Skip to content

Let’s Kill Hitler – The Telegraph Review

Doctor Who (BBC One) was back and what a whiz-bang, bells-and-whistles return it was.

Entitled Let’s Kill Hitler, the episode opened with the Tardis getting hijacked and the Doctor being ordered to fly to 1938 Berlin, so the Führer could be eliminated.

The show is fond of dropping in historical figures these days. Shakespeare, Dickens, Van Gogh, Queen Victoria, Louis XV, Nixon and Churchill have all popped up since the series was rebooted six years ago.

It’s a device which allows the writers to give viewers a playful history lesson, while offering extraterrestrial explanations for past events. Inform, educate and entertain… Lord Reith would approve, although he’d probably be baffled by this plot.

It involved crop circles, shape-shifting android assassins and miniaturised time cops. Boring old Adolf barely featured. Despite the title, the joke was on him (and us) because he was bundled into a broom cupboard after a few minutes.

The episode did allow Rory (played by Arthur Darville) finally to find his niche. Rory’s been a dopey gooseberry around the Tardis, always in peril and being not-quite-killed-off. The character’s been defined only by what he’s not – charismatically alien like the Doctor or fearlessly feisty like Amy – rather than anything much he does. Now, though, he got to punch a few Nazis, utter the enviable line “Shut up, Hitler” and become an accidental action hero. About time.

Alex Kingston portrayed the gun-toting, man-eating River Song with glee. Matt Smith spent most of the episode crawling around the floor in agony, but still got two eye-catching new outfits. First a fetching new coat, then a Thirties Fred Astaire top hat and tails. Sadly he never got to dance with Ginger Pond, but he did wield a sonic cane and get to crack a “Doctor who?” gag.

The script contained nods to several films: Nazi motorbikes were stolen like The Great Escape, Kingston purred a Mrs Robinson-ish “Hello, Benjamin”, some of the CGI sci-fi tricks recalled Men in Black and The Terminator.

“Whopremo” Steven Moffat has compared his complex plotting to Inception, and he does tend towards the tricksy. This was jam-packed full of ideas, twists, turns and wibbly-wobbly time-bending stuff. Giddily thrilling entertainment, albeit rather exhausting.

I don’t know how the Doctor does it at his age (a sprightly 909 at last count) but I wouldn’t mind being him when I grow up, either.

[Source] – No Copyright Infringement intended.