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Doctor Who XXXII.8: Let's Kill Hitler

August 27th, 2011 (11:56 pm)

No review here, as I will be guest reviewing both 'A Good Man Goes to War' and 'Let's Kill Hitler' at This Way Up, but I thought it was great fun, with a lot still to be worked out - two gigantic games of bluff seem to be being played in two characters' personal lives - if very, very frothy. Still, where else would one get the old Beezer comic strip, 'The Numskulls', very knowingly crossed with the Terminator franchise? That's also one of the regeneration questions sorted out, perhaps - or perhaps not. There was a bit of toying with Nazi chic, but it seems that the Doctor can only deal with one monster at a time.

More detail in a few days, elsewhere. Everyone with whom I watched seemed to enjoy it, though, which was a good thing.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/446666.html.

Comments

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: August 27th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)

I enjoyed it very much. I was watching with my uncle (who watches regularly, but abroad) and he enjoyed it too, despite initial reservations about "silliness" (it seems I like my Who funnier than he does).

where else would one get the old Beezer comic strip, 'The Numskulls',

Thank you for this! I knew the robot scenes seemed familiar, but couldn't think where from.

Incidentally, wasn't the 'falling squares' effect used for changing the form of the robot (can't remember the pseudoscience terms!) used for BBC trailers a few years ago (plugging the BBC as a whole, not specific programmes)? I don't know if a point can be made about deliberate televisuality or 'BBC-ness'.

Looking forward to the longer review.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 27th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)

You're right about the teselecta transformation effect! I'd forgotten that, but it ties in with Matt Hills's review for the Doctor Who News Page, where he comments that the crew of the robot are a Star Trek crew as TV production team... So perhaps the robot is a metaphor for the BBC!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: August 28th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)

So perhaps the robot is a metaphor for the BBC!

Then what does it say that they got so much wrong - trying to 'kill' both Hitler and River Song too early? Not to mention the woman who forgot proceedure and was nearly killed by the antibodies.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 28th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)

Well, Mark Gatiss has gone public on his dislike for the move to Salford... perhaps this is Moffat's way of showing us what he thinks!

Posted by: gwydion_writes (gwydion_writes)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)

Good fun! Though had little to do with Hitler( I think!) unless Song is essentially a modern day Hitler( trying to kill the doctor) and worth redemption ( I hope). Was rather convenient to get rid of her regenerations. This was a rather more lengthy near death experience for the doctor which may make viewers believe a little more in the possibility of his "real" death in the future though. Both R and I felt Amy would be a lot more torn up about not being able to raise her child on a deep instinctual level though she didn't fully experience the psychological impact of a 9 month pregnancy( I think?)

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

Though had little to do with Hitler

My pet theory is that the writers were told to "do" Hitler, and this was their response. If so, three cheers to them :-)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)

Steven is the boss as far as writing goes, and decided to do Hitler himself, I imagine!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)

I think that we were meant to use our familiarity with Hitler's crimes to accustom ourselves to the person Melody Pond has been trained to be; I'd have liked a line along the lines of 'I can only deal with one monster at a time' when Hitler is put in the cupboard, though... I agree entirely that Amy and Rory would have been more engaged with the issue of not being able to raise their child - having Mels as a best friend doesn't work in the same way.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Liz & Pertwee

I think that we were meant to use our familiarity with Hitler's crimes to accustom ourselves to the person Melody Pond has been trained to be.

I hope not. The parallel does not work and would cheapen both.
I still kind of trust Moffat to be above dragging the Nazis in as cheap monsters. And I hope the broom cupboard somewhat supports that theory...

Steven is the boss as far as writing goes, and decided to do Hitler himself, I imagine!
(Sorry for hijacking your space up there.)

It just looks so much like a mickey-take on the Nazi-genre that I wonder whether he was reacting to *some*thing - maybe peer-pressure, repeated mentions in conversation, or somesuch, rather than a directive.
Or maybe he just had a desire to send up the premise on principle - I wouldn't blame him.

Do I now need a German user-pic?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)

I don't think the parallel necessarily cheapens Hitler or his victims, or Melody-River and Amy. It does show how the Teselecta's crew work, though.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)

The parallel works better for the Teselecta, yes, but not all that well either. The crew are still targetting specific individuals, not populations wholesale. I don't think Hitler's crimes really come into it.

His presence - and then absence - and his unimportance to the plot still seems to me to work better as a commentary on modern perceptions of history, rather than a reference to the history itself.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 29th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)

I think that's a valid point about modern perceptions of history; and I think the Teselecta parallel was intended though it doesn't quite work, as you say.