Doctor Who Review: “The Husbands of River Song”


Ah, River! Where do I begin? You’re fun and flirty, dangerous and dedicated, strong and stunning! And your hair…your lovely, free-spirited and untamed curls! It was so wonderful catching up with you last Friday. Sure, it was unexpected and you didn’t recognize me, which did hurt my feelings just a bit, but it was like the good old days! You and me against the world. Or the galaxy. So your folks weren’t there; that’s okay. And you’re apparently married to a few men right now; well that’s just a minor thing. You, my darling, tie all my strings together and remind me of me at my best. Happy Christmas, love.


Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

A Few of My Favorite Things

So it’s the Christmas Special, a.k.a. The Husbands of River Song, which I believe calls for a little something special. So this time, fair readers, I will not bore you with a recap of the plot but instead will dive straight into a few of my favorite things from the final episode of the season, which I am hereby renaming to “A River Runs Through It.”

First off, I loved how River couldn’t put two and two together to figure out that the handsome stranger with the “cross arms” was her very own Doctor, even though Capaldi did a fantastic job channeling his inner “Smith” in his initial greeting. And the mention of the flowchart to keep their timelines and pairings straight made me giggle because yes, I happen to have two such timelines on my Who’s There Pinterest board, thank you very much. Honestly, when he knew more about the Tardis than she did, a spark of recognition should have played across her face, but watching this Doctor and my River verbally sparring just warmed my heart, and when they laughed together, it was perfect.

Sure River is the ultimate female Indiana Jones, traveling through time to save archaeological treasures, even if it requires her to marry an overgrown cyborg despot. She’ll make sure she earns her 100 billion credits, so it’s a win-win, right? Her sonic trowel and almost-filled diary show that she’s just as connected to the Doctor as ever, giving him the codename “Damsel in Distress” since she’s saved him as often as he has saved her. The two of them together, being chased by baddies and crashing into a planet, brought the passion back to the “saved by the skin of our teeth” solutions for which the Doctor is famous, something poor Clara wasn’t really in a position to provide. You know, since she wasn’t his wife.

River’s vehement speech about the perils of loving the Doctor tore at my heart. Imagine being convinced that your true love has never loved you and never should. Poor, sweet dear. Thank goodness the Doctor was able to prove her wrong. At least that’s how I interpreted the ending – the Doctor spends River’s last night with her (24 years or so long) in their beautiful formal wear admiring the singing towers so the two actually did live happily ever after. At least for a time. *Sniff.*

Well this was quite a memorable season, and next year’s Season 10 will certainly offer many new changes, all of which I can’t wait to experience. I am currently scouring after Christmas sales for a tree topper I can transform into a Weeping Angel for 2016. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful New Year!

Liz Bowen, a.k.a DocBlogger

Liz Bowen is a long-time Doctor Who fan and first-time blogger living in Colorado Springs. She enjoys seeing her childhood recreated in cinematic excellence and will waste entire evenings waxing poetic about the technical beauty that is Transformers. She indulges in writing Supernatural fanfic and is working on her first original book.


  1. idream3223

    I enjoyed the episode tremendously as well. I had never considered what her life was like without The Doctor. It made perfect sense to me that all the crazy swirling around in had to come out somewhere because she was perfection every time they were together. I had a discussion with a friend and I told him that I thought everything she did when she was not with him, borrowing the TARDIS and marrying randos was all designed to get The Doctor’s attention. Even if she didn’t realize it, because The Doctor had been the nexus of her entire life. It was a great episode and I enjoyed your review very much. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Bec Graham

    When Twelve tells River that their last night together would last 24 years, I lost it. That was beautiful.
    But, yes, River’s speeches about loving the Doctor were excruciating

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