So….after finding out River Song is Amy’s daughter, and the Doctor dashing off to Who knows where, the series returned on both sides of the Pond with a massive bang, several revelations and a wallop after its Summer break. The “wallop” was thankfully well restrained considering the guest historical figure’s notorious legacy that few of us will ever want to see repeated. Kudos though to actor Albert Welling for making the part of Hitler his own – though I think most of us cheered Rory when he punched him in the face, told him to “shut up!” and locked him up in a cupboard. I know I did.
Sidelining Hitler as a footnote ensured that this opening episode became a real cascade of revelations for fans who have watched the series revival since 2005. One being the Doctor’s new coat which really makes the Eleventh Doctor all the more dashing, and the cameos from Rose, Martha and Donna in the Tardis. But more so, this was the one that introduced us to River Song meeting the Doctor for the very first time. From the moment Amy’s childhood tearaway friend “Mel” turns up in a red Corvette wanting the Time Lord to take her back in time to kill Hitler, to that regeneration scene after Hitler shoots her, this was Alex Kingston’s most illuminating episode yet. The post-regeneration scene was hilarious switching from Melody checking out her new assets, to femme fatale as the Order of Silence’s brainwashing kicks in as she tries to kill the Doctor with a banana before sealing his fate with a kiss.