arachnekallisti: (river song)
[personal profile] arachnekallisti

The thing about "Let's Kill Hitler" is that it comes over like edited highlights from three different episodes spliced together into one episode by the ingenious expedient of cutting out all the exposition.

There's a rather intriguing one about time-travelling shapeshifting robots full of tiny cross people hunting down unpunished war criminals, which is the sort of combination of an intellectually engaging thought experiment about the nature of justice with a load of utter crack that you'd expect from 2000AD. There was the timey-wimey mind screw in which Amy discovers that her childhood friend was in fact her time-travelling assassin daughter from the future. Then there was the episode in which the Doctor lay dying and his only hope was for Amy and Rory to hunt down Melody Pond, the only other surviving Time Lord, and persuade her to develop a conscience.

All of which looked like rather good episodes, but I'd have liked to see the whole of them rather than just the highlights out of them. RTD's besetting sin was writing like a D&D module - cool set-piece fights strung together with minimal plot. Moffat seems to have come round full circle and achieved the same kind of effect by trying to pack ten pounds of plot into a one pound bag, thus assailing the audience with a kind of jet of hypercompressed plot when the bag is eventually opened.

Which is not to say I didn't like it at all; River's timefucked backstory was handled really cleverly, and there were a load of nice, subtle touches such as the way Mels' body language with the gun mimicked River's. On a much more shallow level, there was Matt Smith looking vulnerable in evening dress, and Alex Kingston in Those Boots. I just found it a bit frustrating.

Date: 2011-08-30 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. This. Also, Hitler is still in a cupboard.

There were quite a few 'squee' moments that seemed only there for the squee (which felt very fan-ficcy) - Rory punching Hitler, the Doctor in evening dress, Rory doing a scene from Indiana Jones, and the Doctor saying 'Doctor Who?' which hasn't happened for a while. Not complaining though :)

Date: 2011-08-30 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it did feel terribly fan-ficcy - it had that kind of Rule of Cool driven vibe. I mean, the Rule of Cool bits were authentically quite cool, but it would have been nice to have some proper plot as well.

Date: 2011-08-30 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahha! You've put your finger right on it there! I enjoyed the episode, I know I did because I came out with a big grin after watching it, but also it was quite confusing and rushed and felt like it needed to be stretched a bit. I felt somewhat unsatisfied at the end and you've managed to summarise my feelings over it perfectly.
Hopefully the next few will be paced a bit better.

Date: 2011-08-30 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was in many ways quite a lot of fun, and if I'd stumbled across it on I would have been thoroughly happy with it. There were lots of very good bits in it, it's just that not having the other bits too made it feel a bit like a whole meal made up of dessert - very nice but not quite satisfying.

Date: 2011-08-30 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I kinda got the feeling that he wanted to do the whole exposition about River's history as an assassin and gaining a conscience in order to move on to other things next week. I still enjoyed the episode rather a lot though :)

Date: 2011-08-30 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did like it - it hit the same spot as a really good crack!fic. I'm just a bit disappointed that the whole assassin!River thing got blown off so fast, since with a bit of slow burn she could have been a cool recurring villain for a few episodes with added angst for everyone, which would in its own way have been even better.

Date: 2011-08-31 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoyed it immensely, but take on board your comment that it would be nice to stop and smell the roses (no pun - don't even think about the possible pun) once in a while. We could stand to see a bit more development of the time-travelling robots staffed by tiny cross people. Or the Victorian Silurian lesbian vigilante. Or the Headless Monks. Or the Victorian Silurian lesbian vigilante. What I very much liked was the way in which Hitler himself was almost entirely incidental - stuck in a closet and forgotten - but that the whole Fires of Pompeii/Waters of Mars vibe of the temptation to interfere was nicely suggested by the terribly, terribly calm way in which the Doctor kept staring at him. In fact, my favourite bits in the episode were the understated ones - especially the beautiful, horrible sequence with the visual interface where you get to see from what the Dream Lord arose ("No - not that. Someone I like.")

And it was a great episode for one's inner shallows. River seems to have been quite lucky by (sort of) Time Lord standards in that all her bodies were insanely hot. I probably should not be turned on by teenage psychopath!River in Alex Kingston's body playing dress-up quite as much as I am. There's a special Hell.

Date: 2011-08-31 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't get me wrong, I did like it - I came out of the episode with a big grin on my face. It was just once the Fridge Logic kicked in that I started feeling a touch unsatisfied. River got an entire character arc stuffed into one episode, which I think did her a disservice (and also cheated Amy and Rory of some character development potential).

Not to say there weren't fantastic bits in it. The scene with the visual interface was one of my favourites too. Being Eleven must be like waking up from a colossal drunken bender and slowly remembering all the awful, stupid things that seemed like a good idea last night. I bet he'd get on really well with Eight.

Also, yes, quality fanservice. River with the motorbike and the guns and Those Boots. Yes. I'll see about getting screencaps.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-08-31 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Personally, I found "A Good Man Goes To War" a lot more effective and less frustrating than "Let's Kill Hitler" and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was the difference between something that's billing itself as set-up versus something that's claiming to be

"Midnight" was a fine example of Rusty doing a pretty good Moff. Thing is, towards the end even Rusty had forgotten how to do Rusty. "The End of Time" was just a bit too far on the silly side. I do hope Moff doesn't forget how to do Moff, and I shall be interested to see how "Night Terrors" turns out.

Date: 2011-09-03 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, very much agreed with all of the above. It had enough cool & fanservice in it to leave me with a huge grin on my face, but then I got hit with a ton of fridge logic about things like why this person who was apparently so important in Amy & Rory's life never got mentioned before, or why Mels/River made such a sudden & drastic about-face to save the Doctor!

Also, it did annoy me seeing young!Rory being used for gratuitous comedic effect & made to look as pathetic as possible ~grr~


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