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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old May 31 2013, 01:01 PM   #1
Allyn Gibson
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River Song Day!

Five years ago today, "Silence in the Library" aired, and in honor of that occasion, the BBC has declared today River Song Day. (Really? Five years? Where does the time go...?)

River Song Day does not come without backlash, however, and the Guardian looks at why she's a divisive character.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I discovered that there are corners of Who fandom where River Song is utterly despised. I knew people thought she was smug in "Silence"/"Forest," but that's just who she was and, to be fair, the Doctor was stupidly thick in that episode. Why he couldn't fathom that there would be people who knew him in the future whom he hadn't yet met I don't know. I'd have thought it would have happened to him at least a couple of thousand times before "Silence"...

I admit, I don't find the character particularly deep as she's written because she doesn't exist independently of the other characters in Doctor Who (which, ironically, is why I would like to see the River Song/Captain Jack spin-off that both Alex Kingston and John Barrowman have said they would do, because it would divorce River Song of her narrative attachment to the Doctor), but I enjoy Alex Kingston's performance. True, I probably read some of her other roles into River to fill in the character's gaps, so where I see a bit of shallowness or fuzziness in the character, another Kingston role reads in its place. (The Warrior Queen, where she plays Boudicaa, is particularly good for this.)

It's probably too late to do anything about the character now -- "The Name of the Doctor" reads like the final River Song appearance, though there are some disturbing implications to her appearance in that episode that should really be addressed -- but the thing that I think would really help the character in the future? Have someone other than Steven Moffat write her, in a non-timey-wimey, routine adventure. Maybe a companion-lite episode, where Clara (or her successor) has gone to study graphology, and the Doctor and River run into each other not by choice but by chance. She didn't try to draw his attention, he's just there. It could be a bit "Captain's Holiday," come to think of it. (Oh, damn, I didn't realize until now that River Song equals Vash.) Let the audience see River in a "normal" setting so they can see how she functions when she's not a walking plot point, and I think the response to the character would be different. However, like I said, it's probably far too late for that.

Spoilers!
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Old May 31 2013, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: River Song Day!

River Song has had her time. Each new appearance has made me less interested in ever seeing her again. Time to let her go.
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Old May 31 2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: River Song Day!

Five years? The damndest thingis, I still have some pretty vivid memories of that weekend.

On topic, I don't mind River as a charcter. Although I can understand some of the frustrations, I've never felt the intense hatred of the character many seem to. Her story arc dragged a bit and got somewhat tiring, but as a character she's been written perfectly and performed even better by Alex Kingston.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
"The Name of the Doctor" reads like the final River Song appearance,
Like I said in the review thread, I'll be very surprised if it is. I'm sure as long as Moffat is showrunner, he'll keep bringing River back. Hell, even after Moffat steps down from running the show, if he sticks around to contribute a script a year, I'd say there'd still be a possibilty of River's return.
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Old May 31 2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: River Song Day!

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
"The Name of the Doctor" reads like the final River Song appearance,
Like I said in the review thread, I'll be very surprised if it is. I'm sure as long as Moffat is showrunner, he'll keep bringing River back. Hell, even after Moffat steps down from running the show, if he sticks around to contribute a script a year, I'd say there'd still be a possibilty of River's return.
I don't know why people are thinking it's her last episode. Think about it ... In her first story on screen, she died. Should be the end of the story, but it's just the first.

As long as there are interesting stories to tell with the character, why NOT bring her back?
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Old May 31 2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: River Song Day!

River Song is one of my favorite characters. I have never understood the hatred she gets mainly from another forum which I won't mention.

I always thought she was very interesting and I hope we see her again. I think a River and Jack show would be interesting. Though personally I think she would be great with Vastra, Jenny and Strax.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Re: River Song Day!

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
"The Name of the Doctor" reads like the final River Song appearance,
Like I said in the review thread, I'll be very surprised if it is. I'm sure as long as Moffat is showrunner, he'll keep bringing River back. Hell, even after Moffat steps down from running the show, if he sticks around to contribute a script a year, I'd say there'd still be a possibilty of River's return.
I don't know why people are thinking it's her last episode. Think about it ... In her first story on screen, she died. Should be the end of the story, but it's just the first.

As long as there are interesting stories to tell with the character, why NOT bring her back?
It's mostly because of the way the scene played out. It was written like a good bye scene, at least until the very end when River's like, "Oh, and by the way, I'm still mentally linked to Clara." I think she'll be back at least one more time, and I kinda hope we return to the Library when it happens.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: River Song Day!

I like River, but she's never been my favorite and I can understand people being tired of the character. I actually liked her a lot more in Silence/Forest than in the Angels two parter - that soured me towards her, but I really enjoyed her again in Pandorica/Big Bang. I wish they'd spent more time on the revelations of her background in Series 6 - for what should have been pretty meaty stuff they just breezed through it.

I'd be perfectly happy if she's had her send-off, though a Jack and River show could be a lot of fun too (though I'd really like to see Jack back at all). But not before a Vastra and co. spinoff.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:39 PM   #8
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Re: River Song Day!

Kestrel wrote: View Post
But not before a Vastra and co. spinoff.
I see absolutely no reason why it can't be the same spinoff.

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I have been wanting a River/Jack spinoff for years! MAKE IT HAPPEN!
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Old June 1 2013, 04:00 AM   #9
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Re: River Song Day!

I love River, and teaming her w/Jack would be a tremendous hoot...
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Old June 1 2013, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: River Song Day!

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Have someone other than Steven Moffat write her, in a non-timey-wimey, routine adventure. Maybe a companion-lite episode, where Clara (or her successor) has gone to study graphology, and the Doctor and River run into each other not by choice but by chance. She didn't try to draw his attention, he's just there. It could be a bit "Captain's Holiday," come to think of it. (Oh, damn, I didn't realize until now that River Song equals Vash.) Let the audience see River in a "normal" setting so they can see how she functions when she's not a walking plot point, and I think the response to the character would be different. However, like I said, it's probably far too late for that.

Spoilers!
I quite like River Song in all of her appearances (but I'm also not surprised that there are a lot of people who hate her) and I have to say I really like this idea. Granted part of her appeal is the mystery of character's history and that's almost entirely gone, but as you said, a large reason why she's so great is Alex Kingston's performance. It would be very nice to have her have a regular, "simple" adventure with The Doctor.
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Old June 1 2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: River Song Day!

I'm not really a River fan at all. I don't despise her but I don't really like her either. She doesn't really work with Matt Smiths doctor very well compared to others. She'd have best suited Eccleston.

I want her to permanently go soon, but I think her appearance n the doctors name isn't a big enough bang to go out on.
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Old June 2 2013, 01:52 AM   #12
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Re: River Song Day!

We still have the unanswered question of why the Doctor told River his name, and when. I'm almost tipping she'll be back for his regeneration (now that we know it's definitely happening) and that's when it'll finally happen... though it'll be whispered.

The reason he'll tell her is that he thinks he's going to die, and realises she has to now so she can tell him at the library.
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Old June 2 2013, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: River Song Day!

I like her less with each appearance. Kingston is phoning it in and Moffat seems to be writing her too cutesy and sly. I have never thought that I would say this about anyone, but I hate her face now. When she smiles I get unhappy.
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Old June 2 2013, 07:46 AM   #14
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Re: River Song Day!

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
But not before a Vastra and co. spinoff.
I see absolutely no reason why it can't be the same spinoff.

TORCHWOOD: Victorian London

I have been wanting a River/Jack spinoff for years! MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The greatest single idea ever posted.
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Old June 2 2013, 10:52 AM   #15
RoJoHen
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Re: River Song Day!

teacake wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
But not before a Vastra and co. spinoff.
I see absolutely no reason why it can't be the same spinoff.

TORCHWOOD: Victorian London

I have been wanting a River/Jack spinoff for years! MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The greatest single idea ever posted.
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