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Rory: Okay. Okay. I'm trapped inside a giant robot replica of my wife. I'm really trying not to see this as a metaphor.
The first episode of the second half of series 6. Extremely plot-heavy. "Spoilers!"
Amy and Rory are driving a twisty route through a corn field, with Amy doing her best to navigate. After a few turns, it seems that they've reached their destination, and they spot the TARDIS.
Since they couldn't reach the Doctor by phone, they took the River Song approach to contacting him and created a giant crop circle that says "Doctor". He went to search for Melody alone, leaving Amy and Rory behind for the summer. They can't rescue Melody because they have to keep the timeline going, but they still wanted to just see where she was. The Doctor asks Rory for permission to hug Amy: once again, he only has bad news, and Melody is still missing. However, the future newspaper clipping of the crop circle shows a line going straight through his name, and they didn't do that. Cue a Corvette Stingray coming straight at them through the field, hitting the Doctor.
Mels grew up with Amy and Rory, and she knows all about the Doctor from Amy. Except that he's hot, which she's quite happy to find out. And the car is hers. Sort of. The Doctor wonders why Mels wasn't at the wedding, and she casually claims that she doesn't do weddings. Meanwhile, the police arrive, and she draws a gun on the Doctor and politely asks for them to leave. Amy and Rory are shocked -- Mels has always been a bit kooky and a bit overly interested in all the Doctor stories, but never borderline sociopathic. She shoots the TARDIS for good measure.
Mels: Let's see... You've got a time machine. I've got a gun. What the hell. Let's kill Hitler!
We see a few flashbacks of this Mels girl growing up, always near Amy and always asking about the Doctor. Rory tagged along as their Butt Monkey, as best as he could. In school, Mels would always get in trouble: saying it's the Doctor's fault the Titanic sank and the teacher is stupid for not knowing who he is, for example. And that World War II only happened because the Doctor didn't kill Hitler. As she grew older, she was in jail with some frequency, stealing vehicles and generally being antisocial. And she was always a bit jealous of Amy, because Amy had "Mr. Perfect" all along. Amy protested that her Mr. Perfect wasn't even real. Mels meant Rory. Amy explained that she'd love to be with Rory, but they're just friends and can't be together because Rory's gay. He'd never looked at girls, after all. As Rory quickly walked out and Mels burst into giggles, Amy realised for the first time that Rory had just been Amy-sexual all along.
Meanwhile, in 1938, a shape-shifting humanoid robot containing miniaturized humanoids has assumed the form of a Wehrmacht officer and attacked Hitler. It's the Teselecta, a group of Time Police. (Though not the Time Police.) Running out of the TARDIS to escape the smoke from its gunshot wound, the Doctor and his companions inadvertently stop the robot from killing Hitler.
Hitler fires a revolver at the robot to defend himself. Everyone tries to duck out of the way, except Rory, who punches Hitler in the face and then, when Hitler tries to protest, tells him to shut up. Rory shoves Hitler into a closet, not to be seen again in this episode.
But the bullet didn't hit the robot. It hit Mels. And the violent, odd, psychopathic Mels girl is now quite suddenly dying. She beckons the Doctor closer to her, glad that she finally got to meet him. She always loved Amy's stories. She dreamed of marrying him someday. The Doctor does everything he can to keep her alive -- tells her that of course he's happy to meet her, and sure, he'll marry her if she'll just fight for her life right now. And that's when Mels smugly tells him that in that case, he should go ahead and ask her parents for her hand right now. Because they're right there in the room. The Doctor has a magnificent Oh Crap moment when he realises that Amy named her daughter after her daughter. Mels is Melody Pond. Who promptly regenerates into Alex Kingston.
And Melody loves her new body. It's so mature ("hello, Benjamin!"), with hair that just doesn't stop, and a whole new color scheme to work with. She doesn't know why the Doctor is rambling about some other broad named River, though. With that, she disappears for a moment to go weigh herself.
Rory (completely stunned): Does anybody else find this day just a bit difficult? I'm getting a sort of banging in my head.
Amy: Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard.
The Teselecta, still operating from inside the Robot, are freaking out. They recognise the Time Lord energy, the TARDIS, and the person standing before them. One of history's greatest criminals. No, not the Doctor, but his murderer: River Song. While trying to capture the minor criminal Adolf Hitler, they pretty much chanced upon Gallifrey's Most Wanted.
The Doctor desparately tries to deal with a Melody who is in no way like his sweet familiar River. She's extremely young, extremely crass, a complete psychopath, and raised by the Silence to kill him. After regenerating in New York, she ended up as a toddler, and spent years searching for her parents. She eventually found them and spent her childhood with Amy and Rory, growing up together with them, but now she's ready to finally get that assassination over with and live her own life. The Doctor manages to empty her gun while she's not looking, replace her backup weapon with a banana and (barely) dodge her attempts at seducing him. She manages to give him a quick "Take That!" Kiss. With poison lipstick. As she jumps out of the window, the Doctor starts to die.
Melody has other things on her mind: steal a motor bike, get new clothes. She's quickly stopped by the Wehrmacht, who are very curious as to why she's jumping out of Hitler's office window:
Melody: I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar-Mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, gosh! The Third Reich's a bit rubbish. I think I'll kill the Führer. Who's with me?
And as they shoot her, within the first fifteen hours of her regeneration cycle, she uses a regeneration energy burst to kill them all.
Rory and Amy go after her with the sonic screwdriver, but are stopped by a German soldier. Rory tries to explain, decides not to, and punches the soldier out after saluting. They follow Melody, unaware that the soldier was actually the Teselecta robot.
The Doctor's dying in the TARDIS, and asks for a voice interface. The voice interface hologram shows his own body. He'd prefer to see someone he likes while he's dying. Not Rose -- guilt. Or Martha -- still guilt. Or Donna -- more guilt. There has to be someone he hasn't "messed up". The voice interface finally settles on an image of Amelia Pond, while she was young and he was a story. He clings to the image and shows Amelia great affection. The interface keeps reminding him that it's not Amelia. His system has been contaminated by the poison of the Judas Tree, his regeneration is disabled and there's no cure. He will be dead in thirty-two minutes. He'll be fine for thirty-one. The Doctor loses hope. Or he would lose hope, if not for the sweet memory of fish-fingers and custard.
Melody goes to a fancy party and forces the diners to undress at gunpoint, to provide her with a new set of clothes. Amy and Rory arrive outside, closely followed by the robot. The Teselecta intercept them and miniaturize them, taking them on board the robot. The robot takes on Amy's appearance. However, the Teselecta is a group of Reasonable Authority Figures, and Amy and Rory are quickly given wristbands that allow them to live. And since they're Melody's family, they get to see her files.
Melody is merrily trying on Nazi outfits when the robot arrives. She's about to be killed, but the TARDIS appears. This time, it's the Doctor who asks "Doctor Who?". He's leaning on a cane, accessorised with an impeccable Marlene Dietrich outfit.
And he's cross.
The Teselecta robot has four hundred and twenty-three life forms inside. The Doctor didn't see that coming. They take evil people, villains and war criminals, at the end of their established timelines, and replace them with robots. The robot "dies" in their stead, and they "give them hell" to punish them for their deeds -- without causing any kind of Time Paradox. They were a bit too early for Hitler, just by mistake. The Amy-shaped robot also reveals that the Silence isn't just a race. They're an order. And they believe that the universe will change when the last question is asked.
The Doctor tries to convince them not to take Melody, but he's still dying, and he's slipping rapidly while trying to stay upright with the cane. The Teselecta start to punish Melody, but Amy turns the Teselecta's safeguard wrist watches against its own crew using the sonic screwdriver. The crew is forced to shut down the ship, which automatically cancels Melody's punishment. They then teleport to their mothership, leaving Amy and Rory stranded on-board.
This finally gets Melody to do a tentative Heel Face Turn. She pilots the TARDIS, materialising it on board the Teselecta around Rory and Amy, saving them from the antibodies. She's able to fly it instantly -- because the TARDIS is her second mother. This she did not know, and she's appropriately shocked by the revelation.
The Doctor's dying words to Melody, whispered into her ear, are for her to find River Song. Rubbish name, she comments, but she can tell that this River woman means a lot to the Doctor. So she promises to try. Amy, still with family priviledges, commands the Teselecta robot to transform into River Song. Melody is stunned to see that this River the Doctor spoke of so fondly is simply herself. She suffers a massive and acute Heel Realization, rushes towards the Only Mostly Dead Doctor and kisses him, using her regeneration energy to save his life. All of her regeneration energy. She'll never be able to regenerate again.
The Doctor, Amy and Rory leave her in the best hospital in the universe. The Doctor leaves an empty little TARDIS-shaped book by her bedside.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor consults the information on his death in 2011 from the Teselecta, but hides it from Rory and Amy. In the year 5123, River enrolls as an archaeology student at Luna University on Earth's Moon. After all, archaeology is one hell of a good way to find the Doctor.
- Acting for Two: The Teselecta as the Nazi officer, Amy, and River.
- Actor Allusion: This is not the first time Matt Smith has gone to Nazi Germany. In the TV movie Christopher and His Kind, Smith played Christopher Isherwood, a homosexual writer who came to freewheeling Weimar Republic Berlin, but became disillusioned and left when Nazi Germany was formed.
- Adorkable: Rory is always this trope when he's not being Badass, but his teenaged self in the scene where Amy realizes why he's never shown any interest in (other) girls must set some sort of Adorkableness record.
- A God Am I: "I'd ask you who you think you are, but the answer to that question is becoming painfully obvious."
- Agony Beam: The Teselecta's punishment method.
- Always a Bigger Fish: River Song counts as a worse criminal than Adolf Hitler.
- Anticlimax / Stab the Salad: When the Teselecta reaches up to the Nazi officer's face you think he's going to kill him. The music even anticipates this. In fact the Teselecta just takes his glasses.
- Asshole Victim: Zimmerman.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The Doctor's sonic cane. He should really use it more often.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: The Doctor has a lot of these moments where it becomes clear how much he's come to care about River Song. Melody picks up on it through the way he keeps referencing her, and later, when the Doctor is dying and gives her a message to pass on to River, her response is "I think she knows." Made all the more poignant a few moments later when Melody discovers that she is -- or at least, will become -- River.
- Ax Crazy: Mels. She introduces herself by almost running over the Doctor in a stolen car before pulling a gun on him and demanding he take her to kill Hitler.
- Rory. He punched out Hitler! Captain America style!
- And of course, Melody.
- Badass Longcoat: The coat the Doctor wears in this episode is longer than his usual tweed one. It looks good on him. Perhaps he should try an even longer one. It worked great for Ten...
- Batman Gambit: Rory pulls one on a Nazi Mook by doing a Nazi salute while shouting "Heil" and then catching him with a sucker punch when he salutes back. Subverted in that the Nazi is actually the Teselecta, who let them go and followed Melody instead.
- An earlier one (which backfires) happens offscreen. The Doctor tells Mels that guns don't work inside the Tardis. Unfortunately, Mels, being insane, decides to test this, resulting in a broken console.
- Bait and Switch: When the future guys identify the TARDIS and begin talking about "the greatest war criminal in history", at first we think they mean The Doctor ("soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies" and all that). But then one says "It's her!"... Just goes to show that while the Doctor has uncountable enemies, there are more still who look up to him.
- Bilingual Bonus: Combined with Freeze-Frame Bonus. The name of the lake where the Doctor dies is called Lake Silencio, which is Spanish for Silence.
- Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: The Doctor after being poisoned.
- Black Best Friend: Mels. More painful due to the complete retconned nature of her existence. And subverted all to hell when we find out she's actually Melody.
- Bloodless Carnage: Mels's bullet wound is never shown, although Rory makes a reference to trying to "stop the bleeding". Even more extreme later when she is riddled by rifle fire with no visual wounds.
- Borrowed Catchphrase
Amy: That's Melody...
Rory: That's River Song...
Melody: Who's River Song?
The Doctor: Spoilers.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: River, who was brought up to kill the Doctor.
- Brick Joke:
- Hitler gets locked in the cupboard and sort of disappears out of the story, but...
Rory: I'm getting a sort of banging in my head.
Amy: Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Rory imitates Amy's accent when he repeats the word "clues".
- Butt Monkey: Poor tiny, forgotten child Rory.
- Also, For the five or so minutes around Rory, Hitler.
- Call Back:
- Nice tuxedo, Doctor.
- "Permission?" "Granted." *hug*
- "You're so Scottish!"
- "Rule #1: The Doctor lies."
- River begins her studies on the Moon. Very appropriate.
- At the end, the Doctor says that River won't be fine, "she will be... amazing". Sounds an awful lot like the Fourth Doctor's send-off of Romana: "All right? She'll be superb". May also be a reference to Ten's last words to Jenny.
- A minor one to the Time Lord Victorious: "Time is not the boss of me. Rule #408."
- "Fish fingers and custard."
- River's comment that her hair "just doesn't stop" immediately after her regeneration is the same comment Amy made about the Doctor's hair in a DVD-only extra scene.
- A throwaway line by one of the Teselecta crew notes that the Doctor's death is a fixed point in time.
- "As first dates go, I’d say that was mixed signals" is a reference to Amy complaining about getting "mixed signals" from the Doctor in a "Meanwhile in the TARDIS" extra.
- Captain Obvious:
Rory: I think he just fainted.
- Catch Phrase: Mels has "Penny in the air... penny drops." As typical of Time Lords, it's not seen after her regeneration, or before her previous one.
- Chekhov's Gun: The identity bracelets inside the Teselecta.
- Comically Missing the Point: The Doctor. Someone just stole a car, has almost run him over and what's his complaint?
You never said I was hot?
- Continuity Nod: So, so many.
- The TARDIS not really being in a state of temporal grace.
- The Doctor not answering his phone.
- A miniaturization field very similar to the Teselecta's was seen used in the Miniscope.
- Also, the miniaturization is sustained by a compression field.
- Surprise banana!
- The kidneys are always the first to quit.
- Two of the TARDIS's previous designations — "TT capsule" and "Type 40" — show up when the Justice Department scans the TARDIS, and another one is given — it's a Mark 3.
- ** In "Time Of The Angels," we learn how River learned to fly the TARDIS from "The Best TARDIS Pilot in the universe", and that "The Doctor was sick that day." Who is a better pilot of the TARDIS than the TARDIS itself? And wasn't the Doctor very sick this day?
- The re-appearances of companions Rose, Martha and Donna as holograms, and the Doctor's response to them being "guilt" or "more guilt!".
- When The Doctor is dying he says "Find River Song and tell her something for me". She replies "Well, I'm sure she knows". This closely resembles the exchange from The Satan Pit where The Doctor says "If you talk to Rose, tell her... Oh, she knows".
- The Doctor asking Rory for permission to hug Amy.
- In the prequel, Amy says "Don't worry, I'm not invisible", alluding to City of the Daleks, in which she does become invisible.
- Hello boys!
- "Give them hell" previously was said by The Doctor in A Good Man Goes to War.
- Melody gets shot within the first 15 hours after the regeneration.
- "New teeth."
- A message being left to get the Doctor's attention.
- When Melody runs off to check out the new parts, she seems really excited about something in particular, to which she screams out "I'm going to wear lots of jodhpurs!"; her outfit of choice in The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang.
- When the holographic TARDIS Emergency Voice Interface takes the shape of the Doctor, the Doctor tells it to take the shape of someone he likes.
- "Vampires in Venice, that's a belter!"
- The Doctor leaves River in the hands of the best doctors in the universe.
- Cool Bike: The big motorcycles.
- Cool Car:
- Rory's classic Mini.
- Corvette Stingray. Doesn't get any cooler.
- Dating Catwoman: The Doctor now seems to be dating a psychopathic murderer sent to kill him. "As first dates go, I’d say that was mixed signals."
- Dawson Casting: Amy, Rory and Mels' high-school selves are played (briefly) by their regular actors.
- Did Not Do the Research: In the first shot of Hitler's room, Hitler is seen writing a note with his right hand. Hitler was left handed.
- Didn't See That Coming: The Doctor to Teselecta-Amy:
"At least I'm not a time-traveling, shape-shifting robot operated by tiny cross people, which I've got to admit, I didn't see coming."
- Dissonant Serenity:
- "Remain calm while your life is extracted."
- "You will experience a tingling sensation and then death."
- The Amelia-hologram.
- The Teselecta-Amy transmitting the words of real Amy as she cries out to the Doctor to save her and Rory from the Antibodies.
- Distracted by My Own Sexy: Melody, in what appears to be a common side effect of post-regenerative trauma.
- Disney Death
- Does This Remind You of Anything? Alex Kingston's delight after the guards shoot her, seems rather like something else entirely...especially given her parting line -- "Mmm, that hit the spot."
- Dramatic Gun Cock: Rory "Sit down," cocks revolver "shut up."
- Drugged Lipstick: As per usual, River has some. Just this time, it's not just hallucinogenic, but poisoned.
- Dynamic Entry: The TARDIS crashes through the window into Hitler's office.
- Elephant in the Living Room: This is the first Who episode to air after Torchwood: Miracle Day was broadcast, and it's essentially said that the Ponds have been waiting all summer for the Doctor to come back. You'd think Amy and Rory would mention something about them becoming immortal for a time.
- This photo seems to sum this issue up nicely.
- Eureka Moment: "Fish fingers and custard."
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mels.
Doctor: If you were in a hurry, you could've killed me in the cornfield.
Mels: We'd only just met! I'm a psychopath -- I'm not rude.
- Evil Is Hammy: Melody, in spades. It's toned down quite a bit after her Heel Face Turn.
- Exact Time to Failure:
TARDIS Voice Interface: There is no cure. You will be dead in thirty-two minutes.
The Doctor: Why do you keep saying that?
TARDIS Voice Interface: Because you will be dead in thirty-two minutes.
The Doctor: You see, there you go again. Basically skipping thirty-one whole minutes when I'm absolutely fine. Scottish, that's all I'm saying.
TARDIS Voice Interface: You will be fine for thirty-one minutes. You will be dead in thirty-two minutes.
- Exposition Fairy: The TARDIS's interface informs the Doctor and the audience that he will be dead in 32 minutes and regeneration is disabled.
- Expospeak Gag
Amy: How can we be in here? How do we fit?
Rory: Miniaturisation Ray.
Amy: How would you know that?
Rory: Well, there was a ray, and then we were miniaturized...
- Foregone Conclusion: The Justice Department point out that the Doctor's death at Lake Silencio is a fixed point in time, so the poisoning could never kill him.
- Foreshadowing: The Doctor, after the fish fingers and custard Eureka Moment, stopped to change into the tuxedo and Nice Hat he wore to Amy's and Rory's wedding, foreshadowing Doctor Who
- Also, Rory worrying that Mels will end up in prison. And, as River Song, she does.
- Plus, the Doctor encouraging Mels, "If you stay alive, I'll marry you." Also fulfilled with her regenerated self.
- Genre Savvy: Rory knowing that he will be able to ride the motorcycle.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: After Melody regenerates and invades the Doctor's personal space, he puts his hands over his crotch. Then Rory pats him awkwardly on the shoulder. Knowing Steven Moffat, there's no way this was not intentional.
- River's ecstatic about her new body —- especially one particular feature. "I'm going to wear lots of jodhpurs!"
- Freud Was Right: In-universe example from Rory:
Rory: Okay, I'm trapped inside a robot version of my wife... I'm really trying not to see this as a metaphor.
- Guns Akimbo: River dual-wielding submachine guns.
- Have a Nice Death: The Antibodies would like you to remain calm while your life is extracted. You will experience a slight tingling sensation and then death.
- Heel Face Turn: Melody Pond does this after poisoning the Doctor, with her spending her remaining regenerations to save his life.
- Henpecked Husband: Rory, once again. And, from what we can see, it's been like this for a looong time.
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Subverted, seemingly averted, then subverted again, then played straight and enforced (see below).
- The crew of the Teselecta is aware of this rule. They target war criminals throughout history, particularly those who were outright Karma Houdinis or committed suicide (like Hitler) before they could be brought to justice. They replace the original with a duplicate near the end of their timeline, and "give [the originals] hell". In Hitler's case, they mistakenly entered his life too early, and would've left him alone (for the time being) had the TARDIS not appeared when it did.
- Ho Yay: The Doctor danced with everyone at the wedding. The women were wonderful, the men a bit shy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Amy saves River from the Teselecta by shorting out all the devices that make the Antibodies leave them alone, forcing them to teleport away when they can't shut the Antibodies down quickly enough.
- I Know You Know I Know: Between The Doctor and Melody as the latter attempts to kill the former. The Doctor even says the trope's name.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Hitler is a lousy shot. An allusion to his exaggeration of his war record?
- In Love with the Mark: Mels/River seems pretty smitten with the Doctor even before she meets him.
Amy: I don’t understand. One moment she’s going to marry you and then she’s going to kill you.
The Doctor: She’s been brainwashed, so it all makes sense. Plus she’s a woman....Shut up, I'm dying!
- Improperly Placed Firearms: The MP38/40 submachineguns featured in the episode were not in service until 1939 at the earliest. Strangely, they got Hitler's use of a non-standard Smith & Wesson revolver right despite the above.
- Indy Ploy: The Doctor's dying, but it's fine, he's got a plan. ... Not dying.
- It Works Better with Bullets: The Doctor anticipates being shot by Melody by disarming all the guns in Hitler's office. Or swapping them with bananas.
- Karma Houdini: The crew of the Teselecta aims to prevent this, by travelling to the end of said person's timeline... and killing them painfully.
- Kiss of Death: How Melody poisons the Doctor, very nearly killing him. Though given her track record, he really should have known better...
- Kiss of Life: A bit later on.
- Lampshade Hanging: When Melody regenerates, she mentions she might adjust the age later on, this being an explanation for why Alex Kingston was obviously youngest in the episode set chronologically last in her personal timeline, "Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead".
- Large Ham: Melody. Justified, since she's a Laser Guided Tykebomb, probably undergoing some post-regenerative trauma, and calls herself a psychopath.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Melody says she wants to take her ageing down gradually, to freak people out, which explains why she appears younger in episodes where her character should be older.
- Meaningful Name: The Teselecta is derived from the word "tesseract", which refers to higher dimensions in geometry, a relevant bit of Techno Babble to help explain a miniaturisation field.
- It may also be related to tesselation, which in computer graphics is the subdivision of a 3D model into small polygons -- which is exactly the way the Teselecta changes its appearance.
- Mercy Invincibility: Immediately after regenerating, Melody Pond is Immune to Bullets for a limited time.
- Misaimed Fandom (In-Universe): It's strongly suggested that it was the Doctor who inspired the Department of Justice to travel through time punishing Complete Monsters.
- Mistaken for Gay: Amy originally thought Rory was gay before they hooked up, her reasoning being that he's shown no interest for any girl in his life... except her, as she finally realizes.
- Mobile Suit Human: The Teselecta.
- Name's the Same: Justified: Amy and Rory's daughter Melody and their friend Mels, after whom Melody was named. See Stable Time Loop.
- Nazi Germany
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: An unusual instance. On the one hand, the Doctor's crashing of the TARDIS prevents history from being altered on a massive scale. On the other hand, he does so by saving Hitler's life.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: "Well, I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled..."
- The Nth Doctor: Mels, Amy and Rory's ex-con friend, actually regenerates into Alex Kingston. Averted in the Doctor's case. Melody gives her remaining regenerations to save him.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Melody gets shot after regenerating. It doesn't stick.
- One wonders whether this "donation" of her remaining regenerations might be one way of explaining how the Doctor himself continues to regenerate beyond his Thirteenth incarnation, when the time comes. Other alternative explanations are possible, but this could be a handy one.
- Alternatively, rule one: the Doctor lies.
- Noodle Incident: "Time can be rewritten; remember Kennedy?"
- Nothing Is Scarier: The antibodies aren't seen on-screen for a while.
- Oh Crap: The Doctor's expression when Hitler stands up and reveals himself. It's the same expression he gets when he runs into the Daleks or the Master.
- Also when Rory and Amy encounter robot Amy.
- Omniscient Morality License: The crew of the Teselecta think they have this, using Time Travel to go back in time and kill any remaining Karma Houdini.
- Pachelbel's Canon: Seen performed before Melody crashes the party.
- Perfect Poison: The Poison of the Judas Tree disables Time Lord Regeneration as well as killing the target in 32 minutes.
- Putting on the Reich: When Melody is trying on different outfits, she goes for a Nazi officer's coat and hat.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Melody gives off this impression even before name-dropping the trope, squealing over her new appearance like an overexcited teenager right before pulling out the guns. To her, it's all fun and games.
Melody: [after taking down five Nazi police] Thanks, boys! Call me!
Amy: What are you doing?!
Melody: New body, new rules... I'm going shopping!
- Reality Subtext: Melody mentions taking her age down a bit. "Just gradually. To freak people out." Because, of course, it was a slightly younger Alex Kingston playing the older River Song.
- Refuge in Audacity: The title.
- Melody Pond's line when confronted by German soldiers:
Well, I was on my way to this gay gypsy Bar-Mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, "Gosh! The Third Reich's a bit rubbish. I think I'll kill the Führer." Who's with me?
- Putting Hitler in the cupboard.
- Religion of Evil: What the Silence (or "The movement known as The Silence, an academy of The Question") turns out to be, sort of.
The Teselecta: The Silence is not a species. it is a religious order, or movement. Their core belief is that silence will fall when the Question is asked.
The Doctor: What question?
The Teselecta: The first question. The oldest question in the universe. Hidden in plain sight.
The Doctor: Yes, but what is the question?
The Teselecta: ...Unknown.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The Doctor is poisoned with a toxin derived from the Judas Tree. Which is actually a real tree.
TheOtherWiki: The deep pink flowers are produced on year-old or older growth, including the trunk in late spring. The leaves appear shortly after the first flowers, which are poisonous when consumed by Time Lords, emerge.
- Remember the New Guy?: At first, it may seem odd that Amy and Rory suddenly have an old childhood best friend who has never been mentioned before. But since she's a time traveler this is completely justified.
- Retcon: Mel's entire existence and back story with Amy/Rory is established in a lengthy... well, "Retconathon".
- Rule of Cool: Why can the Teselecta imitate any piece of clothing, and even an entire motorbike, but has to take the glasses from the first Nazi officer it imitates? So we can have the dramatic moment mentioned above under Anticlimax.
- Rule of Funny: Surprising for an episode that not only is an integral part of the season arc, but also prominently features Nazis. Yet the episode runs on it pretty well (locking Hitler in the cupboard, River jumping out of windows and hijacking motorcycles, miniaturisation ray, the TARDIS voice activated command system).
- Running Gag:
- River jumping out of windows.
- River's lipstick.
- River's nickname being "Mrs. Robinson".
- People needing to contact the Doctor in more... creative ways.
- The Doctor asking for permission to hug Amy.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: The Doctor gets his top hat and tailcoat.
- Shooting Superman: The Nazis attempting to shoot River just after her regeneration.
- People looking for the answer, without knowing the question? Have they tried 42?
- Weirder still is the surprisingly likely possibility that the question in plain sight needing an answer is... "Doctor who?"
- A robot that appears human (and can mimic appearances) from the future traveling back in time to assassinate a future leader.
- Followed up by Melody saying, "Take off your clothes".
- Also, the time-travelling robot? It's manned by a bridge full of people in uniforms who have teleporter technology... who are on a Fantastic Voyage, you might say. The bridge of the Teselecta looks like the bridge of the Klingon Bird of Prey.
- Human-looking robot manned by tiny people...
- Our heroes are in Nazi Germany, racing motorcycles and punching Nazis. Very Indiana Jones.
- The scene where the Doctor explains how he anticipated Melody's plan with the gun is filmed in a similar way to another of Moffat's shows.
- The whole sequence where the Doctor and Melody one-up each other's attempts to assassinate/foil/foil the foil/foil the foiling of the foil... ooh, I've gone cross-eyed... seems to be a big long shout out to The Curse of the Fatal Death, conveniently also written by Steven Moffat.
- Another in a long line of shout-outs to the short story "Continuity Errors", Steven Moffat's first piece of official Doctor Who fiction. This time it's River's archaeology prof at Luna University, who is named in the end credits as "Professor Candy". "Continuity Errors" opens at Luna University, where a Professor Candy is scheduled to give a lecture. (It's interesting to note, given the themes of this season, that the subject of the lecture was to have been that mysterious and dangerous legendary figure known only as the Doctor.)
- Professor Candy is a known, if involuntary, time traveller; the Afterword of Decalog 2 reveals that the Doctor dumped him in 1996 to stop him giving his lecture.
- The "I had yesterday off" joke is also from "Continuity Errors".
- Many of the Antibody Squids' lines- particularly "...followed by death"- put people in the mind of G La DOS from Portal.
- The Judas Tree (name of the poison used on the doctor) was the name of the last episode of Jonathan Creek, featuring both Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith, who plays the 8th Doctor's companion Lucy Miller, in the Big Finish produced BBC Radio 7 seasons of Doctor Who.
- Melody getting her own parents together may qualify as one to Back to The Future.
- The Teselecta conjures a motorcycle from under itself, similar to how programs in Tron and Tron: Legacy conjure the light-cycles from under themselves.
- Might be a coincidence, but the awkward way Rory says things like "Get in the cupboard, Hitler" is very reminiscent of the famous Whose Line Is It Anyway "Would you like some Jello, Hitler?" scene.
- The comment about Kennedy's death being an exception to the "fixed point in time" rule is likely a reference to all those "time-travellers-assassinate-JFK" stories.
- Rory punches out Hitler. Very Captain America.
- Shrink Ray: Lampshaded with Rory's explanation to Amy. See Expospeak Gag.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Rory.
- Stable Time Loop:
- Melody/River, in her guise of Mels, hooks up Amy and Rory, thereby ensuring that they will eventually marry and conceive Melody... who they then (unwittingly) name after herself.
The Doctor: Mels. Short for...
Amy: Yeah, I named my daughter after her.
The Doctor: You named your daughter... after your daughter.
- Melody found out that she was River Song from Amy —- and starts using that name as a result.
- The Doctor says "spoilers" to Melody, as a kind of Ironic Echo from the many times River has said it. Chances are this is why she's so fond of the phrase.
- The Doctor placing the (brand-new) TARDIS-cover notebook by River's bedside, which she uses as a diary to avoid "spoilers".
- The Ponds make the crop circle to get the Doctor's attention. This technique of leaving dramatic messages in history is probably inspired by their previous interactions with River Song. But since Mels is River, this incident is probably what taught River that this technique can be used to contact the Doctor.
- Stealth Pun: The Tesselecta's "faint." When Rory points out "I think he just fainted," the Doctor looks visibly suspicious, and says, "Yes, that was a faint." Faint? Or feint?
- Survival Mantra: "Fish fingers and custard", the words the TARDIS Emergency Visual Interface in the shape of Amelia Pond says to the Doctor, which he repeats over and over again to help him ignore the increasing pain caused by his poisoning.
- "Take That!" Kiss: Melody gives the Doctor one, but of course it turns out to be her poisoning him with her lipstick.
- Thanatos Gambit: River uses her post-regeneration power rush so effectively that it is quite possibly part of her plan. It wouldn't have been hard to deliberately move so Hitler's shots would hit her, or even shoot herself during the confusion.
- This Is Sparta: Custaaaaard!
- Time Police: The "Department of Justice" organisation behind the Teselecta appears to be a variation of this. They also seem to be rather inept, considering they went to all the trouble of breaking into Hitler's office, and only realised they were years too early in just enough time.
- Title Drop: See the quote at the top of the page.
- The old "Doctor Who?" gag pops up again, this time done by The Doctor himself...
The Doctor: You said she killed The Doctor...Doctor Who?
- Just like the very first episode!
First Doctor: Eh? Doctor Who? Who's she talking about?
- Timey-Wimey Ball:
- Melody Pond herself makes sure her Oblivious to Love parents hook up. Although they probably would have gotten together anyway.
- Also, spoilers.
- Not to mention Amy naming her daughter after her best mate Mels, who is her daughter, and Melody finding out who River Song is from Amy, who only knows who River is because she met her before.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Comes up between Rory and Amy:
Rory: I'm not gay.
Amy: Name one girl in ten years that you've shown any interest in.
Rory: (doesn't answer; leaves looking terrified)
- It does take a minute or two after Rory's left for Amy to realize that he's had a crush on her for likely the past ten years.
Mels: And the penny drops...
- Wham! Line: Mels' secret, if you hadn't already guessed it.
The Doctor: As soon as you're well, I'll get [your parents] on the phone.
Mels: Might as well do it now... Since they're both right here...
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Hitler gets locked in a cupboard and promptly disappears entirely from the narrative.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Amy is very quick to set the antibodies on the the Teselecta crew. We're not given details on what the antibodies do exactly, but it's implied they burn people alive.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: The Doctor's and River's duel as she keeps trying to kill him and he, anticipating her, disarming her, mostly in advance.