Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Husbands Of River Song (UPDATE)

  1. Merry Christmas all. We've all just watched the new Doctor Who…d0
  2. 1. The Two Towers

  3. d4

In Silence In The Library and Forest Of The Dead, the first time we met River Song, she told us that she had just been to the Singing Towers of Darillium. Where he turned up with a new haircut and suit – and he cried. This is that day. And, for once, the Doctor and River Song are far along enough in their timelines for them both to, mostly be on the same page. If River can work out just who the Doctor is, that is…

Steven Moffat killed her off the first time we met her. But now it's time to say goodbye…

2. Trap Street Is Still A Trap


We have walked down just these same Victorian-style streets in the present day, and here they are again, still out of time. A day when the Doctor lost Clara and then bent and broke the rules of time to save her. Could he do the same for River Song?


3. Is This Doctor The Jeremy Corbyn Doctor?


We know that he's not a big fan of soldiers. But in today's Christmas Special, we discover that the Doctor is not that much of a monarchist with a speech taken straight out of a Marxist tract addressed to King Hydroflax.

My back's playing up. It simply refuses to carry the weight of an entirely pointless stratum of society who contribute nothing of worth to the world and crush the hopes and dreams of working people.

Is this a Doctor for the #JezWeCan generation?

4. Everyone From The 52nd Century Is Omnisexual


Okay she's in the 54th Century now but as we know she's been around a bit. Steven Moffat stated that River Song, like Captain Jack from a similar era, is bisexual, but with the revelation that she's got three husbands on the go simultaneously we also learn about a second wife… so, yes, basically just like Captain Jack.

They must never meet.

You know, it was once implied somewhere that River Song married Bernice Summerfield, the Doctor Who New Adventures archeologist character and recurring Doctor Who companion created by Paul Cornell and who many people believe River was modelled on. And, yes, she was a bit of a Doctorish character. Is this the closet we'll get to canonfirmation?

Also, gender aside, River has a type. That also includes Cleopatra and Stephen Fry – who may be the same person.

And "The time there was two of you" – from the mini-episode The Last Night, which featured one of those aborted trips to Darillium…

5. A Gilliam Mind And Body


We've had disembodied heads and bodies before. But a mind and body at odds does seem to revive Robin William's King Of The Moon from Terry Gilliam's Baron Münchhausen, especially the line about the body having a mind of its own….

6. Douglas The Fish


In the Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, it is suggested that anyone can afford a table at the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, by depositing a small amount into a bank, fastforwarding to the end of the universe and using the interest over billions of years to pay. In Doctor Who, you can actually get someone to build the restaurant. Booking for a restaurant and skipping forward to the first available date also turned up in Dirk Gently. A nod to that author and previous Doctor Who script-writer Douglas Adams was made by the mention of Aldeberan brandy, referred to in the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe as the only things surviving the conflagration being the sweet trolley and a selection of Aldeberan liquers… Benny Summerfield also packed a bottle for the Doctor in the original Doctor Who novel Human Nature.

UPDATE: Oh yes of course, the cricket-ball shaped computer than links all the banks in the universe together – like the Krikkit ball that links the hearts of all the suns together… payback for the Starship Titanic?

7. The Infinite Perspective Vortex


We are the hero of our own story. But how does everyone else see the situation? For once, the Doctor gets to have an honest-to-goodness look at himself from the outside, as the Damsel In Distress, a man whose TARDIS River will always nick, as the man who River loves and who will never love her.

The thing is, he gets to do something about it. And it's not too far off what happened with Clara. She is heading to her eventual preordained death as is River. Except they both get to delay it a bit..

8. No Longer The Doctor's Screwdriver?


We were told that River Song had been given the Doctor's sonic screwdriver on the night at Darillium. Now it turns out it was one made especially for her, Red Settings and all. May be a quibble, but at least it saved her life. Kind of. But it was probably a little insensitive to see her to get married to King Hydroflax who, it seemed existed considerably as an artificial recreation of his life and personality, with how River Song would end her days into eternity…

9. What's In A Name?


River Song knows the Doctor's true name. Well, it looks like she has 24 years with the Doctor on one planet to work it all out… should be a little simpler than punching through diamond.

Something not said about the towers. They are, indeed, a monolith as River says, like the Doctor. But what would have formed them in the first place? Over a long, long time, a river, running in between…

And then there is a song.

Merry Christmas everyone…. happy every after, just as the fairytale Doctor Who continues to be.

10. Still The Husbands Of River Song


Of course, River's other husband Ramone is still knocking around in his robot body in the restaurant. I do hope he won't be getting in the way. Maybe she can wipe his memory again. And do the same with Nardole….

Bonus Thought

This was originally planned to be Steven Moffat's last episode and wraps up his final plotlines. That changed… we hear take that Chris Chibnall will join the show as showrunner after Broadchurch Series 3 wraps but who knows.

What that means is for 2016? Something very new….

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.