It’s back and I’m still loving it.
The pre-credit opening of Let’s Kill Hitler kicked off the second half of the sixth series with pace and wit. The whole killing Hitler premise lasted only long enough to provide a few funny lines, some unashamedly cool set pieces and establish the idea of time travel as a tool to mete out historical justice with the benefit of hindsight.
With the endless possibilities of alien culture and future technologies, science fiction has always had the freedom to create elaborate hypothetical situations to explore philosophical questions. But even so, last night’s episode was stretching it a bit with miniature people controlling a life-size robot capable of transforming into an exact copy of anyone and anything in order to track down its prey. Much of Doctor Who’s mass appeal lies its funny, self-aware approach to these ridiculously elaborate and unlikely scenarios. ‘It’s a miniaturisation ray’ says Rory, “How do you know that?” asks Amy, “Well, there was a ray and then we were miniaturised”.
The brilliant madness continues as Amy and Rory’s best friend turns out to actually be their daughter who then gets shot by Hitler, and regeneratee into a psychotic timelord -who looks like River Song, but isn’t- on a mission to kill the Doctor. From then it all starts to get a bit complicated.
If I have one tiny complaint about the Steven Moffat helmed Doctor Who, it’s that every episode is big and loud, with emphasis on the reaching the next revelation in the overall series plot. There seem to be fewer examples of the quieter, standalone episodes which Doctor Who has done so well in the past such as Midnight, or Blink (written by Moffat). However this may be because the plot-packed episodes tend to dominate the beginning and end of a series and the split sixth series having two cliff-hangers means less time for inconsequential, if still dramatic, episodes in between.
With the brilliant writing and acting on display last night, the rest of the series looks good and so I have finally abandoned all pretence of the show being family viewing. I’ve tried watching it with the kids, but they mess about and ask too many questions. From now on I’m saving it until after they go to bed.