this, but caring parents would question it especially as River asks ‘Is he worth it? She was clearly going to do something big.  

Hopefully this will grow as the series moves on though, as although the parent bond thing would be fragile with the short lived pregnancy and infancy circumstances, there has to be something for you to even care about their relationship and the tiny flashes of affection haven’t brought that across so far.

 I find the ‘almost’ killing of the Doctor thing a little annoying and repetitive now but did like his guilt being dragged up via the voice interface companions. Now he’s seen the date of his own death on the beach too so it’s all a rather confusing ‘the boy who cried wolf’ situation. Will the Doctor ever die? If they keep doing this, we won’t care anymore.

So all in all, silly title, poor beginning then ‘kapow’, big Doctor Who (with quip) opener, impressive robots and baddie creatures and a fabulous spooky doll trailer for next week, hopefully less rushed and with more creep you out atmosphere.

Jump here to iplayer to watch.

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