Let's Kill Hitler was the eighth episode in the sixth series of Doctor Who and the first episode in the Autumn half. In the same vein as A Good Man Goes to War, it revealed much about River Song's origins.
In the desperate search for Melody Pond, the TARDIS crashes in 1930s Berlin, bringing the Doctor face to face with the greatest war criminal in the Universe. And Hitler. The Doctor must teach his adversaries that time travel has responsibilities – and in so doing, learns a harsh lesson in the cruelest warfare of all.
PlotAmy and Rory drive through a corn field with Amy giving directions badly. They stop when they see the Doctor standing by the TARDIS. He shows them a paper with a front-page story about the crop circle that spells out "Doctor" they have just created because he has not been answering his phone. Rory spots a line in the message they did not create. It was made by a stolen Corvette that nearly runs over the Doctor. Amy and Rory's previously unseen friend Mels steps out. She knows about the TARDIS and the Doctor because she grew up with Amy's stories about him. She is about to be arrested, so she points a gun at the Doctor and orders him to take her to kill Hitler.
Flashback: young Amelia Pond and young Mels are talking of the Doctor when young Rory walks in because he has been abandoned in a game of hide-and-seek. Mels is a troublemaker in school. She gets in more trouble than anyone other than boys. She insults teachers, continually references the Doctor, and steals a bus. Back in the TARDIS, Mels shoots the console and the TARDIS spins madly out of control.
In 1938 Berlin, a janitor watches a Nazi general. The scene cuts to a futuristic control room. The crew discuss copying the general. The janitor walks into the general's office. In the control room, a woman complains about skin tones; 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 being allowed to pass, she looks through a viewport, 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 general's double and beams him aboard with a miniaturisation ray. He is killed by the ship's "antibodies". The ship approaches Adolf Hitler to punish him for his myriad war crimes. Just as it paralyzes him with an beam, a crewman realizes that they have travelled to 1938 and that it is "too early" in Hitler's time stream.Before that is explained, the TARDIS crashes into Hitler's office, knocking the Teselecta over. The TARDIS occupants stagger out in a cloud of smoke caused by Mels having shot up the TARDIS. They realise whom they have saved. Hitler thanks them 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!" A panicky Hitler shoots at Teselecta. Rory punches Hitler and puts him in a cupboard on the Doctor's orders. Hitler has shot Mels, who reveals herself as Melody Pond and regenerates into River Song. The Teselecta scans the TARDIS. Here is the most infamous malefactor in history, whose crimes dwarf Hitler's: Melody Pond.
Melody tries to kill the Doctor several ways, but he thwarts her. She kisses him and jumps out a window after revealing that she has poisoned the Doctor with her lipstick and is going shopping for clothes. The dying Doctor orders Amy and Rory to catch her. The pair watch her knock out some Nazis with her regenerative energy, steal their guns and flee on a motorbike.
Amy and Rory follow on a second motorbike, and the Teselecta on a third. The Doctor reels into the TARDIS. He activates the voice interface, which takes the form of a hologram of the Doctor. He asks for someone he likes instead. It offers images of Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, and Donna Noble, all of whom induce wails of guilt. It finally settles on the young Amelia Pond. The Doctor tries to get "Amelia" to help him gather his strength but the voice interface keeps reminding him it is not Amelia Pond, but a hologram. He collapses, still begging her for help. He hears "Fish fingers and custard," and drags himself to the console to confront the Teselecta.
Melody steals all the clothes at machinegunpoint from restaurant diners and works on her ensemble. Amy and Rory arrive outside the restaurant, followed by the Teselecta, now disguised as Amy. Inside, Melody is trying on outfits when Teselecta-Amy walks in and accuses her of killing the Doctor.
Amy and Rory awake inside the Teselecta, where the antibodies try to kill them. One of the crew saves them. The Doctor arrives at the restaurant in evening clothes. The Teselecta crew explain that as a form of temporal justice, they travel to war criminals near the ends of their lives, and "give them hell", agonizing pain, while the timeline continues. Pursuing this mission, the ship captures Melody and tortures her. The Doctor orders it to stop. Melody is frozen in place. The Doctor asks the Teselecta who wants him dead so badly. Amy persuades them to give him what he wants. The Teselecta tells the Doctor that the Silence are behind the plot to kill him; they are not a species but a religious cult that believe "silence will fall" when the Oldest Question in the universe is asked. It does not know what that Question is.
The Teselecta resumes torturing Melody, until Amy uses the sonic screwdriver to turn off the crew's security clearance devices. The antibodies attack them and they teleport to safety. The dying Doctor begs Melody to save her parents from death. The TARDIS materializes around them. Melody has flown the TARDIS, which taught her how. The trio run to the Doctor but he says there is no way for him to survive and 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 River Song and it shifts into her. Having learned that she is the Doctor's "beloved friend", Melody asks her parents if the Doctor "is worth it". They don't understand her question, but agree that he is. Melody gives her remaining regenerations to the Doctor, almost killing herself once and for all in the process.
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory leave Melody in the best hospital in the universe to recover, knowing she must find her own way back to them. The Doctor says he downloaded some "boring information" from the Teselecta: he has discovered the day of his death. Some time later, after recovering from her ordeal, River/Melody applies for a degree in Archeology at the Luna University two years before the Battle of Demons Run.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Melody Pond (River Song) - Alex Kingston
- Melody Pond (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 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.
- Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble all appear as projections for the TARDIS voice interface to use, after the Doctor rejects a projection of himself and asks for "someone he likes." He rejects all three projections on the basis of increasingly strong feelings of guilt.
- Rory complains "I have this sort of banging in my head" in the same fashion as The Master in the human form of Professor Yana.
- Rory's penchant for surprising heroics continues in this episode. He punches Adolf Hitler and the disguised Teselecta, rides a motorbike without training and discerns the effects of the miniaturization ray without the Doctor's assistance.
- The temporal grace in the TARDIS, which supposedly prevents weapons fire, is said by the Doctor to be a "clever lie".
- This is the first episode of the Autumn half of the series. The Spring half concluded on the 4th June with A Good Man Goes to War.
- This is the second time in the Eleventh Doctor era 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 shown are publicity images from Series 4. The projection 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).
- The layout of the Teselecta's bridge is deliberately reminiscent of that of the Enterprise and other Federation starships from the television series Star Trek.
- Melody poisons the Doctor with extracts of the Judas tree by kissing him. The tree is likely named after Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ by kissing him.
- The TARDIS's voice interface tells the Doctor that he will be dead in 32 minutes. Coincidentally in-universe, but likely intentionally in the real world, 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 hand gun that Mels pulls out is an IMI Desert Eagle.
- The Teselecta mentions having transformed into Rasputin. Tom Baker played Rasputin in the movie Nicholas and Alexandra.
- UK Overnight: 6.2 million
- UK Final: 8.1 million
- The Daily Mirror reported that Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble will appear in this episode. This was half true as images of all three of them appeared but these were avatars for a TARDIS interface, rather than the characters themselves.
- Swansea, Wales.
- 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 in where Mels drives through the word Doctor.
- Hitler shoots Mel in the stomach, but there is no blood or puncture hole on her dress.
- When Rory asks "How can they just disappear?" two antibodies appear, but in the next shot there are three.
- When the poisoned Doctor is sat in the TARDIS he has one of his arms up on the bannister, in the next shot he has it by his side. It is possible he moved it when the camera shifted towards the hologram of Amelia Pond.
- Images of Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Temple-Noble are seen. (DW: Rose, The Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones) The Doctor feels guilty for what he did to Rose, feels "more guilt" for what he did to Martha and "even more guilt" over Donna. As given, the "more guilt" phrases can read as either comparitive (each image provides a stronger feeling of guilt that the one before) or additive (each image provokes guilt, but it could be more, the same, or less than the image before).
- The Doctor mentions "the Vampires in Venice". (DW: The Vampires of Venice)
- The Doctor speaks about River at Demons Run. (DW: A Good Man Goes to War)
- Rory punches two people in the face to knock them on to the ground. Rory previously did this to the Doctor. (DW: The Big Bang)
- River begins studying archaeology. (DW: Silence in the Library)
- The TARDIS's projection of Amelia mentions fish fingers and custard. (DW: The Eleventh Hour)
- Melody mentions regenerating into the toddler form of Mels in New York. (DW: Day of the Moon)
- The Doctor switches Melody's gun for a banana, similar to what he did to Jack Harkness in The Doctor Dances.
- River reveals she learned how to pilot the TARDIS from the TARDIS herself. (DW: The Time of Angels)
- The Doctor tells Melody "Rule one: The Doctor lies." (DW: The Big Bang) One of the first things the Doctor hears River say is "I'm always lying." (DW: Silence in the Library)
- River's diary (DW: 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), 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. The possibility of transfering future regenerations from one regeneration-capable individual to another has been presented before. (DW: Mawdryn Undead, Doctor Who (1996), The Ultimate Foe)
- River has previously used a type of lipstick to her advantage. (DW: The Time of Angels, The Big Bang) This time, however, she uses a poisonous version.
- River was able to completely recover after being shot several times by German soldiers. This was due to her still being within the first 15 hours of her regeneration. The Tenth Doctor recovered from a severed hand while fighting a Sycorax in a similar circumstance. (DW: The Christmas Invasion)
- When first detecting that there are life forms inside the Teselecta, the Doctor wonders if it is bigger on the inside.
- When the Doctor discovered that the miniaturized people stay small with a Compression field he warns them to "Watch what you eat", referring to the Slitheen. (DW: Aliens of London).
- The TARDIS was previously able to materialise inside a smaller object containing miniaturised life forms in a compression field. (DW: Carnival of Monsters)
- Mels says "See you later, Time Boy" during a flashback. Donna Noble called the Doctor "Time Boy". (DW: Journey's End)
- The Doctor says "Spoilers" when Melody asked who River was, a word frequently used by River herself. (DW: Silence in the Library, et al)
- Melody Pond says, "Hello Benjamin" to the Doctor. The Doctor previously claimed Scotland Yard's code name for her was Mrs Robinson. (DW: The Impossible Astronaut) Both are a reference to the movie The Graduate where a younger man, Benjamin is seduced by an older woman, Mrs Robinson.
For the Doctor, Amy and Rory
For Melody/River Song
Home video releasesThis episode will be released on DVD and Blu-ray shortly after the airing of episode thirteen.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Series 6 DVD Releases. Doctor Who TV (February 12th, 2011). Retrieved on 28th August 2011.