God bless Mel Brooks.
First - the obvious: This wasn't so much about Hitler as it was about Melody/River Song. I'm kind of glad that we more or less skipped over all the Silence-raising-Melody stuff, to be honest. Because - it's the Doctor's story, dagnabbit! Let's get on with it!
Anyway, I was nervous that this Mels girl was going to be a sudden new companion and I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on with her. There was a little bit of side-eyeing going on until - HOLY CRAP SHE REGENERATED! (and nice explanation of regenerating into a toddler in New York City). Steven Moffat pulls out another spectacular curve ball and it turns out Amy and Rory have been best friends with their daughter their entire lives!
And, because I must - IT'S LITTLE AMY AND LITTLE RORY!!!! Do you know how much I've hoped and prayed for a flashback to how Amy and Rory met? *flail*
And, also because I must - it will be interesting to see how people react to the Doctor's hand-waving of the Temporal Grace Flibbertigibbet of the TARDIS. I don't have a problem with it because I didn't grow up with the show (*sniffle*) and I don't necessarily subscribe to the Doctor's high-n-mighty pacifistic tendencies. He may have neutralized Melody's guns in that brilliant little scene - but Amy Pond condemned all those people in the Robot of Great Justice to death and that action comes down to the Doctor's influence (for other examples, see "Journey's End").
You know, I think I've finally got all the answers I wanted about River Song. Those things that haven't been stated outright (like her relationship with the Doctor, for example) are implied well enough that the story doesn't need to dwell on it. Unless something else comes up that they want to. Though, I actually thought this phase of River Song's story would come at the end of this season - her first meeting of the Doctor, he gives her the TARDIS diary (brand new! eeeeeeee! One of my favorite things in this world is brand new blank journals, JSYK).
So - we got the River Song story, now we're focused on the Why Does the Doctor Die at Lake
Other Things I Liked:
- Rory punching - not just Hitler - but some random Nazi punk in the street (and Heil's the guy in order to do it).
- Really, the whole 1938 Berlin and Nazi Germany thing was done rather tastefully - if such a thing is possible. Honestly, the time this takes place in is more or less a backdrop to the bigger story that it could have been any time period with a truly evil dictator.
- Did I mention Little Amy and Little Rory? I did? Okay, because that was just cute.
- On that note - what other girl does Rory pay attention to? Oh, I don't know - the one that he's staring right in the face? (Karen and Arthur played that perfectly - I was grinning like an idiot the whole time ^_^)
- It's a nitpicky thing - but a car like Amy and Rory's is just not going to create crop circles that big. You'd need a giant swather (that's a hay cutting machine, for you city folk) to even get close to that big. Even driving a pickup truck doesn't cause that much damage to a field. But I guess no one else would notice that - just a farm girl who spent her growing-up years on a tractor.
- Nods to past companions were great - even recognition of the Doctor's guilt at everything. And I loved the line "Is there anyone in this universe I haven't completely screwed up?" That'll please the anti-Doctor/Rose crowd, I guess.
- I really think Series 6.2 is going to be Amy's time to shine. We've had Rory the Roman being badass and wonderful (and that certainly continues here), but Amy is going to kick some serious rear end over the next five weeks (I'm holding to my theory that Amy-the-Futuristic-Samurai-Warrior is going to be the answer to Rory the Roman. And, yes, I'm working on the name).
- Alex Kingston is fantastic. When she plays the flirtatious psychopath and blasts regeneration energy at the Nazis and steals clothes from the people in the restaurant - I think this was the River Song Steven Moffat wanted everyone to see and Alex Kingston just knocks it out of the park. I think River's part in the story is going to end soon, which is a shame because she's just a fabulous character and I love her to pieces!
This was a pretty flawless episode, really (unless something else in future episodes screw it up - which I highly doubt it will). I was happy about the whole thing, glad for so much resolution and there were some fantastic bits in the story. Matt Smith - again, cannot be given enough praise. Mad props - to everybody, really.
ETA: One more thing - The TARDIS taught River how to fly the TARDIS - because the Doctor was busy that day!! Damn right, he was - IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!