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River Song is a character played by Alex Kingston in Doctor Who. River Song, previously a doctor and eventually a professor, was a mysterious archaeologist.
She was also a convicted murderer
who shared a close relationship with the Doctor. Significantly,
she knew the Doctor's true name, which he would tell her at some
point in his future for reasons as yet undisclosed. She would
often greet him by saying "Hello, sweetie", whether in message or
Episodes River Song has appeared in:
Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead (2008) (2 Parter).
Notable Aliases: Doctor Song
The following is a list of appearances by
Following the character's initial appearance, then-executive producer Russell T Davies described her as "one of the most important characters" and "vital" to the Doctor's life.
The timey-wimey travels of River Song
Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
After Moffat took over from Davies
as executive producer of the show, River Song appeared in the 2010
series. She encounters the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), to whom
she is more familiar, at an earlier point in her timeline in the
two-parter "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone". She leaves
coordinates for the Doctor to eventually find so that he may
rescue her in the 51st century, and with him she investigates the
crash of the spaceship Byzantium. She proves herself to be more
adept at flying the TARDIS than he is and reveals to him that she
is imprisoned for killing "the best man she had ever known". An
even earlier version of River appears to assist the Doctor in
series finale "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang". After she is
contacted in prison by Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice), she leads
the Doctor to 102 A.D. Whilst River is travelling in the TARDIS on
her own, it explodes with her inside. The Doctor, using River's
vortex manipulator, is able to save her and teleport her out. She
then assists him in closing the cracks in the universe in an
alternate 1996. After quietly assisting Amy Pond in remembering
the Doctor by giving Amy her diary, she states to the Doctor that
he will soon learn the truth about her, after which everything
Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
In the first two parter of the fifth series,
River Song appeared once more, helping the Doctor battle the
weeping angels. There were revelations galore in these episodes.
Straight off we know that it is much earlier in Rivers timeline,
and she knows that it is still early days for the Doctor. She
reveals that she knows how to pilot the TARDIS, but hints that it
wasn't the Doctor who taught her. The husband/wife scenario is
still pushed through, but what joins us in these episodes is a
more sinister side to the character, and a suggestion that she
might not be what she appears to be.
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) first meets River Song in the Doctor Who 2008 series two-parter 'Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead', written by Steven Moffat during the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who. She encounters the Tenth Doctor in the 51st century and claims to be someone he will come to trust completely. She is able to convince the Doctor of his future trust in her by whispering his real name into his ear. The adventure in the Library is River's last real-life encounter with the Doctor in her chronology, but is their first encounter in his.
These episodes seem to heavily hint at a
romantic relationship between River and the Doctor. She mentions
several meetings that she has already had with him, and they sound
an awful lot like romantic dates, such as the picnic at Asgard.
She refers to the Doctor as 'pretty boy' and is generally quite
flirty with him, although in fairness she is quite flirty with
In the second of the two episodes she sacrifices herself to save the Doctor's life. In turn he is able to upload her consciousness into a computer (in which she is able to live on) through the use of a sonic screwdriver that he apparently gave to her at a point in her past which for him has not yet occurred.
She is also shown to have a future version of
the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, and she assures the Doctor that it
was given to her, and that she didn't steal it from him. "The
Forest of the Dead" perhaps gives us our best clues, as it's in
this episode that we find out River knows the Doctor's real name,
and indeed she whispers it to him as proof of how close they are.
When another character accuses them of arguing like an old married
couple, the two of them look at each other in a manner which could
imply that they are married, but this might just be deliberate
Back To Front
The irony of The Doctor's first meeting with
River Song is that it's her last meeting with him. She sacrifices
herself in order to save the inhabitants of the library, but a
future version of The Doctor has given her a modified sonic
screwdriver with a consciousness loop inside to save her essence
to the large hard drive. Song lives on in a virtual world with her
own companions for company.
What do we know about River Song?
She's morally ambiguous. She'll steal
artefacts, trick shady alien dealers into giving her Vortex
Manipulators (that are still attached to their owners' arms), and
use her mysterious allure to snog her way out of prison.
Official toys based on River Song include an
action figure and a model of her "future sonic screwdriver". Alex
Kingston said about the action figure, "I don't quite believe it.
You don't get that on ER."
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