River Song was introduced as a guest character in Steven Moffat’s excellent double episode, Silence In The Library, back when Russel T. Davies was still showrunner. She’s a smart, sexually liberated, confident, middle-aged archaeologist/adventurer — who, it turns out, is married to the Doctor. They seem to have a really cool relationship where she lives her own life as a kind of intergalactic Indiana Jones, and occasionally meets up with the Doctor whenever he’s having an adventure in her corner of the galaxy. But as the series progressed and Steven Moffat took over as showrunner, the truth of River’s backstory was gradually “revealed.”
Rather than being an independent entity […] she was secretly the daughter of two of his companions. On top of this, she was “programmed” to hunt down the Doctor and assassinate him. When she meets him for the first time in her timeline, she decides not to kill him, and instead gives him a ton of her own life-force in order to save his life, which effectively downgrades her from near immortality to a normal human lifespan.
Then, she becomes an “archaeologist” in order to research the history of the Doctor, because she knows their lives are intertwined, and it’s the only way she can learn more about him while he’s free to travel around space and time without her. Eventually she is imprisoned for “killing” him, and they only spend time together he arrives at her prison to pick her up for a fun adventure in space, and then delivers her back to be locked up again. When she dies, the Doctor has her consciousness stored in a computer so she can “live forever,” trapped in a utopian (but extremely dull) CGI garden with various other stored consciousnesses.
I loved Silence in the Library’ River. Aside from the implied (but not stated) marriage thing — I kept imagining that in the end, they’d come up with a more creative reason for her to know the Doctor’s name. She was cool! An archaeologist who knew about time travel? Neat! And then later when we got that hint that she was a Time Agent? Wow! All the headcanons about her and Jack Harkness exploring time and space and being wild sexual beings with interesting stories to tell.
But then the whole thing went to hell. She wasn’t something more interesting than the Doctor’s wife. She didn’t have a life outside of the Doctor. She wasn’t even a real person. She was some kind of creation. Every single thing about her was tied to the Doctor and some kind of nonsensical mission about him. She stopped being a character at all and simply became a plot device. A gun on a wall in the first act. And her firing in the third was the pitiful equivalent of a “bang” flag shooting out from a toy store fake.
Alex Kingston deserved so much better.
"This book was of great help when breeding with my blue rose!"
"Yea, he is kind of good in bed. I´d read the book"
"Mordin what is that picture for?"
" Do you have something about androids in that book you are making?"
Throwback all the way to Season 1. Nina Flowers! “Blow” 8x11 ink and watercolour.