a real world point of view
|Let's Kill Hitler|
|Companion(s):||Amy, Rory, River|
|Main enemy:||Teselecta Antibodies|
|Main setting:||Berlin, 1938|
|Premiere broadcast:||27 August 2011|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x 50 minute episode|
|Confidential:||River Runs Wild|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|A Good Man Goes to War||Night Terrors|
|Closing Time||The Wedding of River Song|
Let's Kill Hitler was the eighth episode in the sixth series of Doctor Who and the first episode in the autumn half. It was, in a sense, the second episode of a two-part story, preceded by A Good Man Goes to War. Much like A Good Man Goes to War, it revealed much about River Song's origins, also dealing with Amy and Rory's childhood and how they became a couple. Additionally, it explained why the Silence had been trying to kill the Doctor.
Hijacked at gunpoint, the TARDIS crash-lands in 1930s Berlin. The Doctor comes face to face with the greatest war criminal in all of history - and Hitler. To save the life of one dear to him, the Doctor must teach his adversaries that time travel has responsibilities -- and learns a hard lesson in the cruellest warfare of all.
Plot EditRory drives through a corn field as Amy gives directions badly. Stopping their car, they find the Doctor standing by his TARDIS. He holds a newspaper with a photo of the crop circle reading "Doctor" they have just made, commenting "Seriously?" Amy asks if he has found Melody over the summer. Rory examines the picture. There is a line in the message that they didn't make.
They dodge out of the way as a Corvette almost runs them over. Out steps Amy and Rory's best friend, Mels, who flirts with the Doctor and fondles the TARDIS. With police sirens prophecying her arrest for car theft, she points a gun at the Doctor and demands he take her to kill Hitler.
Flashback: Mels is a childhood friend of Amy and Rory and a troublemaker at school. She gets in more trouble than anyone except boys, insults teachers, continually references the Doctor, steals buses and points out to Amy and Rory that they're in love. Back in the present, the TARDIS flies wildly because Mels has shot the time rotor.
In 1938 Berlin, a janitor watches a Nazi officer. In a futuristic control room, the crew discuss copying the officer as the janitor follows him. In the control room, a woman complains that the last time they relied on the computer, it "made Rasputin green". She goes to 'the top level', where an electronic voice politely threatens her after a device on her wrist shuts off. She looks through a view port, which is the eye of the janitor, actually a highly advanced ship, the Teselecta. She relays colour codes to the control room. The janitor becomes the officer's double and beams him aboard with a miniaturisation ray. Learning the officer's identity, the crew leave him to the antibodies. They threaten the officer politely and kill him.
The Teselecta enters Adolf Hitler's office while the captain complains about the shock-absorbers malfunctioning. Hitler asks why his officer has entered without permission. The Teselecta activates "justice mode" and paralyzes him with a beam of light from its mouth. However, one of the crew says they arrived too early in his timeline just before the TARDIS crashes through a window and knocks over the Teselecta.
The TARDIS occupants stagger out in a cloud of smoke caused by Mels' havoc. Hitler thanks the dumbfounded travellers for saving him and asks what the TARDIS is. The Doctor advances on him, saying it's a police box and "The British are coming!" The Teselecta picks itself up and a panicky Hitler fires at it. Rory punches out Hitler and takes his gun.
The Doctor and Amy help up the Teselecta. Rory shoves Hitler in the cupboard while the Teselecta goes into observation mode - "fainting". Mels staggers forward. She calls Hitler a lousy shot and collapses; she was hit by a bullet. Rory tries to help her and the Doctor tries keeping her conscious by talking to her. Mels says she wanted to marry the Doctor and he promises to ask her parents when they fix her up. Mels says they're right there and begins to glow.
The Doctor asks Mels her name. She says it is Melody. Amy says she named her daughter after her, but the Doctor explains, "You named your daughter after your daughter". Mels begins regenerating with a scream.
The crew of the Teselecta look in bewilderment at a criminal whose crimes dwarf Hitler's: Melody Pond. Melody ends her regeneration in her River Song incarnation. She wanders, babbling madly about her new look and goes off to weigh herself.
The three time travellers talk. This is River Song right at the beginning. She doesn't even know her name yet. Melody asks who River is, but the Doctor refuses to tell her. She pulls out a gun, "getting back to business", points it at the Doctor and pulls the trigger.
Two guns, a knife, a banana and an explanation that the Silence tailored Melody as the Doctor's "own bespoke psychopath" later, Melody kisses him with poisoned lipstick and jumps out a window to go shopping. The Doctor gives Amy his sonic screwdriver and tells her to find Melody. Dying, he reels into the TARDIS.
Outside, Melody enrages soldiers into shooting her. However, she is within the first fifteen hours of her regeneration; she produces a shock wave that heals her and knocks out the guards. She steals a motorcycle. Amy and Rory steal another and follow her.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor turns on the voice interface as a hologram of himself. He asks for someone he likes. It offers images of Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble, all of whom induce wails of guilt. It offers young Amelia Pond, who tells the Doctor that the poison comes from the Judas tree and prevents regeneration. The Doctor tries to get "Amelia" to help him gather his strength. It insists it is not Amelia, but a hologram. He collapses, whimpering for help, then hears "Fish fingers and custard" and drags himself to the console to confront the Teselecta.
Elsewhere, Melody enters a restaurant and orders the patrons at gunpoint to take off their clothes. Outside, Amy and Rory wonder where she is. They see the screaming restaurant patrons run out in their undergarments and the Teselecta, now in Amy's form, arriving.Melody is working on her ensemble when Amy -- actually the Teselecta -- runs in. Amy and Rory wake up where the Nazi officer did. They are threatened politely by the antibodies until a crew member gives wrist devices to ward them. They are taken to the bridge, where they are told that their memories of these events will be erased later.
Outside, the Teselecta informs Melody that she killed the Doctor on behalf of the Silence. Melody really doesn't know. Her past is all a blur. It captures Melody as it did Hitler. The Doctor arrives in evening clothes. He asks whom she killed. He uses a sonic cane to scan the Teselecta and learns Amy and Rory are inside it.
Melody tries to flee, but is recaptured. The Doctor demands they leave her alone and asks who they are. The Teselecta explains that as a form of justice, they visit unpunished criminals at the ends of their lives and "give them hell", agonising pain, while the timeline continues. The Doctor asks who wants him dead and Amy persuades the captain to tell him. It says the Silence are behind the plot to kill him. They are a religious cult who believe "silence will fall" when the oldest question in the Universe is asked. It does not know what the question is. The Teselecta resumes torturing Melody.
The Doctor tells Amy to save her daughter. She uses the sonic screwdriver to turn off the crew's security clearances. The antibodies attack them and they teleport to safety. Amy uses a microphone to ask the Doctor for help. The antibodies are politely threatening Rory and her again. The Doctor, struggles against his painful death. He crawls towards the TARDIS, shocking Melody that he still cares. The Doctor asks for her help, calling her River. Melody jealously demands to know who River is.
Inside the Teselecta, Amy and Rory are cornered by the antibodies. They accept their doom. Suddenly,the TARDIS materialises around them. They begin to thank the Doctor. Instead, they find a shaken Melody at the console, saying she flew the TARDIS. It taught her how.
They go to the Doctor, but he says there is no way for him to survive. He asks to speak to Melody. He asks her to find River Song, whispers something in her ear and dies. Melody asks who "River Song" is. Amy orders the Teselecta to show them. It shifts into the form of Melody's current incarnation.
Melody learned that she is River Song. Amy and Rory ask Melody what the Doctor whispered in her ear. She does not answer this, but asks her parents if the Doctor is "worth it". They don't understand her question, but agree he is. Melody kisses the Doctor and gives up all her incarnations to save him.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- River Song - Alex Kingston
- Mels - Nina Toussaint-White
- Adolf Hitler - Albert Welling
- Amelia Pond - Caitlin Blackwood
- Young Mels - Maya Glace-Green
- Young Rory - Ezekiel Wigglesworth
- Zimmerman - Philip Rham
- Carter - Richard Dillane
- Anita - Amy Cudden
- Jim - Davood Ghadami
- Harriet - Ella Kenion
- German Officer - Mark Killeen
- Professor Candy - Paul Bentley
- Nurse - Eva Alexander
- Female Teacher - Tor Clark
|Executive Producers Piers Wenger, Beth Willis and Steven Moffat|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor covertly switches a gun for a banana, leading River Song to pull the banana on him. The Ninth Doctor previously did this to Jack Harkness.
- The Doctor adds to his rules:
- Rule 1: The Doctor lies.
- Rule 7: Never run when you are scared.
- Rule 27: Never knowingly be serious.
- Rule 408: Time is not the boss of you.
The Doctor's items Edit
Companions of the Doctor Edit
- Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble all appear as holograms of the TARDIS voice interface after the Doctor rejects a projection of himself and asks for "someone he likes." He rejects these projections because of increasingly strong feelings of "guilt", "also guilt" and "more guilt". Finally, the TARDIS settles on an image of the child Amelia Pond.
Foods and beverages Edit
- The temporal grace in the TARDIS, which supposedly prevents weapons fire, is said by the Doctor to be a "clever lie".
Story notes Edit
- A week and a day before this episode was broadcast in the US and two days before it was boradcast in the UK, the Torchwood episode Immortal Sins was broadcast. In it, a brain parasite attempted to rewrite history by enabling the Third Reich to win the Second World War.
- This is the first episode of the autumn half of the series. The spring half concluded on 4 June with A Good Man Goes to War.
- This is the second time that companions of the previous two Doctors have been mentioned or seen in a proper episode since The End of Time; Rose Tyler was previously seen (briefly) in The Lodger.
- The images of all the former companions are taken from publicity shots. The projections of Rose and Donna are publicity images from Series 4. That of Martha is from a publicity image for Series 3.
- The Doctor makes the "Doctor Who?" running joke.
- The car Mels steals is a Chevrolet Corvette, third generation (68-82). It is the same model of car featured in the film Apollo 13 and the mini-series From the Earth to the Moon.
- The layout of the Teselecta's bridge is reminiscent of that of the Enterprise and other Federation starships from the television series Star Trek.
- The TARDIS's voice interface tells the Doctor he will be dead in thirty-two minutes. Coincidentally in-universe, the invitation the future Doctor sent out to everyone in The Impossible Astronaut, to meet at Lake Silencio for the Doctor's death, was for 4:30pm and according to the biographical information the Doctor is shot during regeneration and killed at 5:02pm.
- The "thirty-two minutes" line may also be a more complicated reference to the series as a whole. Series 6 is actually the thirty-second season of Doctor Who, if the classic series is included. Additionally, one meaning of the word "minutes" is "an official record of the proceedings of a meeting". Therefore, the statement "You will be dead in thirty-two minutes" can also be interpreted to mean that at the conclusion of Season 32, the official record will show that the Doctor is dead.
- The hand gun that Mels pulls out is an IMI Jericho 941.
- Harriet mentions the Teselecta having transformed into Rasputin. Tom Baker played Rasputin in the movie Nicholas and Alexandra.
- In Mels' first scene in the episode, her face cannot be seen due to the sun's glare behind her. She moves her body to block the sun and her face is shown, much like the first scene of River in The Impossible Astronaut.
- Melody Pond says, "Hello Benjamin", to the Doctor. The Doctor previously claimed Scotland Yard's code name for her was Mrs Robinson. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) Both reference the movie The Graduate, in which a younger man, Benjamin, is seduced by an older woman, Mrs Robinson.
- In the Leadworth Chronicle, a story with the headline "BACK OF THE NECK" can be seen. This is a reference to the weakness of the Sontarans. (TV: The Poison Sky)
- An chest x-ray in River's hospital recovery room shows two hearts.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- UK Overnight: 6.2 million
- UK Final: 8.1 million
- The Daily Mirror reported that Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble would appear in this episode. This was partially true. Images of all three appeared but these were avatars for a TARDIS interface, rather than the characters themselves. All images used were promotional images.
- Some people believe that when River resurrected the Doctor, he absorbed all of River Song's remaining regenerations. If this is true, as River only regenerated twice, the Doctor might now have twenty-two regenerations, instead of the standard twelve.
Filming locations Edit
- Swansea, Wales.
Production errors Edit
- When the Doctor and the TARDIS make their first appearance, they point right, towards Amy and Rory's car. However, when the camera zooms out, the Doctor and TARDIS are looking down, and not towards Amy and Rory. This also causes an error when Mels drives through the word Doctor.
- Hitler shoots Mel in the stomach, but there is no blood or puncture hole on her dress. She's can regenerate; the cells are probably already beginning to repair her, thus the cells have been repaired and the blood is gone because of this. The most likely reason is that kids are watching the show and showing a wound and blood would be too violent
- When Rory asks, "How can they just disappear?" two antibodies appear, but in the next shot there are three.
- When the poisoned Doctor is in the TARDIS he has one of his arms up on the bannister; in the next shot he has it by his side.
- When the Teselecta's shock absorbers are malfunctioning, the captains cup falls and can be heard smashing, however when the camera zooms out, there is no evidence of this.
- When the Teselecta is monitoring the Doctor's vital signs, the heart monitor shows a standard human pulse, when this should be doubled on account of his twin hearts.
- When River Song is fired upon by Wermacht soldiers, the soldiers are armed with MP40s. The story is set in 1933 and the MP40 was introduced in 1940. As well as this, when they are knocked down, they are armed with Karabiner 98ks which would be more appropriate for the era.
- During both times Mels/River shows her ability to regenerate, Amy does not understand or show knowledge of regeneration, despite being informed and witnessed a failed regeneration of the Doctor at Lake Sliencio in "The Impossible Astronaut." Yet, at the end, Amy shows knowledge of regeneration.
- The Doctor mentions "Vampires in Venice". (TV: The Vampires of Venice)
- The Doctor speaks about River at Demon's Run. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
- Rory punches two people in the jaw to knock them to the ground. Rory (as an Auton) previously did this to the Doctor. (TV: The Big Bang)
- River begins studying archaeology. (TV: Silence in the Library)
- The TARDIS's projection of Amelia mentions fish fingers and custard. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
- Melody mentions regenerating into the toddler form of Mels in New York. (TV: Day of the Moon)
- The Doctor switches Melody's gun for a banana, as he did to Jack Harkness in The Doctor Dances.
- River reveals she learned how to pilot the TARDIS from the TARDIS herself. (TV: The Time of Angels)
- The Doctor tells Melody, "Rule one: the Doctor lies." (TV: The Big Bang) One of the first things the Doctor hears River say is "I'm always lying." (TV: Silence in the Library)
- River's diary (TV: Silence in the Library) makes its first chronological appearance in this episode, a gift from the Doctor himself.
- The Teselecta data console states the Doctor's TARDIS is a Type 40 Mk 3 TT Capsule.
- The Teselecta crew mentions something in "Kennedy"'s timeline is not a fixed point in time. While this is probably a reference to the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy (an event witnessed by the Ninth Doctor (TV: Rose, and see also PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)), it could refer to the death of his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, or another event involving a member of the Kennedy family.
- It is mentioned twice that River uses her "remaining" regenerations to revive the Doctor, implying that she has a fixed amount. It is unclear whether the Doctor gained that many new regenerations or if he still has only two remaining. Transferring future regenerations from one regeneration-capable individual to another has been offered before. (TV: Mawdryn Undead, Doctor Who (1996), The Ultimate Foe)
- River has previously used a type of lipstick to her advantage. (TV: The Time of Angels, The Big Bang) This time, she uses a version made from the poison of a Judas tree. Captain John Hart previously used a similar poisonous lip gloss that caused paralysis, and if left untreated for longer than two hours, death. John claimed that he may have even learned about the poison lip gloss from Jack Harkness. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) River's parting words to The Doctor before jumping out the window were also, "Kiss, kiss!"
- River recovers completely after being shot several times by German soldiers; she is still within the first fifteen hours of her regeneration. The Tenth Doctor recovered from a severed hand while fighting a Sycorax under similar circumstances. (TV: The Christmas Invasion) Romana tried several forms after her first regeneration. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
- When first detecting there are life forms inside the Teselecta, the Doctor wonders if it is bigger on the inside.
- The TARDIS has materialised before inside a smaller object containing miniaturised life forms in a compression field. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)
- Mels says, "See you later, Time Boy" during a flashback. Donna Noble called the Doctor, "Time Boy". (TV: Journey's End)
- The Doctor says, "Spoilers", when Melody asked who River was, a word frequently used by River herself later in her timeline. (TV: Silence in the Library, et al)
- The Doctor previously said that "Time is not the boss of me." (TV: The Time of Angels)
- Amy had a picture of herself and (apparently) Mels on a table in her bedroom. (TV: Flesh and Stone)
- Teselecta Amy tells the Doctor that the Silence is not a species. The Slitheen said a similar thing to the Doctor. (TV: World War Three)
- The Fourth Doctor has previously asserted that someone he was leaving behind will be more than "fine." (TV: Warriors' Gate)
- The Eleventh Doctor changes his clothing in the midst of a long and painful death. The Tenth Doctor apparently did the same thing just before regenerating, changing into an undamaged version of his brown suit, along with a new tie, before dropping off Wilfred Mott. (TV: The End of Time)
- While lecturing Mels, Amy asks her, "Who steals a bus?!" Sarah Jane Smith and Lady Christina de Souza do. (TV: Invasion of the Bane, Planet of the Dead)
- The Doctor tells Rory to put Hitler in the cupboard. A similar exchange was once shared between Claire and George: "What do we do with things we don't like?" "We put them in the cupboard." (TV: Night Terrors)
- When asked by the Doctor about why he never met her at Amy's wedding, Mels replies "I don't do weddings". She attends the wedding as River Song (who apparently does do weddings) and leaves her blank diary for Amy. (TV:The Big Bang)
- The Ninth Doctor had previously been shown to anticipate and effectively neutralise assassination attempts against him by Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen. (TV: Boom Town)
- Amy states that the sonic screwdriver can be used by "pointing and thinking". The Tenth Doctor previously indicated that the Vashta Nerada could use Proper Dave's Neural relay by simply pointing and thinking. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
- Melody materialises the TARDIS around her parents, causing them to appear in the console room. The Ninth Doctor previously did this to Rose Tyler and a Dalek in (TV: The Parting of the Ways). The Doctor would go on to materialise the TARDIS around Amy and Rory (along with Rory's father Brian) again in (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship), although on this occasion he was not aware he had done so.
Motion comic scene Edit
The first BBC America broadcast of the episode includes an extra scene which aired during a commercial break. It was sponsored by AT&T. As written by Steven Moffat, it is an extension of the motorcycle chase sequence with Rory and Amy. It is presented in animation/motion comic format. Lasting sixty seconds and produced by Double Barrel Motion Labs, the scene was originally promoted as intended for inclusion in the Series 6 DVD/Blu-ray releases, but as of early November 2011, this has not happened. The ad/motion comic was only seen in America.
Home video releases Edit
- Let's Kill Hitler at The Locations Guide
- Detailed synopsis of Let's Kill Hitler at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- ↑ Mark Jefferies (17/08/2011). Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate all come back for cameo roles in Doctor Who. Daily Mirror. Retrieved on 28th August 2011.
- ↑ Doctor Who Motion Comic, SciFi FX, 26 August 2011, accessed 2nd November 2011
- ↑ AT&T to Help Tell Story of Doctor Who, Double Barrel Motion Labs webpage, accessed 2 November 2011