Title: Doctor Who Special “The Husbands of River Song”
Released: 2015
Series:  Doctor Who

Previously on Doctor WhoThe Doctor saves Clara from dying—sort of—and cleans out some of the riffraff on Gallifrey in the process.

I’m so glad this was another adorable Christmas episode. I needed that!

Here We Go Again

It’s nearly Christmas on Mendorax Dorella in the year 5343, and the Doctor finds himself once again on an adventure with River Song. She doesn’t seem to recognize him, though, and the many hints he drops don’t seem to have an effect. She’s much too preoccupied with the theft of the most famous and precious diamond in the universe, The Halassi Androvar, which happens to be in the head of her current “husband,” King Hydroflax.

The duo steal his head, and make their way onto the the starship Harmony And Redemption, where River hopes to sell the stolen goods. But things never go exactly according to plan when River and the Doctor get together, and they’re nearly captured. Thanks to a meteor shower, however, the cruise ship is damaged, the capture is foiled, and the ship eventually crash-lands onto Darillium—home of the Singing Towers, a place River says she’s asked the Doctor to take her numerous times, but he’s never followed through.

Owning a TARDIS has it’s perks, and the Doctor makes good on his promise to take her, on Christmas Day, four years later. She’s sad, thanks to the fact that stories say that their last night together is spent at the Singing Towers, but when he reveals that a night on Darillium lasts 24 years, she realizes that her fears have been unfounded. And the two “live happily ever after.”


OMG. It’s Protozoa!

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

King Hydroflax is a pretty maniacal dude, but he sure has some devout followers. I didn’t really find him all that scary, however; he was literally all talk and no action.

We’re All Stories

Winner: River. For as complex of a character she is (morally), she truly deserves happiness.

Loser: Nardole. Not only does he have to deal with having that terrible name, he’s also stuck with living the rest of his life as part of a cyborg duo with Ramone.

Words from the Madman

Doctor: “I’m never sure. I don’t like being sure about things. One minute you’re sure, the next everybody turns into lizards and a piano falls on you.”

Doctor: “I think I’m going to need a bigger flowchart.”

Doctor: “Yeah, 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.”

River: “It’s a … time … machine. I can take it, do whatever I want for as long as I like and pop it back a second later, he’ll never know it was gone.”
Doctor: “Yes, he will.”
River: “How?”
Doctor: “He’ll just know.”
River: “Well, he’s never noticed before.”

River: “I posed as his nurse. Took me a week.”
Doctor: “To fall in love?”
River: “It’s the easiest lie you can tell a man. They’ll automatically believe any story they’re the hero of.”

River: “When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!”
Doctor: “Hello, sweetie.”

Doctor: “No, I don’t, not always. Times end, River, because they have to. Because there’s no such thing as happy ever after. It’s just a lie we tell ourselves because the truth is so hard.”
River: “No, Doctor … you’re wrong. Happy ever after doesn’t mean forever. It just means time … a little time. But that’s not the sort of thing you could ever understand, is it?”

Keep Moving

As much as I like to complain about Steven Moffat (and as much as I believe said complaints are validated), he does do so well at tying seemingly disparate plot points together. This episode is yet another example of this: In series 4, episode “Forest of the Dead,” the first time we “met” River Song, she died. Before she died, however, she said, “Funny thing is, this means you’ve always known how I was going to die. All the time we’ve been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you—the real you, the future you, I mean—you turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the Singing Towers. Oh, what a night that was. The towers sang … and you cried.” My heart.

I still think he needs to give someone else the reigns of the whole thing, however.

But, what did you think of “The Husbands of River Song”? Let’s discuss in the comments.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.