Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E08 – Let’s Kill Hitler

In the eighth episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who, the TARDIS picks up a new companion (sort of?) in Mel, a childhood friend of Rory and Amy who is obsessed with Amy’s stories of the Doctor. And then WHAT THE FUCK. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.


I’m going to divide this review into two sections once we get into it, but I wanted to open this with a thought: The spectacle of this show has never been greater. As you’ll see, that’s not always a good thing, and the execution of that spectacle isn’t always what it sets out to be. But I just so terribly excited every time this show is one, and I just love seeing River, Amy, Rory, and the Doctor on my screen. I adore these characters and the actors/actresses who play them. I love how weird “Let’s Kill Hitler” was, and I love that even those most serious episodes can still be wonderful funny. I just want to hang out with these people IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.

I’m still not sure how I ultimately feel about “Let’s Kill Hitler,” and I think more than ever that I’ll turn to the comments to discuss a lot of this with you. As I said, while I was watching it, I was doing my best not to analyze it too much. It was fun to be tricked by the title, to actually get answers, and to see Matt Smith give his best performance yet as the Doctor. But once I thought about the episode the day after it aired, I found that I had a lot of questions about what I’d witnessed. So, let’s try this to organize my thoughts!


  • COULD BABY RORY BE ANYMORE PERFECT? The glimpse into the past of Rory and Amy was executed so well, and the idea that Rory was always a bit of a unknowing pushover is so perfect for his characterization. It’s even better once you realize how much he’s changed since marrying Amy and traveling with the Doctor. He punched Hitler. Rory Pond punched Hitler.
  • In theory, the idea of titling this episode as “Let’s Kill Hitler” and then having it have virtually nothing to do with it is kind of genius. I say “kind of” because I do have a complaint about this.
  • The idea of Mel is fantastic, especially that Rory/Amy “raised” her the whole time as if they were her parents. Again, the idea of it is great, but the execution…well, we’ll get there.
  • Matt Smith’s acting. MATT SMITH’S ACTING.
  • Oh my god, Donna, Rose, and Martha in the TARDIS, and the acknowledgment of the guilt the Doctor feels for treating them as he did. :: DEAD ::
  • I love that both River and the Ponds have both defaced the property of others in ridiculous ways because the Doctor doesn’t answer his phone.
  • Ezekiel Wigglesworth. Benedict Cumberbatch, you’ve met your match.
  • As soon as Mel started to regenerate, I realized that this episode wasn’t going to be some weird one-off story, that it was uniquely tied to the larger mythology. With all the problems presented with this, I still can’t deny just how incredible this moment was. It was one of many brain-melting scenes, though! SO MANY OF THEM.
  • When Doctor Who is weird, I tend to love it. A robot that is operated by a band of miniaturized humans in order to act as a form of time-traveling justice? YES, PLEASE, FOREVER. Remember? I love time travel more than most things.
  • Awkward boner Doctor. I laughed so hard that I had to pause the episode. Just…oh my god, that was amazing.
  • I love the ongoing reference to fish fingers and custard, and it reminds me just how much I love Amy Pond and the Doctor being friends. Best friends at that.
  • THE DOCTOR IN A TUX!!! hhhhnnnnnnggggggggg
  • Back to Matt Smith’s acting, I saw bits of Nine and Ten in the way he was so physical in his movement throughout “Let’s Kill Hitler.” Eccleston made the Doctor seem spry and athletic, and Tennant’s Doctor was silly. Sometimes I think of Ten running around and it brightens my day because it always looks hilarious. Even the classic Doctors moved about in ways that seemed strange to us, and so I love that Matt is doing the same here.
  • FINALLY SOME ANSWERS. Yes, some of these answers pose some ridiculously complicated ideas about who River is, but I did enjoy that that this was such a huge continuation from “A Good Man Goes To War.” Seeing River Song’s story out of order is something that I am enamored by as a writer, and I like that Moffat is not afraid to be a bit confusing. (It seems every good point I have made has a negative counter to it. Hmmm.)
  • The reveal that the Silence are a RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. I LOVE IT. That means we still don’t know the name of the creatures we thought were the Silence, and that there are probably other beings part of that organization. Madame Kovarian?
  • The penny dropping scene. My heart exploded. One of the most touching scenes between Amy and Rory. Ugh, I just love them so much.
  • As strange as some as it was, it was great to see Alex Kingston get to play River Song in a completely different way than we were used to. That is exciting as a fan of this show.
  • I think I can see how divisive it would be for fans, but I personally liked the explanation of how River came to lose her regeneration powers. It’s kind of romantic and poetic.
  • The Doctor giving River the blue book. INCREDIBLE SCENE.


  • So….did Hitler ever get out of the cupboard? I know that it was meant as a red herring to title this episode this way, but….no, seriously. They left him in the cupboard and then the episode never dealt with the fact that Hitler saw the TARDIS. Usually there’s some clever device meant to explain this away, but I was kind of bothered that it was never acknowledged again.
  • How did River ever get from that alley where she regenerated in “The Day of the Moon” to inject herself into Amy and Rory’s life? That seems like a really strange thing to overlook, given that a lot of this episode served as a flashback to fill in to spaces of River’s story.
  • So how on earth is River the worst criminal in the whole universe? I am legitimately confused by this. I mean, seriously, saying this fictional character is worse than Hitler is already problematic as fuck, but what about The Doctor? Hasn’t he done worse? Why is killing the Doctor even worse?
  • I suppose this is more just wishful thinking, but I would have really loved to explore the character arc of River being a programmed assassin for more than a single episode. I mean…that was over quickly. Now I’m sort of thinking that maybe River will be done after this series. Why else would you rush this?
  • Okay, I’ve never had a child, let alone had one kidnapped, so I know this is perilous territory. I’ll admit that upfront. But Rory and Amy seem kind of…nonchalant about all this? Sure, they could be in shock, and sure, they know that their child already grows up to be River in the future, so it’s not like she’s been harmed, but it’s more like they lost a really good book and not their daughter the whole time. Oh, and then their daughter poisons the Doctor. It’s just all so AWKWARD.
  • I think it was weird to introduce Hitler and the idea of going back in time to kill him and then ignore that moral storyline. I suppose it was sort of dealt with when we found out what the Tessalecta was and the Doctor scoffed at the idea of time-traveling to punish people at the very end of their lives. I actually side with the Doctor on this one: you save no one by torturing a person right before they die. So why do it? For some perverted sense of justice? Still, I think that there should have at least been something to deal with this.
  • So how much of River’s life is influenced by the Doctor? So she became an archaeologist because the Doctor told her to? Or suggested to? I’m kind of confused about this. And what does it say about River as a person? Did she find her own way as the Doctor said at the end of the episode, or did he shape her?
  • All right, it’s kind of impossible to ignore, but Moffat has some written some great women characters and then he confuses me with the sexism that he wraps up in them. I mean, that line from the Doctor where he explains River by saying, “She’s a woman!” is not only ridiculous, but it makes no sense. What exactly was he trying to say with this? It’s getting irritating that this stuff is creeping so much into the stories. TAKE IT AWAY, MOFFAT. I don’t want any of this essentialist gender fuckery in my Doctor Who.
  • I don’t think this is a complaint, but how did the Doctor have a sonic cane if Amy had his sonic screwdriver? Am I just flimsy on Doctor Who details? Are there two sonics?

I think I liked “Let’s Kill Hitler,” problems and all, but I am also kind of exciting to move into what looks like a non-mythology episode. The story that Moffat is giving us over the course of series six is becoming increasingly complex and I really hope that by the end of this series, he can tie up the numerous loose ends and move on to something else. Still, this episode was a spectacle, sure, but how well does it hold together when examined under a magnifying glass? Not well, I must admit, but then some of my favorite episodes of the new series of Doctor Who have the exact same effect. I guess that sometimes, it comes with the territory.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Doctor Who and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

437 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S06E08 – Let’s Kill Hitler

  1. Karen says:

    The thing that really bothers me about Moffat as a writer is the lack of emotional realism in his characters, and this episode just highlighted that fact. It seems like Moffat became so concerned with giving River this super complicated timelime that he forgo t to have the characters react in a believable manner. Amy and Rory’s daughter was taken from them, and they were content to just chill in Leadworth for the summer while the Doctor looked for her? Do these people have real human emotions? Hm. Maybe the bit plot twist at episode 13 will be that Amy and Rory have actually been Autons this whole series. And like why does Amy say that the Doctor had "all summer"? She is aware that the Tardis can travel in time… right? So the Doctor COULD spend 50 years looking for Melody and then come back to Amy and Rory at that moment in time.

    On a similar note, how are Rory and Amy ok with the fact that they will never get to raise their daughter? Oh yes, they got to “raise” her… by being her peers as children. Ok. Sure. Whatever. I guess due to time loops or whatever, they can never get to raise her because she has to be raised by the crazy military cult so that she can kill the Doctor etc etc. Fuck, I hate these timey wimey stories. THEY ARE SO INFURIATING AND THEY FORCE THE CHARACTERS TO ACT LIKE ROBOTS INSTEAD OF REAL PEOPLE WITH ACTUAL EMOTIONS.

    Speaking of Moffat’s ~sparkling characters, I was not a fan of Mels. Mels reminded me of Lady Christina from Planet of the Dead. This is not a compliment. I felt like she was Strong Female Character-ing all over the place. She’s a ~bad girl~ who does what she wants and is brash and commits crimes for no real reason other than it’s fun blah blah blah/. This is not an archetype that I enjoy. Also, nice and convenient that Rory and Amy have never ever mentioned their BFF Mels before. The Mels reveal would have actually been more interesting if we’d seen her in The Eleventh Hour or The Big Bang or Amy’s Choice or if Amy mentioned her when she named her daughter after her. But nope. She just shows up and we’re supposed to be like “WHOA. RIVER WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME.”

    • Karen says:

      For me, this episode really confirmed that River’s life sucks. A LOT. As a baby she was taken from her parents by some sort of military cult where she was programmed to hate the Doctor and one day kill him. Then we see that she dies as a kid at the end of Day of the Moon and regenerates (and then somehow transports to 1980s Leadworth to be raised with her parents?). Then while in Leadworth she is completely obsessed with the Doctor. Then she gets killed by Hitler. She does what she was programmed to do (kill the Doctor). Yay! But oh, he might not be that bad after all. Oops? So then she gives up all her regenerations in order to save his life. So she goes off to live her own life for a while… except it turns out that becoming an archeologist is all about wanting to find the Doctor. At some point she kills “a good man” and gets sent to prison where she periodically gets let out of her cage to play with the Doctor, but then has to go back behind bars. Oh and while this is going on, the Doctor is growing ever more distant from her as he knows her less and less. Then one day he doesn’t even recognize her any more and she gives up her final life so that he will live. And she spends the rest of her eternity trapped in a computer babysitting some kids. THE END. River’s life sucks and from what we have seen so far, it’s all about the Doctor. She doesn’t seem to have much of a life of her own that isn’t completely defined by the Doctor. No me gusta. It’d be one thing if the text acknowledged that, but instead the Doctor is like “your life is going to be awesome!” Idk. I was never a huge fan of River, but from what I’ve observed, it seems that something that her fans really loved about her was that she seemed to be this independent adventure having person who sometimes met up with the Doctor, but now we find out that her entire life depends on and revolves around the Doctor.

      It kind of skeeves me out that River essentiallydies for the Doctor not once, but twice. I think that RTD explored this a bit in Journey’s End when Davros shows the Doctor all the people who have died for him AND HE FEELS BAD ABOUT IT. But this time, it’s just like nbd that River gives up all her regenerations for him, like he deserves it or something. Ugh. Idk. And I’ve talked with some people who point out that other companions of the Doctor (like Rose) WOULD have given up their life for the Doctor which might be true, but there’s a difference between that being a theoretically possibility and watching River give up her life (twice) in order to save the Doctor. Meh. I’m just not a fan of it.

      The other thing that bothers me about the whole River plotline is that it seems like Amy’s character development has been pushed to the side in favor of exploring the ~mystery of River Song. We really know nothing more about Amy than we did at the start of the series, and so far it seems that her most important role (other than remembering in The Big Bang) has been that she married Rory and gave birth to River.

      (As a side note, I still cannot get past the fact that River was a Time Lady just because she was conceived in the Tardis. The Doctor should start a Time Lord breeding program. Get willing couples to have sex in the Tardis and bam! A new generation of Time Lords!)

      • Karen says:

        So on to River in this episode. It’s nice and convenient that after who knows how many years of brainwashing to kill the Doctor, she gets over that in like 5 minutes and gives up her regenerations to save his life. This is what I mean when I say that Moffat is a piss poor character writer. His characters’ actions rarely make any real world sense. The point of sci-fi (for me) is to take characters that could exist in the real world and put them in these strange situations in order to explore them. But for Moffat it seems like the point of sci-fi is to create plots and shove them up their own ass until they cease to make sense or have any kind of real world relevance or emotional significance.

        One thing I’ve got to wonder. What was the point of using Hitler specifically? This IS science fiction. You can make up any fictional war criminal you want. Why use Hitler specifically when the atrocities he committed are so recent? There are people alive today who survived his camps and there are relatives of those who didn’t survive. And then you have the moment where the justice people decide that they need to stop the Hitler mission and go after River because she’s the bigger war criminal? Because her crime of killing the Doctor is worse than all of the things that Hitler did? Um.

        Can I take this moment to point out how much I hate Moffat’s sense of humor?"Excuse me, I need to go weigh myself.” REALLY? REALLY? And of course, River being a woman needs to ~go shopping~ right after she regenerates. And even though Amy rolled her eyes at Eleven’s “LOL WOMEN ARE SO FICKLE” joke, I just have to say that I really hate that apparently Moffat is trying to make the Doctor incredibly unlikable. It’s not funny or charming. It’s just gross.

        Moffat has this rare talent of putting together plots that are both obvious (like River being the Ponds daughter) and yet also needlessly complicated and hard to follow (like we are still waiting on figuring out why the Tardis was exploding in series 5). It’s frustrating and yet also doesn’t capture my interest.

        Things about this episode that I did like: Rory continues to be flaw free. Also, I like that when the Doctor told the Tardis to give him the image of someone he likes, she gave him Rose. MY DOCTOR/ROSE GOGGLES WERE FULLY ENGAGED AND HAPPY. But seriously, seeing Rose, Martha and Donna made me miss the RTD-era companions SO much. They were all such fully formed characters were discernible arcs and personalities and relationships outside of the Doctor. I MISS THAT.

        • barnswallowkate says:

          A++++++ would upvote again.

        • notemily says:

          I haven't actually seen the episode (or half of s6 so far) so I'm just spoiling myself all over the place because people are having such interesting discussions and I have to join in. Anyway, I just wanted to say that it sucks if the Doctor is becoming less likeable, because one of the things I loved about S5 is that it gave us a kinder, gentler Doctor than the arrogant and almost callous Doctor that Ten was in the end. And Matt Smith was really good at showing that side of the Doctor. Man. I really liked S5, but from what I'm hearing of S6 it sounds like it's going in directions I will not like.

          • Emily says:

            I personally still find him likeable, amusing, yes flawed, but still a great character. Different people different tastes I suppose.

          • Shiyiya says:

            The end of Ten: I hated the Time Lord Victorious SO MUCH. So overdone. Ugh, The Waters Of Mars.

        • Pseudonymph says:

          I agree very much with each of your comments. This season lost me awhile ago but my boyfriend still watches so I watch with him. I keep being disappointed. It seems that coherent plotting and character development has been exchanged for funny one-liners (which are often pretty funny, though of course not the sexist ones) and plot twists. There's not much left for me to engage with.

        • accioetoile says:

          You have said everything I want to say about this episode.

        • woot says:

          Question for you. Have you seen Moffat's other shows? He isn't a piss-poor character writer. The man knows character. You're missing subtle characterization.

          Don't be one of those "Rose or bust" people, please.

          • Karen says:

            More like RTD or bust (although I do love Rose). I've only seen Moffat's work on Who and I don't really care to see his other shows. But from his work on Who, I really think that his characters are pretty shallow and lack dimensions or believable reactions to the situations that they find themselves in. Rather, it feels like Moffat molds his characters in order to fit plots. To me it's pretty obvious the he prioritizes what he perceives to be clever plots over believable characters.

          • Shiyiya says:

            ….Doesn't Moffat write Coupling? That sitcom about people who…. have a lot of sex and one guy has a closet full of vdeos of everyone he's ever shagged? (I saw one episode in the middle of the night at a friend's house.)

            • woot says:

              Watch the whole series and come back to me about bad characterization. It'll click.

            • notemily says:

              That show is actually really funny. Like, entire episodes that are funny on their own but then have a punch-line at the end that ties the entire episode together and is incredibly hilarious.

              I think Mark might have it on his confirmed list at this point? So we'll see.

        • bee says:

          smart smart smart. the gender representation in this episode is pretty fucked up. I think River/Melody's focus on her appearance was used to reinforce her immaturity at this point in her life, but that totally operates under the assumption that 1) a woman must be focused on her appearance, and that 2) if a woman is focused on her appearance, it means that she is frivolous, immature and shallow, which is a huuuuge double-bind. And Alex Kingston's portrayal of River at this point in time is pretty much a frivolous, care-free rebellious teenager in the body of a (hot) middle-aged woman. The whole thing pisses me off a whole lot, though, because it ends up being lazy.

          but I do think Mels suffers from Sirius Black Syndrome, in which a crucial character's existence, however intertwined with that of the primary character(s), is not revealed until necessary.

          • PhsntPlkr says:

            To the best of my knowledge, "Mels" sprang up out of nowhere; Sirius was mentioned in the first chapter of the first book… Only Harry had never heard of the man before, and given that he had no contact with any of his parents' family (Dursleys excluded) or friends growing up makes his ignorance understandable. Are the two really comparable?

            I agree completely with the sentiment, however 😉

        • knut_knut says:

          I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING! Moffat seriously needs someone to edit is work because so far all I'm getting from Series 6 is Moffat going LOOK AT ME! SEE HOW AMAZING I AM? I BET YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING! I'M FANTASTIC!

          • notemily says:

            Ugh, sometimes I think this is the problem with most television writers–they get too full of themselves and think everything they do is amazing.

        • Shiyiya says:

          I want to know why the voice interface didn't frigging do IDRIS/SEXY. Yknow, the SCREAMINGLY OBVIOUS CHOICE. Just so the Doctor could hallucinate Amelia saying fish fingers and custard?

        • Karen I love you. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. To every last word.

          Growing up half-Jewish, my dad always countered my attempts to distance myself from that part of my heritage with, "Jewish enough for Hitler". My whole family is American, and no one we knew was sent to the camps, and I still grew up in the 80s with the specter of Hitler's violence over my childhood. So… yeah.

      • I was wondering about how River got from one place/era in Day of the Moon to another, but then I started wondering if she might have regenerated a few times in between and then I started wondering how old she might be and…yeah. Whole lot of wondering there that will probably never get an answer

      • jackiep says:

        Don't forget the little prequel bit. Where Amy was trying to phone the Doctor and her heart was breaking properly. However time does tend to numb grief somewhat. They obviously summoned the Doctor when the initial grief of losing their precious baby (albeit knowing that she grows up to be River) had worn off enough that they were able to think about ways to contact him.

        • Karen says:

          I didn't watch the prequel bit, and honestly, the episode should make sense and stand on its own. It shouldn't require that viewers watch a special online scene in order to make emotional sense of the story.

        • knut_knut says:

          I disagree. Even in the prequel Amy was unusually calm, cracking jokes. She DID sound like she was going to cry a couple of times, but it sounded like she had lost her cat or something, not her daughter.

    • masakochan says:

      . The Mels reveal would have actually been more interesting if we’d seen her in The Eleventh Hour or The Big Bang or Amy’s Choice or if Amy mentioned her when she named her daughter after her.

      Ah, but there's a chance that Mels didn't even exist in that universe (aside from River) considering that Amy and Rory never even got close to having a child in that previous universe, and we're just going through the whole principle of 'Time can be rewritten'. Which would explain why, since in this current universe- where Amy gave birth to Melody- Mels exists.

      But that's just why I think. *shrugs*

      • catryona says:

        That's exactly what I think! Well, the "time can be re-written" bit. My pet theory is that the Doctor's timeline is changing after the events of "The Impossible Astronaut" and that the reason we didn't see Mels at all in series five was because she wasn't there — but the change in the Doctor's timeline wound up affecting hers in some way so that she was able to find her parents and grow up with them. He might even have done something deliberately, 'cause if I remember correctly he was a bit dodgy about answering when Amy asked him if he'd found Melody.

    • @Kirby_TW says:

      This is only addressing a tiny part of what you were saying, but I don't know if Amy and Rory's detachment to the baby is actually a flaw of Moffats. I mean, under normal circumstances losing a child- even if you knew they grew up to be okay would be horrific, but Amy did not have that baby under normal circumstances. She didn't even know she was pregnant until she was giving birth, and then she only had the child for a maximum of a day. Rory even less- an hour or so. And almost instantly after they lose Melody, they find out that she's okay.

      • Karen says:

        I still find it so hard to believe that they are totally ok with never being able to raise their baby. It's part of why I'm not a fan of these huge timey wimey plots. They force characters to act out a script that has already be set before them. Rory and Amy can't raise their baby because they didn't and because they already interacted with a Mels/River who did not grow up with her parents. It makes the characters react in what I think are pretty unbelievable ways and takes a lot of the heart of out the show.

  2. Those time-traveling justice goons seem to be morons. They had gone through all the preparation and killed a random Nazi and were THIS close to killing Hitler before they suddenly realized they were WAY TOO EARLY?? It was 1938. WORLD WAR II HADN'T EVEN STARTED YET. Did no one check the date? IT IS VERY CLEAR ON THE DELOREAN. MAYBE YOU SHOULD DESIGN YOUR TIME MACHINE BETTER.

    Plus, the Teselecta seem to have gotten their help from Aperture Science.

    Antibodies: "You will feel a slight tingling sensation, followed by death."

    GLaDOS: "Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record, followed by death."


  3. monkeybutter says:

    So. River Song is worse than Hitler.


    I kept hearing “Cylons” instead of “Silence,” and as Rory pushed Hitler into the cupboard, I remembered that he’s a Centurion. Obviously, River is a human-cylon hybrid and the Silence is really just Baltar and Six’s pet project to destroy humanity.

    • Karen says:

      So. River Song is worse than Hitler.

      That was what pissed me off the most in this episode because I'm sorry, but no. I don't give a fuck if River has done a lot of terrible thing. She is still a fictional character. Hitler really existed and really caused the deaths of millions of people whose relatives are still alive today and tormented many more (some of whose relatives are still alive today). And to me, to be like "this fictional character is way more important than that!" is really dismissive and offensive. Ugh.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Thank you for saying this, here and below. Really.

      • zearag says:

        I agree it was in poor taste but i think its important to remember that we're not talking about Hitler here (who was obviously terrible) but about 'hitler' a fictional character with similar history. 'hitler' in the whoniverse was locked in a cupboard by Rory (unlike Hitler) and may not have done as much damage as another fictional character, River. In any case this was all from the point of view of the teselecta who's just crazy and stupid anyway.

    • @BklynBruzer says:

      Honestly, look at how much the Doctor has done, and how much he can do. He's saved entire races, entire planets, entire solar systems, THE ENTIRE FUCKING UNIVERSE, multiple times over. Killing him means he can never do it again. And if we've learned anything, it's that he'll NEED to do it again.

      So… yeah, killing the Doctor is orders of magnitude worse

      • monkeybutter says:

        No, it's really not.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I think he means killing the Doctor is worse than the Doctor being a criminal, not worse than Hitler.

          • @BklynBruzer says:

            Wellllllllll, I mean that killing the Doctor is worse than being Hitler, IN THAT UNIVERSE. In our universe, it isn't.

            But, in the Whoniverse, the Doctor has saved EVERYTHING. ALL OF REALITY. Multiple times. And given how often the Doctor has needed to save reality, eliminating him from the universe is basically the worst think possible.

          • monkeybutter says:

            Yeah, I didn't get that at all from what bklynbruzer wrote. I read it as "the Doctor has saved universe a million times, so killing him removes the possibility of the him doing it again, which is worse than what an actual war criminal did." I didn't see anything about the Doctor being a criminal in his comment. But I'll pretend your reading of it is right so that I don't have a fucking aneurysm about Doctor Who.

            ETA: oops, I was right.

            • @BklynBruzer says:

              I'm not trying to excuse Hitler or anything, don't get me wrong. But I'm saying that in a reality where the events of Doctor Who are real, the Doctor's done SO MUCH GOOD for the universe that killing him is basically the worst thing possible, because it would stop him from doing any more good, and he has almost limitless capacity to do good.

              • @BklynBruzer says:

                Now, he does also have almost limitless capacity to do evil, so there's an upside to killing him, but look at Journey's End – The Daleks and Davros were literally going to destroy all of reality if The Doctor hadn't stopped them. Now imagine that River had killed The Doctor before Journey's End. She would be practically directly responsible for the end of reality, because thanks to her the Doctor couldn't stop it. Who's to say that there isn't another Journey's End-esque scenario in the future of the Whoniverse?

              • @BklynBruzer says:

                Again, I want to make the point that I'm trying to think from the perspective of someone in a reality where the Doctor is real, and everything he's done has been real. In our universe, it's obvious that Hitler is worse, because Hitler was real and killed millions of people. In the Whoniverse, the Doctor has SAVED trillions, and killing him means he can't anymore.

              • Karen says:

                But the Doctor is still fictional. Do you know who isn't fictional? Hitler and those who survived his camps and those who didn't and the relatives of those who didn't. The show, Doctor Who, is also not fictional (unless I've been enjoying a really long mass hallucination with millions of other fans these past few years). Also not fictional? Moffat. He lives in this world where Hitler has has these recent real life consequences. Stories do not exist in a vacuum, and yeah. I think Moffat should have known better than to use a man like Hitler for a (ratings grabbing?) plot device like this. This is science fiction. Moffat could have imagined any character he liked and done a bit of exposition of how horrible he is and then had River be even worse in order to get the point across. Or he could have used some other evil historical figure from a much more distant past whose horrors aren't still felt to this very day.

                Tl;dr: using Hitler was in poor taste.

                • @BklynBruzer says:

                  Oh, it's definitely hackneyed and bad taste, I apologize for implying otherwise. In real life, Hitler is obviously worse than just about anyone you can name, and using him is pretty hard to justify. I was just arguing from the fictional perspective.

                  • enigmaticagentscully says:

                    I think what you're trying to say (and sorry for speaking for you!) is that yes, Moffat saying 'River is worse than Hitler' is awful. But in universe the characters that say 'River is worse than Hitler' are justified. From their point of view, both people are real, and they consider River's crime to be worse.

                    Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to use Hitler, and not executed well, but I see what they were trying to do.

                    • @BklynBruzer says:

                      That is EXACTLY what I am trying to say, so thank you for speaking for me!

                    • Elexus Calcearius says:

                      In this way, it makes sense. But I still don't think River herself is worst than Hitler (from in-universe, of course). Because she might not have known all the good the Doctor has done, and was apparently brainwashed for doing it. River's actions might cause more harm, but I don't think the action itself was nearly as bad as anything Hitler did.

      • My problem with that is that the Doctor is a massive murderer at the same time :/

      • notemily says:

        The Doctor has also committed genocide, though. Killing him also means he'll never do THAT again.

    • Tilja says:

      So. River Song is worse than Hitler.

      I think it's right. It implies that there are worse people than him in the future and he becomes only one of them, giving with this creation to this "justice" system to punish them all. If there are others in the future of this mythology, it stands to reason there'll be someone worse than him, be it River Song or any other. Depressing thought but not unreal.

      All in this fictional world.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Karen's response to BklynBruzer above sums up how I feel about this argument. I don't care if it makes sense in the mythology of the show, or that it's realistic that there are and will be other terrible people in the future, less so in a fictional future. The comparison to Hitler did not have to be made for the weight of River's crime to be felt, and at the time I was taken aback by its absurdity and its offensiveness. Honestly, since Hitler was shoved into a closet and forgotten at the beginning of the episode, it seems like his involvement was solely to bring about the comparison. It was a crappy, attention-grabbing plot point that could and should have been avoided. I'm also becoming a lot more annoyed by the defense of this nonsense than its actual usage in the show.

        I don't think Doctor Who is ruined forever, that it can't be fun or light-hearted, or that the fans are terrible people because of a writer or show runner's misstep, but I'd like wide-spread acceptance that saying River Song is worse than Hitler is goddamn poor judgment.

        <img src=""&gt;

        • Karen says:

          THIS IS A FLAW FREE COMMENT. Especially the inclusion of Professor Farnsworth.

        • arctic_hare says:

          I like the concept of faking us out by not really using Hitler, but agreed, that comparison was completely unnecessary and a very bad idea.

        • Tilja says:

          You're right, they way he was used felt all sorts of WRONG. I couldn't make myself clear so I just took a mythological viewpoint but even so it's still all sorts of WRONG when I think about it. No justification for the way it was made. I can now say it better. I hope.

        • hassibah says:

          Even if you take away the Hitler comparison, the idea that killing one person that is brilliant and important is way worse than killing off thousands or millions of people that might be average is pretty problematic!
          If you killed off said brilliant person to stop them while they were saving people, that would be one thing. In this case, like Mark said, how is the Doctor not worse than River?

          • monkeybutter says:

            I agree! It's bad on multiple layers!

          • hummingbrdheart says:

            It reminds me of what Nine/Ten always said about how everyone is important. "I've traveled through all of time and space and never once met anyone who wasn't important," or something to that effect.

            The idea that killing the Doctor, even as awesomely cool and helpful and good despite his flaws as he is, is worse that genocide? That sits all kinds of wrong with me.

            • arctic_hare says:

              Actually, that sounds more like a line Eleven himself got in Christmas Carol; Ten I'll always remember outright saying that Donna and then later Wilf weren't important (but that he himself was).

              • hummingbrdheart says:

                You know, you're right — that wording is very Eleven.

                I suppose I was thinking of a combination of things: Nine talking about England standing up against Hitler (fittingly), and choosing cowardice over genocide. Ten quoting the Lion King and telling Lazarus that there's no such thing as an ordinary human and learning, in the end, at his peril, that people like Adelaide were not, in fact, more important than people like Wilf. That he might bitch and moan, but he didn't get to rank people like that, that every human life matters.

                Yeah, you're right, that phrasing of the idea is Eleven's. And doesn't that make it worse, that the same man who wrote that also wrote this story about how a woman who killed one person is more evil than a man who killed millions, because the one person she killed was more "important" than the millions?

              • rumantic says:

                It was definitely Eleven in the Christmas special. 100% sure.

      • Joeldi says:

        This is pretty much what Igot out of it. Also, I think it was justified for the writers to say so to establish how big an event the doctor’s death was in their future. To them, hitler was, I dunno, whoever was the worst Ceaser, to us. A complete monster, but not one to be offended about.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Yeah….I don't get that. I can accept it in the fictional universe, a character could have done something worst than Hitler. But River kills one guy. Yes, he's the Doctor, and he's saved the universe tonnes of times- but how was she to know that? It hardly seems like she'd have been told how great the Doctor can be. Especially when he has done some pretty shady stuff in the past.

      Also, she was brainwashed. It wasn't like Hitler was hypnotised to start WW2.

    • burritosaurus says:

      I think that saying River is worse than Hitler is, more or less, an attempt to insult Hitler. He is the worst human in recent history, and rather than give him the glory of basing an episode around actually fighting him (a fight that would have to be lost, because they can't change that history) the biggest insult to Hitler would be to make fun of him. So you have Rory punch him, tell him to shut up, and lock him in a cupboard and then ignore him. To add insult to injury, let him know that, despite all he did, he was not the Most Important Person In All Of History. Not only that, but he was essentially beaten by a woman of all people. I imagine if that were real, and Hitler saw it, he'd be extremely pissed off about it.

      I think that was the intent. Does that make it ok that the comparison is tactless and insensitive? No, not at all. Not that it makes a difference, but I think that this comparison is far less offensive than many of the other Hitler comparisons being made presently, which is probably why it didn't drive me up a wall.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Okay, not to be completely flippant on a serious issue, but the last sentence of your comment proves that after His Dark Materials, I can never look at the word "presently" the same way again.

      • Always Amy says:

        Not only that, but he was essentially beaten by a woman of all people.

        …..because being beaten by a woman is worse than being beaten by a man?
        I object.
        You have a good point otherwise and I've no interest in further argument about this so will not reply, but please think about what you said.

        • Burritosaurus says:

          To clarify, I meant that being beaten by a woman would add insult to injury from Hitler’s point of view. I don’t think he was the sort of person to admit that a woman could be more than he was in any capacity. I think it woul have been a huge thorn in his side to know he was inferior to River Song, even as.a criminal.

          Sorry that was unclear!

    • Kiwi says:

      I can SORT of justify it in my head with that River, since she's all over the place time-wise would be like a 'present' (weird way to put it) threat to anyone and everyone. She's the person people from the future hate and blame wars or whatever on. Whereas Hitler is more detached from their reality because it was how many thousands years ago and wouldn't exactly be a threat to time (if they cared about that sort of thing) or their friends and family.

      So they go about punishing Hitler because its their job and he's a 'bad guy'. Whereas they might actually fear River and feel like they have to stop her. (Since they started torturing her before the end of her established timeline, it's possible)

      In universe I could imagine that, even if its not well justified in show. But not even close to reality. It was still a dumb way to make a comparison and it was NOT handled well at all. -_-

      • arctic_hare says:

        The really unfortunate thing is that the fact that they were in the wrong era to nab Hitler in itself provides a better way of explaining the switch to apprehending Melody/River that isn't so offensive, and is so freaking simple. All they had to do was have them basically go "whoa, okay, we messed up on the Hitler coordinates, but here's Melody Pond, wanted for killing the Doctor! We can totally salvage this by getting her before heading to the RIGHT year for Hitler!"

    • EmmylovesWho says:

      The only way to excuse that is that it was 1938, and in Hitler's timeline he hadn't…nope, that's still really flimsy.

  4. Tauriel_ says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Best lines ever:

    "Let's see… You've got a time machine, I've got a gun. What the hell – let's kill Hitler."

    "Thank you, whoever you are. I think you have just saved my life."
    "Believe me… it was an accident."

    "Shut up, Hitler!"

    "Rory, take Hitler and put him in that cupboard over there, now. Do it!"
    "Right. Putting Hitler in a cupboard…"

    "Is anybody else finding this day just a bit difficult? I'm getting this sort of banging in my head…"
    "Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard."

    "Well, I was off to this gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I thought 'Gosh, the Third Reich's a bit rubbish, I think I'll kill the Führer!'"

  5. Tauriel_ says:

    Dear Diary,

    today I punched Hitler, told him to shut up, then locked him up in a cupboard and left him there. I'm sure this will look good on my resume.


    Rory Pond

    • Minish says:

      To us mere viewers, it was the greatest thing that ever happened in the history of ever.

      For Rory Williams, it was a Saturday.

  6. Tauriel_ says:

    Hitler rants about "Let's Kill Hitler"

    Having Hitler being one massive red herring in this River-centric episode was a brilliant master stroke. As a friend of mine posted on another forum:

    I definitely agree that locking Hitler in the cupboard and just forgetting about him was just ideal. It seems that whenever Hitler is brought into a story these days he's always the figure to attack, or there for a really important purpose. That all gives this awful man a platform even so long after his death – even if the production makes it very clear he was awful. Moffat did a great job of ignoring him – as if to say "yeah, this man isn't really worth our time. He's only there so I can make fun of him and let Rory (one of our heros) grow some more. He serves us. He's just a buffoon that our story simply doesn't need. Stick him in the cupboard where he belongs, forget about him and let's get on with the tale." Involve him any more – give him a beating, use him in the second or third act – or whatever – and you're making him a focal point instead of deliberately setting him up as something he's not. The only extra thing that could've worked was – as mentioned – a short coda ridiculing him some more.

    The last sentence is a reference to an idea that there should've been a short scene after the credits of Hitler in the cupboard going "Hello? Vere are you? Helloooo?" 😀

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I totally agree. I have to admit I was very nervous about this episode, but I think they really pulled off the 'Hitler' aspect' pretty well. He was completely dismissed and degraded, and Nazism in general was there to be briefly mocked as the complete BS that it is, without going into some huge moral commentary.
      I think anything else could have really gone badly, especially in a show that children watch. Even if the title was misleading, I'm glad they didn't give Hitler too much of their time – just enough to be punched, told to shut up, and locked in a cupboard.

      • Noybusiness says:

        "He was completely dismissed and degraded"

        Yes, exactly. I liked that. The team had contempt for him more than anything else.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Perfect. While the use of Hitler might not have gone as wonderfully as it could, locking Hitler in the cupboar for most of the episode….brilliant.

  7. anninyn says:

    I missed the ten minutes at the start. Sad forever, Right?

    Not the best episode ever, but certainly a piece of enjoyable, bombastic action to open up the second half of the series with.

  8. psycicflower says:

    I’m not entirely sure how I feel about how this episode worked as a whole and it’s really hard to judge when it seems so tied up with character and series arcs but there are too many parts that I love not to like it.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    Melody Pond/River Song I love and adore you. While I love that we’re getting some early timeline River, I think I would’ve liked evil!Melody to last a bit longer than one episode though. It would’ve been great to have Alex Kingston turn up and us and team TARDIS not knowing whether she’s the River we trust or Melody out to kill the Doctor. Kingston did a fabulous job with Meldoy’s post regeneration energy and complete not giving a single fuck. I really liked the Doctor dealing with a River that’s different to what he and the Ponds know and trying to get through to the person inside he knows she can be. Everyone’s dumbstruck reactions to Melody are priceless as well. I also love that it was the TARDIS that taught River to fly.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    I love the throw back to the previous companions but it is depressing that the TARDIS trying to show the Doctor someone he likes just causes him guilt.
    Amy and Rory were both great in this episode. With Rory punching Nazi’s and locking Hitler in a cupboard (that’s never going to get old) and Amy taking charge in the Teselecta and saving River, it’s clear where Melody/River gets her BAMFness from. I am sad that Amy and Rory will never really get to raise baby Melody. Although how adorable where the opening flashbacks and Amy’s realisation.
    My biggest personal OMG was the fact that the Silence aren’t a species but a religion. That was very well played and I can’t wait to see what happens with them and the Academy of the Question.

    ‘I danced with everyone at the wedding. The women were all brilliant … The men were a bit shy.’
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    ‘Time is not the boss of you, rule 408 … Never knowingly be serious, rule 27 … I know you’re scared but never run when you’re scared, rule 7 … Rule 1: The Doctor lies’
    I would like a Doctor rule book please.


    ‘Their core belief is that silence will fall when the question is asked.’ ‘What question?’ ‘The first question. The oldest in the universe. Hidden in plain sight.’
    So the obvious question hidden in plain sight is Doctor Who? But the more I think about it the more I wonder if that’s too simple but then again we do know there’s power to the Doctor’s name.

    • notemily says:

      Ha, I forgot that the title to the show is itself a question.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I love the rules that the Doctor is quoting at River because it seems like River first quoted the rules to him? We have definitely heard her tell Amy and Rory rule 1 before. Wooo time loops.

    • @core013 says:

      A Doctor rule book would be so awesome.

    • FlameRaven says:

      Personally I can think of a LOT of questions that could be the first question. Like "what is the meaning of life?" "what happens to us after death?" "why are we here?" etc. But it probably is deeper than that because people have been asking THOSE questions forever and obviously Silence hasn't fallen yet.

    • ldwy says:

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Doctor Who? Obvious. But then I'm also thinking…too obvious? Like you. Well, we'll find out!

    • ABBryant says:

      I sort of want to see a NCIS crossover now with Gibbs and the Doctor quoting their different rules at each other.

    • bee says:

      So is the First Question the same as the ULTIMATE question? I had total Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy flashbacks when the Amybot said that.

      The idea of it being connected to the Doctor's name is neat, but I kind of want it to remain a mystery.

    • Lex says:

      Maybe Silence will fall because nobody knows The Doctor's name. It kind of makes sense.
      "Doctor Who?"
      "…" <——SILENCE!!!
      I feel clever. But maybe it's just me.

  9. TreasureCat says:

    Dis episode <3 Oh Moffat I feel the need to apologise to you because I was raeging so hard during the first five minutes (who is this rude and horrible new character, introduced so inelegantly, who is disrupting Team TARDIS and GOOD LORD SHE SHOT SEXY she must be reprimanded!) but I should have trusted you sir, yes I should. Of course Mels was River, god watching it back a second time I was like ‘how did I not guess? Facepalm.’
    I loved this ep, I really did, and even more so the second time through.
    List time to pick my favey bits:

    Quotes!!! There were so many fantastic ones…
    ’You’ve got a time machine, I’ve got a gun. What the hell, let’s kill Hitler!’ (despite the fact Mels annoyed me, the delivery of this line was amazing)
    ’I don’t know what room, I haven’t memorised every room in the universe yet…I had yesterday off.’
    ‘I’m going to wear LOTS of jodhpurs!’
    (bahaha River never change<3)
    ’I’m fine…well no I’m dying, but I’ve got a plan.’ ‘What plan?’ ‘Not dying, see? Fine.’
    ‘Extractor fans on!…Oohh that worked.’
    ‘Well I was on my way to gay gypsy Bat Mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought ‘gosh the Third Reich is a bit rubbish’.’
    (Riverrr be still my heart <3)
    ’Can you ride a motorbike?’ ‘I expect so, it’s that sort of a day.’ (OH RORY)
    ’How can we be in here? How can we fit?’ ‘Miniaturisation ray.’ ‘How would you know that?’ ‘Well there was a ray and we were miniaturised.’
    ‘AAHHHHH sorry, leg went to sleep, just had a quick left leg power nap. I forgot I had one scheduled.’

    Little Amelia coming back and LITTLE RORY! I just wanted to give him all the hugs <3

    I properly lol’d at the Star Trek parallel control room in the Tesselecter (which is a fantastic name for a ship btw)

    RORY PUNCHED HITLER AND TOLD HIM TO SHUT UP AND PUT HIM IN A CUPBOARD! RORY WILLIAMS POND YOU ARE MY HERO FOREVER. I may have made the clip of Rory saying ‘Shut up Hitler’ into the text alert on my phone, and then may have asked my friend to text me just so I could hear it…

    ROSE MARTHA DONNA omg Moffat what are you doing my heart is broken </3

    New information about the Silence! And the mystery deepens, what is this question???

    Two small things I had issues with that stopped this ep being perfect for me:
    1.They kept dropping the term psychopath around to describe River, but River didn’t actually display psychopathy at all. I’m not an expert, but from what I learned during neuroscience lectures at Uni and some research I did after the episode, psychopaths understand emotion but they can’t feel it. Possibly the characteristic feature of psychopathy is an inability to feel guilt or remorse, which River clearly does feel at the end of the episode when she heals the Doctor. It’s probably just me being pedantic, but the misuse of the word annoyed me.
    2.She’s been brainwashed, it all makes sense to her. Plus she’s a woman. UM NO, sit down and be quiet Moffat this is not ok >:(

    Generally though I was incredibly satisfied with this as a start-of-the-second-half-of-the-series episode and I cannot wait for next weeks’! Unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live because my best friend is going to be on Epic Win (shameless plug lol) and I’m going to hers for a broadcasting party, but first thing Sunday morning I shall be watching it back in earnest. 😀

    • notemily says:

      Having properly watched this episode now, I think River called *herself* a psychopath because she had been raised to believe she was one. But we know that the River WE know can feel remorse and guilt and regret, so I think that was part of her brainwashing.

  10. arctic_hare says:

    Don't care what anyone else thinks. I had a rollicking good time watching this episode.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    It was a lot of fun, I think. Alex Kingston was clearly having the time of her life, and it shows, and it's infectious. I love her. <3 Amy, Rory, and Eleven's reaction to the wackiness that just happened is priceless too, especially the line about Hitler in the cupboard and how that isn't helping. Speaking of which, how about that fast one Moffat pulled on us? I was a bit nervous going in, but he fooled us all: it was actually much more about River and Hitler was just a diversion. A red herring, if you will. As mindscrews go, that's fairly cool, and Rory punching Hitler will never ever get old. I love that we got some answers to a few things, the miniaturization thing was really weird and cool, and how about those images of past Companions, eh? Donna. ;_; It gives me hope that Amy and Rory's eventual exit will be kinder, as that was pretty much an acknowledgment that all the companions of that era got a REALLY raw deal, to put it mildly. No wonder he feels all that guilt.

    One thing in the answers I want to expand upon a bit is Sexy teaching River/Melody to fly her. I loved that – because I remember her line in Time of Angels. "Oh, I had lessons from the very best. It's a shame you were busy that day." Yeah, busy DYING, because of you. Details, details. ;D More importantly, calling the TARDIS the very best made me awwwwwww. Because after Doctor's Wife, I think we all love her even more, don't we? Every time we find out more about River, it makes me appreciate past episodes with her even more. Makes some stuff even sadder, because what a crapsack hand she's been dealt in many ways, but also makes some things sweeter and cooler, like that ToA line.

    One thing that I've seen pop up a couple places is people wondering why Amy and Rory would even be friends with "Melody". There's some unfortunate implications in that line of thought to me, frankly. Racist and classist implications, to be more precise. As for the whole "Mels was doing naughty things" part that people will try to bring up as a defense, well, haven't we all quickly forgotten that Amy's not exactly a perfect angel herself. I do seem to remember her picking a lock back in Beast Below, and she bit her psychiatrists, so she never struck me as being much of a goody-goody. If I may… I think that after her encounter with the Doctor, she probably got ridiculed and rejected by a lot of the other kids in school, especially once her parents starting sending her to those psychiatrists. Kids can be incredibly vicious and mean, especially towards those who aren't "normal", and they'd all probably dismiss her as "crazy" or something. (I'm using that word as an example of the ableism Amy probably came up against, NOT using it to dismiss her myself.) Everyone, that is, except for Rory and Mels. Maybe Melody getting in trouble for those answers in class about the Doctor frustrated Amy, but at the same time, she probably deep down appreciated that someone believed her and didn't ridicule her. It's easy to see how their friendship formed as children: a couple of outcasts, of outsiders, finding common ground together and bonding, standing against everyone else and doing their own thing. Bonds like that can last a long time; and when you've been friends with someone a long time, it's not easy to just toss them aside even if their behavior, like Melody's, leaves something to be desired at times. I don't think it's unbelievable that she would stay friends with her all those years, not at all. I initially was skeptical about the flashback, for the reason of "Oh-oh, who is this new person suddenly being inserted into Amy and Rory's past, that we've never met?" And then it clicked who she was, and I had to laugh, because it was turning that trope on its head: it was an in-universe retcon of sorts. It feels deliberate, to shake us up and makes us go "Uh… what?" and then turn everything upside down.

    I recall there being a couple sexist remarks I didn't like, and I frown heavily upon them and wish to smack Moffat. Sigh. Go back to hiding it better, man, I usually have no problem with your stuff. That'd be about my only complaint with the episode, really. Not that I'm trying to trivialize it or anything, it was pretty annoying. Cut it out, Moffat, it's not funny. Seriously.

    What is funny, though, are the robot jellyfish. They were awesome.

    Overall, I had fun watching, and I'm satisfied to continue waiting to form an opinion on the season till the entire arc plays out. To end on a completely shallow note, I thought the new coat was pretty cool.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I will agree with you so hard on this: This was incredibly fun to watch. Like I said, it was a spectacle and I had a blast while it was on.

    • psycicflower says:

      I didn't have a problem with Mel or her friendship with the Ponds (I love multiple companions so the more the merrier) but I love your explanation of their probable childhood and friendship.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Awesome review is awesome. <3

    • __Jen__ says:

      I agree with all of this comment! I especially love your paragraph on their friendship and it's honestly making me tear up a bit thinking of it. ;_;

    • NB2000 says:

      More importantly, calling the TARDIS the very best made me awwwwwww. Because after Doctor's Wife, I think we all love her even more, don't we?

      Yes. Between this and her asking the TARDIS what was wrong in The Pandorica Opens there's a really nice little relationship being built between River and the TARDIS.

      • Ronni says:

        It also explains why she got snippy with the TARDIS in The Pandorica Opens. She'd already had an established relationship with her but we didn't know about it yet.

        I remember wondering "Dang, River! Chill!"

    • FlameRaven says:

      I did love that she learned to fly the TARDIS from the TARDIS. It makes a lot of sense especially with her being a "child of the TARDIS."

      I think it's a little hilarious that River seems to be better at being a Time Lord than the Doctor ever has been– flying the TARDIS perfectly, controlling her regeneration at least somewhat ("Quiet, mum, I'm trying to concentrate on a dress size!") managing to give her regeneration energy to the Doctor. But then, I think that's why I enjoy their relationship so much, and really, Amy and Rory as well– all of them challenge the Doctor, admit he has flaws, and understand where those flaws will cause him to screw up ("That's just what they're called. It doesn't mean he actually knows what he's doing") and that is soooo much more interesting than the awe and god-like reverence the Doctor mostly got in the earlier seasons.

    • shoroko says:

      I agree with you a lot on Mels. Beyond the fact that I just actually liked her (and sorry, found her stealing things tendency to be hilarious), I enjoyed the notion of an in-universe retcon – that Mels may have been an instance of time being "rewritten." I thought it worked because it wasn't an instance of a character suddenly being shoe-horned in, but a preexisting character insinuating herself into the story in a new way. Which is clever and spot-on for River, even if this is younger!River. And the thought that River played a role in her own parents getting together is also pretty fun. The idea that Amy would have a kind of wilder friend didn't really strike me as surprising or odd, I guess because it didn't seem really too different from being a Companion to the Doctor, in this little fictional world, anyway. I mean, Amy's constantly helping the Doctor steal things or break into places. They're not exactly terribly straight-laced people.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Pretty much this. Especially about Alex. Honestly, her diversity as an actress is wonderful. Even if you don't like the character she plays, you've got to love the way she plays it.

    • Noybusiness says:

      I would be bothered by the "retcon" if Amy and Rory's childhood had actually been a focus in any episode before this. But since it never was…

    • notemily says:

      One thing that I've seen pop up a couple places is people wondering why Amy and Rory would even be friends with "Melody". There's some unfortunate implications in that line of thought to me, frankly.

      To me, it's more like the "friendship" between (forgive me for this) Obi-Wan and Anakin in the prequel movies. In the original trilogy, Obi-Wan says they were great friends, and he says so with real fondness. But in the prequels, you only ever see them arguing and Obi-Wan being annoyed with whatever annoying thing Anakin is doing at the time. You don't see them being great friends and having real love for each other.

      Similarly, in this episode, we go through a whole montage of Amy bailing Mels out of ridiculous situations and then being annoyed and asking her why she can't act like a person. We don't see very much of them having super-fun times together. To me, the question isn't "why were they friends with her" but "why don't we see more of their actual friendship instead of Mels being obsessed with the Doctor and Amy bailing her out." It is easy to imagine their friendship for the reasons you state, but I wish we could have seen more of it instead of just being TOLD that they were best buds. To use the language of TVTropes, it's an Informed Friendship.

  11. Hanah_banana says:

    I thought it was brilliant. I watched it a few weeks ago at the premiere (AHHH BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE ARTHUR DARVILL YOU ARE PERFECTION IN HUMAN FORM AND YOU WERE THREE FEET FROM MY FACE OH GOOD GOD) and just loved it, watching it with loads of fans and Steven Moffat is how it should always be watched. All my feelings are full of love and delight and there were so many fabulous lines and so much of Rory taking a level in badassery <3

    There were a few things I wasn't so fond of though. The main one was the 'She's a woman!' line. It was just…ugh, so unnecessary. I was sitting with my friend Alex and we turned to each other after that line and went 'oooh problematic'. Moffat's occasional casual misogyny is so upsetting to me. There was a Q&A after the viewing and we were tempted to ask Karen how she feels about casual misogyny but decided it would make the atmosphere kind of awkward, so we just asked about Amy and Rory having more kids instead. XD But yeah, not good.

    I also wasn't a fan of the concept that by being best friends with Mels, Amy and Rory got to raise her. I mean sure, they looked out for her, but having a best friend through your life is just not in any way the same as raising your child, and I really hope that's not the end of Amy and Rory wanting to find their baby and raise her. I hope it comes back in some way.

    I loved the Hitler got shoved in a cupboard and forgotten about. It was an excellent red herring and really what everyone would want to do to Hitler if they could – punch him in the head, tell him to shut up and push him into a cupboard. Someone asked afterwards whether he ever got out and Moffat completely sensibly replied 'Historical evidence would suggest he did some hours later. Although probably smelling of wee.'


  12. Natalia says:

    I love this show so much. I had palpitations during the first scene. MY BODY KNOWS IT'S GOOD AND THEREFORE GETS THE SWEATS WHEN IT BEGINS.

    I'd missed Matt's face so, so much. And Karen's hair. And Arthur's nose.

    I obviously watch things for the plot. Haha.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      NO THIS OKAY. I missed their faces, too! I VALIDATE YOUR LIFE CHOICES.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      A big part of why I watch the show is now Alex Kingston's hair.

    • arctic_hare says:

      There is nothing wrong with appreciating the pretty in this show. Because boy howdy, there is a lot of it.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        This is actually something that annoys me in general- people saying that you can't enjoy the pretty in something. Not just in the actors, but also things like spectacle or special effects. So often people complain when shows or movies or series gain anything pretty, that its becoming all about that. No, it isn't. Its an aid to help the story. You can enjoy and have good actors, writing, plot and emotions and pretty stuff, too.

        (lol, random rant.)

  13. NB2000 says:

    That was one hell of a busy episode. So much to take in. The main thing to cling to is that Alex Kingston is having the most fun EVER! It looks like she's close to cracking up during the "Take off your clothes!" line. Evil!River is just the biggest troll ever, the "gay gypsy bar mitsvah" line in particular. I'd almost forgotten how much I love seeing her act against Matt, the "I know you know I know" business in Hitler's office, while tricky to follow the first time through, just shows how well they play off each other.

    How is Matt managing to make his performance in every episode better than the previous one? All that physical humour when his legs are supposed to be falling asleep is amazing. Also, yay his wedding clothes are back! Speaking of, that "I danced with everyone"…does that include Rory? Because somehow I don't see him going for that. (I can totally picture Eleven attempting to get him to dance and Rory just being all "Um, I don't think so.")

    love that both River and the Ponds have both defaced the property of others in ridiculous ways because the Doctor doesn’t answer his phone.

    Okay totally head!canon-ing that Amy and Rory did it because they know that's how River got his attention before and River did it because her parents did and…you see where that's going.

    • barnswallowkate says:

      I really don't understand River's storyline at all but I don't seem to care because I love watching her be "the biggest troll ever". She's so fun!

  14. feminerdist says:

    Personally, I'm just confused. The whole time I was like "so…. wait. The baby is river, but now river doesn't know she's the baby, and now she grew up with the ponds, but not as their kid, and their kid is still missing, but… now she wants to kill the doctor and she's in prison for killing the doctor but escapes prison sometimes to go hang out with the doctor… but then…. *BRAIN EXPLODES*

    I have no idea what's going on. And then there's the silence and the question and… *BRAIN STILL NOT DONE EXPLODING*

    Also, I agree with all this aggravation over River being worse than Hitler (DO.NOT.LIKE.), but my brain is still trying to go "1 2 2 1" "no that's 1 2 1 1" to even be capable of putting any critical thought towards this episode. SO CONFUSED!!!!


    • FlameRaven says:


      River's life is so confusing at this point it's best not to think about it. I mean, that's why she and the Doctor have diaries, so they can actually keep track of what is going on with each other.

      Also after watching it a second time– like, did they ever say outright that River was worse than Hitler? Specifically? Because if so I missed it both times. I don't know. The time traveling people obviously have terrible morals and seem to go around "punishing" more or less anyone they feel like. I mean, they killed the random Nazi in the beginning because he was guilty of hate crimes, but he just happened to be there when they were going to kill Hitler.

      I think the Ponds are freaking out, but they have been through so much already that their freak-out is pretty low-key. I mean, both of them are sitting there pretty shocked and speechless after Mels/River regenerates. "Is anyone else finding this a bit difficult?" I think they're upset but they've already gone through, you know, Amy dying and coming back and the end of the universe and Rory spending 2000 years as plastic Roman soldier so they aren't running around screaming or anything.

      • @Kaza999 says:

        I agree with FlameRaven, Wibby Wobbley Timey Wimey.

        I think River did stuff other than murder the Doctor. That's the impression I got, anyway.

        The Ponds never got a change to bond with baby Melody. Seriously, that's why they're not panicky wrecks. Bonds between parents and children, despite what you may think, take a while to form. It's probably one of the reasons why Eyepatch Lady took baby Melody away so fast, so Amy and Rory wouldn't be able to really bond with their baby.

        Amy spent, what, a few days with baby Melody? I can't remember. Rory spent only a few hours with her. They've barely begun to reconcile the notion that they're parents, much less that this baby is theirs.

  15. Katie says:

    I felt that the whole 'Let's Kill Hitler' thing turned out to be no more than a cheap ratings grab. This episode disappointed me in a whole lot of different ways, but hey-ho. I'm not one to rain on everyone's parade. Everyone else seems to have loved it.

  16. Stephen_M says:

    Uh, you have to remember that Moffat is writing IN CHARACTER for eleven here. The guy doesn't get Women at all, do we not remember his missing Amy's anvil size hints in Flesh and Stone? His confession to Kazran that he's pretty much on his own with Abigail? His total flap and confusion when River kisses him in DOTM? The line is perfectly suited to the character. Gah, sorry, I just hate when people read too much into a single line and I just know already it's going to be a talking point for months to come.

    Anyway, for me this was perfect. Incredibly fast, everything made sense and it was not only one of the most fun episodes I've seen but, when taken with AGMGTW (this is, aver all, a two parter) one of my top ten Who episodes of all time. But to focus for a moment on one tiny part, Amy and Rory are just perfect together. The flashback was wonderfully sweet and the realisation moment handled perfectly (the look on Karen's face in particular was fantastic), their relationship in the present really shows how they work so much better together than apart and I adored the very sweet I Love You when they thought they were going to die. Easily the best realised companions in modern Who by a country mile.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Uh, you have to remember that Moffat is writing IN CHARACTER for eleven here. The guy doesn't get Women at all, do we not remember his missing Amy's anvil size hints in Flesh and Stone? His confession to Kazran that he's pretty much on his own with Abigail? His total flap and confusion when River kisses him in DOTM? The line is perfectly suited to the character. Gah, sorry, I just hate when people read too much into a single line and I just know already it's going to be a talking point for months to come.


    • thisyearsgirl says:

      The thought that Moffat is writing in character doesn't really make me any happier with that line, I dislike the thought of The Doctor being a sexist character just as much as I dislike Moffats real life sexism (of which there are countless examples, so it's a bit hard to divorce his voice from his characters in these instances.)

    • Karen says:

      The "she's a woman!" line wasn't the only problematic line in this episode. What about all of River's comments after she regenerated about weight and dress size? That was also hugely offensive to me. I just hate it when media reinforces the idea that women are supposed to be obsessed with their appearances and weight.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        I'm a woman and I found it funny. Probably because I'm comfortable enough in my womanhood not to get offended by every little joke poked at women.

        • Karen says:

          Well I am glad that you are a much more enlightened woman than myself.

        • thisyearsgirl says:

          Good for you. Personally I'm "comfortable enough in my womanhood " to call people out for their obvious and reoccurring sexism.

        • FlameRaven says:

          I thought it was funny too. Honestly, the body that River ends up with is pretty curvy, and she seems to have no problem with this at all, so it's not like the message was 'omg she can't be sexy if she's not a stick-thin waif.'. She seems really pleased to go from skinnier Mel to 'mature' curvy River, so I didn't see any negative issues with the line. I mean, hell. All she says is she's concentrating on a dress size, we don't know which size. She could have been aiming for more weight/curves. I feel like the immediate assumption of this idea is negative is a little problematic in itself.

          I tend to not get offended much anyway, though, so… *shrug*

          • shyguy3450 says:

            For me, it seems like he’s implying that women are primarily concerned with superficial things like shopping and dress sizes, and that’s what bothers me. It may not promote any certain body type, but it does portray women in a certain light that is way overused in media, imo. I’m sick of hearing every female character ever focusing on things like “dress size” and shopping, how often do you hear male characters worrying about their clothing sizes.

        • notemily says:

          Where's that downvote button again?

        • onlysatellites says:

          I'm comfortable in my womanhood, whatever the hell that means, but I also have no problem watching something I adore with a critical eye in regards to representation of women. And that joke doesn't really exist in a vacuum.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Eh, I don't know, I thought that was just a natural thing to do after regenerating. Wouldn't you want to know as much as possible about your new body? Just like the Doctor's obsession with being ginger for once! I don't think it was meant as any kind of comment about the shallowness of women.

        • __Jen__ says:

          That's how I read those lines as well. Honestly that's probably how I'd react, though River seems to be doing it with a lot more curiosity and general excitement than I would necessarily be.

      • Stephen_M says:

        Sorry, don't agree. Remember Eleven regenerating? What was the first thing he did? Why check on his appearance, comment on the size of his chin, check his hair, complain he wasn't ginger… Or Ten? Once he'd gotten his mind sorted out the first (i think, away fro home so cant check) question he asked Rose "am I ginger?" in fact he flat out asks her if he's sexy! It's a cannon thing for the Doctor in New Who, why not River?

        • Karen says:

          Yeah, I had no problem with River checking out her hair. That is standard appearance stuff akin to Ten and his hair and Eleven and his chin. But the fact is that the media presents a certain type of body shape for women to aspire to, and the fact that River was specifically concerned about her weight and whether or not she was fat is really disconcerting to me.

          • Did River go off to check her weight in order to stick the poison lippy on? I wasn't keen on the line, but then I wondered if it was merely a cunning ruse on her part.

            • Karen says:

              Hm. I'm not sure. That would make sense from a plot perspective. She really could have just said she wanted to check out her ears or hair or whatever though.

              • But she'd done the hair by then hadn't she with the big mirror over the fireplace?

                …where on her person did she conceal poison lippy? Does the waistcoat/cardie have pockets?

                I need to stop thinking about River in this episode. SO MANY QUESTIONS

                • FlameRaven says:

                  Bra? It would be the easiest place to shove a tube of lipstick and be pretty sure it wouldn't disappear.

                  • True. If a camera can survive in my bra in the moshpit at gigs then lipstick can definitely survive in a bra during regeneration.

                  • notemily says:

                    I was at work the other day (library) and someone had to pay their overdue fines, and she looked through her wallet and couldn't find any cash, so she legit reached into her bra and pulled out some bills. I found that pretty hilarious in a "wait, are we in a madcap classic movie?" way.

                  • rumantic says:

                    She didn't know she was going to be regenerating though, so in the pocket would probably have been fair game.

          • Tauriel_ says:

            Yeah, well, Ten commented about his weight after the regeneration, too. So how come River's not allowed to do so?

            • Karen says:

              Because this is a script written by a man and there is a lot more history behind the way women and their weight has been treated by society and the media than there is with men? This show doesn't exist in a vacuum.

              • Tauriel_ says:

                So, if it was written by a woman it wouldn't be sexist?

                Lovely double standards, there.

                • Karen says:

                  Not automatically, but possibly yes. Somethings are ok for a non-privileged group to say about themselves (especially if it is in a joking or a reclaiming way or highlighting the way that media usually portrays said group), but not ok for someone from the privileged group to say.

                  • Tauriel_ says:

                    So you're okay with positive discrimination?

                    Because that can be pretty hurtful in the long term (yes, even to the "oppressed" group in question). Positive discrimination is not equality.

                    • Karen says:

                      That doesn't really have much to do with my previous comment, but to answer your question, possibly. I think that issues are too complex to make a blanket statement about that. By positive discrimination, I'm going to assume that you mean things like quotas? I think that those can be good things. For example, the creator of the TV show Community was told by a (female) executive that his writer's room had to be made up of 50% women. At first he grumbled about it because it was a lot more work trying to find women writers, but in the end he realized that it was a good thing. Yes, it was harder for him to find women because there are not nearly as many women writers as men since writing for film and TV is still such a boys club. But he put in the extra work, and the women he hired have written some of the best and funniest episodes of the show.

                      I don't think that positive discrimination is an automatic solution to all the problems in the world, but creating opportunities for women and POC and other non-privileged groups in areas where they are otherwise struggling to have the same opportunities as white men is not a bad thing, necessarily. Hiring someone JUST because you need to fill a quota is bad, but putting in the extra effort to hire an equally qualified person from an underrepresented group isn't.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      Okay, this was reported for derailing, which I think it is, so let's stop right here.

      • Minish says:

        To be honest, I just saw it as the Doctor Who staple of Time Lord post-regeneration new body fascination and subsequent wardrobe change. We've seen it from basically every Doctor. After all, if I'd gotten a new body, my new appearance would probably be my first concern right after "HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN?!"

        • Elexus Calcearius says:

          Pretty much this. On the whole, I really don't care that much about my apparent, but if I was regenerating….well, I don't think I'd mind making myself a little thinner. Everyone's allowed a little vanity.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        I can see where you're coming from, but personally I thought it fit River as a character. She's very concerned about appearences in the sense of making a scene and very blase. You could of course say that Moffat shouldn't have written her like that in the first place…but then, as a woman, I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't completely avoid writing that type of people, since they do exist in real life. They're quite common, and that doesn't make them bad people.

        That being said, I do hope the next female companion Moffat writes is one who'll care less about appearance and be a very different temperment, but we'll need to wait and see how that unfolds.

        • So much THIS. The problem with having this problem with River's reaction is that you're holding her responsible to represent women as a whole in an ideal, feminist way, instead of letting her just be a character. There are women like this, it does seem to fit to some extent with River, and I would argue that it deliberately factors into her portrayal as a young River with a lot to learn. One of the brilliant things about this episode is seeing River Song "unfinished," and part of that is that she's much more flighty and manipulative and emotionally shallow, and her reaction to regeneration follows suit.

      • @Nycteridae says:

        I actually did not have a problem with that part. (Also a woman! And had a huge problem with the "she's a woman!" line.) She basically acted exactly like the Doctor always does after a regeneration. There's [i]always[/i] a "finding new clothes" scene. He very often makes a fuss about parts of his body–his hair, his ears, etc. He often ties discovering his new appearance to discovering his new identity, and how problematic would [i]that[/i] be with a female Doctor? (This is why I often think we're simply not ready for one.)

        I also thought the bit with her weight was actually a [i]subversion[/i]. She regenerated heavier than her previous body, and she seemed immensely pleased with this. She was turning the younger/thinner = better trope on its head. I saw her wanting to weigh herself not as her obsessing over thinness in a stereotypical way, but like a little kid who just got something awesome, and wants to examine it from every angle. She wanted to put a number to her weight because she thought it was [i]wonderful[/i]. Plus, brand new body! She wants to discover everything about it!

        tl;dr: I don't think there is anything remotely stereotypical or problematic about a woman thinking about her appearance when it has completely changed [i]into another person[/i], because it's what anyone would do.

      • jumpthesnark says:

        If I had a tendency to completely regenerate my physical form everytime I was supposed die, uh, yeah, I'd be kinda wondering about this brand new body I'd found myself in and what all its little details were, too! Hell, even when the Doctor's regenerated he's taken time out to see what he looks like, what color is his hair (still not ginger!), go change clothes into an outfit that's fitting of his new persona–there are whole scenes dedicated to him doing these things, it's not like River/Melody is the only person to regenerate and wonder what her new body is like.

    • barnswallowkate says:

      Except the line seemed to be less "I don't get women because I'm the Doctor" and more "No one gets women because they make no sense 24/7." There could have been a million other lines there to convey what they wanted to convey and instead they chose some BS that tons of people actually believe and tons of other people have to hear constantly in real life. It just took me out of the moment and tainted some otherwise-amusing shenanigans with River.

      • Stephen_M says:

        Yet we never hear this sort of complaining over "blimey jeff, get a girlfriend" or "you are a bloke. Every room you walk into you ignore all the men and show off to all the women" or "you're not keeping the horse" "why not, I let you keep Mickey" or…. You get the idea.

        • Karen says:

          But both sides reinforce bad gender stereotypes. BOTH are bad. Sexism does primarily affect women because they are not in the position of power, but it also affects the way that men are perceived. The fact that there are jokes aimed at men (the group in a position of power) doesn't make it ok that there are jokes aimed at women (the group who historically are not in the position of power and still struggle in areas that men don't have to).

        • barnswallowkate says:

          I'm just explaining why I didn't like that line, I'm not an authority on all possibly offensive lines in the history of Doctor Who. People here call the show out for sexism all the time, even when it's sexism towards men. And the last example is insulting Mickey directly – if he'd said "River never makes sense" or "She's Amy's daughter and Amy never makes sense either" or even "Humans never make sense" it would've been in-character and in-universe without reminding some of the audience of crap they have to hear all the time.

          When that line (and several others) came up I was disappointed in the show, and a little hurt, and just wished that they'd left that crap out. It's lazy "humor" at the expense of a large part of their audience and the episode wouldn't have suffered if they'd cut that out. Plus it's not just one line, it's the latest of several examples of Shit I Wish Moffat Would Stop Putting In My Who, like the Doctor asking Rory for permission to hug Amy. But I don't expect everyone to come to the show with my same experiences and agree with my interpretation.

          • Elexus Calcearius says:

            Agree with most of this comment…but I don't quite get your point about the hugging thing. I don't take that as a point towards Rory owning Amy or anything, but more politeness on the Doctor's part. He knows they're in a monogamous relationship, and that Rory has been (arguably with good reason) nervous of Amy's relation to the Doctor, and he's just saying "I'm not trying to be overly romantic with the person you love". I bet he'd do the same thing when hugging/comforting Rory, by asking Amy.

            • barnswallowkate says:

              I just can't imagine ever being OK with someone asking my husband permission to hug me. What does he have to do with it? It would gross me out if someone did it to me so it grosses me out when they do it to Amy.

              If Rory isn't comfortable with Amy hugging the Doctor because of her past crush, that's something he should talk to her about, and they should come to an agreement that works for both of them. Then it's up to Amy to hold up her end of the agreement if it's "No Hugging" – Rory still isn't the gatekeeper to her hugs.

              Then again, if TV couples resolved everything reasonably and fairly there wouldn't be much left to watch 😉

              • burritosaurus says:

                I just can't imagine ever being OK with someone asking my husband permission to hug me. What does he have to do with it? It would gross me out if someone did it to me so it grosses me out when they do it to Amy.

                THIS. That bit has always creeped me out. Not so much the Doctor asking permission in general, but that Rory is the one to grant it and the "I am holding a sword, so don't push it" bit from AGMGTW. Letting Rory know that it's a buddy hug is a good thing, but Amy is the one who should give permission, as she's the one being hugged.

          • @Nycteridae says:

            Shit I Wish Moffat Would Stop Putting In My Who

            So much this. I'm a lover, not a hater, but can I have my asexual Doctor back? The one who never said, "Don't make my mistakes" when it comes to not getting laid? Also the one who didn't just pop his first boner in over 900 years?

    • __Jen__ says:

      Amy and Rory are just perfect together.

      QFT! I love their relationship so much.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Not sure if it made sense in context. Yes, Eleven doesn't get women (actually, he doesn't seem to get anyone but himself). But he wasn't saying that he didn't understand what or why River had done something. He understood. But he was saying that a justification for River to kill him was that she was female. That's not the same as not understanding the gender on an emotional level.

  17. doesntsparkle says:

    Things I liked:
    * Evil River, she would have made a really compelling long term villain.
    * Punching Hitler, then leaving him in the cupboard
    * The Silence and the Question. This seems like an interesting plot.
    * The Tesselector, they were weird and more than a little cheesy.
    * The Doctor in a Tux and Tails.

    Things I didn't like:
    * Some things seemed really rushed. Moffat needs to let stuff resonate.
    * The Doctor asking Rory permission to hug Amy. No.
    * Melz/River's lines about dress size and weighing herself before and after Regenerating. Just, fuck that noise. She is, or will be, River Song. Fat cells fear her, not the other way around.

    • Reddi says:

      "Moffat needs to let stuff resonate" -YES. He seems afraid to allow the quiet moments that are needed to make a complete story work. I feel like I'm watching rushed Cliff Notes on a longer story.

  18. Karen says:

    So how much of River’s life is influenced by the Doctor? So she became an archaeologist because the Doctor told her to? Or suggested to? I’m kind of confused about this. And what does it say about River as a person? Did she find her own way as the Doctor said at the end of the episode, or did he shape her?
    What I understood from the end was that River became an archeologist in order to find "a good man" aka the Doctor. BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN HER LIFE IS ACTUALLY ABOUT THE DOCTOR.

    All right, it’s kind of impossible to ignore, but Moffat has some written some great women characters and then he confuses me with the sexism that he wraps up in them. I mean, that line from the Doctor where he explains River by saying, “She’s a woman!” is not only ridiculous, but it makes no sense. What exactly was he trying to say with this? It’s getting irritating that this stuff is creeping so much into the stories. TAKE IT AWAY, MOFFAT. I don’t want any of this essentialist gender fuckery in my Doctor Who.
    The "she's a woman!" bit came after a like like "first she wants to marry me and now she wants to kill me". So basically LOL THOSE WOMEN. THEY ARE SO FICKLE, AM I RIGHT? Uuuugh.

  19. shoroko says:

    I got the impression that the Doctor's "She's a woman" comment was supposed to be him basically being sexist/making a bad, sexist joke in a moment of stress, and took his "Oh shut up, I'm dying" comment to be the semi-apology for it. Like "yes, I know that was an awful thing to say, and not at all witty, I get to be awful and not witty when I'm going to die in 31 minutes!" I didn't especially like it, but that's how I took it.

    And that's how I felt about a lot of the episode – I'm mixed about it because I don't like that it seems to be wrapping up River's story so quickly, and makes everything about her so much about the Doctor. I could have gone with the River-programmed-to-be-an-assassin thing, but I would have wanted more effort and time put into it than I think is really going to end up happening. I guess I thought the reveal at the end of the last stint of episodes felt more like a middle point, but now we're already rearing toward the end, in a way that doesn't feel especially graceful and, like you pointed out, doesn't give River as much time to develop her own story. I admittedly also didn't like the River-using-her-regenerations-to-save-the-Doctor thing – I can even set aside the issue of Apparently She's Going To Kill Him Anyway, but I just found the idea that she would turn around so quickly, and in such a huge way, rather unconvincing.

    However, something that occurred to me upon watching it again, and something that would vaguely change my feelings on it, was the idea that what the Doctor whispered to her was his real name. At first I figured it was some kind of endearment, but that would mirror River doing it in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, and would fit with her telling him afterward "I'm sure she knows." That's total speculation on my part, I really have no idea, but I liked the idea of it and it's something major enough that it would I guess make me rethink my feelings on parts of this.

    As for how River got from 1960s New York to the Ponds in Leadworth – her comment about making herself "younger" gave me the impression that while regenerating means this particular body, she can control how she ages – I think the Doctor noted that at this point she was 408, so we don't really know how many times she's regenerated before now, and moreover, I guess it seems there are no real rules on how long she'd need to get to Leadworth by the time Amy and Rory were children, because she apparently has some means of controlling and even reversing her physical age. Maybe! That was the impression I got.

    The stuff about her being some huge war criminal for killing the Doctor also confused the hell out of me, but that's always been confusing for me. Like, who are these apparent intergalactic law enforcement people who put her in prison over it? What is their jurisdiction? (I'm a law student, damn it!) Why do they care? At first I thought they were talking about the Doctor, considering he, you know, went and wiped out all the Time Lords? Do they not care about that? They also make some point about catching people in "late in their time stream," but didn't seem to care that they were going after River before she'd actually killed the Doctor, soooo…. And again, I don't really get why they would care so much about the Doctor, especially since last time we saw him he was bordering on being the bad guy, though this is also getting perilously close to "logic I'm not allowed to care about when it comes to Doctor Who."

    Also, creepy as they were, those weird jellyfish robot things kind of got to a point where I felt like they were those common things in sci-fi that just build drama without having any real sensible purpose. But then again, see the last line of above.

    On the other hand, the episode was a lot of fun, I never complain about seeing Alex Kingston ever, and they totally caught me on the Mels thing. I was also really concerned after seeing a spoiler about Hitler "definitely being in the closet," but they meant literally! So that's just funny. I don't know, I guess I'm also rather mixed on it.

    • Gen says:

      I agree it was knowingly sexist, but I take a lot of issue with the idea that men, when not able to expend effort, automatically go towards sexism because "you can't expect me to care about equality at a time like this!". Treating it as a great effort that lapses when it's inconvenient leaves a nasty taste in my mouth, and tbh seems waaaay OOC for the Doctor, who I doubt gives a damn about such things.

      Totally agreed about the confusing law-enforcement types. I know it's Doctor Who and it runs on cool idea not logic, but I'd like at least a tiny smidgen of logic to sustain me… it would have made more sense to use the Time Agency and say River was anomalous or something, IDK. At least that had already been established as an agency that existed, and in her timeline too.

    • lala says:

      I think Melody can control her aging. Remember in the the Impossible Astronaut, the Doctor is 200 years older, but he still looks the same.

    • notemily says:

      River is 408 years old and we don't know how many times she's regenerated? Okay, my new theory is that River is everyone on the show except Amy, Rory, and the Doctor.

    • Monocle Claire says:

      I got the impression that the Doctor's "She's a woman" comment was supposed to be him basically being sexist/making a bad, sexist joke in a moment of stress, and took his "Oh shut up, I'm dying" comment to be the semi-apology for it. Like "yes, I know that was an awful thing to say, and not at all witty, I get to be awful and not witty when I'm going to die in 31 minutes!" I didn't especially like it, but that's how I took it.

      Yes, me too! 😀 I thought I was the only one.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      You are the first person to point out that The Doctor *called himself out* on his stupid "she's a woman" comment. Yes, it was stupid, but then he immediately acknowledged that it was a stupid thing to say. Everyone upthread who has been pointing out the comment has been leaving out the second part, which to me takes it way out of context. Context is important!

  20. enigmaticagentscully says:

    So I wrote this the other day, sorry for the slightly large monologue here. I just have a lot of ~feelings~ ok?

    Watching Doctor Who has kind of been ruined for me recently. And it’s not because I dislike it, it’s because it seems everyone else does. Now I don’t think the show is perfect, but it’s silly, light-hearted fun that I always enjoy watching – I can see a plot hole, or a problematic issue and forgive it because it’s Doctor Who. It’s a show I’ve loved for a long time and one I think for the most part has brilliant actors, writing and plotting. The odd rubbish episode or cheesy concept doesn’t bother me. As Mark often says, I can identify problematic elements of what happens and still enjoy it as a whole. But recently everyone I know has started to go on about how awful it is. My parents don’t watch it with me anymore, my best friend only has complaints, even the guy I work with said he hated the last episode and I didn’t even know he watched the damn show. I feel like I have to badmouth it just to get along with people.
    Fiction is always something that been really important to me, and a big part of my enjoyment comes from sharing a show or a book I love with other people. That’s why I love Mark Does Stuff so much! For me, being able to discuss an episode with my family, or lend a favourite book to a friend, just makes the whole experience ten times more enjoyable. I love that feeling of being on the same wavelength as someone else; of seeing someone I like and whose opinions I respect discover joy in something I’ve enjoyed myself. But now it’s going the other way – I feel like I can’t enjoy something unless everyone else loves it too.
    Take this episode for example. I loved it! I had a ball watching it. Seeing Alex Kingston hamming it up as an evil River, the robot Amy ship piloted by tiny people, the way they poked fun at Nazism without being too offensive…the pacing was a little off, and there were a couple of moments I didn’t like, but for the most part it was great. A solid 8/10 for me. But then I go on the internet afterwards, and all I see is complaints. It makes me feel like…I’m wrong. That I wasn’t thinking critically enough, that my love for show has blinded me to it’s failings, that it’s terrible and has gone downhill and I’ve got awful taste because suddenly all the people with whom I used to talk about Doctor Who hate it and I’ve been left sitting in the dust of popular opinion.
    Now whenever I watch an episode, I feel nervous. Because all I can see is problems – I watch out for moments that I know are going to be picked apart the next day, scenes I’m going to have to defend, plot elements that don’t make sense. It’s really bringing me down.
    I don’t know. I mean, there’s nothing I can do about it; everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and I’m sure most people are far more well informed than me about Doctor Who’s problems. But I just wish…I just wish everyone LIKED it, y’know? Because in a way I feel responsible for the shows I love. If an episode of The X Files is embarrassingly bad, I feel embarrassed showing it to someone. If someone points out flagrant racism or sexism in Star Trek or Harry Potter I feel personally ashamed. I cringe to call myself a fan of ‘Sherlock’ when I watch that second episode.

    Doctor Who may not be perfect, but it’s mine. Now I feel like admitting I like it makes me a bad person, when everyone I respect and trust tells me it’s awful. Please tell me some of you guys still love it!

    • arctic_hare says:

      I do know what you mean, and I've been wondering myself lately if my taste is just that bad and I don't know it. I hear ya on feeling let down by bad episodes of a show I otherwise love, and especially on problematic stuff in things I otherwise like.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      A lot of people on the Internet overanalyse every little detail and every line ad absurdum – don't let that stop you from enjoying the show. 😉

    • __Jen__ says:

      I still love it! Honestly though, you just described me and my experiences to a T. 🙁

    • FlameRaven says:

      This is why I have flat-out refused to go on any Doctor Who communities for the last few seasons. Who fandom is notorious for freaking out and hating any major change or event, and Season 6 especially has been FULL of all kinds of controversial stuff, especially as we get more and more involved with River.

      And you know what? I'm enjoying the hell out of the show. So I don't even hang out on fandoms boards where I know all I'm going to hear is whining and moaning. People can nitpick and complain if they want; I'm going to enjoy this incredibly ambitious, ridiculously plotted season for all it's worth. I personally think Doctor Who has never been better.

    • NB2000 says:

      <img src=""/&gt;

      This sort of thing is why I don't really get involved with fandoms as much anymore (aside from here). It's hard to see, what feels like, everyone else being critical of something you really enjoyed. Your opinion is no less valid than theirs but it's still an uncomfortable position to be in.

      I still love this show, it's still one of my favourites that I spend most of the week looking forward to and my plastic TARDIS still has pride of place on my desk.

    • @65dgs says:

      All the upvotes to this comment. I love being able to enjoy things despite their flaws, and not have to feel defensive. Unfortunately, it seems like that can't ever last in fandom.

    • burritosaurus says:

      I want to give you all the hugs because we are totally ~kindred spirits~

      For me, when it comes to things I like, I'm really good at filling in the blanks to just roll with it and enjoy it for what it is rather than get all nitpicky and cranky about it. This episode is a pretty great example of that–for example, I would love to see exactly how Melody gets from Demons Run to the orphanage in NYC to Leadworth and everything in between, and I totally get why people are pissed that that aspect of her story has been glossed over thus far (but the season isn't over, yet) but I'm ok with not knowing. It's not the River Song show, and even though the Doctor is the titular character, it's not even really his show. It's just fun and adventure and nightmare and time travel, and I'm totally content with a few plot holes.

      I loved this episode because it was so fast and fun, even though there were moments that I didn't like, and now reading so manynegative comments, it makes me really sad and sometimes disappointed or ashamed with myself for not "getting it" or whatever. Then I try to remind myself that my opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to my enjoyment of a show, but it doesn't always work.

    • Gen says:

      While I think it's really important to say that you can like problematic things without necessarily liking the problematic elements themselves (and everyone does, I think!), and there's nothing wrong with that, this comment makes me kind of uncomfortable. There's nothing wrong with liking LKH despite its problems, but let's not brush anyone who *doesn't* with 'oh well, it's silly, just relax!', you know?

      I mean, on the flip side, when I feel offended/upset by problems in TV shows like sexism or racism, I know I'll find comments like these about how I'm making it harder to like and it makes me feel hideously guilty for criticizing stuff that actually, I think I'm pretty entitled to criticize.

      I don't know where I'm going with this, but I felt like I really ought to say *something*.

      I guess it's kind of a catch 22.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Oh no, don't get me wrong! I think it's totally right to think critically about even your favourite shows, and call them out on anything you think is wrong. As I said, there were some parts of this episode (and Doctor Who in general) that I found problematic. And I certainly don't want to make it seem as though that's unimportant. Just because a show isn't setting out to make any kind of statement doesn't mean it shouldn't be aware of it's content, and the kind of implicit views it's putting out there. And of course you're totally entitled to criticize! I wouldn't ever want to silence someone's views just because I might not agree with them myself!
        What I'm trying to say (perhaps I didn't make it very clear) is that sometimes I feel as if we're going too far in the other direction, you know? That now I sometimes feel marginalised for enjoying the show at all – just as you feel guilty for criticizing it, I feel guilty for NOT criticizing it, and I worry that since everyone seems to have such big problems with the shows content, I'm setting myself up as a bad person for admitting to liking it overall.
        In the end, I don't mean to make some big philosophical point or anything, I was just feeling a little lonely because no-one I know in real life enjoys Doctor Who any more. I felt like I was the only one! But reading a few of the comments here has helped, because there seem to be people on both ends of the spectrum.

        TL:DR – I don't mind people having different opinions to mine, I just don't want to be completely alone in my opinion!

      • arctic_hare says:

        I didn't take that from it, I thought they were saying that they felt like bad people for liking it despite the problematic elements. Which is something I feel about a lot of things. But maybe I read it wrong.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:


        I should probably clarify (because I hate it when people do this too!) that I didn't mean to do the whole 'it's just a bit of fun, lighten up' thing. I actually mentioned the silliness of the show because that's why my parents don't watch it any more. They think the plots are cheesy, ridiculous and over complicated. In their words 'utter tosh'.
        No really, my parents genuinely speak like that. 😛

        I don't think something being 'silly' excuses it's problems, I just don't think something being 'silly' is in itself, a problem.

        • notemily says:

          Do your parents also say "what ho, toodle pip"?

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            See, you're probably kidding, but actually my dad says 'toodle pip' in all honesty, quite often. 😛
            I've heard 'what ho' a couple of times from him, usually when answering the phone.

            It's weird, they're not really posh or upper-class or anything, they just…talk like that? I mean, I say 'gosh' occasionally, but that's just because I read a lot of Enid Blyton as a kid.

      • burritosaurus says:

        I think it's definitely something that works both ways. Liking something that a lot of people dislike because of very real reasons sometimes makes me feel guilty, but so does disliking something for very real reasons that people like. That is a really wobbly sentence, but with this episode as a specific example: the "and she's a woman" definitely made me raise my eyebrows, and I understand why it's really pissing off a lot of people and everything people are saying against it, but it didn't ruin the episode for me, or even ruin that moment, and there's a rather large part of me that feels guilty about that–especially because I know that if someone said that within ear shot of me, there would be a really long angry lecture spewing out of my mouth. Why didn't that line bother me when other versions of it get highly criticized by me? Probably because it's Doctor Who, and I love Doctor Who, and I want to enjoy it, so I let things slide. I'm not saying that's a good thing, and I know I really should be more equally critical, but it's how my mind works right now.

        Erm. So now I don't know where I'm going with this, but I guess basically: I personally don't hold it against people who have strong criticisms, and I really enjoy having things I miss pointed out to me so I can learn and be more aware, even if it results in me liking something less/feeling guilty for liking something. Sometimes, I'm in that boat, ruining things for everyone else. So keep on feeling entitled.

    • To illustrate how much I understand this post…

      I didn't even read it at first because I read the text in bold and said, no, no, I DO NOT WANT TO READ NEGATIVE THINGS I ENJOYED IT.

      And then I did read it and discovered we are the same person.

      Because in a way I feel responsible for the shows I love.
      Abso-goddamn-lutely. I love some shows so hard that if you don't like them, I feel that is an insult to me.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yay, it's not just me! I worry I take things a little too seriously sometimes. 😛

        Like, I lend a book to my friend, and I actually lie awake at night worrying if she'll like it.
        I actually refused to watch certain episodes of the X Files with my parents because I can't bear to hear them make fun of it!
        ***first world problems***

        Incidentally, the bolded text was a CLEVER RUSE to draw the eye to my comment. It had little to do with the actual content, much in the same way as the title of this episode had little to do with the plot. Gosh, I am so cunning and it completely backfired.

      • __Jen__ says:

        I know right? I sometimes even have a hard time watching things I've recced with people, because my entire being is practically focused on whether they're enjoying it or not. I'm all, I loved this, now you must love this tooooo. :\

        • If you don't love this, YOU CLEARLY DON'T LOVE ME WAAAAAAH.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            This is basically why I don't have a significant other and will probably be ~forever alone~


            Ok, I'm not that bad. 😛 But I do care a whole lot more than I should. Like, I don't care about your political views, or what sports team you support at all but so help me god if you prefer Kirk to Picard.

            • I think one's views on television shows says much more about them as a person than what sports team they support. What kind of stories do you like? What characters do you relate to? What emotions do you feel? The answers to these questions get to the heart of who we are as people.

              I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with someone who asked me, "Do you ever wonder how much more amazing you would be if you didn't watch so much TV?"

              "Oh, so much less amazing," I replied immediately.

              This is who I am.

            • __Jen__ says:

              This is basically why I don't have a significant other and will probably be ~forever alone~

              LOL pretty much!

              A friend of mine just attempted to set me up with someone, and after a series of awkward events we ended up hanging out for about an hour. We don't watch any of the same shows or movies, he doesn't like to read and he doesn't like Harry Potter because he's not into that "evil witchcraft stuff". Out of all the ways we were incompatible it was like an instant dealbreaker. Our mutual friend tried to tell me that plenty of people date who don't share all the same interests, but I was basically like, "THAT IS NOT ME. GOODNIGHT!"

              TL;DR to say we are the same person. 😀

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                Maybe…WE should date. 0_o

                Except you seem to be straight so maybe not. Ah well, it was a nice thought. 😛

                I actually had a similar experience when I was talking to a guy who seemed pretty nice, and he enjoyed reading and everything. But then he asked me what I was reading and I showed him my Discworld book and he said 'Oh I hate fantasy, I find it childish'.

                So…no. Sorry, but love me, love Terry Pratchett.

                Who even hates fantasy? I mean jeez, I bet he didn't read Harry Potter either.

                • __Jen__ says:

                  I go both ways, but you seem to be on a different hemisphere than me. 🙁 😉

                  Again, the whole "fantasy is childish" thing is an instant dealbreaker for me. I rationally know that people don't have to share all the same interests, but my nerdy and fannish interests are important to me and part of who I am, dammit. If Terry Pratchett is childish then so am I and I will revel in it. That perspective says so much about someone's sense of humor and (in)ability to just roll with things that are outside our normal experience.

                  • enigmaticagentscully says:

                    Huh…out of interest, where do you live?

                    But yeah, it always seems bizarre to me when people dismiss fantasy or science fiction as somehow less worthy than other genres. As if there are degrees of fiction, and the further away you get from reality, the less important it is. Worrying about looking childish is definitely a dealbreaker for me.

                    • __Jen__ says:

                      LOL I am a recent transplant to the southern United States, but I've lived all over the mid to eastern US.

                      I will never understand that. Along the same lines, I don't understand the tendency to devalue fiction that isn't grim and dark. Happy things can be just as rewarding, worthwhile and demonstrative of the human experience.

                    • notemily says:

                      My immediate family is like this. My parents and sister don't get what I get out of sf/fantasy and think I'm weird for liking it. My friends are like "oh yeah, my dad made me read Lord of the Rings as soon as I was old enough" or "my whole family loves Star Wars, we watch it every year!" and I am like I WEEP FOR MY POOR DEPRIVED CHILDHOOD. (moar firstworldproblems)

                      As if there are degrees of fiction, and the further away you get from reality, the less important it is.

                      Yes, exactly this. The thing is, I think fantasy can explore reality just as well as realistic fiction! Like how Battlestar Galactica brings up questions of what it means to be a person and whether torture is ever justified, and Avatar explores environmentalism and morality and whether it's ever okay to kill a person for the greater good, and how parts of the Hunger Games trilogy are a great commentary on the wide gulf between the haves and have-nots of some societies. And that's just a sample of what we've discussed on these sites, which in turn is just a sample of all of the great science fiction and fantasy out there.

                    • Shiyiya says:

                      It's not like Discworld is far from reality. It just… holds up a funhouse mirror to it. Satirizes everything and actually makes fairly serious points about things like racism! And politics! (NIGHT WATCH IS THE BEST BOOK) With really solid believable fascinating characterization! (Vimes! Vetinari! Moist! Granny!) I love Discworld so muchhhhh.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  You're totally normal. Hating Pratchett, and sf/f in general, is a dealbreaker for me too.

                • notemily says:

                  Once again, I can understand if fantasy is not your thing, but childish? If you think all fantasy is childish, you have been reading the WRONG fantasy, dude.

              • notemily says:

                Someone calling Harry Potter "evil witchcraft stuff" would be an instant relationship killer. No possibility of a future, none. Like, I can deal if Harry Potter is just not really your thing, but thinking it's evil (a) probably means you're religious in a way that I am most definitely NOT, and (b) probably means you haven't actually read the books because COME ON.

              • notemily says:

                Our mutual friend tried to tell me that plenty of people date who don't share all the same interests, but I was basically like, "THAT IS NOT ME. GOODNIGHT!"

                Also, isn't this basically the theme of the movie High Fidelity? Although with music instead of TV/books/movies.

                • __Jen__ says:

                  Lol, it kind of was! I just need to not get to the point where I'm John Cusack's character for most of that movie.

              • lyvanna says:

                Ahh, you are me! (And a lot of other people according to all these comments! We'll be ~forever alone~ together)

                I started a new job a few months ago and started crushing on this unattainable guy (which tends to be my curse). Then during one discussion he said that he never reads. Never. Reads. When usually I'd pine after this guy for months before realising it was never gonna happen, this revelation turned off my crush like a switch.

            • notemily says:

              There was a time when I tried to make all of my boyfriends watch Buffy, because I felt like they HAD to watch it in order to ~UNDERSTAND ME~ or something. But that just got depressing because we would never get to the end. "Oh yeah, he and I got all the way to season five, but my last relationship barely made it to season two!"

              Also I realized that maybe I was being obnoxious. Now I just don't date, though, so that solves that problem 😛 ~forever alone~ indeed

              Your last sentence made me think of this. (2:14)

        • arctic_hare says:

          Yeah, I know EXACTLY what you mean. To be immediately relevant to this site, I'm super excited that Mark is going to watch Cowboy Bebop, but part of me is also terrified, "OH NOOOOOOO WHAT IF HE HATES IT?" and I'll just feel sad forever. 🙁

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            I have a similar problem – I'm a HUGE fan of the 'Fullmetal Alchemist' manga, and the anime 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood' which follows the manga plot.
            But…there's also an earlier anime made which was just based off the manga, but it doesn't follow the plot properly, and all the characters are all different-y, and my favourite character isn't even IN it and…and…a lot of people prefer it.
            Mark's said he's going to watch one of them somewhere down the line. And I SO BADLY want it to be the one I love, because I really want to hear everyone's thoughts on it, and discuss it with everyone here!

            Seriously, I quit university, have a crappy part time job, live with my parents, have no girlfriend or boyfriend, and yet somehow THIS is the issue that keeps me awake at night. I'm also planning to watch it with my Dad when he retires later this year and I'm so worried he won't like it!

            In other news, Cowboy Bebop is awesome. ^^

            • arctic_hare says:

              FMA! I need to finish that series. I got started on the first anime before Brotherhood, and started reading the manga too, but like so many other things, I never finished it. For no real reason. *facepalm* It's a miracle I got through all of DW. Or a fluke. And Avatar I had meant to watch for ages, it was Mark watching it that finally kickstarted me to do it.

              Ahem. Anyway. I'll try to pick it back up now that Mark is going to watch it. 😀

              Yes, it is. 😀 I don't know who put up the rec for FMA on the Suggestions page, but I was the one who did the rec for CB, so I'm extra scared of him hating it.

              • I really don't see any reason he'll hate it. I'm pretty sure he'll love it. It bears a strong resemblance to a show we know he loves, after all.

                I'm the one who recced Friday Night Lights, though, so whenever he gets to that, I will be all PLEEEEEASE LOVE THIS LIKE I KNOW YOU WILL. ALSO EVERYONE ELSE LOVE IT.

                Also Princess Tutu. LOVE IT. EVERYONE.

                Honestly, sometimes it's not so much about your not loving my show being an insult to me but your loving it being an enrichment of your life that I have facilitated. I have to leave my mark on people or my life has no purpose.

                Yes, I have issues.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  Oh, I know logically that he'll probably enjoy it, and the resemblance that other show bears to it (CB came first!) is precisely why I recced it, but sometimes I just can't help but have moments of irrational fear like that. =D It's what I do. I have similar moments of nervousness every time he starts something that I love. (WAAAAH PLEASE DON'T HATE SANDMAN EITHER.)

                  It's okay, I have issues too~

                • enigmaticagentscully says:

                  "Honestly, sometimes it's not so much about your not loving my show being an insult to me but your loving it being an enrichment of your life that I have facilitated."

                  THIS. Recommending a show to me that I end up loving is like the best gift you could possibly give me. So I'm constantly trying to do it to other people.
                  My best friend just wouldn't give in until I watched The X Files (no I will not stop going on about it, it's the best show ever) and I still feel like I'm forever in her debt.

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                Ah! You see, there's my problem, because I read the manga first, so I can't watch the first anime without turning into one of those 'THIS ISN'T CANON IT'S ALL WRONG' people. And I hate those guys! 😛

                I seriously love the manga though. I mainlined it in a couple of days after I started reading it online by chance, and I was just blown away. And then I felt really guilty for essentially stealing such a great story, so now I am in the process of legitimately buying the manga in book form!

            • Vikinhaw says:

              I know exactly how you feel and am in nearly the same situation! The only difference is I'm repeating my final year and going broke in the process. Yet I'm really invested in other people's opinions of a show I liked. To all of your comments above: agreed. You shouldn't feel bad about loving a show. Just cause other people hate it doesn't mean you opinion of it is invalid or baseless.

              Also, I love love love Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and the manga to a serious degree. My favourite anime of ALL TIME. I can write whole massive essays on that show. ( I also feel the same about the first anime, the plot holes, the lack of resolution on the themes and the sexism bother me). If Mark watches it and the community doesn't like it I'd feel so shitty. Going on to FMA fan sites and trying to talk about either one is painful cause of all the Very Strong Opinions.

              • enigmaticagentscully says:

                To be honest, as soon as I found out my favourite badass female character wasn't even in it, I just thought 'what's the point?' Umm…I feel like I shouldn't say a name just in case it counts as a spoiler for a possible future project. TO ROT13!

                Byvivre Nezfgebat vf bar bs zl snibhevgr srznyr punenpgref bs nyy gvzr naq V jnf fubpxrq gb svaq bhg fur vfa'g va gur bevtvany navzr. Naq gurl phg bhg gur ragver Kvatrfr phygher! Naq gurl znqr Ebl Zhfgnat or gur bar jub xvyyrq Jvael'f cneragf! JUNG GUR URYY VF GUNG NOBHG??

                That's why I try to stay away from the whole original/brotherhood debate, because I know a lot of people really love the first anime and it brings out the strong opinions like woah. I mean, I know a lot of people like it, but I feel like I'd always be comparing it to the manga and picking holes. 😛

                • Vikinhaw says:

                  I seen the first anime first and I ended up disliking it so I was so happy to discover Brotherhood. I read the manga last. V jnf ergebnpgviryl qvfnccbvagrq Byvivre jnfa'g va vg. V ybir SZN:O onqnff srznyr punenpgref. Gur Zhfgnat Jvael'f cneragf xvyyre fgbelyvar qvqa'g ernyyl trg erfbyhgvba

                  I don't mind comparing Brotherhood with the first anime but I hate it when turns into attacks on the fans of each.

                  I can see why people would like the first. It has a amazing soundtrack, one of the best anime soundtracks I've ever heard and it's more focused on the characters and not the themes or plot so maybe that's good for some people. I just hate it when they say one series is more 'mature' or 'deeper' than the other since it implies the fans of the other are liking something and being 'childish' and 'shallow'.

                  • enigmaticagentscully says:

                    Ahhh, the soundtrack is amazing. Mind you, I think Brotherhood has a pretty damn good soundtrack too!
                    But yeah, I never really understood why Brotherhood was seen as less mature or not as 'deep'. I mean, it can get pretty dark. There are themes of love, loss, sin and redemption…the idea of faith is explored, and freedom, and the aftermath of war. It has a lot of humour and hope in it too, but it's hardly one big cuddly fluff-fest.

                    • Vikinhaw says:

                      Oh Brotherhood's are quite good but there's a few moments like va rcvfbqr 51 be 52 be fbzrguvat, Rq'f tebhc vf svtugvat gur znaardhva fbyqvref jura Nzr, gung fnq fbat sebz gur bcravat fgnegf cynlvat. Vg'f fb fgenatr ng gung zbzrag V ynhtuvat. Vg jnf yvxr n cnebql.

                      Yeah I don't get how Brotherhood is supposedly lighter. It's more optimistic than the first but it has some seriously dark stuff. There is sooo much I wanna say about Brotherhood/manga, about responsibility for one's crimes/sins, oppression and revenge and there's even some political/social commentary about Japan. But I can't cause of spoilers.

                • midnitemarauder says:

                  Just popping in to say that with the original FMA, they made the anime when the manga was only halfway finished, so your favorite character (whom I also love!) hadn't been introduced yet. Basically, the first 25 or so eps of the original FMA anime follow the manga (with lots of filler because certain aspects, like the whole background of what the Philosopher's Stones are, and also the background and essence of the I-won't-name-them-series-villains weren't yet set down in canon either) and then the anime creators basically (with permission from Arakawa-san) wrote their own conclusion. It's like fanfic – like reading someone's epic HP fic written after GoF before any of the other books were published.

                  I also want to add that you should never be ashamed of what you like. We like what we like. Don't ever make excuses or question your taste as being bad or wrong. It is what it is. What makes anyone else an arbiter of good taste? Who decided Picasso was good art? The Old Man and the Sea put me off Hemingway forever, and I don't care that some people think he's an amazing writer. That was the worst book I ever read. (though I never read Twilight, so… :-P) Same with Steinbeck. I had to read 5 of his books in high school and I hated all of them. I despise reality TV with a passion, and until my sister told me, I didn't even know what a Kardashian was (or that Bruce Jenner was married to their mom! I remember the '76 Olympics! I had Wheaties boxes with his picture on it! Oh, how the mighty have fallen!) I watched "The Soup" with my sis and I was embarrassed that people actually watch those shows it mocks. My embarrassment squick was dialed up to 11. But my sis likes some of them, and so do some of my friends. I just don't watch with them. 🙂

                  Then again, I have lots of "guilty pleasures" but I can't be bothered to feel all that guilty about them. Like my current K-Pop obsession (JYJ!!), or the fact that I love anime and manga. I'll be 44 in two weeks and I don't care that my parents think I listen to "boy bands" and watch "cartoons" and read "comics". I read and write fanfic, I love Barry Manilow and ABBA and the Carpenters, and still love a bunch of disco songs along with my classic rock and 80s new wave. And for all the fashion faux pas of the 80s, I loved my big-ass earrings (and still have some!) and back then I looked damn good in a mini-skirt. And my big hair! Anyone who wants to judge me for it can suck it. 😛

                  You like what you like, and if someone looks down on you for it, that's their problem. I'm sure there are things that they like which you think are crap. That's how it goes. You find people you can squee with, and you ignore the condescension elsewhere. (Or, when you get cranky, tell them their tastes suck, too. 😉 ) Being ashamed of your tastes is no different in essence than being ashamed of other aspects of your person, like your sexuality, your weight, your looks, etc. and making excuses for it is denying who you are.

                  It's not always easy, and it is easy to get defensive or worse when people deride you, but one of the best benefits of the internet is that it's not difficult to find people who share your interests. And it seems like lots of people here have a lot in common with you, too. I loved LKH and thought it was fantastic, despite its few flaws.

                  (I also loved Love and Monsters, a marmite episode if there ever was one! Haven't watched this week's yet, but I don't really like Gatiss' Who episodes. They're my least favorite with the exception of The Unquiet Dead.)

                  Um, I'll stop rambling now. This turned into a novel. Anyway, good luck with everything and remember – you're NOT wrong! 🙂

          • monkeybutter says:

            I refuse to believe that there are people out there who hate Cowboy Bebop. I will not even entertain the notion of being sad forever about that. I get a little apprehensive that Mark won't like things that I like — there are two series in particular on his watch list that I adore but have some problems — but at least I know that they have other fans on these sites, and maybe some new people will start watching them and come around to their greatness.

        • NB2000 says:

          This is why I'm really reluctant to rec things. I'm terrified that the other person will hate it and then think less of me because I liked it and made them try it. That and I don't want to be the annoying "OMG watch this! You have to watch this! WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING?!" person

          • arctic_hare says:


          • notemily says:

            I try not to talk things up very much anymore, because I find that inevitably people are not as impressed with my favorite things as I'd like them to be. I don't always succeed 🙂 sometimes my enthusiasm is just too much. One thing I've been trying to say more is, when someone says "oh, I haven't seen/read/heard ____," is "you're in for a treat!" That way it's a way of saying "I think you'll enjoy it if/when you do eventually watch it," but not saying "omg you have to do this now now now now now."

            • MKJCaylor says:

              I am the same as all of you. Just wanted to say. I am currently at the last ep of Avatar with a potential boyfriend and am trying to coax him to watch Buffy. We already watch Doctor Who together. He loves it. Also he loves Avatar. He has potential.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      ….this is actually how I feel sometimes.

      Doctor Who isn't perfect. No show, or book, or series is. But its incredibly depressing to talk to other 'fans' of a series, and find that they look down on you because you enjoyed an episode. Sometimes it seems like in this fandom is difficult to express you enjoying something.

    • Minish says:

      I feel you. I can understand that there will be criticisms, even I'M not blind to the flaws, and I can generally take it when a person just doesn't like an episode, and they're entirely entitled to not like it.

      But what I HATE is when people TELL me I shouldn't like it, or try to ruin my enjoyment because they didn't like it, or especially trying to make me feel guilty for liking it. It's spoiled my viewing perception of the episode. I want to enjoy myself when watching Doctor Who.

      I loved Let's Kill Hitler. It was a load of fun. I want to have fun with you guys. =3

    • notemily says:

      I think maybe the people who are enjoying it aren't saying anything, or maybe they're afraid to speak up and they're in the same position as you. Reading tumblr the past few days since "Hitler" aired, I've seen a lot of criticism, but also a lot of gifs and images of people's favorite moments or the best jokes, which shows me that people do still love it, but the voices of those who find problems are just particularly loud right now.

    • Marie says:

      Yes Yes Yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I hate all the negativity Doctor Who gets from it's fans, it genuinely baffles me how something so joyous can feed into all that hate. I can also have this awful insecurity about my opinions, I automatically believe everyone else is smarter than me – I read a review for the Book Thief once that basically called it terribly written pretentious trash that made me cry because I was afraid that I was an easily fooled idiot, and because of the thought of something I loved so much being kicked in the dirt (I worry about the feelings of stories … that may be a problem)

      I've tried to stop searching out reviews for things I like anymore – it often seems like nobody on the internet wants to enjoy something as it is, instead they talk about how they wish it was or complain about the bits they don't like. How can people put so much energy into disliking things? maybe I'm just unusually bad at it?

      This went on far too long, forgive me, it's late and I'm exhausted, what I was trying to say was: I agree and this was a cathartic read, thank you for writing it 🙂

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I actually had similar experience at a book group with The Book Thief, so I can relate there. 🙂

        Yeah, I think that's a big problem though, isn't it? Personally, I was always the least intelligent member of a family that values intelligence pretty highly, and so I've grown up thinking that if I have a different opinion to someone, it probably means I'm wrong. And I think that's a difficult thing to get over.

        Or maybe I do have terrible taste! 😛
        Even I have to admit that I tend not to hate many things, I don't think I'm very discerning when it comes to my entertainment.

      • notemily says:


        There are people who don't think The Book Thief is pure genius


    • drippingmercury says:

      THIS. The RL friends that hounded me for years to watch NuWho have all stopped watching now. What's irritating is that they all take the attitude that anyone who enjoys Moffat Who is just too bigoted to realize the show has problematic elements, too unintelligent to recognize bad writing, and also a bad feminist (should one dare to claim feminism whilst liking anything Moffat had a hand in! *gasp*). Sooooo I can't admit to any of my RL friends that I've started to really enjoy the show since Moffat took over without meeting a brick wall of judgment and hate (along with ablist slurs that were painfully ironic given the accusations of bad feminism), which is really shitty and honestly makes me wonder about my friends.

      Sorry about my tl;dr personal rant, it's something I've had to bottle up and this is the only place I feel that I can vent it. I'm with Mark, you, and others in that I think problematic elements don't mean I can't enjoy a show. I acknowledge them and enjoy discussing them. I guess that's part of why I love this blog so much. There's squee, there's criticism, there's apathy, and for the most part no one is SUPER ANGRY about the differences in opinion.

      IDK I think this post is probably rambling, but basically: You Are Not Alone and this blog is my refuge full of decent people.

    • widerspruch says:

      Ugh, I know exactly what you mean and how you feel.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      I AGREE.

      In fact, just reading the comments here kind of bums me out sometimes. HAY, LET'S NITPICK OVER THIS ONE LINE AND IGNORE ALL OF THE GOOD. It feels like it happens with every. single. episode. Something that's 0.5% of the episode becomes 95% of the focus of the comments. It's disproportionate. Yes, that 0.5% was dumb, but the other 99.5% was great.

      I LOVED this episode. So much so that I gladly rewatched the whole thing with my boyfriend when he came over later. It was fun! It had great lines! It had silly and serious all mixed up into wonderful goodness, the way very few shows do! It had The Doctor in a very dapper tuxedo! It had baby Rory!

      But then I come here, and there are so many comments harping on it. Yeah, The Doctor had a stupid line, but a) you could barely catch it, and b) he immediately called himself out on it and said it was dumb. Yeah, River was obsessed with looks after regenerating, but a) The Doctor does the same thing every time, b) she's clearly at a very immature phase in her life, c) she's shown thoroughly appreciating her body, not being all "ugh, why am I not perfect?" or anything. It was way more "yay fun" than "ugh I need to fit an ideal". And do we *really* think she was running off to weigh herself? Even IF Hitler kept a scale in his office (seriously, come on), how would she know where to run off to find it? Those were my first thoughts when she said that, anyways.

      And I feel like, even saying this, there's a good chance someone will get on to me for having (what I think are pretty balanced) opinions. CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? Why does everything have to be negative? It feels like it's not allowed to enjoy episodes without finding things to be critical about. It does wear me down, to the point where I almost don't even want to participate in the comments here anymore, and that makes me so sad 🙁

      PS: Holy cow, I didn't mean for this to get so emotional. I HAVE LOTS OF FEELINGS GOING ON IN MY BRAIN, OKAY?

      • ArrogantSage says:

        Well, I definitely didn't think she was in there weighing herself. First off, I got the impression she was getting naked to take a full look since she clearly seemed to enjoy turning into a curvaceous, frizzy-haired middle-aged woman. As a woman, I enjoyed the fact that she enjoyed her new body so much. I don't look at Alex Kingston and see the status quo body image the world is trying to force down our throats.
        Secondly, after the realization that she had the poison lipstick on, it became obvious that she merely was throwing out an excuse to get prepared to kill the Doctor.
        Now, that being said, OF COURSE Moffat could have used some other sentence besides I'm going to weigh myself…although, anything having to do with a mirror would be out since she was standing next to one already….whatevs, history and all that. Think a little harder man!

        I enjoyed the episode greatly and unabashedly. I don't think we are going to the special hell for our enjoyment despite the problematic elements.
        I will say that there is room for discussion over stereotypes and whether they have a valid place in fiction at all (I would argue they do to a point).

    • Erica says:

      Yes yes yes yes yes.

      I read the recaps over at Television Without Pity, and the DW reviewer, Jacob, sort of went off the rails on the show a while back. And I love his recaps, and I totally get why, but it sucked because I was going "…well I sorta liked it. Am I an idiot for liking it?"

      It's tough, because I also don't want to make excuses for anything. Things that are awesome should be awesome, and it's good to be critical. But I do think you can enjoy something that isn't perfect, and still feel ok about yourself.

  21. NB2000 says:

    Kingston did a fabulous job with Meldoy’s post regeneration energy and complete not giving a single fuck.

    Perfect description of her attitude. Now I'm hoping someone makes a gif of that moment after Melody/River's knocked down all the Nazis and is laughing with her hands out (wow I can't describe that well) with "Look at all the fucks I give" or something similar on it.

  22. Katie says:

    Also, I don't know if this is a plot hole or I'm being massively blind, but I don't get the whole River regeneration thing. River was a child when she shot the Doctor, but when she regenerated after Mel, she said that she'd once regenerated as a child in New York, which I took to be the scene we saw in a previous episode, forget which one. But the child regenerated after she had shot the Doctor, which means that River should remember it. But she didn't seem to in this episode. Am I missing something here?

    • shoroko says:

      I don't think they ever indicated that the person in the spacesuit who shot the Doctor at the beginning of the premiere was young!River. We never saw who it was. We only saw young!River in the spacesuit in the 1960s – we never saw who was wearing it by the lake in Utah in 2011.

      • Katie says:

        Ahhh, OK. For some reason I always just assumed it was a child in the spacesuit.

        • burritosaurus says:

          I think we're meant to assume that it's the child in the spacesuit so we can have a huge WTF moment when we find out what actually happens.

      • FlameRaven says:

        We don't know who is in the spacesuit at the lake, although THEORIES ABOUND– I think it's probably adult River, although I also think that the Doctor is going to set the whole thing up with a Ganger and likely future!River's knowledge and involvement for some kind of Xanatos Gambit to fight the Silence/Eyepatch lady.

  23. kartikeya200 says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    So I have all these THOUGHTS and some of them are deep and some are silly and MOST OF THEM ARE QUESTIONS STILL, Afsfsfsfs, but I have to get this out since I may not have time to finish writing it before I have to run out to drive family members around.

    I loved this episode. I finished it confused and feeling as though I'd just inadvertently gone on a roller coaster ride that was REALLY REALLY entertaining. I expect this is going to be one of those love it or really really hate it episodes though, so for the record, I loved it. And then I watched it again, and loved it more. I loved all of it except for that ONE LINE (seriously, Moffat, why), and the Doctor broke my heart forever, and River Song is seriously the Universe's biggest troll, and omigosh HE GAVE HER THE BOOK and the music was gorgeous.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Love the last image. Best line in the show! River is such a glorious troll.


    • Natalia says:

      I was watching with a friend, and when River says the line in your graphic, we both spilled our drinks. Honestly. SHE IS DA BEST EVAH.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Delirious Doctor in the TARDIS, that entire scene. Holy shit, Matt Smith. Also "No, no, no, show me someone I like" when the emergency system turns on. Oh, Doctor.

      I'm becoming increasingly convinced that they're going to off Rory as the 'Good Man' River kills. I really really REALLY want to be wrong about this, but I've got this terrible suspicion they're building him up for it.

      I think Amy and Rory were mostly in shock this episode. I mean, stuff just happens so ridiculously fast, how DO you react to something like that without melting into a puddle of gibber (which would not be remotely helpful to either your dying best friend or your wildly murderous-and-trolling-in-Nazi-Berlin daughter). It probably helps that they never had time to come to terms with the idea that they were having a kid AT ALL in the first place. It all probably feels intensely surreal and reality hasn't quite set in yet (though we don't know how long the Doctor was gone, so…)

      The justice dudes in the robot were assholes, I'm just saying. You time travel around to find criminals at the end of their lives so that you can torture them and…what? It's not protecting anyone, and generally anyone who was actually wronged by the person you're tormenting will never know that you did it, so even if you thought it was 'justice', the victims don't know that your brand of justice was had. They're obviously part of an organization with a salary and time off and all, and every possible form of 'business' I can come up with for that is just gross. Plus, they make a point of saying that the Doctor dying in Utah is a fixed point in time, and then proceed to turn the agony beam on River when that clearly hasn't happened yet. I get that they thought the Doctor was dead and the whole fixed point in time business was messed up anyway, but still. Oh, and they do this in front of her parents. Knowingly! And it's easy to miss, but they say they're going to wipe their minds of the memory once they leave the robot. So…what? They were going to leave Amy and Rory there with a dead Doctor and a tortured or missing daughter with no idea how it happened?

      "She will be…Amazing." *sniff*

      • ldwy says:

        I'm scared your Rory prediction could be true.

      • Hotaru_hime says:

        I don't know if Arthur Darvill has been confirmed for a full season next year, so I'm always inches from tears when I think of it.

      • notemily says:

        I've heard the Rory prediction elsewhere and I think there might be something to it. 🙁 Rory is definitely a Good Man, while the Doctor's status on that front is questionable at best.

    • Meenakshi says:

      The guy who played the Nazi officer is gorgeous. In Doctor Who Confidential, River Runs Wild, Karen Gillan says of him in a giggling voice, 'we all (the girls on set) thought he was sooo fit!'

  24. who_cares86 says:

    I'm glad they finally addressed the workings of the sonic. It never made much sense how a screwdriver with seemingly only one or two buttons could have a million different functions. It turns out you have to think what you want it to do and it will do it.

  25. enigmaticagentscully says:

    On a random note, a gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled sounds like the most fun ever.

  26. masakochan says:

    So how much of River’s life is influenced by the Doctor? So she became an archaeologist because the Doctor told her to? Or suggested to? I’m kind of confused about this. And what does it say about River as a person? Did she find her own way as the Doctor said at the end of the episode, or did he shape her?

    I saw someone make a brilliant comment on this that pretty much makes it as: The Doctor has as much influence over River as River has over the Doctor. The two of them are in some kind of endless feedback loop, if that makes any sense.

    Like: Ten saw that River had a diary- so Eleven gives her a diary to start. The Doctor has heard her say 'Spoilers' so many times that he ends up saying it to her when she asks about something from her own future. So yeah… they end up influencing each other in the end.

    • Lurker says:

      Except that the Doctor had 900 years of life without River, met her as an adult and has a lot of other people in his life. River on the other hand has a life that completely revolves around the Doctor and "lives for the days [she] sees him". So no, they are not on the same level here.

      • masakochan says:

        River on the other hand has a life that completely revolves around the Doctor and "lives for the days [she] sees him".

        Maybe not the exact same level, sure. But considering that she was pretty much brainwashed by Madame Kovarian and whoever else- her life is pretty much going to revolve around the Doctor's, but with her own agenda once she's able to break through her own programming.

        And the whole 'lives for the days she sees him' could be alluding to that she wants to be able to run into him when he knows as much about her as she does about him.

      • Coughdrop01 says:

        I agree with Lurker and I am curious as to why more people aren't squicked about this? People seem to only see River kicking ass and don't see the whole thing where her life literally revolves around a man? Also, beyond the gender issues, its just WEIRD and CREEPY! He essentially reverse brainwashes her. People have been like KILL THE DOCTOR and then he's like SAVE THE DOCTOR and River just listens? What does she think about this? Why don't we know it? Mind you, despite all my complaints about this I did enjoy the episode and Alex Kingston is a pleasure to watch but it confuses me when people go on about what a feminist character she is just because she shoots a gun every once in awhile.

        • masakochan says:

          He essentially reverse brainwashes her.

          Considering how long it takes a person to be brainwashed, and at the level that she was by Madame Kovarian and the others- I seriously don't see this. And her parents were the ones to tell her that he was worth it. For all I know- she could still be slightly under control from her previous programming, and is trying to dig up on why she believed enough in what he told her to save him, but could still be a little bit of a threat.

          • Coughdrop01 says:

            Okay perhaps saying brainwashing is a stretch but the point I was trying to make is that even though River is making the right decision, it is still not her decision. It is the Doctor and her parents decision.

            • masakochan says:

              I think I'll agree to disagree at this point even though I can understand what you're trying to say.

              What I was seeing is that the Doctor had never told her to save him. The only two major things he told her to do, if I'm remembering correctly, was to save her parents from dying inside the robot, and to find River Song, and to tell her something. I didn't see anyone telling her directly to save him, aside from her parents telling her that he was worth it. After she finds out who River Song is- she still could have to decided to not save him. But whatever it was he that said- it made her decide to want to save him.

        • kartikeya200 says:

          We only see River when the Doctor does, so that kind've has to be kept in mind. It's rather obvious that older River has her own life (though most of it seems to involve being in prison, I doubt she broke out of Stormcage to go visit the Library.) and younger River was raised for the sole purpose of killing him, so of course he's going to be the central focus of her attention.

          This certainly isn't healthy by any means, but nothing about River's life seems psychologically healthy. And comparing what the Silence has done to River with the Doctor encouraging her to be a better person is, uh…I don't think you can compare those.

          Plus, the Doctor specifically does NOT want her to save him, because the only way she can save him is by giving up all her regenerations. He goes 'River…no' when he realizes what she's doing, and his expression in the hospital when he talks about 'the Doctor lies' is anything but happy.

          He wants her to help him save her parents (who just saved her), but he's certainly not in any position to force her. I think there's a big difference between 'the Doctor has a big influence on her life' and 'the Doctor is forcing or coercing her into doing stuff, and poor hapless River just can't decide to do something else'.

          River does what River damn well wants to do. Sometimes that means doing what the Doctor wants, sometimes that means doing her own thing completely separate, and sometimes that means knocking the Doctor over the head and handcuffing him to a doorway.

    • Gen says:

      Yeah, but… the ending image the viewer is left with is that of the Doctor influencing her, at the earlier point in the timeline. While it's a valid point, and technically true, narratively it doesn't really *feel* like that and it could have been way, way better expressed that it's a cycle.

  27. @hazakaza says:

    Mark, we have ALL THE SAME FEELINGS about this episode.

    -I hate Mels. No, the cute reveal does not make that 5 minutes of stupid retcon worth the fact that they could have used those five minutes to have this epsiode make any kind of emotional sense.

    -Moreover, Mels makes NO SENSE AT ALL. To piggyback on your question of "how did she get from being a kid over there to a kid growing up over here," how about we ask WHO raised her? They say it's the Silence but then we see her growing up with Amy. "Hey Mels, why don't we go over to yours today after school for snacks & we'll work on the homework together?" "Oh, well, I beam up to a cult spaceship in a geosynchronous orbit over Scotland every day at 4 oclock and I'm not allowed to have guests over because it'll interrupt the ritual chanting of KILL THE DOCTOR KILL THE DOCTOR KILL THE DOCTOR." If you're going to retcon in anything, HOW ABOUT SOME OF THAT HUGE PLOTHOLE~!?

    -The whole script felt just incredibly hamfisted. Matt Smith & Alex Kingston save it with their awesomeness, but the script itself reads like solidified dumb. Sexist fuckery included.

    -River would have been SUCH a cool villain to have to deal with for the rest of the season. Why defuse that bomb in one episode after minimal conflict? How could would it have been if you have the Doctor, Rory, and Amy running around spacetime being chased by River, who continuously throws an additional sexy monkey wrench into your typical nutty Dr Who problems? "Oh this problem would be super easy to solve if only OUR DAUGHTER wasn't trying to KILL YOU." Moreover, the conflict of kill the daughter / don't kill your parents (as they are friends) is really interesting. What the hell, why are we just skipping over that sort of very fun and interesting conflict?

    -I feel like Moffat put in that bit about her being an archaeologist to link it up with Silence in the Library, but the thing is that he is also IGNORING shit from Silence in the Library. River gives him guff about his babyface as ten, and implies–or outright says, I forget which–that she's seen several of his faces. So I guess we're just going to wrap up her whole visible storyline and later doctors are just assumed to be dating her all along spacetime but not getting her involved in the lunacy that is being the Doctor? I think River would take issue with that.

    BONUS ROUND OF PREDICTIONS: When they talk about The Question, my brain immediately went DOCTOR WHO? is the question. And the answer is his real name. Which, as we see in Silence in the Library, River KNOWS. "There's only one reason I would have told you that!" Etc, etc. AWRIGHT THEN.

    I don't know, man. I'm happy to have Doctor Who back but this episode just kept moving forward with a good thing and then screwing it up. Two steps forward, one step back.

    • masakochan says:

      how about we ask WHO raised her? They say it's the Silence but then we see her growing up with Amy.

      Considering that the Doctor can regenerate into younger and older people- Melody could still have been raised by the Silence, and then still regenerated into a younger child after that.

    • Mark's Watcher says:

      Unsure of how much speculation this is, so it is rot13'd in case.

      Gurer vf n genvyre vzntr fubjvat Evire/Zrybql jvgu gur fnzr rlrcngpu nf Znqnzr Xbinevna, guvf vf cebonoyl n uvag gung jr JVYY frr ure nf n ivyynva ng fbzr cbvag.

    • t09yavors says:

      "River gives him guff about his babyface as ten, and implies–or outright says, I forget which–that she's seen several of his faces. So I guess we're just going to wrap up her whole visible storyline and later doctors are just assumed to be dating her all along spacetime but not getting her involved in the lunacy that is being the Doctor? I think River would take issue with that."

      The line says something like "You've shown me all of your faces." (Also she knew Ten's face because she had spent some time with a later him. A picnic at Asgard is mentioned as being before the Byzantium crash that Eleven would have had trouble fitting in.) It is possible that she will meet future Doctors but it seems to me that she wouldn't easily recognize later Doctors since she is spending most of her time with Eleven, unless they were the ones to show her of course.

    • notemily says:

      I am disappointed by the way that they are seemingly wrapping up River's storyline with this. I thought it was going to take a lot longer to get to the point where she first met him, to be honest. If their relationship is supposed to be this epic thing that affects the Doctor so profoundly, she SHOULD be around for longer. I think I would have liked if they had focused on some other storyline right now, and had River popping up occasionally, and then saved her origin story for later. But I get that Moffat is trying to tell one story here, that has to do with the Silence and River and Amy and Rory and everything, and I'll wait until it fully plays out to pass judgement.

      • rumantic says:

        Yes, aaaargh, it annoys me too. It took years for the doctor to build up a semi-close relationship with any of his companions, and suddenly River appears every few months for an hour or two, maybe a couple of days at a time and they are twoo luvs forever? What? I mean I imagine they have other offscreen adventures together as well, but she is never shown to live in the TARDIS for extended periods as the other companions do, and she's only been properly in it for a series and a half.

    • Noybusiness says:

      No disrespect meant, but from your comment you do not seem to have all the same feelings about this episode as Mark.

      Anyway, she went from a toddler in New York (as she said, after regenerating) to a kid in England 26 years later. Either she time traveled or controlled her own aging process (which she stated she could do while checking herself out) until she met her parents.

      Episode 13 might tell us more.

  28. Minish says:

    <img src=>

  29. FlameRaven says:

    I loved this episode to pieces. It was exactly as confusing and awesome and funny and dramatic as the first two episodes. I feel like I need to watch it at least a few more times to pick up on everything that happened, as well as A Good Man Goes to War, and maybe after the season is done, watch all the other River appearances. Then her timeline might sort of make sense. But I'm okay that it doesn't. I mean, life of a time-traveller. It's going to be confusing.

    As for the confusion about regenerations and River's storyline and how it all connects to the little girl in the orphanage, I've no idea, but I do think we'll get more River backstory. Specifically, I keep thinking that we're going to see what happened during the 3 month gap in episodes 1 and 2 come back and be revealed during the season finale. Something important happened during that time– and I be it's important enough we can't know yet, or it would spoil whatever ending Moffat has in store.

    One thing I haven't seen anyone comment on yet– I personally thought it was a bit brilliant of Moffat to have River use up her regenerations on the Doctor, because now we have the perfect plot explanation as to why the Doctor will in all likelihood continue to regenerate after 13. I mean, they could have handwaved it away as "well, no Time Lords, the Doctor can do what he likes" but now there's an actual reason for him to have extra lives. I also thought it was fascinating that regeneration was a process that could be shut down by an outside poison.

    • Karen says:

      I thought that there was a line in the Sarah Jane Adventures that addressed the whole regeneration thing? Idk if that really ~counts~ though or not.

      • FlameRaven says:

        I have heard that, but who knows if it's canon? Either way they threw the possibility in here which I did like, kind of like we finally got an explanation for the sonic screwdriver. "Just point and think!"

      • NB2000 says:

        There was and maybe it's just my interpretation but the context and Matt's delivery made me think that it wasn't a real answer, just something the Doctor said to get Clyde to stop asking questions. I could be completely wrong and it was supposed to be true.

  30. who_cares86 says:

    Speaking of unrealistic character drama. River doesn't seem to care about her best friends/parents dying whatsoever. She has to be convinced by her parents other best friend who she's been trying to kill whilst having no regards about how her parents/best friend will feel about killing said best friend. Now she's a psychopath but even psychopaths will care about their parents and she didn't choose to grow up with them because she didn't care about them. She did it because she did care.

    • FlameRaven says:

      OR she did it because Amy encountered the Doctor at a young age and it was her best ticket to a guaranteed meet up with the Doctor eventually. Think about it. She was programmed and trained to kill the Doctor. For that she has to get close to him and in a guise that he won't immediately see through– hanging out with his eventual best friends is a pretty good way to do that.

      Given what we see of Mel's temperament growing up, I feel like she probably saw Amy and Rory at that point as means to an end (killing the Doctor) and maybe friends, but not at all the closeness that having them actually raise her as her parents would create. Even the way she calls them 'Mom and Dad' is much more playful and lacking respect than anything– I don't think at that point she really had that much emotion towards them. Obviously that does change.

  31. Openattheclose says:

    This episode was extremely fun, but at the same time I felt it had a little bit too much going on. I feel like the River reveals could have been more spread out throughout the series but maybe Moffat just wanted to get everything out of the way.

    That said, I DON'T EVEN CARE because that hologram image of Rose/Martha/DONNA was the best thing I have seen on Doctor Who since The Doctor's Wife. I literally sat up and cheered when I saw them. I also love the irony of Hitler just being left in the closet after ten minutes of screentime.

  32. Beth says:

    I simply can't watch any of these episodes without thinking, "THE DOCTOR IS GOING TO DIE." and it makng me infinitely sad. Though, I do have a theory of how they'll bring him back! If they do… *tear*
    The Doctor hinted in "The Rebel Flesh" that the flesh version of himself could survive. So, if the Flesh Doctor survived, then the Tardis waves will normal him out like they did the one dude.
    Kind of a lame theory, BUT I WANT IT TO HAPPEN.

  33. Shadowmarauder78 says:

    If i were Madam Kovarian i would be pretty unhappy with how easily River lost her brainwashing. She goes from " I must kill the Doctor" to " I must give him all of my regenerations" in about 30 seconds. I actually think that this was a missed opportunity, they could have explored this a lot better so that River learned what kind of man the Doctor really is.

    I also think the Mels thing is a bit ridiculous, she was raised to be a weapon but still found time to go to school with Amy? Was Madame Kovarian going to parents evenings, attending school plays and organizing play dates with Amy's parents.

    • who_cares86 says:

      I don't think that's the end of River's psychopath phase. The Doctor leaves her behind in some hospital. God knows what happened to her afterwards apart from her going to study archaeology. She could easily be brainwashed again.

    • Connie says:

      I honestly think that Mels, at the point she was friends with Rory and Amy, had lived one if not a few lives already. We're obviously still blurry about her early years, but something happened in between the little girl in NY in 1969 to her getting to Amy in the 90s, also as a little girl. So I'm thinking at this point she's not under Madam Kovarian's care. The rest, we'll just have to wait and see.

      • Shadowmarauder78 says:

        I hadn't thought of that, doesn't look like we'll be getting any answers anytime soon though.

    • t09yavors says:

      Technically the Doctor was dead at the time so the brainwashing was probably inactive. Or the brainwashing made her revive him so she could kill him again. 😛

    • Patrick721 says:

      Ugh, imagine parent-teacher conferences with Madame Kovarian. That would be seriously messed up.

  34. Gen says:

    I can't lie- I really, really disliked this episode. And I dislike it more on every rewatch, to be honest.

    Nothing seems to FIT for me, to be honest. Between Amy and Rory lacking human emotional reactions, River jumping all over the place, the absolutely random scenes with Hitler that went nowhere, the fact that it feels like a load of ideas for twists strung together more than a single coherent story, the sexism, the continued stripping of agency from River and, on top of all of that, nothing with regards to Amy's more passive role in series six being corrected… and then stuff like the 'she's a woman!' and 'permission granted!' BS? I just came away so so unfufilled. Argh.

    Some positives for me though were the acting in general, especially Matt and Alex; the whole robot concept (so silly! SO AWESOME); some great one liners; the crop circle (seriously, the best bits about this ep were actually the silly bits- so fun)… it's not unanimously terrible, but it's kind of offensive and randomly strung together and doesn't really push anything forward for me.

  35. Elexus Calcearius says:

    I had written up a big thing about this episode, but I'm having computer troubles, so here's what I've got:

    Basically, Mark has said a lot of what I want to say. I love how weird this episode is, how unexpected everything is. There was great character history, some hilarious parts (especially the 'gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled) and some tragic parts (oh, my god, companions past). And I love how they set up an episode about Hitler, only to use him for a couple of jokes ("get in the cupboar, Hitler") but then just ignored him for most of it. On the whole, I loved it, and it was a thrill to watch.

    But there are some….weird things. Here are the stuff that I don't like or wish could have been better.
    * Set up for Mel? I really like when things are laid out, and it would have been nice to have reference to her before this episode. Something like "Mel wouldn't have believed this" in the Eleventh Hour, or saying who they named their daughter for last episode.

    * Similarly…moar evil River, please? Alex Kingston was being so fabulous in all of this, trolling everyone, it was amazing to watch. I wanted to see more of that, and maybe a glimpse into fighting her programming.
    * Speaking of the programming….what exactly does that consist of?
    * Yeah. The sexism. I thought it funny at first, but its still been bothering me a bit….not the worst bit of sexism every displayed, but it was unnecessary.
    * …how did River get from 1969 New York to Leadworth in the 1990s?
    * Most importantly: WHY DOES THE DOCTOR HAVE A NEW COAT?

  36. George says:

    Feel free to disagree with me, but I thought Doctor asking Rory permission to hug Amy was funny, because Rory has always been shown to me a pushover and that Amy is the stronger character and a woman who wouldn't stop hugging someone just because a man told her not to. So the fact the Doctor asked Rory was reaffirming that, because everyone knew his response was irrelevant.

    • Gen says:

      This would make a lot more sense if Amy had her series five characterisation (in series six she comes off waaaay more passive to me) and anyone in the show actually treated Rory's insecurity as humorous. As it stands, his insecurity/jealousy has actually been treated fairly seriously (see: the opener), so I really don't buy it to be honest.

      • Emma says:

        Why shouldn't his insecurity be treated seriously? It's not as if he's unnecessarily paranoid; after all, Amy did attempt to cheat on him with the Doctor on the night before their wedding, a state of affairs which he learned about from the Doctor rather than from Amy herself. Granted, that took place in an alternate timeline, and the "permission" gag is unnecessary, but I see it as the Doctor being respectful of both Amy and Rory, as well as their relationship. He obviously ships them, and the three of them have a bit of awkwardness under the bridge, so I don't see any real problem with the Doctor deferring to Rory in that area. I don't think that it would be preferable to play the situation for laughs; in his own mind, Rory played second fiddle to the Doctor all through his and Amy's childhood, and, later, romantic relationship, so I rather think that would be unusual for him to be left with no emotion baggage, hmm?

  37. Anzel89 says:

    O “Let’s Kill Hitler” how much I…dislike you. *Sigh* I was really looking forward to this one too.

    The Good

    -How Amy and Rory got the Doctors attention. It was clever and funny
    -Putting Hitler in the closet because that was just awesome
    -The “I knew you would” Doctor/River fight scene
    -River taunting the Nazi guards
    -The scene when the anti-bodies were introduced. “You will feel a slight tingling sensation then death” will always be funny to me.
    -The cameo’s with pervious companions, even if they were just cut out promotional pictures.
    -River stealing everyone’s clothes at the restaurant.
    -The performances of everyone involved considering what they had to work with.
    -The Tessalecta was an interesting “monster” of the week idea and we got some good answers from it.

    The Bad

    -Mels introductory scene, I mean what?! Not only are you left completely confused as to what is going on, but the fact that she turns out to be Melody is basically flashing on a metaphorical Neon Sign. She not only walk, talks and acts like River but she’s completely obsessed with the Docter to a degree that would be disturbing if she wasn’t Melody. I mean this girl is supposed to have only heard of him through a story her friend told her, for her to be that obsessed just seemed…unhealthy.

    -The use of Hitler in the episode. At the end of the episode my friend turned to me and said “so why was this called Let’s Kill Hitler, he wasn’t even in it.” I say good question. It was completely unnecessary and nothing more than a grab at publicity in my mind. Sure you could make the argument that his presence made the Tessalecta relevant but they could have used any mass murder, hell they could have made one up. I’m calling foul on this one as 1938 Berlin and Hitler were barely even touched upon.

    -The revelation that Mels was River. Not only was this completely obvious, but Moffat is using the same trick twice here. This is now the second episode, in a row, where a character has been revealed to really be River. Like the pacing of this episode that fact alone smacks of lazy writing. I can almost see Moffat thinking “well they thought it was a great twist once, so why not again.” Nope sorry Moffat it was a great twist for a reason, and you killed it.

    -The immediate aftermath of River’s regeneration. Not only does her personality not change in the least, which is supposed to be a result of regeneration, but it’s played for laughs. The entire scene with the three of them staring off shocked while she rattled off one-liners was hilarious. It shouldn’t have been. Amy and Rory have just learned that the daughter that was stolen from them (the one ripped from their arms in an extremely traumatic fashion might I add) and have been pining over for months is the best friend they grew up with. They now know that they will never be able to actually raise their daughter as parents because of paradoxes ect ect. This scene should be treated like what it is; a horribly confusing and depressing scenario, the moment shouldn’t have been interspersed with sex jokes.

    -River using her regeneration as a weapon. I know that Ten was able to re-grow his hand in “Christmas Invasion” but seriously. That was definitely a deux machina plot device to get her out of a situation she didn’t need to be in the first place. All in an effort to make her seem dark and cool. Yea, no thank you.

    -The Doctor dying. O hey well while were repeating the “River is …” plot device why don’t we go for a twofer and kill the Doctor, again, LAZY!!!! My god Moffat, don’t you have any other dramatic trick up your sleeve. Stop it, seriously stop it. I no longer care if Amy or Rory or the Doctor get into a life or death situation because you have proven time and time again that you will not kill them off. GEEZ, when the Doctor was dying in this episode I was bored out of my skull. I didn’t care at all because I knew he wouldn’t die and I shouldn’t feel that way! As a viewer I should feel like these situations are actually dangerous, not just like it’s all a big joke. Just like most of this episode

    -The Doctor getting changed. Just, why? That whole little scene was completely pointless and it cut the dramatic tension of the moment like a clever. I expect that kind of mixed tone from a Michael Bay film, not a Steven Moffat Doctor Who episode.

    -River and the TARDIS. Alright, so I get that Melody walked into the TARDIS and had a zen moment. She and the TARDIS connected, she was shown how to drive, and that she was “a child of the TARDIS.” Ok, I’ll by that…so why didn’t Mels have the same moment? No really if just stepping into the machine started her change of heart, then why didn’t it happen with Mels?… Awww plot convince fairy I missed your shiny what the f-kery. ^_^


    • Anzel89 says:

      The Terrible

      -Mels back story. This has to be some of the laziest retconning I have ever seen. Nope sorry Moffat you do not get a pass on this one. If you wanted to have a character and a story like Mels you should have had it. She should have been in the Eleventh Hour if only just briefly, she should have been at their wedding, and her absence not brushed off with a line. She’s the one that got them together in the first place! Not only that but she should have been made reference too even if it was just “Well this one time my friend Mels and I did this or that.” She should have been in the Impossible Astronaut hanging out with Amy and Rory as they discussed the Doctors ridiculousness. Hell Rory should have gone to her in “A Good Man Goes to War” for help. She’s an ex-con friend of theirs who knows about the Doctor and can more then take care of herself in a fight. Given the short time we knew her she would have been the top of my list to go to. You could have very easily made reference to her and still not had her there. Hell a word of dialogue from Amy like; “Yes her names Melody, I named her after our best friend I’m always telling you about.” But no, nada instead we get this random half bake plot point that comes out of left field, feels thrown together in the worst way, and makes no sense in the context of the over arching narrative. This is supposed to be Rivers origin story. River F-ing Song! The awesome BAMF who kicks ass and can out Doctor the Doctor if she really tries.

      -Rivers Orign. This is it. This is what two seasons of development, story and laying of clues has been for. This! Are you kidding me?! Not only was the story a rushed mess that jumped around form plot point to plot like an ADHD kid on sugar and espresso shots, but it the entire tone of the show about a women who was kidnapped at birth and raised to kill her parents best friend was mostly played for laughs. No … just…no this should have been a serious episode, it should have had weight. It’s shouldn’t have had a joke for a title!

      -Amy and a little bit of Rory too. Hey, um…. did anyone else notice that Amy straight up killed people in this one? Because I did. Yes, I get that she was trying to save River from the flashing red lights of doom and that these people were a little screwy. But the fact that she killed those people, specifically a man who had just saved her life not a few minutes before, seemed to go completely by everyone. This from the same man, same Doctor, who gave people like the Master and the Daleks a second chance/ didn’t want to murder them. Consistency…what’s that? O and speaking of the Ponds, you know they seemed pretty ok with the fact that they would never get to raise Melody, at all. Yea, I know that she was friends with them as kids, but that’s not the same thing. At all. Mels was 8 when Amy was 8 which means she was clearly living with someone (the silence order probably) during that time. So yea, Amy may have been her friend but the people she went home to every night after play time were the ones that raised her. No matter what she says or how Moffat wants to try to spin it. Her intact” must kill Doctor” brainwashing is proof that they stuck around to reinforce it.

      -Evil River. This is probably the most unforgivable of the all this episodes problems. At the start of the episode Mels is trying to kill the Doctor, she misses hits the Tardis and then turns into River and tries again. With in roughly thirty minutes she switches sides and saves that Doctor. I…I seriously have no words to properly convey my absolute disappointment. Just think for a moment about all of the amazing story lines that Moffat just snuffed out in favor of being “clever” or making sure River is the awesometacular good guy we remember. This is not how brainwashing works, this is not how to properly do character growth and I know that Moffat knows this. This is the man who wrote “The Empty Child” and “Blink” for Christ sake! It like Moffat thought to himself, “Well I want to do this really awesome final but for that the audience need to know Rivers history.” So this is what we get a rushed character arch that should have spanned episodes in minutes. Most likely because Moffat didn’t plan properly. I point to my criticism of Mels as to why I think this.

      Lastly if the oldest question in the universe turns out to be “Doctor Who?” I will hurt Moffat….I really will. -___-

    • Gen says:

      "The Doctor getting changed. Just, why? That whole little scene was completely pointless and it cut the dramatic tension of the moment like a clever. I expect that kind of mixed tone from a Michael Bay film, not a Steven Moffat Doctor Who episode. "

      (Speculation ahead! I'll rot13 it just in case?)

      Fbzrbar bire ba Ghzoye guvaxf gung guvf vf fbzr xvaq bs gvzr-geniry pyhr, yvxr va gur jrrcvat natryf gjb cnegre ynfg frevrf. uggc://xrvguwnpxf.ghzoye.pbz/cbfg/9527202300/cbffvoyl-gur-zbfg-vzcbegnag-guvat-va-yrgf-xvyy-uvgyre

      Tvira Zbss'f graqrapl gb ercrng gevpxf, V jbhyqa'g or fhecevfrq.

      • Anzel89 says:

        Tvira Zbss'f graqrapl gb ercrng gevpxf, V jbhyqa'g or fhecevfrq.
        No kidding! :-/

        But as far as the theory goes, I like it. I love that kind of writing when Moff does it well, I really really do. The only problem I find with it though is the poison and how it was affecting him.

        Gur zna pbhyq oneryl zbir, Uvf yvggyr qnapr ahzore yvgrenyyl frag uvz gb gur sybbe gjvgpuvat. V qba'g xabj ubj zhpu ur pbhyq unir ernyyl qbar va gur zvffvat 20 zvahgrf gung jr unir. 32 zvahgrf vafvqr be bhgfvqr gur Gneqvf vf fgvyy 32 zvahgrf, gvzr geniry qbrfa'g fybj cbvfba. Ohg V ernyyl qb yvxr gur gubhtu cebprff oruvaq gur Gurbel.

  38. exbestfriend says:

    Oh man this episode, which really wasn't awesome in the first place, falls to hell when you look at it closely. My main gripe, of which I think there are plenty to have in this episode, is that River is still going to kill the Doctor. Except now we know that she has already sacrificed all her regenerations for him. Unless she had already killed him in this episode, and this was a later her trying to kill an earlier version of him. But that doesn't really hold up, does it? Wouldn't the River on the beach having the picnic remember that she had killed him? Because the River in the diner seemed *pretty* upset at him when he walked out of the bathroom. (I'm totally referring to The Impossible Astronaut, btw. Just in case you aren't inside my brain right now) So the River that kills him is a River who knows, and probably loves, the Doctor. Which seems ridiculous.

    Something kind of random that I liked: When you look back at Mels getting in trouble at school for constantly bringing up the Doctor, it seems more sinister in context. Like she is having to sit through a history class that is full of terrible things that happened in the world and she blames all of that on the Doctor not being there? Like it all is just reinforcing her brainwashing? Kind of like those kids who go to Catholic school and ask why God didn't stop wars and famine and whatnot, not because they actually expect a response, but because they don't believe that, if there is a God, God is that great?

    Best moment of the episode: Rory punching that dude for doing the Hitler salute. Even if Rory was going to punch him anyway, it helped that I really wanted to punch that guy too. You know, justified violence and all.

  39. Emma says:

    Overall, I think I'll need to re-watch the episode before I form coherent opinions on it (it was ~*that*~ kind of exceeding-the-normal-level-of-confusion installment); however, I'm glad that we're slowly but surely getting more backstory on River. Not backstory exactly, I suppose, because we really are far more familiar with her origins than we are with her life in between baby Melody and modern-day River, but it's nice to learn about more of the middle bits.

    The biggest complaint I've seen so far is the outcry over the whole OMG HOW HAVE WE NOT HEARD OF MELS BEFORE issue, which is definitely relevant; however, it reminded me more of Qnja'f ergpba vagb Frnfba 5 bs Ohssl than anything else. In my opinion, Mels was most definitely not present in Amy and Rory's original timeline. Keep in mind that this couple has been the crux of more than one cosmic apocalypse and re-boot; we know for a fact that the life we witnessed Amy and Rory leading throughout the duration of Season 5 was royally screwed-up because of the TARDIS time-cracks, and that the re-creation of the universe restored Amy's original, much more functional, life to her. If her mysteriously absent parents (not to mention her 2000-year-old plastic'd fiance) could be seamlessly restored to her timeline by the Doctor's restoration of the universe, it makes sense that a new BFF could slip in there as well without us having heard of her up until this point in Season 6. Of course, there are more gaps in River's timeline than a thousand fans could account for, but hopefully some of those will be satisfactorily explained to us in the future. Ms. Kingston can't stay on the show forever, and River can't regenerate again, so the storyline will have to be wound up at some point. Currently, I have high hopes that Moffat will deliver.

  40. Hotaru_hime says:

    I enjoyed the episode while watching it and then went to eat. Afterwards I got really confused and wasn't entirely happy for pretty much all the reasons you stated. Hitler got locked in a cupboard? It didn't look as if Rory locked it- perhaps he just waited for the hubbub to die down and then just walked out going, "Who set off a bomb in my office?"
    Really, the Doctor missing his intended destination is normal, but if you are going back in time to "give them hell" how do miss the mark by about 7 years? Shouldn't they have more preparation??? Also, the Tesalecta totally looked like a Replicator from Stargate.
    I don't think the Doctor told River to be an archaeologist- she figured it out on her own. How else do you find out where a time traveler has been? People put the TARDIS in paintings, engravings, statues, etc…

  41. Noybusiness says:

    "So how much of River’s life is influenced by the Doctor? So she became an archaeologist because the Doctor told her to? Or suggested to? I’m kind of confused about this. And what does it say about River as a person? Did she find her own way as the Doctor said at the end of the episode, or did he shape her?"

    I don't remember the Doctor suggesting anything about archaeology, did he?

    "I don’t think this is a complaint, but how did the Doctor have a sonic cane if Amy had his sonic screwdriver? Am I just flimsy on Doctor Who details? Are there two sonics?"

    The Doctor can always easily replace his sonic, remember Smith and Jones and The Eleventh Hour.

    Funny, I just went to the wiki page to confirm my recollection that it was replaced in The Eleventh Hour and near the top it says that the Visual Dictionary (which I ordered yesterday) says a Time Lord can put one together in very little time. Out of found objects, I guess?

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      If he can cannibalize TARDIS parts to make a mostly functional console, I'm sure he can find parts in his TARDIS to make a sonic cane.

  42. Lala says:

    Didn't anyone else catch the line River said when she is checking herself out in the mirror with robot Amy, "I think I'll take the age down a bit, gradually, just to freak people out." I clapped like seal!

  43. jem says:

    I don't normally comment, but this episode left me all kinds of confused over how I felt about it, plus I have some theories that I want other people's opinions on, so I'm going to give commenting a shot.

    I think looking at this episode apart from the general arch, I liked it, it was light and funny and pretty clever, but when put into the overall picture…

    Had to cut it up, more in the reply.

    • jem says:

      The characterizations didn't seem very solid. My biggest problems were with Amy and Rory. Your baby daughter was kidnapped and you were left alone not knowing what the Doctor expects or how he's progressing, only knowing your daughter all grown up was right in front of you the whole time. Two months later, when you finally get in contact with the Doctor, you get hijacked by some previously unknown childhood best friend and crash land in 1938 only to discover that your best friend was really your daughter who gets shot and regenerates before poisoning the Doctor and going on a killing spree, then changing her mind and giving up her remaining regenerations to save him, and then just leave her weakened in an alien hospital in favor of going on awesome adventures?

      I dunno. Doesn't seem like good parenting to me. But I'm not a parent, so what do I know?

      • jem says:

        And River herself… I was looking forward to having multiple regenerations of her at once, I thought it would be fun, so I was pretty disappointed that Mels regenerated into the incarnation we already knew (I so called that Mels was River, btw, the way she forced her way into the TARDIS just screamed River. Plus the name "Mels" was a pretty thin disguise). I think it could've put this story line in more of a likeable direction for me, but now I think it's just more wonky characterizations. Melody Pond goes from Killer Mels to River Song: Archaeologist in a single day? Erm…

        Also… I don't know, I thought they pushed the regeneration thing past the limit. The whole healing herself when she got shot didn't bother me, Ten did the same thing with his hand, but the way she transferred the power to the Doctor seemed far too over the top. And so there is still a finite number of regenerations? Was that just a retcon of sorts to explain why River didn't regenerate in FoD? Because I thought they already had one: the Doctor, a full Time Lord, wouldn't be able to regenerate, so River isn't.

        • jem says:

          I also didn't like how it was the TARDIS who taught Mels/River how to fly it so perfectly in such a short amount of time. Wasn't there classes in Time Lord Academy that taught this kind of thing? Kind of implies that TARDISes can't teach others how to fly.

          But I did like Trigger Happy Mels a lot. Wish we saw more of her.

          • jem says:

            So theory time!

            So I'm thinking the Silents are the Headless Monks, who aren't really headless. You just can't remember their face.

            What? It could work, the Silents want you to remember your interaction with them, but since you won't otherwise remember them, they choose to register as invisible/headless.

            (And I totally thought that the question was going to be "Doctor who?")

            • jem says:

              I came up wtih another theory during the break about River and her messed up timeline with the Doctor. I'm not sure how this new episode works with it, but I don't think it's done much damage:

              So we found out River is half-Time Lord, I think it's safe to assume it's the body half, which makes sense to me seeing how both Donna and the Meta-Crisis Doctor got the mind half, why not the other way? Yes, River is clever, certainly, she's intelligent, resourceful, and I would definitely want her on my team if I ever play Trivial Pursuit, but I don't think it's up to a Time Lord Mind. And maybe it's because of this that her timeline is all kinds of screwy? She simply does not have the mind to control her body's connection to the time vortex.

              • jem says:

                The way I saw it, the Doctor's initial reactions to River were "WTF is this?! This is wrong!" and then some kind of curiosity (and I could totally see the curiosity bit be the lead in to their relationship from the Doctor's end. She's got a wacky timeline, he's a Time Lord, it has to intrigue him, it's in the name), but if you think about it, why would he be so surprised? A billion years of Time Lord history and there was not a single case of a relationship of any kind like this? Yeah, the majority of Time Lords were mostly sedentary, but it seemed pretty unlikely that this would be the first time this kind of thing would happen and cause the Doctor to react in such a way. Unless, of course, it was the mind that was preventing it and it's all the Doctor can do to make it at least somewhat linearly, if a little backwards.

                That is all my tl;dr comment! Yay.

              • notemily says:

                That's an interesting theory, I like it.

        • t09yavors says:

          "Was that just a retcon of sorts to explain why River didn't regenerate in FoD?"

          I don't think it was intended to be a retcon but I doubt they mind it being taken as such. I have seen plenty of people on the internet who either forgot or didn't catch that line in FoD so it makes for an effective failsafe.

  44. kartikeya200 says:

    Oh, and something I completely forgot to mention:

    "I told you, I'm not a wedding person" and the Doctor specifically notes that he never saw Mels at the wedding.

    Well, Melody Pond wasn't at the wedding, that's for sure…

    But River Song was.

    • sporkaganza93 says:

      I almost thought it makes sense, but then I remembered that she wasn't really "at" the wedding, she just kind of went by it.

  45. sporkaganza93 says:

    OK, maybe this is insensitive, but I'm addressing something Mark brought up in his review. Maybe in the Whoniverse, seeing the TARDIS was what made Hitler interested in the supernatural?

    Also, I don't understand why people are hating on the Mels thing so much. Yes, it is a bit stupid that she never even was mentioned before this episode, but I loved the flashbacks, so I was willing to forgive Moffat for that one.

    I understand why people thought that River's story should've been taken seriously, but honestly, I didn't care because the episode was just so much fun! Seriously, if this had been played seriously, the "gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled" line would never have been written, and I just can't live in a world without that line, guys. Like, SERIOUSLY.


    • notemily says:

      Donna please come back AT ALL and get a better ending ffs

    • Patrick721 says:

      Wait, so does that mean that the Doctor's responsible for the Nazis summoning Hellboy? Oh, wait, Rasputin had that plan long before Hitler. I think. It's been a while since I read the comics.

      Doctor Who/Hellboy crossover? YES PLEASE.

  46. Vikinhaw says:

    I did love this episode. The ridiculousness and weirdness are so Doctor who and so great.
    But I have complaints:

    I just realized why I'm getting annoyed by River's story. I love River, I really love River but there's problems. First the obvious; her life seems to completely revolve around the Doctor and secondly the whole 'River is such an awful criminal and she did/has done/will do terrible things' has been implied or said many times so far but never shown. I getting tired of being told things and not shown. You could say she's acting bad here and killing people but that's only one episode and she's killing Nazis.

    I thought that we'd see a massive story arc this season of River's character development from trained and brainwashed assassin to good guy. We don't really see her acting bad. And it's over in one episode. The reason she changes is that she sees the Doctor trying so hard to save them. I mean that's plausible if she thinks the Doctor is some sort of awful criminal who doesn't save anyone (what I thought they were trying to say with the Mel in school stuff) and this shocks her because he's trying to save people but surely she knew what he was like before because of her parents. She could have been raised to believe the Doctor is evil but then why would this one small incident convince her. It seems so weak.

    I have to do so much speculation about her motives and character when it should be obvious and the focus of the episode. For such a major character and such a big part of the shows current mythology and mystery, it seems brief and very brushed off. She deserves a much better story and more detailed character development than this.

    Maybe I'm wrong and she's still not the 'good' River yet but that's the impression I got from it.

    What I'm starting to think is that River's story is less about River and more about ' the Doctor is awesome and River loves him'

    Oh and 'plus she's a woman'. We're really still making jokes based on the sexist stereotype of women being unbalanced? I don't think it seems in character for the Doctor. I can't remember him saying sexist stuff before. At any rate I don't like when a character says sexist stuff and the show implicitly agrees with them. I really don't like when the hero perpetuates sexist stereotypes on a children's show.

    Aside from that I still like it and I need a gif of Rory punching Hitler.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      I have like a whole thing about Melody/River and her actions in this episode and stuff, but it's way too late and way too long.

      But I honestly think this is River's story. Hell, River is way more awesome (or at least more badass) than the Doctor, so it's hardly like he's taking over her life. If anything, I see it as a very reciprocal relationship. The Doctor's influence/interference apparently pushes Melody the assassin towards the path of River the badass archaeologist. In return, River shows up when the Doctor's head gets too big and tells him off and at least attempts to stop him going down the path of no return– although this latter is only hinted at in 'A Good Man Goes to War' so we can't see if it succeeds. But they challenge each other. The Doctor is going to end up with more focus in the end because the show is Doctor Who, but I hardly think that she's being reduced to a lesser role.

      I didn't find anything sexist in this episode to be offended at but I'm obviously the odd one out here and I have learned not to argue -isms on this site. So I won't. I do have a toooon of thoughts though and at some point I may even write them all up. Depends on if I have time.

      • Vikinhaw says:

        If in future she does save him and stops him doing something evil then I'd say you have a point about their relationship being reciprocal. The Doctor is the main character so he is going to get more focus but my issue with it is that there's a female character who is motived by, influenced and whose life is even caused by this male character and there is nothing in her life unconnected to this male character. She has very little which is her own. The Doctor on the other hand has rather alot of things unconnected to River. You could say this is justified in the context of the series or that you're viewing just this series on it's own but I'm looking at it in the larger media context where Moffat chose to write her this way.

        I love River and that's why I want her story to be more about River.

  47. Narrative Priorities says:

    An interesting review of Let's Kill Hitler that further explores some of the problems you mentioned.

    I'm not watching Doctor Who anymore because I'm apparently not built for this particular sort of narrative, but the friends of mine who do are pretty sad this week. 🙁

  48. Always Amy says:

    I am a simple soul.
    this episode was not perfect but this episode had wee Amy and therefore was fabulous.
    I totally freaked out, I thought we would never see her again and there she was. YES! BIG YES!
    plus I love seeing Amy and Rory together.

  49. Minish says:

    So, um… "Locking Hitler in the Cupboard" sounds like an excellent name for a TV Trope.

    • Minish says:

      OH OH OH

      And I was also recently wondering why we never hear River Song saying the "and the penny drops" thing, and I realized that just like the Doctor's have a catchphrase, so does River. The penny thing was Mels' catchphrase, and "Hello Sweetie" is River Song's catchphrase.

  50. Emma says:

    One more late-night re-watchy type of thought; in Mels' story, the producers appear to have gone out of their way to deliver a solid, canon example of regeneration bringing about changes in ethnicity (a first for the series, if I'm not mistaken) … I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this might herald the casting of a mixed-race Doctor sometime in the near future. BECAUSE HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?

  51. Monocle Claire says:


    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">


    Oh my god this episode was fucking awesome. Yes, there were flaws — pretty big flaws — but any complaints I may have are drowned out by my increasing ladycrush on River Song Melody Pond WHO MAY BE THE SECOND MOST AWESOME BEING IN EXISTENCE (second only to Rory WHOM I WILL GET TO IN A MOMENT FUCK YEAHHH RORY POND)

    I AM NOT KIDDING, this episode had some of the most AMAZING lines in the entire series. I DON'T KNOW HOW I HAVE LIVED SO FAR WITHOUT THE "Well, I was off to this gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I thought 'Gosh, the Third Reich's a bit rubbish, I think I'll kill the Führer!'" LINE. Also, everything with Hitler. EVERYTHING. That entire scene had me dying with helpless laughter. RORY. PUNCHING HITLER. THEN TELLING HIM TO SHUT UP AND SHOVING HIM IN A CUPBOARD. F-L-A-W-L-E-S-S.

    But Mels. MELS. I AM VERY DIVIDED BY MELS. While she does feel a bit retconned in, we haven't really had enough of Amy's life at home to justify inserting her into the canon. There are a few places — the wedding, for example — where we could have seen her, and it would have made ~the reveal~ a lot better and more surprising. BUT MOSTLY I DON'T LIKE HER BECAUSE SHE SHOT SEXY.


    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Oh god also, River Melody's entire regeneration scene. OH. MY. GOD. I was going lightheaded with laughter. If ever a scene required an awkward boner macro making of it, it's that scene. ALSO, SURPRISE BANANA! AND RIV MELODY GOING TO CHECK OUT HER OWN ARSE. NEVER CHANGE, MOFFAT. NEVER. CHANGE.

    In Conclusion (Via Gifs):

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Also, my mother has a phobia of falling lifts. SHE'S REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK.

  52. Psi Baka Onna says:

    I've got mixed feelings about this episode. There were some great moments (anything with Rory, Doctor in a tux)

    I don't like how quickly Melody turned into River, or how we're supposed to buy that she saved his life just because she was told that this man would be the love of her life. I liked the Melody vs The doctor part where she was trying to kill him just to be thwarted at every turn but I find it weird that he'd just let her kiss him. I also find it kinda weird that the Doctor apparently loves River now (I'm assuming that's what he said to tell River) but then I might be forgetting rule 1 & the Doctor might have just been playing Melody?

    & I also find it weird that Mel doesn't seem to consider Amy & Rory's feelings at all. Wouldn't she feel atleast a little ashamed of her actions when they scold her? Wouldn't she want to protect them from her double life as an assassin? & what exactly did the anti-doctor cult teach her? I would have thought they'd have taught her the art of subtlety or at least tried to install some kind of values in her but apparent they didn't 'cus she a self-confessed psychopath. Is that really the best way to combat the Doctor? Applying chaos theory to your assassins?

    On the other hand I suppose they only had a few years with her before she escaped so I guess they didn't have a chance to train her very well but then she spent at least a decade being "parented" by Amy & Rory so I would have thought she'd been affected by them unless she didn't actually like them all that much & was just killing time until the Doctor contacted them again?

    Argh, River's back story gives me a headache & it really doesn't help that apparently her every waking moment revolves around the Doctor. It's kinda off putting to say the least.

    I don't think we've seen the last of evil Melody yet though. It won't make all that much sense considering she gave up her regenerations for him, but I don't think she's ready to become his adoring fan yet either. We'll have to see.

  53. Steph says:

    I was disappoined with young River. After such a shitty childhood I was expecting her to be much more damaged and interesting, but they glossed over all that by making her a typical 'strong female character' which really undermined her character.

    • notemily says:

      Whenever anyone says "strong female character" it reminds me of this.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      I kind've already posted about this earlier, but my impression of young River wasn't that she was strong, but rather that she was manic, showing a severe lack of any real empathy even toward the people she's just spent years growing up with, and prone to self destructive acting out. It's a different kind of messed up (and not as severe) as, say, a certain other River, but it's still pretty messed up. People react to trauma in different ways, and River seems to have gone the route of 'fuck the world and everyone in it, I'm going to entertain myself'. The moment she's not doing that, she seems pretty lost.

  54. Fourthords says:

    You asked how the episode was going to explain away Hitler's seeing the TARDIS. We took it as possibly explaining why Hitler was allegedly so interested in the occult. In 1938 he sees two unexplainable things in one day (the Teselecta and the TARDIS), gets shoved in a cupboard, and when he emerges it's all gone save the damage to his office. We imagine that could easily spur investigations into the "occult" in an attempt to explain it.

    Just our 3¢.

  55. Anseflans says:

    How did River ever get from that alley where she regenerated in “The Day of the Moon” to inject herself into Amy and Rory’s life? That seems like a really strange thing to overlook, given that a lot of this episode served as a flashback to fill in to spaces of River’s story.
    I don't know if anyone has tried to explain this yet, but Imma try…

    Couldn't River just… live up until Amy and Rory's time? I mean she regenerated in Day of the moon, which was in the 60's. Then all she had to do was stay alive, chill, hate the Doctor some more, and perhaps right before she was interjected in Amy and Rory's life she regenerated into little Mel.

    Is this possible? Or am I just being silly?

    (Also, when I rewatched A Good Man Goes To War, it dawned on me that Rory is in fact older than the Doctor)

    • pknail says:

      I thought that too, or else the Silence could have brought her through time, like they brought her from 5145 to the 1960s in the first place?

  56. @Kaza999 says:

    I personally loved this episode. It actually answered quite a few questions for me (like, why didn't River regenerate in Silence in the Library if she's a Time Lord…person?).

    I actually felt that Rory and Amy's reaction to Melody missing is pretty realistic. They're worried, but not too worried because honestly they never got the chance to bond with Melody as a baby. Amy had her for…what? Two days? That's not enough time to develop a serious attachment to anything, even your own child. Rory only saw baby Melody for a few hours. Just because a child has a biological attachment to a parent doesn't mean that there is an instant connection. As far as Amy and Rory are concerned, Melody isn't really 'their' baby. They hadn't even had enough time to come to terms with being parents before Melody was kidnapped.

    I loved River/Mels in this episode. She spends most of it on a Regeneration high, and it's just hilarious. I also loved the I know/you know/I know exchange between her and the Doctor (banana gun!!).

    I…didn't really notice anything sexist in the episode (and believe me, sexism is usually the first thing I notice. I was actually a bit more weirded out by the Doctor asking Rory permission to hug Amy). I mean, a delirious person, even a delirious Doctor, is likely to say some pretty strange and insensitive stuff.

    I kind of liked the Doctor swapping voice interfaces because everyone but little Amy made him feel guilty (that was actually a bit funny at the same time it was sad). It's a great acknowledgement of how the Doctor does damage as well as good, and he knows it, too.

    • Silla says:

      I dunno. I don't believe that's true about the baby. Two days is more than enough time for a mother to be plenty attached to her own child, which, you know, came out of her body and all.

      • @Kaza999 says:

        I always got the feeling that Amy didn't bond very well in the first place. I actually talked about this with my own mother (another DW enthusiast), because I thought that Amy and Rory *were* acting pretty nonchalant about having a missing kid. According to her, there really is no instant connection with your baby. You'll bond with the kid, but it's like bonding with another person. It takes some time, even if it's your own child, and Amy not only had very little time to bond with baby Melody, she was already under the stress of being in a strange place with no foreseeable way of getting home.

        • rumantic says:

          That doesn't happen for everyone, some people get an instant rush of love. I can identify with what your mum felt though. In the first few days that my son was born I was kind of in this weird disbelieving state and it felt like if someone was going to take him away at that time, I would have just accepted that he was their child and not mine. Except, I think that if that had actually happened I would have just still been in a kind of "Oh okay, this is what's happening now" kind of state of mind, but once I'd recovered a bit more from the birth I would have been really angry that someone thought they could take him, and be doing everything to get him back.

          Think about if someone found out they were pregnant, and then shortly afterwards had a miscarriage. It's pretty upsetting even if you didn't have a lot of time to get used to the idea, especially if you have been trying for a baby (but even if not) and I'm sure that most couples who have suffered a miscarriage, if they were presented with an image of the child they could have had, grown up as an adult, that would be pretty fucked up and distressing to you.

    • anobium says:

      why didn't River regenerate in Silence in the Library if she's a Time Lord…person?

      Since it was explicitly stated at the time that the Doctor wouldn't have regenerated if River had let him do it, I don't see why that needed explaining.

      • Yeah this. River got burnt to a crisp; the Doctor would have been similarly burnt to a crisp. She forbade him to die because it would mean that her entire past wouldn't have happened. I don't know why everyone—including Moffat, who freaking wrote it—seems to have forgotten this.

        • anobium says:

          I don't know that I've seen any signs that Moffat's forgotten it. There are other reasons he might have decided to specify that River is Melody's last incarnation: for one, it makes it easier for the audience and the Doctor to keep track if it's clear River Song is Alex Kingston and Alex Kingston is River Song. River's timeline is hard enough to follow without the possibility that any random woman the Doctor meets might turn out to be her. (And likewise I think this is why she became River almost immediately after regenerating, to the annoyance of everyone who found evil!River entertaining: River's timeline is hard enough to follow without having to stop every time she shows up and figure out whether this is good!River or evil!River.)

  57. rewritten says:

    I was just re-watching it and thought "I wonder if it's up on Mark watches yet?" So that's paused and that's why I'm so late to the party, but I loved it. That's not to say I didn't have concerns with the silliness of the first half, but the last 15 minutes were so damn beautiful that NOTHING HURTS. It's odd, I thought this episode really showcased all that's brilliant about Doctor Who and everyone involved, but there's no way you could introduce someone to it with this episode. Just imagine how many questions they'd be asking! Not ideal when I have to insist on silence when Who is on.

    The main criticism I've picked up on from friends is that they felt it all a bit rushed, and I can sort of agree, but I don't think a two parter would have had such an impact. The moment you see that name in the titles ("Steven Moffat") you know you are going to be flying by the seat of your pants for the next 45-50 minutes.

    My biggest gripe is that I doubt we'll ever see "Mels" again. I thought Nina Toussaint-White was a fantastic Melody Pond, but despite the brief screen time I think she's cemented her place in Who history.
    <img src=""&gt;
    "Penny in the air…"

    Lastly, do they have "jodhpurs" in the U.S.? Cause I'm certain after River checks herself out she exclaims "I'm going to wear lots of jodhpurs!" I'm bringing this up because I had a good giggle when I found a gif on tumblr with the subtitle "I'm going to wear lots of jumpers!" Yeah that's right. She realises she has fantastic curves so she's going to cover up, huh?

    Right, back to what I do best. Spam the comments section with gifs. Just a note, they may be quite crappy and short because they're from my tumblr where I have to abide by the RIDICULOUS 500kb gif rule. Sorry about that:

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    • Inseriousity. says:

      That scene never made any sense to me because I thought she said jumpers. LOL

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Beautiful gifspam is beautiful.

    • Minish says:

      I thought she said jumpers too, which didn't make any sense to me, so I started scouring the internet for an actual quote.

      Also, the toy-TARDIS-turning-into-real-TARDIS effect was awesome, and the Teselecta transformation effect is probably my favorite the show has ever done.

    • Shiyiya says:

      The subtitles I had said jumpers!

  58. syntheticjesso says:

    I had a thought, re: River being "worse" than Hitler. Did they actually SAY she was worse? I remember them saying that if they got her, they would get a whole year off, but I don't remember them actually saying she was worse than Hitler.

    Because if you think about it, catching River would give them a lot more merit than Hitler- everyone knows where and when to find Hitler, no big deal, it's all documented. River, on the other hand, bounces through time and changes her face and pulls all kinds of shenanigans. And if their time travel capacity is so crummy that they show up YEARS early in Hitler's timeline, then that would make it extra hard to catch her, thus it would earn them more points than someone who is stuck in time.

  59. Inseriousity. says:

    I loved that Melody was the one who put her parents together cos you can bet Rory wouldn't have said anything about it otherwise and Amy would've been waiting for the invite to Rory's gay marriage (ahaha that scene was great).

    As for River being so dependent on the Doctor, I wouldn't say that was true. I think the only time we see her, it's when she meets the Doctor or has an adventure with the Doctor because we're with the Doctor. Ofc I'm sure she'll be very pleased to have more adventures with him because omg who wouldn't (ME NEXT PLEASE!) but I don't think the "I live for the days when I see him" in DOTM was meant to be literal.

  60. Noybusiness says:

    Am I the only one freaked out that Melody was played by Maya *Glace-Green* and Nina *Touissant-White*?

  61. Reddi says:

    "Okay, I’ve never had a child, let alone had one kidnapped, so I know this is perilous territory. I’ll admit that upfront. But Rory and Amy seem kind of…nonchalant about all this? Sure, they could be in shock, and sure, they know that their child already grows up to be River in the future, so it’s not like she’s been harmed, but it’s more like they lost a really good book and not their daughter the whole time. Oh, and then their daughter poisons the Doctor. It’s just all so AWKWARD."

    It's more than awkward, it's glaringly WRONG. I am a parent- and this has to hit Amy and Rory HARD. Maybe it will come up in other episodes. But from the strong protective parents we had in A Good Man Goes to War, we have these two used almost as props here. It jolted me right out of the episode. I felt like Moffat wanted his running patter of Jokes to stand, and the emotional effect of losing their child, finding out who their child was, and then dealing with her was just wiped away…. for the jokes. ARGH. The jokes aren't funny if told in the wrong context.
    I will say Alex K was spectacular, especially as she was playing a very young River (looking old, but being young, much as the doctor was). And Moffat got around the regeneration limit from the old series- the doctor has all her regenerations (or that could be an out). So he can't give them back? I'm not sure how that works.

    I just really wish Moffat would pay more attention to characters acting in an appropriate in character way for each point in the story. HIs Who is excellent when he does pay mind to this, and it's weak when he does not.

  62. ruthliz says:

    As far as the sexism goes, I'm honestly kind of surprised that people would complain about the minor occurrence in this episode – a throwaway joke the doctor then semi-apologizes for – but it doesn't seem as though Mark, at least, picked up on the issue of the Doctor performing a medical exam on Amy without her knowledge or consent throughout the first half of this season. Every time he scanned her to see if she was pregnant – always on the sly, always in such a way that she wouldn't really noticed – I made this face: >:-( Not cool, Doctor, not cool.

  63. Fluff says:

    There are problems with this episode. However, I was just so happy for Doctor Who to be back on that I just let myself enjoy the hell out of it.

    I think the beginning of this episode was intended to be entertaining (young Mel, Mel getting Amy and Rory together, "What the hell, let's kill Hitler", fuckin' crop circle!), a bit shocking (Mel with the gun, Rory punching Hitler, River trolling the Nazis, banana-gun swap), and a bit of "wait, WHAT THE HELL?" (Mel/River regeneration namely). And then it got really emotional, and ALL THE EMOTIONS. I think I'm willing to say that there was a "fun" focus and then a "serious" focus, and some of the problems came from focusing on the fun and then BOOM SRS BSNS. And some things just got overlooked.

    I agree with the "why are Amy and Rory not more upset about their child being kidnapped/missing" thing. Also, I have to wonder – because of Amy being a flesh avatar for a vast majority of her pregnancy and she and Rory therefore not really… well, entirely expecting a baby… there's GOT to be a lot of emotional confusion there. Add in the fact that said baby was stolen from them, and they had to have been really, truly, emotionally fucked up. And we see none of that. That storyline is, so far, really emotionally unsatisfying.

    Plus side: I did enjoy this episode. This… This kind of thing is the type of roller coaster I enjoy. The comedy bits were great. And when it got emotional, I got really wibbly. And Alex Kingston. I might just need to find her and give her a big high-five and a hug, just based on this one episode. She rocked it!

    Also the Doctor needs to wear a tux more often. unf. And the sonic cane. SONIC. CANE. THAT IS FUCKING AWESOME AND I WISH I HAD ONE OF THOSE. It's badass and dignified at the same time and guh yes pleeeeease. Can they just put that on thinkgeek, pronto, pleeeeeeease.

  64. canyonoflight says:

    Just c/ping something I wrote on tumblr and my LJ:

    I love how “Let’s Kill Hitler” ended up having absolutely nothing to do with Hitler.

    Instead, it was all about changing history and whether or not it is possible. The Doctor is always saying that time can be rewritten and I really fucking hope it can be because I don’t want the Doctor to die. However, in this episode not only do they inadvertently save Hitler’s life, therefore securing that timeline, but River saves the Doctor when he almost died at a time that would end up rewriting not only his history, but her own future. Basically, all this episode did was make me lose hope that they would figure out a way to rewrite the Doctor’s death, because the more I think about it, the more I believe that the Doctor had to die in order for them to go through everything that led them to Ganger!Amy, River’s birth and kidnapping, to River as Mels kind of pushing her own freaking parents together, etc. To take away the Doctor’s death would possibly change all of that since he ended up crossing his own timeline. I mean, if River is the one who kills the Doctor, which this episode seems to state unequivocally, then that’s the reason she’s been in jail the whole time we’ve known her. If you change that, then who is River? Would she help the Doctor in the Library? Maybe not. Then he would’ve died then and so Amy and Rory would never have been on the Tardis and therefore never would have created a baby with a Time Head. I am fascinated to see how they get out of this because as far as I can see accomplishing the action in the statement “Let’s save the Doctor” seems as impossible as “Let’s Kill Hitler” turned out to be and, perhaps, as much of a distraction.

    <img src="; title="Hosted by" />

  65. EmmylovesWho says:

    I loved it, and am willing to wait until the end of the series before I go off on Moffat about his loose ends and timey-wimey nonsense. But the sexism can GTFO now.

  66. EmmylovesWho says:

    Spoilers abound

    I feel like a fraud, because this isn't really a spoiler but discussion of the topic definitely would be.

    When they were talking about the First Question, my brain went "is the answer 42?"
    Well, Adams wrote for Who..

  67. Shiyiya says:

    I…. kind of hate Mels. She is everything I disliked about River turned up to eleven with everything I liked removed. (yes I am so late watching this I had to wait to watch it with my partner and sie was at hir mum's >_>)

    And I am SO TIRED of Moffat fakeout killing everyone all the time. STOP IT. IT'S NOT INTERESTING.

    Also, all the sexism with Melody here. No. Stop it, Moffat. I don't like you anymore. Can we have Neil Gaiman as head writer instead? The Doctor's Wife was brilliant and he might actually give us a non white dude Doctor.

  68. Katy says:

    Was no one else incredibly uncomfortable with the "Permission?" "…Granted" bit? Why does Rory have control over Amy's body?

    I mean, I disliked the "oh women are so fickle and vain it's so funny" bits, and overall I still love the episode, but that part just really skeeved me out.

  69. jumpthesnark says:

    I'm hoping that by the end of the season, things somehow work towards River's life being re-written such that Rory & Amy get to raise her and all these sucky parts (of which there are many!) are erased. As for how the Doctor's death date will be gotten around….well, yeah, who knows on that one!

    As for how she gets from 1960's NYC to 1980's Leadworth, we know that her first time meeting the Doctor was sometime in her youth and that she was aware from that meeting onward that he knew all these things about her life already. So it's quite possible HE is how she got from the one place to the other. My question, however, is at what point was she actually trained as this Doctor-killing assassin? How long was that going on for? It seems like it'd have to be in the years between her birth and being in that creepy orphanage. Speaking of which, there's a picture at that orphanage of her with Amy as a little girl–so at some point in her youth, she IS with her parents.

    Gah! Basically, there's still a lot we don't know about her life and how it turns out and when it twists and why. But I do hope it gets rewritten such that her parents get to raise her in the end.

    Speaking of whom, they do seem really causal about the fact that their daughter is missing. I can understand the dissonance with not treating River like she's their kid, but she probably seems (and in many ways, is) a completely different person than the daughter they barely got to know they had. Talk about utterly unique circumstances to learn you're having a kid, then having one, then losing her. it would be nice to get to see something to show that they're struggling with that whole incredibly weird scenario, though.

  70. LittleCaity says:

    So I'm probably going to fandom hell for this, but I've spent a couple of days thinking about it, and, well…

    Sorry Moffat. I'm not watching your Who any more. The Pandorica crap from last season was bad enough (I'm sorry, but what was that bollocks?), but this season has been driving me up the wall. I gave you one last chance, and what did I get? Yet another reason to wish Rory was in a different sci-fi series and another chance to beat my head against the wall at River's antics.

    That's it, I'm done, I'm through. Congratulations. *leaves before the fireballs start exploding*

  71. Emm says:

    Am I the only person who took River's 'weighing herself' comment as something she made up off the top of her head to get a chance to sneak out and apply her poison lipstick of death?

    • Tria says:

      Nope, you’re not the only one who assumed that, since she returns wearing lipstick.

      As for the “she’s a woman” line — Amy immediately rebukes that with a glare, at which the Doctor gasps “oh, shut up, I’m dying!” to explain his sudden sexist comment, which I thought was quite neatly done.

      Okay, I admit it, I love this episode. (Check the ‘website’ link for the fanlisting for it, in fact.)

Comments are closed.