Spoilers: They don’t.
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Following a high-speed joyride in a field, Amy, Rory and Mels (their newfound, long-term, best friend they just met from way back) hook up with the Eleventh Doctor in the middle of a crop circle.
As the fuzz approaches, they hijack the TARDIS and take it to a safe place, namely, 1938’s Berlin, where Mels regenerates into the River we know and gives Doc the kiss of death.
There’s a tessellating robot piloted by tiny time-travelling space vigilantes, too, though, who immediately identify the war criminal in the room. And it ain’t the Hitler in the cupboard.
Now, on the cusp of death, The Doctor must rescue his friends, redeem his assassin and throw on a top hat and tails.
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I have so much love for this episode. River and the Doctor’s relationship is my favorite romance in Doctor Who. There was so much of River in this episode, so of course I get very sentimental about the whole thing and forget any of the episode’s faults.
I can even overlook one big plot thing, and one dumb Doctor line. The dumb line being his disgusted “Scotland’s never conquered anywhere!” (A weird thing to say in a Nazi episode. I would have thought… not conquering places that don’t belong to you is a good thing? Scotland, please don’t violently invade another country just to win back the Doctor’s… esteem?)
Then there’s the Plot Thing, but maybe you can explain this for me, intrepid and clever heroes of Who Back When!
“Never shoot a girl while she’s regenerating” because it doesn’t seem to affect the Time Lord involved? Except… wasn’t the whole reason the Doctor died at Lake Silencio because he was shot while regenerating? River specifically says that’s why he’s not coming back. So…
It’s okay to shoot a Time Lord if regeneration energy is still in their body, and not okay if it’s still glowing on their body? Yep. That doesn’t at all sound like someone forgot a major plot point.
Do either of those two things bring down my rating at all? …Nope. I am shameless in my River fandom.
4.3 out of 5 glowing Rivers, because I find her character delightful.
I’m glad I stopped watching at AGMGTW, I can’t help but think this might have killed my interest in the show completely. Especially if I waited 3 months in hopes of it getting better, just to have…whatever this is.
What’s LKH really about anyway? It’s not about Hitler, it’s not about the time-travelling robot cops, both those storylines are tossed aside. It’s doesn’t even seem to be about the relationship between Amy, Rory and their daughter. They don’t even seem to care when she’s being tortured by the robot.
The problem for me was that the end of A Good Man Goes to War had the Doctor swearing on his life that the Ponds’ baby would be safe. The episode that immediately follows, the characters seem to…forget? It just felt like Amy and Rory didn’t act like any rational parents might if their baby had been stolen from them by some crazy religious sect, and the Doctor didn’t seem to care too much, either.
I was actually surprised at the speed with which Mels snaps out of her murderer brainwashing to all of a sudden want to be the woman the Doctor wants her to be.
A little too convenient. Where is the epic internal struggle that should last 4-5 episodes where she finally realizes at the end of the season that there’s no joy in that, cries for 3 weeks then decides to go to archaeology school.
This episode is an example of one of the worst things that can happen in a continuing story, it negates important elements that have come before and glosses over important questions.
A quick montage negates the entire “find the baby” storyline and the questions of whether or not Amy and Rory get to raise their child.
I don’t think I like River or Alex Kingston anymore. What demographic is she supposed to appeal to?
The ending wasn’t satisfying. They hand-waved away the regeneration disabling poison by having someone else regenerate instead.
Let’s Kill Hitler was a waste on 1930’s Berlin!
I really hope the series gets better, or I might just stick to reviewing Classic Who.
• The Inner-Space time-traveling robot populated by tiny people!
• Rory punching Hitler!
• River stuff.
• The River stuff was great and all but I was expecting a thought provoking alternate universe time scramble where they kill Hitler but stuff turns out even worse for humanity. I was sorely disappointed.
• Similarly, Hitler. Obviously big beefs with actual Hitler given his mass murder of millions of people, but his portrayal was a clown rather than the banality of evil. He spends most of the episode locked in a cupboard! Did the producers want to play it safe, rather than have the Doctor unleash on Hitler or address the moral dilemma of pre-emptively and extra judicially killing Hitler and other Nazi criminals?
• Why couldn’t the robot replicate Zimmerman’s glasses? It replicated all his clothes, and an entire motorcycle later on!
• It’s JUST supposed to be a SCREWDRIVER!
Summary: a critically important River episode maybe, but my high hopes for a time travel morality tale was thoroughly dashed.
2.1/5 miniaturised and vaporised Nazi shitheads.
Love the show, but you folks need someone on the team versed in “Doctor Who” so you don’t spend so much time speculating about things that are very well established in episodes you’ve all forgotten. Matt Smith, while referred to as the 11th Doctor, is the 13th incarnation of The Doctor. The War Doctor wasn’t some special regeneration that didn’t count. What happened in “The Night of the Doctor” is that Eight did actually die, the Sisterhood of Karn brought him back for a few minutes to give him a chance to regenerate into someone who would actually get involved in the Time War. It’s not an extra regeneration. This is all made clear between “The Night of the Doctor” and “The Time of the Doctor.”
So, regardless of how we refer to the Doctors, the order of actual lives goes…
Eight — McGann
Nine — Hurt — known as the War Doctor
Ten — Eccelston — known as the 9th Doctor
Eleven — Tennant — known as the 10th Doctor
Twelve — Tennant — known as the 10th Doctor
Thirteen — Smith — known as the 11th Doctor
New set of regenerations
Fourteen — Capaldi — known as the 12th Doctor
Fifteen — Foster — known as the 13th Doctor
As for why this happened, it was two-fold: 1) Eccelston wasn’t interested in being part of the 50th, and 2) Moffat, quite wisely, wanted to skip over all the BS, speculation, and distraction that would hang over whoever played the role after Capaldi. He invented a way to solve both these problems, which was to create War and say that 10’s “hand” regeneration counted, thus making Smith the 13th, so he could put that whole “what happens after 13” thing to bed.