Television: Doctor Who and Let’s Kill Hitler

"Let's Kill Hitler" by Steven MoffatIn the desperate search for Melody Pond, the TARDIS crash lands in 1930s Berlin, bringing the Doctor face to face with the greatest war criminal in the Universe. And Hitler. The Doctor must teach his adversaries that time travel has responsibilities – and in so doing, learns a harsh lesson in the cruellest warfare of all.

Ever since we first saw River Song, we had questions about her. Who was she? How does she know the Doctor–and why does she know his name? And as we got to know her, more questions cropped about who she was: Who did she kill to be imprisoned? Who taught her how to fly the TARDIS? And finally, after a long wait in between this new episode and A Good Man Goes to War, we finally have some answers–and a sense of closure that, hopefully, puts us back to the whimsical feel of Series 5.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Series 6. So far. But during the hiatus, I discovered that I much prefer Series 5 to the current one. Mostly because we’ve been carrying so much emotional baggage since Series 6 began with the Doctor’s death. We’ve seen Amy, Rory, and even River Song carry this guilt of knowledge throughout the first seven episodes–and as viewers, we’ve been carrying the same weight. And as the stories went darker, my own heart grew heavier.

Television is an escape for me. I don’t watch a lot of news because most of the time, it makes me sad. So when I pick television shows to watch, I pick the ones that I’d enjoy–that would get my mind off real-life things. And while I never complained (much) about the darker turn Doctor Who took early in Series 6, subconsciously, I was starting to distance myself to the show.

As the airdate of Let’s Kill Hitler drew near, I realized I wasn’t as excited as I was for A Christmas Carol or The Impossible Astronaut.

Still, I wasn’t disenchanted with the show; so I watched. And I’m very glad I did.

From the get-go, when we were introduced to never-before-mentioned best mate Mels, I knew Steven Moffat was about to blow my mind away. The episode might be titled after Hitler, but he doesn’t take up much time at all, as the focus of the story is really tying up the loose ends about Amy, Rory and River Song.

We were given time travel, (mechanical) monsters, and the most powerful weapon of the Doctor: trust.

But most of all, we were given renewed faith that Doctor Who isn’t ever going to go too dark. Or at least, that’s how I saw the episode. The Doctor will always be a light in the dark. And that’s the Doctor Who I fell in love with, and that seems to be the promise Let’s Kill Hitler is giving for the coming stories.

I’m stopping there. If I go too much into the episode, I might end up spoiling some things. But I do leave this teaser: we finally find out who teaches River Song how to fly the TARDIS–and exactly what the Doctor was busy with, that day.


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