August 28, 2011

Season Six Sundays; Let's Kill Hitler

(Warning: will try to be clever about it, but may have some slight spoilers for Let's Kill Hitler, as well as the first half of this season and Torchwood: Miracle Day).
When this split series was announced - the first half premiering in April, the second in "fall" (now yesterday), I was a little concerned that it felt pretty much like a stunt - a way to get attention for a show that was increasing its presence in the public mindset. It seemed unnecessary....

....but "Let's Kill Hitler", in many ways, demonstrates (for plot reasons) why we needed a break. Let's just say that, where we pick up, a break of only a week would have felt inadequate; having a break of several months helps give the story a slightly fresher feeling, and we're able to play catch-up and get the story into high gear.

I think the BBC owes the creators
of my Zone 4 Avatar serious royalties

And what a story it is - in this episode, Steven Moffatt plays with a concept that the classic series only tangentially dealt with (in stories like "The Aztecs", "Day of the Daleks", and "Warrior's Gate") - the concept that "time travel has responsibilities"). But the episode also does what a good series opener (even a mid-series opener) should do - tie up some mysteries while simultaneously creating new ones. (There's a tantalizing line about the Silents/Silence/creepy aliens in suits that....well, really makes you think). We get quite a bit of timey-wimey, brain bending exploration that really sets the tone for the rest of the season - we are essentially counting down to the first scene in "The Impossible Astronaut", and we have enough to speculate on (which I won't do - there are other sites for that), with room for some really cool storytelling.

And, of course, Rory punching Hitler:

(EDITORIAL COMMENT: there are some things that make me wince slightly when done poorly, and one of them is the use of Nazis and Nazi-style imagery. Chalk it up to being Polish, and having two grandfathers who served in World War 2. When done well, you have a "Let's Kill Hitler", where the main point is to drive home the "responsibilities of time travel" and it creates a great tension in the plot. When done poorly, you have episode five of Torchwood: Miracle Day, where people who are considered "too far gone" but not dead are baked in ovens...and a character who is in pain is essentially burned alive. Not only is that cruel, but quite frankly - as of episode 8, we only have a vague idea of the "big threat".  Using talk of "ovens" and "concentration camps" as a kind of vague shorthand without establishing the exact nature of the threat....that's just lazy storytelling, and part of the reason why I'm grateful that Moffatt seems to be challenging himself and his writers to go the extra distance. End of rant.)

So here we are, at series 6B (which is much different, as more hardcore fans will tell you, than season 6B), and we're off to a very promising start. Here's to the next seven weeks of Who.

1 comment:

2nd Fade said...

Respectfully disagree regarding use of Hitler / Nazis