Needless to say, I'm less than impressed with the semi-premiere episode of Doctor Who, "Let's Kill Hitler", that kicked off the second half of Series 6. It's like Steven Moffat decided to give a huge middle finger to fans out of pure spite. Not content with writing the insulting storyline of making River Song the child of companions Amy and Rory in "A Good Man Goes to War", the current head writer seems hellbent on doing even more to confuse and annoy fans with this episode, which was almost completely incomprehensible.
From the opening scenes showing some sort of human-sized, shape-changing android piloted by a miniaturized crew taking the place of an S.S. officer in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, to the climax of the episode showing the beginnings of River Song, "Let's Kill Hitler" never fails to fail to deliver. Are we to believe that 1.) A human-Time Lady hybrid who has, as stated in this episode, regenerated into a toddler, somehow makes it from 1969 New York to 1990s Leadworth in England, 2.) inserts herself into her future parents' timeline in order to get an opportunity to meet and kill the Doctor, 3.) oh-so-conveniently regenerates into her River Song incarnation when a stray bullet from Hitler forces her to change, and 4.), after poisoning the Doctor with one of her lipsticks, suddenly is inspired by her parents' devotion to him to save his life by offering up all her remaining regenerations, and by episode's end be inspired to go looking for him again?
Okay, yes, I just gave away the entire episode. Trust me, you're really not worse off for it. This episode was so silly in its premise as to be unworthy of even bothering with. For one thing, how can you have an episode called "Let's Kill Hitler" and then lock him in a closet and forget about him roughly ten minutes or so in — for the rest of the episode? A better title might have been, "The Start of the River" or something like that, because that's really the whole plot of this sorry excuse for a story.
And naturally, there's the throw-away characters in the form of a group devoted to protecting the Doctor from River Song before she can kill him, or avenge him afterward, while also killing history's most evil figures at the end of their timelines. Who are these people and where did they come from? How do they fit in with the effort by the Silence to kill the Doctor and bring about the end of all things? And really, is the explanation of the Silence as a religious movement using the bulbous-headed, mouthless aliens from episodes one and two as players in their game, worthy of Doctor Who as a series? Not even close.
Moffat's increasingly been rubbing me the wrong way ever since the premiere of Series 5 last year. He can't be replaced soon enough, in my opinion. I can only hope that his eventual replacement will go out of his or her way to clean up the storytelling mess he's made of things. It's natural to ask audiences to suspend disbelief when consuming fiction. But to ask us to toss it out the window and forget what was established just one episode ago, or earlier in a season, is just asking too much.