Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Nina Toussaint-White, Caitlin Blackwood, Maya Glace-Green, Ezekiel Wigglesworth, Philip Rham, Richard Dillane, Amy Cudden, Davood Ghadami, Ella Kenion, Albert Welling, Mark Kileen, Paul Bentley, Eva Alexander, Tor Clark
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Richard Senior
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: August 27, 2011
I didn’t grow up on DOCTOR WHO quite the way some of the modern day fans of the series did. I watched the Tom Baker years on PBS, but my Dad was never a fan of the series so I watched what he did (of course since 2005 he has changed his mind). He was more of a STAR TREK person and I was definitely a STAR WARS generation kid. Having said that, I always had a soft spot for WHO, and when the series returned in 2005 I got the chance to review it in iF Magazine where the editors and staff at ASSIGNMENT X used to call their home. While I was reviewing the new series, I also took the time to check out the first episode from 1963 and watch everything up to the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) and his FOX made for US TV movie.
The new WHO almost immediately grabbed me with Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion Rose. The stories were both fun and engaging, and it really was a soap opera with a science fiction backdrop. Then when David Tennant joined the series as the 10th Doctor I was COMPLETELY sold! David and Billie had some of the best chemistry on-screen and her departure was a twenty hanky moment. Freema Agyeman was OK as her replacement Martha Jones, but I really truly loved Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and I thought of all the companions I enjoyed her banter and fun relationship with The Doctor the most.
Then as all things do, they end. David left the series along with producer/ show runner/ writer Russell T. Davies and producer/ show runner Julie Gardner. David moved onto films like FRIGHT NIGHT, and Davies and Gardner moved to sunny Los Angeles to be integral parts of BBC Worldwide and also to branch out their WHO spin-off TORCHWOOD for an American audience.
Meanwhile, Steven Moffat took over as the show runner for WHO and introduced us to a brand new 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith, and Smith was joined by a spunky new ginger companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). At this point I wasn’t so sure about the series. I had loved the dynamics that David and company created, and I wasn’t confident that Matt and Karen (no matter how fun they were) could equal the chemistry that I had gotten used to on the show.
By the end of the fifth series I knew that I not only really enjoyed Matt as The Doctor, but that Karen had found a place in my top ten companions list. So by the time “A Christmas Carol” rolled around last year I was completely sold once again. Stephen Moffat has proved to be an excellent storyteller and the new Doctor and his companions Amy and her husband Rory (Arthur Darvill) have been more than enough to keep me coming back to every new episode.
There are moments in the series that are shining beacons like the Neil Gaiman penned, “The Doctor’s Wife”, but as a viewer you realize that not every episode can be perfect. This FINALLY (sorry for the long diatribe but I felt I had to re-introduce myself to the reading audience) brings us back around to this week’s episode “Let’s Kill Hitler”.
I’ll just start off by saying I don’t feel the malice towards this episode that I am seeing ripple across WHO chat boards and through the fan base. I tune into DOCTOR WHO seeking entertainment, and I very rarely am disappointed. I was surprised that this episode brought the whole Melody Pond / River Song (Alex Kingston) story to a tying together point so quickly though.
Last episode before the break, “A Good Man Goes to War” revealed that River is Rory and Amy’s daughter. So you would assume that the story would pick up from there, and it does but in an abstract way that I personally didn’t foresee.
A lot of fans and viewers are upset stating that the River Song storyline has grown out of control, but it’s just like any other seasonal arc. It’s the main theme of this season that she is a weapon created to kill The Doctor, and eventually she will accomplish this as seen in the first episode of series six.
I was completely caught off guard by Mels (Nina Toussaint-White) being River. It sort of muddies the time stream for me a bit. River was a baby at Demon’s Run in the future. She was then raised to a certain age by The Silence and this time period involved the astronaut suit. For some reason this was in the 1960’s. So six months later which would make it at the latest early 1970, River regenerates in an alleyway (presumably into Mels – since she mentions it in this episode as the last time this happened). She then manages to keep her metabolism in check until Rory and Amy are born and then restarts her metabolism so that she ages at the same rate that they do until she comes face to face with The Doctor again in current time. Does that sound right? Or am I completely mucking it up?
I personally love Alex Kingston, I think she’s a great actress and the River Song storyline has been intriguing enough to hold my attention. I loved all of her lines of dialogue about her new body, and it was a nice touch to throw in the “teeth” line (which felt like a nod to the 9th Doctor into the 10th Doctor regeneration). At this point though, I feel as if Moffat has accomplished what he set out to do, and there are only a few more pieces of the puzzle to work out.
I honestly don’t remember there being a companion like this that pulled series focus so often and for such integral parts of the storyline, but it’s just one storyline. There will be some new overreaching story for next series. I do think that Moffat has been handling River rather well in terms of storytelling. If you go back and watch episodes before the revelation they all seem to make just an extra bit of sense now. In the Pandorica episodes she doesn’t know Rory, which bothered me for a bit, but then my other half mentioned that at that point no one (not even Amy) knew Rory because he had been erased from time.
Moffat plays with timey wimey wibbly wobbly a lot more than Russell T. Davies did. In fact we’ve had some contradiction such as Amy able to touch the child version of herself and not create a paradox where the Reapers swarm in and eat them, but I have enjoyed the ride he has us on so far.
Again with this new episode I don’t why people are voicing such an outcry over the title and lack of Hitler himself in the show. Moffat and all concerned said in all of the press leading up to the premiere that Hitler was a red herring and the show was a continuation of the Doctor/ River story. So I’m not sure why everyone is acting so surprised as to the content of the hour.
The INNERSPACE miniature people were interesting inside of The Teselecta, but I’m a bit fuzzy as to where they come in to play. How do they fit with the Time Agency that Captain Jack (John Barrowman) is a part of, and did they spring into being after the Timelords disappeared, because I can’t imagine the Timelords tolerating a time traveling judge, jury, and punishment force out there in the time stream?
Honestly part of my grading scale is based on the reactions of my partner. He has only seen a scant number of classic WHO episodes that I had him watch to give him a taste of the original series, and so his love of the show started with Eccleston. After an episode we chat it out and discuss the highs and lows, and then I formulate my grade or opinion. I value his opinion because it is based only on the current (like a large portion of the US viewing audience who started watching in 2005) and he doesn’t worry about all of the past ties that can bog down my view of a new episode.
The episode was mad. That’s the bottom line. That’s a big part of the reason I enjoyed it. It was wild and loopy and erratic and full of odd twists and turns and weird layers that were hiding the main story underneath. But, nothing happens on this show without a reason so it will all come around, and I have no doubts that this is not the last we see of the robots driven my miniaturized people.
I think if everyone takes a breath and relaxes just a bit to make it to the end of the season, there will be a payoff as usual. Let’s face it, no matter how much you might dislike the current storyline it will always be better than episodes in the past like “Paradise Towers” or “The Twin Dilemma.”
Click on link: AX’s DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “Let’s Kill Hitler” – Review #1 (negative review)
Click on link: AX’s exclusive interview with DOCTOR WHO showrunner Steven Moffat
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – COMMENT BELOW!
Click on Link: For Steven Moffat says DOCTOR WHO is “against Hitler”
Click on the link for AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO episode “The Rebel Flesh”
CLICK HERE for AX’s List on “THE FIVE QUESTIONS WE HOPE DOCTOR WHO – SERIES 6 ANSWERS”
CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review: DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “Let’s Kill Hitler” – Review #2