It had been previously assumed that River’s story was the inverse of the Doctor’s. It now seems we have a different shape – that of the umbrella. Imagine an old style umbrella in a stand. The tip of the umbrella is silence in the library and as we move up we have the likes of Flesh and Stone.
Move further up and the ‘tip’ of the umbrella comes alongside. This is ‘Demons Run’. We see the start of Melody Pond along with an older River.
Move further up along the handle of the umbrella and we have ‘Let’s kill Hitler’.
This opens the intriguing possibility that we don’t know if we’re on the shaft of the brolly, or the handle on a given occasion in a future episode when River appears. Will we see the newly born River, who only knows Mel and ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’? — who has been researching the doctor in Luna U – and who possibly is still shaking off her programming …. or will it be the older, more experienced, River – who has yet to visit the Doctor at the end of Demon’s Run?
Could we see both at once?
What will happen as we reach the ‘inversion point’ at the top of the umbrella?
Caveat: This picture is somewhat simplified as we know that the doctor revisits ‘The Impossible Astronaut’.
In short, I really enjoyed that episode of Doctor Who. I was concerned that an adventure would be had with Hitler, but he was an incidental character, treated with contempt by all of the cast – and was swiftly dispatched from the script, having been [spoiler]locked in a cupboard[/spoiler]. [spoiler]River’s[/spoiler] line about going [spoiler]to the gay, gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled[/spoiler] was great – wonderfully taunting of the Nazis in front of [spoiler]her as well as emphasising that all of the main characters were against these guys, even whilst they squabbled amongst themselves[/spoiler].
It’s perfectly possible – and important to our understanding of the human condition – to find that amusing, to laugh at the goose-stepping, the shouting and the pomposity, while simultaneously holding in our heads the tragic murderous consequences of Nazi power. That’s what makes the joke bite and also what reminds us that the massive disaster was human.
For me, "Let’s Kill Hitler" was on the right side of this line, and if he’d taken an active part in the story, then there were many places to fall afoul of this – but he wasn’t, the story wasn’t about Hitler. It was set in Germany, but it was the stage for something more akin to ‘The Great Escape’ in tone.
I appreciated that the BBC followed the programme with a documentary about Hans Litten on BBC2. I do hope that a significant fraction of parents allowed their children to watch this in order to underline who this man was for their children.
Last night, I had a very vivid dream about an episode of Doctor Who….
We see McCoy shot, straight from the TV movie (McCoy later becomes McGann). Time passes.
Some time later. McGann returns, having had his adventure.
Matt Smith materialises in New York. He says to Amy ‘I have to leave a warning. The Time Lords. The Time War. The silence. I understand it all now’. Races to McGann’s tardis.
He slips a note behind the Tardis sign, so it just peeks out.
Tennant appears. ‘I thought I’d find you here, so, you’re my successor are you?’
Smith looks confused. ‘I don’t remember me being here before’.
‘Wibbly wobbly’ says Tennant.
‘Timey Wimey’ says Davison appearing stage left. Tennant and Smith look shocked.
McGann opens the door… ‘what’s this….noise?’ – he looks at Davison, Davison smiles.
This post will contain spoilers for the eleventh Matt Smith episode, The Lodger.
Individual parts of the episode were good, there were some lovely character pieces, but overall I thought this was a bit of a mess. The first half or so was fine and overall it had some good character pieces. I liked the little observations the Doctor misunderstanding social niceties such as ‘just shout’, and air kissing – but getting them just a little bit wrong. I did enjoy the response of the doctor to ‘annihilating’ the team next week.
The most surprising part of the episode for me was that James Corden put in a decent performance, which surprised me to be honest.
However the whole thing was confused and confusing, the resolution was all a little ‘deux ex machina’ without any real explanation.
[spoiler]Eventually we got to the ‘Mock Up Tardis’ upstairs, which needs a pilot who wants to travel. Humans won’t do, Time Lords would blow the planet up, a human who doesn’t want to travel shuts the thing down and makes it go away (which it couldn’t do before). Okayyyyy.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Where did this ship come from? Why is nobody even wondering about that – ‘somebody’ is trying to build a Tardis?[/spoiler]
This uncoordinated Doctor is another Pele? How indulgent. The Doctor is somehow able to transfer specific information via head butt? Rather conveniently he’s never doing that again.
[spoiler]… and we also find out that the Tardis controls are sensitive to where you’re standing?[/spoiler]
[spoiler]The episode finishes with a really obvious ‘crack’ shot, and Amy discovering the ring that Rory (who no longer ever existed) left in the Tardis, and which should no longer be there.[/spoiler]