As the Doctor says, "Spoilers"!
Intrigued by the title? I’ve got it wrong, you say. It’s always River Song who says “Spoilers”. Well, as we find out in this opening episode to part two of Season 6 of Doctor Who, who do you think she got that saying from?
This is a review, not for the spoiler-wary, so if you are one of those, get out NOW!
After a minute recap of the prior 6 episodes, we get straight into the action as Amy and Rory race through a wheat field, blazing a message even the Doctor can’t resist answering…except that no one thought the message would include a feisty, hot new companion in a equally hot red sportscar!
We are also treated to a flashback into Amelia’s childhood with Rory and Mels, a friend who spends more time in the headmaster’s office and prison than out in the real world. The dynamic between the three friends is hysterically funny, with moments such as during a conversation over getting into trouble and boys, Amelia declares to her, “I count as a boy!”. Don’t think that Rory is the one slow on the uptake – this time it’s Amy when even the antisocial Mels can see the obvious – that Rory has loved his ginger friend since childhood.
What does all this have to do with Hitler, you ask? Not much, except that the new companion suggests it as a fun way to spend her first trip in the TARDIS. But don’t worry, that’s only in the first 7 1/2 minutes and not a second of the entire episode is wasted as it provides many, MANY answers to the questions fandom has been asking ever since they first heard, “Silence will fall”, glanced River’s diary (where did she get it?) and coined the now famous phrase, “Spoilers!”. All the answers are here and they are all woven brilliantly into a nice, neat package in a single episode.
If it answers so many questions, is there anything left to know? Oh yes. Definitely, as a most strange vehicle and crew of bounty-hunters from an alien “Justice Department” would tell us. The Doctor’s death is a confirmed, fixed point in time, never changing, “the Doctor must always die,” beside Lake Silencio, Utah on that day. “He always has, he always will.”
There are wonderful, dark moments such as the gleam in the Doctor’s eye as he tells Adolf Hitler, “The British are coming” and deeply touching moments as a voice interface gives the Time Lord a reason to be brave in the last 31 minutes of his life by invoking their shared secret first-meeting gift of “fish fingers and custard”.
But it’s all Alex Kingston as she steals the show, a few automatic weapons from Nazis who gun her down outside Hitler’s office and clothes from a nearby, unsuspecting dinner party in a restaurant.
Her lines of, “I was on my way to a gay, gypsy barmitzvah for the disabled…”, “new body, new town, I’m going shopping!” and my favorite, “Not now, dad, I’m focusing on a dress size!” are among the best comedic material given any actor in Doctor Who.
All while Rory is coping with not seeing being trapped inside a giant replica version of his wife as a metaphor. Will he succeed? Will River ever find out who River is? (Yes, you read that correctly) Will England see a new style of crop circle as a result of this amazing episode and most importantly, because he spent the entire episode there…will Hitler ever get out the cupboard?