The Fourth Dimension
Let's Kill Hitler
Filming for the current series wrapped on Monday, 11 July, 2011. Ironically, the final scenes to be shot were the opening moments of Let's Kill Hitler, involving Amy, Rory and the Doctor in the cornfield.
The read through for Let's Kill Hitler took place on Monday, 21 March, 2011 at BBC Wales' Upper Boat Studios.
When River/Melody says, 'Hello, Benjamin!' she's alluding to a line spoken (several times) by Mrs Robinson in The Graduate. The Doctor refers to Mrs Robinson (in connection with River) in The Impossible Astronaut.
At one point, the Teselecta's operators reference Rasputin. Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (1869 - 1916) remains a controversial figure surrounded by urban myths that sometimes defy reason. He had with strong links to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and has been portrayed onscreen many times, most notably by Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). Find out more about Rasputin.
Central Cardiff doubles for Berlin, 1938, whilst the cornfield sequences were shot about twenty miles outside the city, early in the morning whilst most of Wales still slept.
Amy asks Mels, 'Who steals a bus?' The answer to the question could be Lady Christina de Souza! When faced with the prospect of arrest at the close of Planet of the Dead, she made off with a London double-decker!
The Judas Tree is a deciduous tree prized for its bright display of flowers, usually pink or purple in colour. It's also the title of a novel by A.J. Cronin about a doctor, tragic mothers and lost love. The Judas Tree is also the title of an episode of Jonathan Creek that featured Paul McGann (better known as the Eighth Doctor, left) and Ian McNeice (Churchill in Victory of the Daleks).
When the Doctor verges on death in the TARDIS we glimpse likenesses of Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble. The vision of Rose is taken from her post-Doomsday years; we see a likeness that reflects her appearance from around the time she helped the Doctor restore planets including Woman Wept and Clom.
When soldiers shoot Melody/River her state of regeneration enables her to survive the attack. The Christmas Invasion established the fact that a newly regenerated body possesses incredible powers, such as the ability to grow a new hand!
Whilst filming it was discovered that some 'point of view' shots, taken as the Mini careers through the cornfield, worked better when the car engine was off... Several members of the team therefore volunteered to push the vehicle around the meadow as the camera (attached to the side of the car) rolled. As the mercury crept higher, volunteers struggled only a little in the sweltering heat..!
In his 1996 short story, Continuity Errors, Steven Moffat references 'Luna University'. Fifteen years later... the final scene of Let's Kill Hitler is set in 5123 at 'The Luna University'.
Mels is played at one point by the fantastic Nina Toussaint-White. Nina is well-known from Eastenders where she played Syd Chambers in 2009. She's also faced monsters in Primeval (playing Melanie) and starred as Tanya in Daughters.
The Prequel to Let's Kill Hitler was also written by Steven Moffat and premiered 15 August, 2011. Matt Smith's presence in the piece came as a surprise to many as it was the Doctor's first appearance in a Prequel.
Although this is the first full episode of Doctor Who directed by Richard Senior, he was previously at the helm for the mini-eps Time and Space (also written by Steven Moffat) and for the Doctor Who intro that opened January's NTA awards.