32.08: Let's Kill Hitler

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Lenny, Aug 27, 2011.

  1.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    The Doctor's frantic search for the infant Melody Pond takes him to 1930s Berlin, where he comes face to face with the most notorious war criminal in the universe. With conflict brewing in the background, the Time Lord prepares to teach his enemies a lesson in responsibility.

    ---

    Weak. I'm sorry to say that, in my opinion, the wait was not worth it. There was very little to an episode that had some very good ideas - the justice robots could be so much more but, instead, they wind up in what has to be Moffat's worst episode. Ah well, the honeymoon had to end somewhere...

    The story was simply daft, the joviality in the acting was horribly forced and the twists and turns in the plot were obviously the result of a brainstorm with a class of six year-olds.

    The only positive to come from it was the development, however shallow it was, of Melody/River's character - I can now update my River Song thread with a much more accurate timeline (and we know, for a fact, that the character finally dies... unless some hyperactive Time Lord comes back and gifts her more regenerations).

    Oh, and the TARDIS has a horrible sense of humour whilst the Doctor is burdened with almost fatal guilt.

    Out of ten, I'm going to rate it even worse than TEiN will.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    (Less than TEIN out of ten then...?)



    I suppose that we did find out that River Song had a finite number of regenerations available to her (now reduced to zero). Whether this will (still) apply to a timelord (as opposed to whatever RS counts as) is not yet known.



    (In amongst all the "hilarity", they could have put Hitler in a much smaller cupboard: then he'd have had to demand "mehr Lebensraum").
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Good thinking, Ursa :)

    Plus points: second incarnation of Melody/River Song was quite tasty.

    Negative points: she lasted about five seconds before getting shot.
    The story didn't really seem to go anywhere.
    No villain [impressive for an episode including Hitler].
    No sense of tension [the Doctor dying? Not likely].
    Mels = Melody was bloody obvious immediately.

    I've got to agree that it wasn't all that good.
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    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    Now I've calmed down, I have a few more points to add:

    - The species that we initially called the Silence (the dapper ones that are forgotten when you look away) are not actually called the Silence. Rather, the Silence is a religious order who have something or other to do with the Question. Someone with a better long-term memory than me will hopefully be able to remember the relevant quotes.

    - The Doctor knows when he is going to die. Not just the date, but also the location and the exact time. From here, the speculation into what he does about it begins! The obvious starting point is that he creates a Flesh replica of himself and sacrifices it.

    There might have been a third point, but I don't really want to think into this episode much more...
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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    I'm going to disagree. I thought it was fairly good.

    Lots of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey, continuous changes in direction, a not-obvious-to-everyone-actually twist, and plenty of great dialogue.
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    Moonbat

    Moonbat Luna tick

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    I enjoyed the episode, especially some of the river song stuff, I must admit I didn't catch on that she was Mels.
    But I have a few queries,
    How does she regenerate, it takes a time lord to be with a Tardis to be able to do it, she could do it without one (as we saw in the New York alley)
    How did she get from New York to (can't remember the town, leatherhead? it began with L) to a Welsh town? As a small girl?
    Throughout all of Mels childhood didn't her best friend wonder where her 'parents' were? Or her family or anything else?

    But glad it is back, will be watching every saturday from now till the end :)
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    Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Former Comment Giver

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    I enjoyed it. Not really capable of going into much more detail than that due to lack of sleep catching up with me... maybe tomorrow.

    However, the whole answer, but don't know the question made me smirk, because I've seen it done before, but I always thought the answer was 42.
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    HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Iago with a Blackberry

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    I enjoyed it. Wasn't any near the best, but still enjoyable, but then I've really liked all the storyline concerning River, who she is, and especially the two-parter starter to last half, and whatnot.

    I didn't twig. I don't know how -- when the car raced towards them, it immediately screamed River, pulling out a gun to steal the TARDIS, immediately River. Yet even when Mels -- Mels!! -- was shot and apparently dying, still didn't twig. I think it was mostly because I didn't like Mels or how she was introduced. I was too busy wondering why Amy and Rory wouldn't know their friend was the type to carry a gun or why they'd put up with someone who was like that for the entirety of their lives.

    Rory got all the best lines in this episode.

    Also -- you may experience a slight tingling, and then death. Brilliant.

    Seemed a little corny that River would have sudden change of heart after years and years of indoctrination. Although just how long did it go on for? She was American girl, regenerate, move to England and then grow up with Amy and Rory? I guess, going from all the timey-wimey stuff, she knew they'd eventually meet the Doctor, allowing her the chance to get to him. Ah, well, never mind.

    Fills in a lot about her at least -- why she can handle a gun so well, why we've always seen her as Alex Kingston, why she dies in the Tennant era, why she became an archaeologist...

    The dialogue was a hell of a lot better than that awful, flat, obvious exposition crap at the beginning of the half-series finale (Lorna Bucket and co. chatting). Ugh.

    Can I start bets now that if the series keeps going and going, they'll use River's sacrifice as an excuse for going past twelve regenerations...? *wry grin* Was interesting to see someone else regenerating for a change.

    Shut up, Hitler!
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Well, I thoroughly enjoyed that. Yes, there were gaping plot holes (why, if Melody/River has been brainwashed to kill the Doctor, does she not simply shoot him or kiss him at the very beginning? You know, when she's got a loaded gun pointed at him? Nonsense.), but I was happy enough to put them aside and just take it for what it was - a bit of a romp. As has been mentioned before, Mels being River was somewhat telegraphed, and we didn't really learn an awful lot more about her life (or where she's been kept since Demon's Run), but we got a couple of snippets.

    Real plus points? Well, I thought some of the dialogue (mainly Rory's, for a change) was really good. I - unlike Lenny, clearly - really liked the scene in the Tardis with young Amelia. I thought Alex Kingston's lines (and performance) were far better than in the last ep. I liked the reveal about the Silence, which seemed to confirm my thoughts on them after eps 1 & 2, and the fact that "silence will fall" didn't mean the fall of "The Silence" and will (maybe) lead us back to the reason for the Tardis's explosion at the end of the last series. Oh, and Smith's performance, again. I'm really, really liking Matt Smith. I might even start to feel guilty for calling him Emo Who if he carries on like this.:D

    Overall? For me, it was good fun. Mostly fluff, but fun fluff. I wouldn't want a series full of it, but I'm quite happy to have 50 minutes of it now and then.
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Hah. Great minds, Hoops. Great minds...:D
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    In defence of Lorna Bucket: she was lovely.
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Is this still a children's programme? Because it defies me to follow it.

    I do like that fact that I now have all my River Song questions answered, but it leaves a lot of other questions unanswered.

    Plot holes? Well, not as many as Torchwood is making concerning Jack Harkness.

    I'd still like more light shone upon the eye-patch woman, and the "time-police" inside the simulacrum. Maybe I missed something, but I'm completely lost on those two counts.

    Obviously, the Doctor will not die at the hand of River inside the Astronaut suit. He knows the time and place and it is just a case of how he avoids it. I'm not sold on the 13 regenerations limit though. See the thread here in this forum on "how many regenerations?" for the discussion. I don't believe he can die. Certainly it doesn't seem right given how many times Jack Harkness has died.
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    On my blog (plug plug :p ) someone suggested, cunningly, that River giving up all her regenerations will end up giving the Doctor quite a few more.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Thought it was silly and disjointed. More like a children's program where having a script didn't matter.

    1. Creating a completely new character from the past didn't work for me. If Amy had such a best friend you'd think we'd have heard about it by now?

    2. River tries to kill the Doctor and then saves him. Why? She's been brain-washed her whole life to do that one thing, then she takes pity on him and saves him? Not convinced in the slightest.

    3. Doctor being poisoned and unable to regenerate? No, not believable.

    4. Miniature people in the robot? Oh, please - that's straight out of a kids comic book (the Numbskulls). At least Eddie Murphy did it as a comedy.

    5. They kind of forgot about Hitler completely, didn't they?

    6. In the Tardis with the computer projection. Point of that? Meh.

    Just felt like they were making it up as they went along. Some bits were meant to have pathos but just fell completely flat IMO. Even the music started to annoy me - desperately trying to convey a sense of emotion in a script that was limp and weak and couldn't even support itself.

    Think Moffat's written himself into a corner, and he's having to pull silly stunts to try and get back on track.

    Also - doesn't buy the fact that last episode the Doctor was willing to bring allies from across time and space to save Amy, but once the child is kidnapped the Doctor isn't too bothered as thinks it will all probably end up alright in the end. What??

    Think the series has lost something somewhere, and become far too self-indulgent in being a soap-opera focused on Doctor, Amy, Rory and River.
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    Mary Hoffman

    Mary Hoffman Writer

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    I agree with every word Brian wrote! A very average episode.
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    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    Is this a modern trend? I've noticed it more and more in TV SFF and it's a huge turn-off.

    (Can't remember where, but I once read a spoof conversation between director and actors where the director tells them not to worry about acting emotion, "We'll add that in the soundtrack".)
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    Perpetual Man

    Perpetual Man Former Comment Giver

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    I've read a recent interview with Moffat and he talked quite a lot about this episode. Apparently it was his attempt to do a comedy episode that was light hearted and more of a silly romp than we have seen lately. Something that was completely kid friendly, because after all, Doctor Who is meant to be a family show and this was meant to be the episode that everyone could sit down and watch together and just take it for what it is.

    Sometimes it is hard to remember that Moffat is writing for a massive audience, not just us SF fans, and review wise (in the papers) this episode has bee received superbly.

    The biggest fault with it, I think, and everything else springs from that, is that he made it an important arc episode - adding elements of the ongoing story made a lot more of the episode than it should have been. If Moffat had really wanted to do a comedy episode it should have been stand alone and dealt with the arc points elsewhere.

    For myself, on a surface level I enjoyed the fun, but would not want to scratch beneath the surface.

    Moffat said that not everyone would enjoy the episode, and it seems that he was right.
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    SJAB

    SJAB The storyteller

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    Well, I have just lost a line in my current WIP used by one of my characters a couple of times. I was using a saying my grandfather used, but "sigh" Steven Moffatt just beat me to the punch and I have to find something else now... "Penny in the air - penny dropped."
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Why not keep it?

    If you were using a transportation device called a TARDIS which is bigger on the inside than the outside I can see why'd you change, but it's just a saying and one you know from personal experience.
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    alchemist

    alchemist Not on holidays

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    I second this agreement.

    Or maybe it's because I'm coming to realise that I just don't like Doctor Who, not these days at least.

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