DOCTOR WHO: Series 6 - Let's Kill Hitler / Review

BBCHD - 27 August 2011 - 7.10pm

"I'm getting a sort of banging in my head"
"Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard"

The opening of Let's Kill Hitler, where Amy and Rory drive their mini across a field to provide a crop circle shout out to the Doctor, is of course yet another reiteration of Moffat's idea of imparting messages to the Doctor that has already seen active duty in Time of the Angels, The Pandorica Opens and The Impossible Astronaut. And usually when they call the Doctor, River tends to go along for the ride.

Thus we get the introduction of Mels, blotting out the sun as she looms over the Doctor and declares of him those twin qualities ("you said he was funny, you never said he was hot") that even Amy herself found attractive in the Doctor. Mels. Well, if you've been paying attention then you would have immediately suspected that a character called Mels would be no coincidence in a Moffat script. A character we've never heard of before, who has never, ever followed Rory and Amy to any clandestine meeting with the Doctor before, suddenly turns up in a bright red Corvette with prior knowledge of the Doctor and the TARDIS. What exactly were we supposed to think?

To hammer home his revelation, Moffat then includes a flashback to young Amelia and Rory's childhood and their emergence into adulthood, now accompanied by this new character, Mels. Mels, who is continually in trouble with authority figures, steals cars and buses and completely accepts who the Doctor is and the whole concept of time travel. As the Doctor quite rightly points out to Mels when she announces herself, "Why don't I know you?" and the audience might be asking the same of this example of the hanging narratives that Moffat likes to tease the viewer with.

It's a particular narrative that avoids one of several elephants in the room in Let's Kill Hitler - when did Melody Pond become black? It momentarily poses some awkward questions about Mels' status as 'other' in opposition to her white parents, the tokenism of ethnic minority casting and characters in mainstream British drama (Nina Toussaint-White lasts all of 15 minutes before she's replaced by Kingston) and that ongoing agenda about a Time Lord's ability to regenerate into whatever colour, gender and size they choose. Moffat's either tentatively paving the way for a female black Doctor after all or just yanking the chains of those who simply can't accept the idea, all the while tittering to himself in a gloomy corner of the studio, drunk on the power of it all.
"You've got a time machine. I've got a gun. What the hell - let's kill Hitler."
Mels, another iteration of the confidently psychotic Jane from Coupling and holding the Doctor, Amy and Rory at gunpoint, tells us everything we need to know about the episode as we crash into the opening titles. "You've got a time machine. I've got a gun. What the hell - let's kill Hitler." Clearly, we will not see Mels and the Doctor kill Hitler and the Berlin setting promised by the pre-publicity, where the Hitler baiting still feels really quite uncomfortable as a device to launch a family drama, merely acts as the backdrop to the major events of the story, Mels becoming River Song and saving a Doctor that she's just killed.

I enjoyed the post opening titles flashback sequence to the young Rory and Amelia (they will have to get their money's worth from Caitlin Blackwood because she's starting to outgrow the role of young Amelia) because of its charming reflection of the adult equivalents. A domineering Amelia and a passive Rory fit particularly well with the development of the characters and underscore the concept of Doctor Who as a compass that children will use to map out their own imaginative worlds.

Thus we get lots of images of the young Amelia and Mels playing with the objects of their obsession in the form of a home made toy TARDIS (just like the ones we used to make before Character Options made us pay through the nose for them) and Mels defiantly rejecting the received version of history in her school lessons and suggesting certain events, such as the sinking of the Titanic and Hitler's rise to power, only happened because the Doctor didn't intervene (yes, another clever bit that shores up the series's ongoing debate about how much of history the Doctor can actually fix). As the two girls bond over their shared obsession, the young Rory is depicted as Moffat's definition of male stupidity "a cross between a puppy and an idiot", a description that his character Jane used to typify her boyfriend, the geeky Oliver, in Coupling.

While the two girls seem to be having all the fun, Rory obediently sticks to the unadventurous rules of hide and seek and blind man's bluff. It's funny but it also repeats a lot of the undermining of male figures, of Rory and the Doctor, in contrast to stronger female characters such as Amy and River that Series 5 made such a fuss about, culminating in the adult Amy declaring that Rory is actually just "gay" and just a "friend" when Mels, fully aware of her true relative association to them, springs the idea that he is potential husband material on her. However it does strike a brilliant contrast to the adult Rory who has finally blossomed in Series 6 and gets rather more of the adventurous stuff to do here while Amy, once the apple of Moffat's eye, is substantially reduced to more of a passive figure on the sidelines, quite literally in the form of a robotic duplicate in the final act of the episode.

By the time Mels has stolen and driven a bus through a botanical garden and provocatively suggested to Amy that "maybe I need a Doctor" to her charge that Mels needs to face up to her responsibilities, the screamingly obvious is now leaping off the screen. To give Moffat his due, not only is he violently elbowing the audience in the ribs about Mels true identity at this point but he's also conflating it with Mels' own attempt to alert Amy that Rory, and not the Doctor, is her "Mr Perfect", that she's confirmed to herself they are her parents with "seriously, it's got to be you two" and, in conclusion, that Moffat himself should metatextually "cut to the song, it's getting boring" and prepare the way for Alex Kingston. As if you didn't need any more telling then the line, "Catch you later, Time Boy", should be accompanied by the sound not just of one but of thousands of pennies dropping. The flashback ends with a simply gorgeous dissolve of Mels throwing the toy TARDIS into the air and a complimentary shot of the TARDIS in flight to yank us back to that date with Hitler.
"get your fat one up there" 
So back to what we could generously call the plot. After an obsessive nod to continuity about the console room's supposed "state of temporal grace" where weapons can't be used (first mentioned in The Hand of Fear and then regularly contradicted ever since and now, according to Moffat, admittedly something of a "clever lie") the TARDIS crash lands in Hitler's study in the Berlin of 1938. A word here about the production design from Michael Pickwoad to say that he's got a very great talent for making money go a long way and for producing rather wonderful, large scale sets for the show. Hitler's study looks magnificent on screen and the studio work dovetails very nicely with the Swansea locations.

However, it is here that things go seriously wrong with the episode. The whole concept of time travelling miniaturised people controlling life sized robots to assassinate war criminals (after they've committed their crimes) and using a very strange security system that can turn on them when it gets breached is simply laughable. It's an over convoluted way of assassinating war criminals and I'm sure the Libyan rebels and NATO would reject outright any proposal from the Teselecta to seek down the now missing Colonel Gaddafi. After all, they can't even land in the right time period to do away with Hitler. If I was Brian Minchin I'd get on the phone to Moffat and have a chat about lifting some of the ideas from Minchin's book The Forgotten Army. Much as these ideas then herald a welter of handsome, Terminator-esque special effects and pulpy science fiction humour, the concept was clearly pulled out of the hat in a desperate attempt to give the River Song story some kind of context.

Oddly, it starts out as tongue in cheek reflection of the kind of meetings that Moffat must have to endure at BBC Wales as the miniaturised crew, on their pulp SF influenced bridge (something that melds Fantastic Voyage with Star Trek by the looks of it), set about refining their aesthetic choices for the latest of their assassins. "Costume want to know about the suit" and "art department want to talk skin tone" and "we're in a hurry, we're not trying to win an award" are surely tone meeting comments that haunt Moffat in his sleep. The Captain, played by Richard Dillane, spookily reminded me of Ben Miles's Patrick in, you guessed it, Coupling and he certainly matches Patrick's attitude to women when the Captain orders the costume supervisor Harriet to "get your fat one up there" when she requests a check of the sensors. Charming. The fact that she then has to run all the way up to the robot's eyeball to take a look seems rather a silly over-indulgence. But then perhaps it's Moffat taking a cheeky swipe at the rampant bureaucracy and misogyny in the BBC's corridors of power. Later, he attempts to show that even with the power of time travel, the Teselecta haven't really thought about the moral justification for what they do but that's not really unpacked as an idea because he's rather more concerned with the bigger question of revealing who wants the Doctor killed.
"right, putting Hitler in the cupboard"
The Teselecta has about as much context as the Berlin setting to be honest, which beautifully recreated as it is, is merely decoration and suggests that the story could have been done any where and at any time. Which is probably something of a relief when the 'character' of Hitler is thumped and bundled into a cupboard and the episode becomes a 50 minute exercise where the expression 'don't mention the war' is initially frustrated by River's brief observation about the world preparing to tear itself apart as she surveys Berlin from the Fuhrer's balcony. Rory's fisticuffs rather simplistically summarise decades of British cultural resentment and is then amusingly compounded with his demand, at gunpoint, of "Shut up, Hitler!" Rory's metatexual line of "right, putting Hitler in the cupboard" also underlines Moffat's recognition that he has to try and banish yet another particularly troublesome elephant in the room.

The trouble is that 'putting Hitler in the cupboard' won't make British cliches about a Germany that no longer exists go away and a later line from River when she's confronted by Nazi troops, "I was off to this gay Gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, 'gosh, the Third Reich's a bit rubbish, I think I'll kill the Fuhrer','' certainly left me wondering how that'll play in Germany. The Teselecta and their justice machines may well be a commentary on war crimes and how we pursue those that commit them but the miniaturising and execution of Nazi party members depicted here is little more that an amusing fantasy with no real meat on its bones to even begin to explore something of the morals involved.

But then that is clearly not the raison d'ĂȘtre of the episode and it is no wonder that Hitler himself gets little air time because, as the depiction of Winston Churchill in Victory of the Daleks demonstrated, the use of such controversial historical figures in Doctor Who is extremely problematic and merely reduces them to nationalistic images that provoke a jingoism that is very remote from the Europe of the 21st Century. So, effectively Hitler and pre-war Berlin are just gimmicks used to entice the audience into the episode and, while their presence are as knowingly ahistorical as the Spielbergian excess of Indiana Jones bagging Hitler's autograph in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Moffat, by locking Hitler away in the cupboard for the rest of the episode, at least doesn't completely embarrass himself by suggesting the Doctor has turned up to idealistically and single handedly defeat fascism. Mind you, giving the Doctor a line, after inadvertently 'saving' Hitler's life, that "the British are coming" veers horribly close to that concept.

And so we get to Mels' regeneration and eventual transformation into the River we physically recognise but the Doctor, Rory and Amy do not know. As she 'dies' the constant themes of childhood wishfulfillment through storytelling and dreams are resurrected when Mels informs the Doctor of her dream that she had planned to marry him. His line "let's get married. You live and I'll marry you, deal?" gives away more perhaps about what later happens when the situation is reversed and the Doctor is dying before a bewildered River Song and parallels much of the 'will they / won't they' teasing in previous episodes. Their discussion about seeking permission from her parents is of course the last clue as to who she really is before the regeneration kicks in.

Moffat kindly fills in a couple of blanks about the regenerating child at the end of The Impossible Astronaut but still leaves us with plenty of gaps between the end of that episode, Mels arrival in Leadworth and this regeneration to speculate away on. "You named your daughter after your daughter" is one of the best lines in the episode as a rather stunned Rory and Amy watch as she is transformed into River and another piece of Moffat's grand narrative, one that has primarily been focused on the mystery of this femme fatale character, falls into place. Kingston has a field day and there's that lovely, and highly appropriate reference, in image and dialogue, to The Graduate (1967), its romantic comedy tropes suggesting that the River/Doctor relationship kicks off with her sexual assertiveness as Mrs Robinson meeting his self conscious innocence as Benjamin Braddock.

But River's sexual shenanigans are simply a means to an end and her brainwashing, courtesy of Madame Kovarian we presume, is confirmed by the Teselecta data banks that she is "Melody Pond, the woman who kills the Doctor" and who eventually gets thrown into the Stormcage for her troubles. Director Richard Senior nods way back to The Eleventh Hour when he shows us in flashback, and unbeknownst to us as we witness the regeneration, the Doctor's ability to notice the details and change the outcomes by removing the bullets from the gun River picks up and swapping another weapon for a banana. It's a prelude to Amy's distress at finding her daughter is a trained assassin, a "bespoke psychopath" out to kill the Doctor.

Kingston skilfully delineates between the psychopathic Mels she is here and the River that she will become and her post regeneration preening and choosing of outfits is a neat parallel to all those scenes we've had of the Doctor checking out his new appearance or finding himself a new costume in the TARDIS wardrobe. I love the fact that Moffat decides to hedge off those picky fans, who will no doubt rather crassly point out that Kingston looks younger in her first Doctor Who episodes Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, by suggesting that River can de-age herself and "might take the age down a little, just gradually, to freak people out." A clever way to buy himself some insurance there.

Certainly Kingston and Arthur Darvill get the lion's share of the best lines here. Darvill not only gets to punch Hitler and put him in a cupboard but he also gets to ride a German motorcycle and utter the rather wonderful line, as he wakes up inside the Teselecta version of Amy, "I'm trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife. I'm really trying not to see this as a metaphor." Much as I admire Kingston, the post-regenerative Mels' fruity banter and off the wall behaviour ultimately feel like Moffat is still writing for the sociopathic Jane from Coupling. When Kingston, as the regenerating Mels, quips about her dress size and then later dashes off to weigh herself, I just thought why not cast Gina Bellman and be done with it because you could honestly have given the lines and the attitude to Moffat and Coupling's female alter-ego. Which is a shame because River, as a character, is worthy of much more than a simple retread of all the self-obsessed, emasculating, paranoid females that litter Moffat's work.
"before I got it all wrong"
He may be convinced that these are strong female characters but for me it continues to trot out his own male guilt about fancying and then being dominated by powerful women that frankly is getting rather boring. Moffat does himself no favours by having the Doctor equate her vicissitudes as a future wife and a hired killer merely as the prerogatives of being a woman. "She's been brainwashed, it all makes sense to her. Plus, she's a woman," is going to have the feminists cheering from the aisles, I'm sure. He succeeds in making the character unpalatable, which is partly required for the narrative transformation she makes from cruel killer to self sacrifice, but it falls back on many of the similar evolutions that his female characters often undertake.

And talking of that guilt, wasn't it interesting that when the Doctor lies dying in the TARDIS and seeks succour from a voice interface he's also confronted by a similar guilt and the emotional baggage associated with romantic love, unrequited love and mother love in the form of Rose, Martha and Donna, three women whose lives he was inextricably involved in? His guilt is assuaged by an appeal to the untainted figure of Amelia Pond, the child whose life he will then go on to screw up, her young life tormented by psychiatrists nonplussed at her obsession with an imaginary friend and her adult life scarred by the kidnap of her daughter who then turns out to be a killer. Still, the 'fish fingers and custard' memory of a time before he "screwed" up yet another life and "before I got it all wrong" does seem to give him the strength to carry on and change for a night on the town. Unfortunately, I did find Matt Smith's performance in this scene rather hammy, lacking enough emotional truth to make it convincing. He's far, far better in the later scene where River watches him die as he struggles to get back in the TARDIS and he desperately tries to convince her to save Rory and Amy from the Teselecta. As he struggles, she begins to understand how much he cares. When she does act we also get that reference back to how she "learned from the best" when piloting the TARDIS, and that in rescuing Rory and Amy she has in fact been taught by the TARDIS itself.

There's also something to note here too about his reappearance, in the German restaurant, dressed in top hat and tails. If you were observing closely towards the end of the scene with the voice interface of Amelia Pond, he takes off in the TARDIS. However, we never hear him arrive in the restaurant before he interrupts the Teselecta's attempt to kill River and many fans are now thinking that, even though he was dying, he's nipped off somewhere and returned because as he says "you should always waste time when you don't have any." The outfit is more or less the one he wore to Amy and Rory's wedding in The Big Bang. The final episode of this series is called The Wedding of River Song. I'll leave you to put two and two together as to where he might have been. Besides, how else did he convince River to become River? What did he say to her just as he died? Something that clearly relates to his mysterious departure in the TARDIS and that is then compounded when the Teselecta transforms itself, in front of her, and forces her to confront her self but as a self constructed by Amy, Rory, the Doctor and the Teselecta. It offers River a chance to shape herself based on other people's perception rather than the Kovarian brainwashing, to "find her". That mission to "find her" is also seen much later in the hospital as she recovers from bequeathing her regeneration energy to the dying Doctor and where we see the Doctor give her the blue diary that will one day contain all of her exploits. Like Rory, we also must ask ourselves if the brainwashing has been negated or whether it remains. As River determines to be an archaeologist on the Luna University we're left in some doubt as she claims the reason she's signed up is because she's "looking for a good man."

In the end, we are provided with a little more information about the Silence ("a religious order or movement") and that silence will fall when "the oldest question in the universe" is asked. Apparently it is "hidden in plain sight" but we don't get a confirmation of what it is. Is this going to be as obvious and tedious as its sounds? Sadly this episode ends up a little bit of a mess. While the core story of River's origins is intriguing, the rest of the episode with its Hitler and Berlin backdrop and the justice machines of the Teselecta is quite honestly rather forgettable. Moffat's scripts might be clever and witty and barmy but Let's Kill Hitler is Doctor Who-lite, bearing all the hallmarks of every tried and tested trope that he often marshals to fashion his concept of the series. It ends up as a 'Greatest Hit(ler)s' package instead of the very special episode it was intended to be by showing us the first meeting between the Doctor and his missus to be, Professor/Doctor/Melody/Mels/River Pond Song. This woman has so many nomenclatures these days it is getting hard to keep track of her and I suppose the episode is, at best, a triumphant exploration of her schizophrenic nature. Just forget the rest of the nonsense.

Note: For more on Series 5, including all the expanded reviews from 2010, try my book Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens - Exploring the Worlds of the Eleventh Doctor published by Classic TV Press and also available on Amazon


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Comments
17 Responses to “DOCTOR WHO: Series 6 - Let's Kill Hitler / Review”
  1. I'm still working out what to say about this one - I actually thought it seemed more coherent on second viewing, but on first it was all rather frothy. There were missed opportunities to lend weight to proceedings.

    As for the feminist critics, I don't know if you've seen Lady Summerisle's review at her Strange Complex LiveJournal:

    http://strange-complex.livejournal.com/406539.html

  2. FRANK says:

    Thanks Matthew!

    Rather underwhelmed by it and some it of it I thought was quite dodgy in that it never really attempted to explore the moral consequences of war crimes and assassinations. It all seemed to be in there for a bit of fun.

    The Nazi and Hitler baiting just seems so very out of step to me in modern Britain. I am hugely interested in WW2 and I know Doctor Who really can't explore this subject matter in a truly adult way so I'm wondering why they actually bothered. If you're not going to do it at the level of say 'Making History' then I'd avoid the subject. It just ends up as knee-jerk jingoistic cliche.

    Very interesting comments on that LJ. I too felt that it was somewhat unfair for River to sacrifice her remaining regenerations to save the Doctor when it all seemingly serves a continuity point in 'Forest of the Dead.'

    I have a feeling that the non-Moffat scripts are the ones to concentrate on in this run of episodes. The finale is likely to be as preposterous as ever I should think.

  3. I feel that the episode presumed a familiarity with Nazism through modern television culture - it didn't need to emphatically overtly oppose Hitler, because the viewers are expected to anyway. The point, as so much in this episode, could have been made with more confidence.

  4. David says:

    As usual, Frank, you nail it. I have been so let down by series 6, and especially Moffat's contributions to the plot. It wasn't just that there was a lot of extraneous noise in this episode - the Nazi setting, the Tesselecta, as you point out - but that even when it came to its core stories, there were holes large enough to drive one of Mels's stolen buses through.

    Melody teases the Doctor, "Hello Benjamin," and the Doctor says, "Benjamin who?" Yes, clever, the Doctor doesn't get it, haha. Except he made the exact same joke in The Impossible Astronaut, earlier in his time stream. So yes, the Doctor has know the reference. It may be a nitpick but it's something so brazenly obvious, and even penned by the same author, I'm stunned it got through.

    The big reveal about "The only water in the forest is the River" meaning that Melody Pond translates into River Song for the people of the forest led.... nowhere. This implied in A Good Man Goes To War, really strongly, that she either grew up in the forest or spent a lot of time there. But no, apparently she's called River Song because that's the name the Doctor gives her. Nice time loop, no need for the people of the forest. Why was that even in there? Patented Moffat double bluff.

    Mels says as she's regenerating that the last time she ended up a toddler in New York - a clear reference to the end of Day of the Moon. So that girl regenerates into Mels... in 1969. The Ponds must be children of the 80s. So Mels was a toddler until she caught up with her parents in the late 80s or early 90s? If she was a toddler, how did she get around? She says explicitly that she's so glad she found them - so she apparently did this on her own. She dialed back her internal clock into a toddler when she found them? This makes zero sense.

    Beyond that, "Mels" was just horribly shoed in. We could've had some reference to her before and we would've all said, "OH! Clever." Nope.

    Amy and Rory have to be the worst parents to just go along with this. No screams of, "NO, this isn't 'raising our daughter' - this isn't what we wanted, this is twisted! Doctor, change this, reverse it, I can't handle it!" Just acceptance. It's inhuman, unbelievable.

    River's reveal as Amy and Rory's daughter didn't sit well with me last episode - it made the Who universe seem less expansive, more turned-in on itself, almost incestuously small - but I decided to hold off judgment. I can now say that I really dislike it. And the final nail for me is, as you meticulously document, that Moffat only writes one kind of woman: the dominating, emasculating type of his dreams, nightmares, and fantasies. She's a bawdy shell, her humanity and characters squeezed out of the way by Moffat's overwrought erotic imaginings.

    There were just too many Moffat double bluffs - much like him trying to make us think in A Good Man Goes To War that Melody's father was the Doctor. It's not clever. It's not funny. It's just annoying. He does the same thing in the last episode of Sherlock, and it was equally eye-roll inducing then. It's like your college roommate who tells the same joke every time he gets drunk: he thinks it makes him clever, but it doesn't, and every time he tells it loudly to the same fidgeting audience, it makes you resent him a little more for it.

    It's sad because I thought I saw a new dawn rising on Doctor Who with series 5. I now find myself back into the mindset of tuning in each week, not out of anticipation or a sense of fun, but saying, well, there's bound to be a few good episodes in it. Much like a couple years ago, I'm back to enduring seasons for the gems, now.

  5. Patrick M says:

    Thank goodness, Frank! I've been silently hanging around here since last night to read your thoughts on LKH.

    I think you're right: the Moff's scripts are the ones the point to where this series is going. We've had the Doctor shot and killed. We've had "the good man" go to war. Now we've had River's origin story. The only tale Moffat really needs to reveal are the circumstances the lead to her imprisonment at the Storm Cage facility.

    Brilliant insights as always, Frank.

    -Patrick

  6. Nice review, Frank - and a useful one, too, as after it had finished and the other half asked me what I thought of it I honestly couldn't remember much about it.

    This seems to be happening a lot with the last few series - I enjoy them fine while I'm watching but am left with no lasting impression (other than the fact I enjoyed it - much, much, more than I could say for Torchwood).

    'Smith and Jones' aside, of course, I'm not usually a fan of (sort of) first episodes, so hopefully things will pick up.

    And no 'The Numskulls' reference? I thought this was the one place I was guaranteed one! :)

    Cheers again.

  7. FRANK says:

    Matthew - history seen through television is an interesting side analysis to this. Nazism as informed by The Great Escape and Colditz perhaps rather than heavyweight stuff like The World at War? Back to that idea of Churchill and Hitler as iconic figures who we must presume to love/hate because we think we know them through mass media entertainment?.

    Interesting too that BBC2 scheduled The Man Who Crossed Hitler on the same weekend. Wonder how man viewers tuned into that as as result of Who?

  8. FRANK says:

    Gray - Everyone was referencing the Numbskulls! I decided not to. So there! :D

  9. FRANK says:

    David - love the analogy of Moffat as your drunk room mate telling the same story over and over again. Perfect!

  10. @Frank Ah, entirely fair enough then!

    (Of course, I wouldn't know as yours are the only 'Doctor Who' reviews I read...)

  11. Jai says:

    I forgot to watch it so I read your review instead. Thank you for sparing me from wading through this televisual excrement.

  12. Nimbus says:

    Erm, the Teselecta didn't assassinate criminals - it went to the time the criminal was about to die and "gave them hell" i.e. made them suffer for their crimes. Then they died as they were supposed to.

    And the fact that the Doctor was against this robot of justice was, I thought, Moffat telling us that we shouldn't be obsessed with vengence and making others (even 'evil dictators') suffer. That we should "put Hitler in the cupboard" and get on with our lives.

    I loved this episode. Yes, of course, this version of 1938 Berlin and Hilter was a caricature - I dont think anyone thought this was supposed to be a realistic depiction of times before WW2. Its fun and adventurous like Doctor Who is supposed to be.

    My only complaints would be that we werent introduced to Mels before this episode and that we've seen River's beginning far earlier than I expected. Otherwise a marvellous episode.

  13. FRANK says:

    Nimbus - Then why did they decide to kill River when it clearly wasn't the end of her timeline and way before her eventual death if we're told they turn up just before their victims die? They simply saw her as the Doctor's killer and decided there and then to kill her. It doesn't make any sort of sense.

    I just didn't like that episode, I'm afraid.

  14. Rose says:

    hello! I just wanted to inquire whether you'll be reviewing any of the more recent episodes- I'm assuming you're pretty pressed for time still (i think that was you said when I asked if you'd be reviewing torchwood, which I watched all of, and was unsurprising disappointed with), but after enjoying but not loving the last two who episodes, I loved 'The God Complex' and when I thoroughly enjoy an episode I always really enjoy reading your reviews.. so, basically I wanted to know whether there would be one at any stage?

  15. FRANK says:

    Hi, Rose

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Couple of reasons why reviews have ceased really.

    I am really struggling to schedule writing the blog at the moment. My work load is very intense and I either don't find the time or I'm just too exhausted to contemplate posting on the blog. I'm in a period of hard graft that will potentially take me until Christmas. After that we'll see.

    I've also not been around at weekends to watch episodes as they go out so any schedule that may have been in place went out the window a while ago. This weekend's episode was the first I've watched 'live' for some time.

    I'm also not enjoying it as much which might have something to do with it too. It's ceased to be appointment to view television for me. I watch it when I feel like watching it. So at the moment I really don't feel inspired to review the series. Sorry to disappoint you.

    However, I've got a few non-Doctor Who reviews lined up so posting will continue for the time being, all be it sporadically.

  16. Thanks for the last comment, Frank. This half-season is steadily losing admirers - I'm not convinced by the handling of the loss of Melody, and a lot of the emotional beats depend on the viewer being able to imagine the Doctor-Amy-Rory 'honeymoon season' which we never saw. There's still a lot to interest me, but I'm not surprised that there is going to be a production break and presumably a rethink after the Christmas Special is made.

  17. Rose says:

    Aw, I'm sad to hear that. Still, good luck with your work and I'm glad that I've been able to catch your previous reviews because I have enjoyed reading them. I hope you get some time/inspiration back in the future too, because your reviews are the best! They always make me see deeper into an episode. Otherwise, thanks for replying and best of luck in your work! It's a lot of dedication to write reviews as you have and I can see how it would become demanding/lose it's spark when you're very busy. Thanks again.

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