Episode 6.8 – Let’s Kill Hitler
Spoiler Warning: Please make sure you have watched the entirety of Series Five and Series Six up until “A Good Man Goes To War” (6.7). Key episodes for this episode of Doctor Who include “The Impossible Astronaut” (6.1), “Day of the Moon” (6.2), “The Almost People” (6.6) and “A Good Man Goes To War” (6.7).
The last time we heard from our favourite Gallifreyan and his time-traveling companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) had given birth to a baby girl named Melody. She and her baby had been held against their will by the Clerics, an organization led by Madame Kovarian intent on using Melody as a weapon. You see, because Melody was conceived on the TARDIS and exposed to time-travel whilst in the womb, she’s part-Time Lord and part-human. No, this doesn’t make any sense to me either; I thought Doctor-Donna proved that combinations of Time Lords and humans cannot happen as per “Journey’s End” (4.13). But let’s just move on, shall we?
Ten thousand light-years away, the Doctor (Matt Smith) and the Last Centurion (Arthur Darvill as Rory) assembled an army to recover the female Ponds. Unfortunately, nothing went to plan and a lot of people died. The Doctor saved Amy but he failed to save her baby. Apparently, however, none of this really matters because Melody Pond grows up to be River Song (Alex Kingston) — which makes absolutely no sense, but we’ve got to live with it now. After flirting a bit with River in front of her distraught parents, the Doctor leaves Amelia (who had just been kidnapped for months, had a baby, saw that baby disintegrate, learned that her baby is once again captured and, oh, is also River) again without even saying goodbye. Sometimes the Doctor is just the worst.
Three months after the events of “A Good Man Goes To War” (6.7), Doctor Who is back — and it’s time to kill Hitler! Once again, the Doctor and Amy are separated. The Girl Who Waited is waiting once more. The Doctor had briefly promised her that he’d find her baby, and he hasn’t delivered. Desperate, the Ponds write the Doctor’s name as crop circle near their hometown of Leadworth, rightly believing the Doctor will appear after their theatrics. Surprisingly, however, the Doctor isn’t the only one to who answered the Ponds’ call. Driving a stolen red sports car and carrying firearms, Mels appears before Team TARDIS, threatening the Doctor with a gun if he doesn’t take her with them.
Ret-conning the upbringing of Amelia Pond, showrunner Steven Moffat writes Mels into the story as Amy’s best friend. Mels, Amy and Rory have always been together. Even in elementary school, Mels was causing trouble while an increasingly exacerbated Amelia tries to keep her friend under control all whilst putting up with Rory. Some of the greatest moments in “Let’s Kill Hitler” (6.8) come from the quick ret-conned history of the Doctor’s companions. I am always thoroughly pleased to see Caitlin Blackwood, Karen Gillan’s real-life cousin, playing the young Amelia Pond — and the actor that was cast as Rory made his early patheticness endearingly sweet.
So, Mels is actually Melody who is actually River. Though it’s kind of sad that Amy and Rory will never be able to raise their child, they did get to spend most of their lives with Mels as their best friend. That’s a small consolation. And now the Ponds don’t have to leave the TARDIS to raise a baby? That’s another. After this episode, I feel better about the events of “A Good Man Goes To War” (6.7). Everything is no longer tied up with an awkward bow. Though River will eventually become an ally, she’s a villain right now — and quite a good one at that. Watch her blatant indifference towards her parents, even when they’re dying! Watch her flirt whilst poisoning! Also, look at this snappy dialogue: “So, I was on my way to a gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled when I thought to myself, gosh, Third Reich’s a bit rubbish, isn’t it? I think I’ll kill the fuhrer.”
The Ponds were absolutely wonderful during this episode. They had the least flashy roles in “Let’s Kill Hitler” (6.8), especially when compared to the showboating Mels, a dying Doctor and the sheer presence of Hitler. But that doesn’t mean that Amy and Rory don’t get some of the best lines (especially Rory). And the entire “gay scene” was a perfect give and take between the two actors. Having their daughter be their matchmaker was just a cherry on top.
Even though the scene in the TARDIS console room didn’t make very much sense to me logistically, I find I have the most connection to Doctor Who when there are scenes which display the devotion between the Doctor and Amy. Yes, we got visual references to Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble in this scene — and that’s cool, I guess — but Matt Smith’s Doctor is best opposite Amelia Pond. Even when Amy is a Ganger, a robot or even just a voice interface system. As soon as he sees the little Amelia in her blue coat, he immediately perks up and says, “Hey, let’s run away and have adventures. Come along, Pond!” If the Eleventh Doctor turns into a one-companion Time Lord, I would be a very, very happy Whovian. I can’t imagine Matt Smith’s Doctor running around the universe without The Girl Who Waited.
Memorable Quotes and Moments
- Amy: “Loop the loop!”
- The Doctor: “Permission?” Rory: “Granted.”
- Rory’s been hiding for hours! And he’s not getting warm.
- Rory: “Hi Mels…” Mels: “Hi Rory…”
- Rory: “I’m not gay.” His future wife: “Yes, you are.”
- The robot duplicate taking off the Nazi’s glasses.
- Rory punches Hitler!
- Rory puts Hitler in a closet!
- Fifteen minutes into the episode, we forget about Hitler!
- Mel’s reaction to her River Song hair.
- The Doctor’s reaction to the reference to The Graduate.
- Sherlock-esque Banana scene. You know what I mean.
- The Ponds on a motorcycle!
- Amy: “Can you ride a motorbike?” Rory: “I expect so. It’s that sort of day.”
- Amelia Pond in her blue coat. My heart always breaks.
- Mels: “Take off your clothes.” With lots of guns.