River Song Is Returning to Doctor Who. Great. Whee.

Illustration for article titled River Song Is Returning to Doctor Who. Great. Whee.

River Song will return to sass the Doctor in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, according to the BBC. It’s like a Christmas present, except you can’t leave it under the tree and you can’t regift it later.


Sorry, I’m still burned out on River Song. Her increasingly convoluted saga with Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor was way too long, and even though it’s been 14 episodes (series 8 and two specials) since we’ve seen her, it still feels like she was just here, completely hijacking the series’ narrative.

There are of course no details on the 2015 Christmas special, including how River Song—a.k.a. Melody Pond, a.k.a. the Doctor’s Wife, a.k.a. the daughter of Amy and Rory, a.k.a. Little Miss Moffat (okay, I made that last one up, but I really think we should start using it, guys)—makes her appearance. As showrunner Steven Moffat explains:

“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who - and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song. The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time ...”

The easy answer is that being a time-traveler herself, River could just be showing up in the middle of her life, with no knowledge of her eventual death. But when did a River Song storyline ever choose the easy answer?

There is a plus side here, and that’s basically Peter Capaldi. More than any other incarnation, I have to think the already sassy Twelfth Doctor can go toe-to-toe with the sassy River Song. Also, I feel like the two characters should have a brilliant chemistry Kingston and Smith’s Eleventh Doctor lacked. Basically, if River Song has to come crashing into another Doctor’s life, I’m very glad it’s this one.

Contact the author at rob@io9.com.



I groaned when I saw that River Song was returning. Surely her interminable story was long enough. Same with Clara. The whole ‘impossible girl’ thing was incredibly forced, drawn out, and never served to make her the slightest bit interesting. And I thought those were the two worst characters on the show until Missy arrived. Moffat persists in giving story time to the most excruciatingly obnoxious female characters on TV.

Dear BBC: please get another showrunner before the show is dead.