Still confused about the tangled, time-crossed chronology of River Song and the Doctor on Doctor Who? Alex Kingston herself narrated the whole River timeline, in the final episode of the tie-in show Doctor Who Confidential after Saturday's season finale.

We track River's own POV on her timeline below — plus there's a four-minute Doctor Who skit, written by a group of schoolchildren. Geronimo!

Oh, and it should go without saying that there are spoilers here, for anybody who's not up-to-date on Doctor Who.


Sadly, the BBC is pulling the plug on their "making of" series, Doctor Who Confidential, after more than six years of following every episode of the main show. At least the show went out on a high note, with some actually indispensable insights into the River Song story.


As creator Steven Moffat tells the show, "I've never found River Song's timeline that complicated. It's just, she has the adventures roughly, broadly in reverse order to the Doctor."

In any case, it's worth hunting down a copy of the final Doctor Who Confidential, since it has a long stretch of River Song narrating her own life story, as read by Alex Kingston. (Update: I embedded a slightly crappy quality version at left.) It goes roughly like this:

I escaped the spacesuit and lived on the streets. Homeless, alone and dying. Until I regenerated.

Rule one: the Doctor lies. He escaped his own death. A secret I knew I had to keep. Even though it meant imprisonment. But I've always been good at escaping.

But I always knew the Doctor would be there for me, so long as I left him a message. (Referring to the giant carving in the cliff wall.) He would always be there to catch me. (Flying out of the spaceship.) Even at the crash of the Byzantium he came, my love couldn't resist it — bringing with him an Amy Pond who did not know me.

The Doctor was willing to sacrifice himself to save the Library. But I had to take his place. But that man, that impossible man, never gives up. The Doctor saved me, preserving me in a computer. And all my glorious memories of the Doctor live on. Because just sometimes, everybody lives.

Meanwhile, here's the four-minute skit, "Death is the Only Answer." Could that be the answer to the oldest question, the question hidden in plain sight? Probably not. Anyway, here's Einstein and the Doctor, together again for the first time since 1987's "Time and the Rani":