Doctor Who on BBC America which aired August 27th came back with a bang and grabbed a hold of the viewer from beginning to end, dropping clues, closing loop holes and getting to the issue at hand: mainly who River Song is and which really had nothing to do with Hitler.
The show opened up with Amy and Rory in a mini making a crop circle to get the Doctor’s attention, since he was not returning their calls. He is there by the TARDIS in a new look, a trench coat, and waving a newspaper which means that the trick Amy and Rory did to get his attention worked.
As they are all hugging and he tells them that he has not found Melody, Rory happens to notice that there is something different about the crop circle from the newspaper clipping. As they all stare at the picture, they hear a car coming, and they all look up to see a red corvette coming straight for them. It is Mels, a childhood friend who the Doctor has no idea who she is. This is where they put in the obligatory flashback scene and we see that Mels has always been there with Amy and Rory, who was always in trouble as Amy always was there to get her out of trouble.
Whoa, whoa wait a second here. Were you like me a few minutes into the show, wondering what the hek is going on? Like who is the female? Is she there because the world was re-booted is that why the Doctor does not recall her, or why Amy or Rory never spoke about her?
Yes these questions flashed in my mind like my own mini flashback scene. And of course once we see the episode those questions were not only answered, but a bomb shell of knowledge was also dropped as well.
As they are talking there is another sound heard, the sound of sirens, which is Mels signal to pull out a gun, point it at the Doctor and announce, “what the hell, let’s kill Hitler.”
Once they are in the TARDIS Mels fires off a shot which incapacitates the TARDIS which has them hurtling willy-nilly through the air until they crash land in Hitler’s office, saving him from a morphing robot.
Wait a morphing robot?
Yes while our intrepid group are flying in the TARDIS, a Justice Dept of Good type alien race is in the body of a robot that can change its shape to anything, which is pretty cool. They go throughout history taking really bad people and punish them for horrific crimes against humanity (and I’m sure alien kind since this robotic ship is screaming alien tech). As they have Hitler in a field of pain, the TARDIS comes barreling through effectively stopping the mini Justice Dept of Good, but also saving Hitler which the team realizes when they step out of a smoking TARDIS.
Ok now that is the set-up of where the show starts to get good, or I should say better. Hitler recovers, and shoots at the robot, and also hits Mels. The Doctor has Rory put Hitler in a closet while he tres to help Mels, who as it turns out is River Song, a River who was hell-bent on killing the Doctor. So here is the moment I literally got up out of my chair and gasped, then a couple of expletives pop out of my mouth, and just stared at my screen in absolute shock and awe. Yes Steven Moffat is an evil friggen genius and if you don’t think so then that is your opinion, but this moment was absolutely executed brilliantly.
Then there was the dance of death between her and the Doctor, also another master stroke from the way it was filmed to how River and the Doctor kept one-upping each other, that is until River poisoned the Doctor with a kiss. Now who saw that coming?
Now this is a completely different River Song than what we’ve seen previously. She has always had the Doctor’s back, but we see is her at the beginning of her life as River, literally born, and acting out like a teenager. As she goes out to terrorize the citizens of Berlin, the Doctor charges Amy and Rory to go after River. The Doctor gets to his TARDIS, where he proceeds to have a funny, yet poignant dialogue with the projection of a young Amelia Pond.
Before that, he asked to speak to a projection, and first it was Rose, followed by some of his long-time companions, but he kept changing them because he was feeling guilty. As he is arguing with the young Amelia Pond, he is dying with only 32 minutes left of life, and as he is about to pass out, the projection says custard and fish fingers, which gives the Doctor an added boost to go on.
While River is on a rampage in a Berlineatery, Amy and Rory are about to go into the place when they are taken and miniaturized by the aliens in the robot ship. The robot has now morphed into Amy. As they are in the ship, it goes in and confronts River, which they have confirmed that she is the killer of Doctor Who which is a fix point death back in the 60’s. Ok I refuse to believe that is a fixed point. Nope. No way. Nada. Moffat will fix this. He has too.
As the robot blasts River with the same ray as Hitler, the Doctor is there in an tuxedo giving a merry speech as everyone looks at him. As River tries to leave, the robot stuns her again, that is until Amy inside begs them to stop hurting her. Then the pain becomes too much for the Doctor as he is moments from death and calls out for River to help Amy and Rory. River wants him to explain why he keeps calling for River..
Inside the robot there are anti-body robots that will attack anything that is not authorized and when Amy makes everyone not authorized so that they can turn off their ray machine of insufferable pain on River, the crew is instantly transported to the mother ship except Amy and Rory who are about to be killed when the TARDIS instantly appears, except it is not the Doctor but River, who is understandably shaken. She is shocked that she can fly the TARDIS. As they go back to the Doctor, this is where Amy tells the robot to access her files and it morphs into River.
At this point the Doctor is pretty much dead and with some knowledge probably only Time Lords possess, River heals him, by giving up every single one of regenerations. Ok who else gasped and said a-ha! In this one little scene, Steven Moffat tied up a loose thread in regards to River. If you’ve been following the series, during the 10th Doctor’s incarnation, this is where we meet Dr. River Song, who dies. Nice, neat and tidy.
This is also where River becomes the River we know and love. She was changed by that moment. All that brainwashing no longer seemed relevant, as the Doctor was not the monster her captors led her to believe. The other loose thread that tied up her time line is that at the very last scene we see that she is enrolling in a college to become an archeologist, which now makes since as to why she is called Dr. and how she seemed to either always know where the Doctor would be, as well as know things.
There were quite a few funny moments in this episode, more so than the usual fare but it was also paired with many moments of sadness, to the point that my vision may have been a bit watery, but I’ll never tell.
As a show that went away for most of the summer, it came back with a vengeance. It you did not love this episode, or even get emotionally invested, then readers, you may be watching the wrong show. For those who did, then you get it and understand that there is more life to this show, even if the Doctor supposedly died in episode 1 of this season. I refuse to believe.
What did you think of the episode? Were you shocked, or did you see it coming?
Doctor Who airs on BBC America on Saturdays at 9e/p
Check out my other Doctor Who articles
Can’t get enough of the world of Doctor Who? Click the SUBSCRIBE button up top to get news and updates/news happening all over world sent straight to your inbox.
If you like this article, you can keep up to date with all the Doctor Who! Doctor Who Examiner: Follow on Twitter Like me on Facebook