Friday, 6 December 2013

Let's Kill Hitler, Night Terrors & The Girl Who Waited

Let’s Kill Hitler


This is a seriously barmy episode. It’s full of plot holes and questions and some of the more unlikely turns the series has seen ever. River Song is actually Mels, a rebellious friend of Amy’s and Rory’s? Yet they never worked out who she was. Now River’s real name is Melody Pond. So I think that surely something would have twigged despite Moffatt’s clever idea that they named Melody after Mels. As the Doctor says, ‘You named your daughter after… your daughter.’ Whatever floats your boat.
Mels has had the idea to kill the Doctor implanted in her mind. This is Kovarian’s plan apparently. Remembering that Melody was also the girl in the space suit. That’s important I guess. Really. It’s most confusing.
So what I recommend to any viewers of this one. Don’t try to understand ANY OF IT. Enjoy the episode, because it really is a lot of fun once you strip away all the River Song stuff. I mean, they shove Hitler in a cupboard. The pre-credits line is ‘I’ve got a gun, you’ve got a time machine’ – these lines appear to be important to Moffatt, he’s using more and more catchphrases as the show goes on.
But forget the negatives, because there are plenty but for one rare time I was
able to put them aside and just enjoy this whacky story with the tesselector – a robot with tiny humans inside that goes through time eliminating bad people just before they die, the whole business with Hitler (interestingly in Doctor Who Germans always have German accents – has anyone else noticed that?) and Melody Pond regenerating, becoming Alex Kingston, and spouting lines like ‘I was just thinking the Third Reich’s a bit rubbish’.
It looks fantastic, the HD is brilliant for Doctor Who and the production standards have lifted since it went HD to match the medium. Despite its faults, ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ is an incredibly enjoyable romp. And a key moment in the character River Song.
Inside the Tessalector.
Well, she gets shot by Hitler as ‘Mels’ (played by the freakin’ awesome Nina Toussaint-White), regenerates, puts on killer lipstick – which let’s be honest is RUBBISH. How could anyone wear killer lipstick without killing themselves? Kisses the Doctor who is slowly dying. Because the Silence and Madame Kovarian have screwed around with her brain. In the end she starts to see the truth of it all and uses her remaining regenerations to save the Doctor’s life. So this plan has already proved a bit stupid. As big as the Doctor is, to create River Song to destroy just him, and she was already able to fix her mistake, is a bit… ummm… to coin a phrase, ‘rubbish’.
Still, we see an interesting birth of River Song, as a distinct character from ‘Mels’ or Melody Pond. She’s taken to a hospital to recover – presumably far in the future and to recover from her psychopathic tendencies. That’s how the story finishes. Yes it’s barmy. Yes there are big question marks over what’s going on. But on an enjoyment scale, this one is a ten. I do need to balance that with the issues so…

Night Terrors

‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ was an awesome romp, full of fun and adventure at break neck speed. ‘Night Terrors’ is the opposite of that. It is fair dinkum dull. I’m surprised I made it to the end. I haven’t enjoyed the past few offerings from Mark Gatiss and this was no exception at all. In fact, this was the worst of the lot.
Amy and Rory have continued their travels with the Doctor. So ok ummm… but what about their daughter? Yes I know it’s River Song, but they have missed bringing their child up, it’s kinda the Doctor’s fault, and that’s apparently easy enough to put to one side and get on with travel in the TARDIS. Apparently the previous episode resolved it all. Which it didn’t. Yep.
I found it all a bit disturbing, some of ideas here. That the kid is an alien. He’s a bit of a weird kid too. You know it’s tough enough being a kid these days when you’re different. So I’m not sure what message Gatiss is sending about being a strange kid (God knows I was one) but it’s nothing particularly positive. Why not have the popular kid that everyone thinks is awesome turn out to be the alien? Then there are some disturbing undercurrents that made me think at one point the father was abusing his kid. I’m sorry, I don’t think Doctor Who is the show for dealing with those issues.
And then everyone’s in a sort of dolls house and changing into wooden dolls. But it’s just dull. DULL. DULLDULLDULL. And it’s all ok because the Dad hugs the kid. It’s like ‘Fear Her’ part two. Both have freaky kids. I think keeping freaky kids out of family shows is a good policy. Don’t want to make viewers feel self conscious. 
Did I mention it was dull?

The Girl Who Waited

This story picks up a bit of pace, which is an achievement because it really only features the three regulars of the Doctor, Amy and Rory. It’s a very clever idea and a nice job on the script by Tom McCrae. The idea of two concurrent time streams running side-by-side at different paces. In one, Amy waits 36 years for Rory to come and save her, even though for Rory it’s an hour or less. A beautiful idea, slowing down or speeding up time to let people dying of a disease to live longer. Sadly, no-one is left in the facility.
We see Amy very angry at Rory and especially the Doctor. Well, it is kinda his fault after all. They age Amy pretty well I think (make-up), and the sets and effects are really good. Even the Doctor takes a back-seat for this one, it’s Amy’s show, with a bit of help from Rory. The resolution is a little baffling but I guess makes sense. There’s a good mix of humour mixed with the grim reality of the situation, and Karen Gillan gives her finest performance.


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