Wait, Could Doctor Who's River Song Actually Return? Here's What Alex Kingston Says

Posted 05/27/2023 from Cinema Blend

Introduced to Doctor Who in the episodes “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead,” Alex Kingston’s River Song is among the more popular characters who’s been introduced in the show’s modern era. However, it’s been close to a decade since River’s last small screen appearance, having met Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor in “The Husband of River Song.” Given how that Christmas special brought River’s love story full circle, Doctor Who fans wouldn’t be faulted for thinking we’d never see her on the small screen again, but Kingston has shared her take on if the character could actually return.

Despite Kingston expressing interest in appearing opposite Jodie Whitaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, that era of Doctor Who came and went without River Song showing up. Now we’re just half a year away from David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor reuniting with Catherine Tate in the 60th anniversary episodes, and Ncuti Gatwa’s tenure as the Fifteenth Doctor will begin afterwards. So there’s a lot of Doctor Who content coming up, and while speaking with Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times), Kingston indicated that it’s possible her reprising River Song might be in the cards, saying:

You can go forward with River, you don’t always have to go back. She’s saved within a computer and she can then go anywhere. I don’t think she’s quite gone yet.

We could spend all day discussing River Song’s complicated in Doctor Who, but to summarize, because she’s a fellow time-traveler, her and The Doctor’s meetings occur at different points within their personal timelines When the Tenth Doctor met her in the aforementioned two-parter, it was her last time seeing him while alive, as she sacrificed her life by the end of “Forest of the Dead.” Before perishing, River recalled how the last time she’d seen him, he’d taken her to see the Singing Towers of Darilium, and those events ultimately came to pass in “The Husbands of River Song” (though Kingston can’t watch that particular episode). So while we’re free to follow along with River going on solo adventures, including in various Big Finish audio productions and the book The Ruby’s Curse, there’s no way for a living River to meet any versions of The Doctor past the Twelfth, or at the very least she can’t know she’s interacting with The Doctor if they crossed paths.

However, as Alex Kingston mentioned, River Song’s consciousness was saved onto a computer in “Forest of the Dead,” and it was this digital River who took part in 2013’s “The Name of The Doctor,” marking her last time appearing opposite Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor. Although that River bid what seemed like a final farewell to The Doctor, Kingston is apparently game to reprise her in that form. To be clear, this does not guarantee we’ll see River in either the 60h anniversary episodes or in Season 14, but more than a decade and a half after her Doctor Who debut, the actress clearly hasn’t tired of the character.

In the meantime, unless you live in the United Kingdom, you’ll need a Disney+ subscription to follow along with Doctor Who going forward. The 60th anniversary episodes will premiere this November, and Season 14 is still in production, with one of the most recent reveals from that shoot showing Ncuti Gatwa, Millie Gibson and Jonathan Groff in awesome Bridgerton-style costumes.

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