Published on August 27th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley
What Let’s Kill Hitler Should Do For You
And frankly, if it doesn’t then you’re either not paying attention or you’re not a fan of the show.
We were fortunate enough to see Let’s Kill Hitler this week, and in advance of our full review of the episode I wanted to give you some encouragement. In my own humble (but regularly read) opinion, A Good Man Goes to War was built up to be a massive mid-season conclusion with a “game-changing cliffhanger” that delivered long after the ship had already sailed. For me, ending the first half of the series (and what the hell is it with “Series 6.5″? It’s clearly Series 6 Part 2!) with that episode was a mistake, with a much more astonishing and truly game-changing cliffhanger clearly being the discovery that Amy was a Ganger.
But of course, you can see the logic – the Doctor left his friends behind to go on a quest to find Melody Pond. If he knew what we knew then he might have started with a particularly memorable year such as 1969, but of course the Time Lord knows something about this girl’s purpose, and the woman that she will become.
Hence the moody TARDIS-based prologue on the BBC website recently. He doesn’t know what to do.
Let’s Kill Hitler brings something new to the table, energy that has been missing from the past few episodes and it is this that should really make you sit up and pay attention when the opening credits roll on Saturday evening. If you’re worried about the title, don’t be – as you might have guessed, it’s a piece of dialogue and is delivered with such remarkable style that the red-blooded males among you might just find your pulses racing.
Yes, the episode is bonkers, but it’s that typical Steven Moffat kind of bonkers. It’s also largely bereft of any of the typical Moffat tropes such as nanogenes and gateways to the past, although there is an interesting timey-wimey element that will leave fans chuckling. The big crowd-pleasing moments from the trailer (Rory decking Hitler, for instance, or the TARDIS crash land) are more than just window dressing – they’re key to the story, and as such they sit perfectly with the rest of the adventure.
As for the eponymous man himself – well, that would be telling. Suffice to say that the Fuhrer plays an important part in the story, and history isn’t changed too dramatically (or not so we would notice by the end of the episode).
All in all, Let’s Kill Hitler is a rip-roaring restart to the series in many ways. Questions are answered, but more are raised. We still don’t know how the Doctor will escape his fate in The Impossible Astronaut (although the options are opening up with each story) but we do learn a lot.
Oh and there’s a glimpse of a few old friends, too…