After a long summer off, the Last of the Time Lords returns to BBC America, and just in time.
When we last left the Doctor and his friends at the end of A Good Man Goes to War, it was at the base in Demon Alley. The identity of River Song had just been revealed, and the Doctor was off to rescue the infant Melody Pond from Madame Kovarian and her forces, the Silence, and the Academy of the Question, leaving her parents Amy and Rory behind to wait. What he’s been up to and where’s he’s been since then is not known. The nervous new parents have been waiting anxiously for any word from the Doctor, as this clip, a prequel scene, shows.
Well tonight Amy’s wait as over. Reunited with the Doctor, thanks to some clever crop manipulation, and joined by Amy and Rory’s childhood friend (and namesake of their daughter) Mel, they are off again, and find themselves in 1938. Just in time for Rory to put Hitler in the cupboard.
Despite the title, Hitler has very little bearing on the story. This is the story of Melody Pond, and River Song, her beginnings and endings. In that way that Steven Moffat likes to play with time, and cause and effect, River’s story is not a simple one. It’s probably not a surprise to most that Melody was the young girl calling Nixon for help in The Impossible Astronaut, last seen spontaneously exploding on the streets of New York at the end of “The Day of the Moon”. As it turns out, Melody Pond has the ability to regenerate, as a side effect of being conceived in the vortex, a true child of the TARDIS.
The arrival of the TARDIS in 1938 happens just in time to actually save the Furher from a very unexpected threat. Now I am not going to say exactly what it is the Doctor saves the Fuhrer from, but I highly recommend you remember what you are seeing. I have a strong suspicion it will be important later, say in 6 weeks. (hint hint).
It is this younger Pond, not yet River, that surprises the Doctor and company in 1938 (I am not going to spoil how she got there, because well, it’s pretty crazy and silly and at the same time brilliant, like most things Moffat, and she makes quite the entrance. It seems that as a child, she was programmed by Madame Eyepatch to seek out and kill the Doctor. In a match of wits, the Doctor and Melody trade flirts, rules, death threats, and marriage proposals in kind.
I know, it’s crazy. Is your head banging yet? I think that’s just Hitler in the cupboard.
Of course, you can’t forget that Hitler’s assassin is still on hand (It was not River/Melody). It turns out they also want to track down history’s villains and punish them. Of course who is greatest villain in all of history? The woman who murdered the Doctor, of course. (Back in Utah, remember?) So we have the Doctor and co. trying to catch Melody, while at the same time trying to keep her from being captured, and possibly worse by Hitler’s would-be killer.
Along the way questions are answered, about River, about the war, and new questions are raised. We do find out more about the Silence. Turns out the Silence is more than just those pasty ghouls. The Silence is a religious sect (Again, with the religious sects. We have the Anglican Army, The Headless Monks) They believe that Silence will fall when “the question is asked”, the first question, hidden in plain sight. (Of course, like the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, from Douglas Adams’ classic Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this question is also unknown… or is it?)
Here is a look at what else is coming up in the coming weeks on Doctor Who.