Review: Doctor Who – 6×8 – Let’s Kill Hitler

Let's Kill Hitler

In the UK: Saturday 27th August, 7.10pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday 27th August, 9pm/8c ET/PT, BBC America

Can’t quite muster up the enthusiasm for a full review, so this is largely a placeholder so you can add your own thoughts and comments, as well as links to your own reviews.

On the whole, though, I liked it. It was all over the place and full of colossal amounts of Rusty-grade hand-waving. I’m not sure having River Song end up dedicating her life (twice, making this the third time) to a man was a positive role model thing. And I’m not sure where they’re going with Rory – he doesn’t work as an action hero and the constant spodness with which they offset any steps forward in growing a spine is getting to the “Ha, ha, look at the special kid” level of mocking.

But it was funny, had pathos and explained all manner of plot points. Matt Smith was excellent, the pre-credit sequence was fantastic, as were the constant anti-Scottish jokes. The numb-skulls were an odd idea but I’m sure they worked for kids. Tears were jerked, expectations exceeded, etc, etc, and it was all good enough that we could ignore the fact most of it was talking in a room and Hitler wasn’t actually in it much.

But what did you think?




  • Chris

    Hmmm, the only good thing about it was the title. It was on the whole, too much all over the place. Felt like a weak start to the second half…

  • Chris

    Hmmm, the only good thing about it was the title. It was on the whole, too much all over the place. Felt like a weak start to the second half…

  • I loved it. I felt some of that swashbuckling sweep that I used to love coming from Tennant/RTD in series 2,3,4.
    I miss that most of all. Moffat creates very clever puzzles but he doesn’t make you care in the same way Rusty did.
    I realize I’m an outlier in the spectrum of fandom.

  • “I felt some of that swashbuckling sweep that I used to love coming from Tennant/RTD in series 2,3,4. I miss that most of all. Moffat creates very clever puzzles but he doesn’t make you care in the same way Rusty did. ”
    Wish I’d said that. Yes, that basically.

  • TemplarJ

    ‘Shut up Hitler!’.
    Hugely entertaining, it genuinely is the one programme that my whole family will watch and enjoy, and much as I love Dexter it’s never quite managed that. As such, I find a lot of the on-line moaning very hard to fathom.
    The only criticism I will make is that is often painfully obvious that River Song is always written by a male author.

  • I think he does make us care. In a different way perhaps, but it’s certainly less mawkish than some of his work. But I think RTD’s emotional content came from a more visual angle whereas Moffat’s is more poetic and nostalgic. Kieslowski’s name’s just popped into my head.

  • Thank you Rob.

  • Ooh, excellent point. You know who I would love to see consult on River’s dialog? Carrie Fisher.
    Yes, Carrie Fisher, she writes great big snarky flourishy women with issues who find humor in the world, and certainly River needs to have a sense of humor about her predicament.

  • SK

    So if River Song is the child of the TARDIS, and the TARDIS is the Doctor’s wife, does that mean he keeps snogging his step-daughter?

  • Well I loved it. And I disagree Rob with you about RTD making you care and SM not, I think SM is subtler that’s all. I thought the moment that River came round and Amy tells her she’s used up all her regenerations was very touching I also thought it was a clever way of getting out of the Doctor seeming pervy, as it appears that Mels has never met him before, so therefore he didn’t know her as a child. Am also unconvinced that River has totally been won over yet, and may well still have another crack at the Doctor.
    I like Rory too. I enjoy him being daffy and then semi heroic. And I thought there was a lot of fun to be had in this episode, even if it didn’t have that much to do with Hitler. I did like the Put Hitler in the cupboard line too…

  • “And I disagree Rob with you about RTD making you care and SM not, I think SM is subtler that’s all. ”
    I have a simple litmus test on this:
    1) Did I care about the Doctor and his companions during Rusty’s tenure?
    Yes. Well not Freema, but you can’t have everything.
    2) Did I care about the Doctor and his companions during Stevie’s tenure?
    No. Not since the first episode.

  • SK

    The companions during the Davies era were Rose, who was emotionally empathisable-with, Martha, who as you say wasn’t much, and Donna, who was Catherine Tate, who was as that suggests unwatchable. So he managed to really make one care about one companion at least (and might have been able to do two had it not been for casting).
    Now, I find the characters now more interesting to watch (well, up until Let’s Kill Hitler I did: I haven’t decided yet whether, what with growing up alongside their superpowered regenerating daughter, they have crossed the Fitz Line*) than Rose, even if I care less on an empathic level.
    When the Doctor leaves Rose holding the lever in The Parting of the Ways, I cared about Rose. I felt the impact of the Doctor’s well-intentioned betrayal. If the Doctor did a similar thing to Amy, I would care a lot less, but I would somehow be more interested intellectually to see how she’d respond.
    It’s already a cliché to say that Davies is a more ‘gut’ writer and Moffat more cerebral, but I think in a lot of ways it is actually true.
    * The Fitz Line: the point where a character has had so much weird stuff happen to them that they stop being even remotely** able to be considered as a character, rather than as a collection of traits and transformations. Experts still debate exactly when the eponymous Kreiner crossed the Line, but there is no doubt that by the end he was well over it.
    ** See what I did there?

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