The Husbands Of River Song

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    midnyt @midnyt

    I’ve watched it like 3 or 4 times already.

    Some of my favorite moments:

    – I think I’m going to need a bigger flowchart.

    – Is this what you are like when I’m not . . .

    – Hello Sweetie

    – The implication that River “borrows” the TARDIS from time to time and he doesn’t notice. (I like to think she deliberately leaves something out of place just to see if he’ll notice when he gets back in.)

    – What do you think, by the way? . . .I’ll let you know, I’ve only seen the face. (The thing I really like about this exchange is that he’s all excited to show her the “new” him. He’s not worried in any way that she won’t be accepting or think that he’s too old. He knows that he can just be himself with River.)

    – I’ll take the robot, you drive. (Think he’s finally ready to admit she’s the better pilot?)

    And finally:

    when the wind stand fair
    and the night is perfect
    when you least expect it
    but always
    when you need it the most
    there is a song

    This echo’s River’s speech from SITL/FOTD, but I like the think that when he says “There is a song” he’s talking about River.

    @puroandson – I had to double check, but yeah, eight is in there. It is the editing. You don’t get to see his face at all. And she did recognize the TARDIS, but she couldn’t find the Doctor, so she just decided to “borrow” her (the TARDIS) for a few, and pop it back in place before he noticed.

    Anonymous @


    You’re right- it was arc-y (I borrowed that  – “Math-y” or “mathier” from Buffy!)

    I erm, actually didn’t notice, what with the outfits, and the heads and Romero or whomever….now he was nice. This was one for the mums I think.

    Although the people across the road watch Who. I heard the credits and said “hey turn it up” and my family said “it’s not on” and as I fiddled with the remote I looked down and out across the garden and saw this massive TV screen on the lawn across the way side (horribly hot in their new house and there were 10 people at least) a whole family Christmas/Boxing day Watch!

    When River changed into the silver number there were whistles so everyone was happy   🙂

    I must chat up these neighbours. This could be a thing.

    Son will have you think I was mopey. Hah! I was laughing very hard. But it was poignant too   🙁

    Puro Flying Solo.

    Anonymous @


    Heck you, get back in the kitchen. What are you doin’ watching so much Doctor Who? Go and get some exercise, write some NY resolutions (mine was to take up swearing and extremely good dreams)

    I kid.

    Thanks for that!  I didn’t understand that part about the Tardis being ‘nicked’ by her. Is she doing this deliberately as a way of saying “hey I need you, notice me?” or is it simply that she’s in need of a cleaner method of time travel rather than the vortex manipulator?

    I do love those lines at the end. They wack me in the digestive space every time.

    I agree: he’s not worried about how he looks: after all, she understood that he couldn’t really tell much had changed about her appearance and that didn’t worry her either: “it was good of you to try”.

    Women should dress for themselves. Or for no-one. Same with blokes. This whole idea of “impress me please” makes me nutty.

    Wax me, tone me, do my hair, then

    Let me sit in the bathing chair

    OK I just made that up but you see my point.

    “when the wind stands fair”. Moffat understands the clarity of lines: there’s nothing overblown about his lyrics, is there? He’s pitch perfect and tonally, that is so rare.



    midnyt @midnyt

    lol, puro. you know how River is about stealing vehicles. I think she does it because she can. and I think that she hopes to “bump” into her doctor as well.

    Anonymous @


    yes, she likes the snug spaces. And swappable heads. I’ll miss her.


    midnyt @midnyt

    me too, but if she’s done, I’m OK with that. she’s a favorite, but they did an excellent job of bringing her story full circle. the chemistry is wonderful with her and Peter, but this would be a perfect high note for her to go out on.

    oh and when he tried to pull a nine and send her away? she just materializes around him and shuts him in the tardis. love it.

    thedoctor23 @thedoctor23

    i loved the ep and river song is good hope we see more of her

    Anonymous @

    @thedoctor23 good to see you here. We enjoyed it too.

    I must say lots and lots of references: so many lovely metaphors: monoliths needing to stand apart (River is a Song of a monolith in her own way), there’s always a “song” when you need one, the little reference to Clara’s tune when River begs the Doctor to find a loophole and he says “sometimes things end”, the 4th wall, the paradoxes, “pulling a Nine” (@midnyt good spot & well said)….on and on. Such fun and now that I can stop boo-hooing with tears I can actually pay attention to those little bits ‘n’ pieces and enjoy them all the more.

    I recall her saying she’s “not bad for 200” as well as being able to …get around a loophole on her own? Not sure. Kept thinking of  Eleven’s own Christmas Special: The Time of the Doctor? Hmm. Pondering.

    Yes, the chemistry of two fine actors. I was watching Buffy (as you do) and Willow in the 2nd season was laughing crazily -and in that one place it was terrible acting (just the once @pedant so don’t shoot!) and I immediately thought of this scene as the Doctor and River start laughing about being threatened by a bag. Capaldi roared with that tremendous belty laugh but Kingston chuckled -it was nice, that restraint.

    Similarly, when River’s saying she has “no idea where the Doctor would be”, she pauses, trembling with defiance, and the Doctor blinks 4 or 5 times and stays perfectly still. I imagine some actors would milk the “hello Sweetie” but it was that fine connection where one person or note is mirrored almost unconsciously by another but in contrary motion? @arbutus you’d know what I mean there. It’s hard to do in musical improvisation and in acting, despite numerous rehearsals, I imagine it would also be difficult to find the “spot on, that’s a cut” moment.


    charmy @charmy

    New doctors often take a while to like. Especially after gr8 performances by Tom baker, Matt smith and David Tennant. Dr Cap, while very talented, has had to play some weird story lines. So far he has allowed Davros to live, kill (souffle girl) Clara, half of Gallifrey council and now River. Its no wonder Peter Capaldi is considering his future as Doctor Who.

    Steven Moffat, saved the day with this Christmas special, The Husbands Of River Song. Everyone loves River Song (Alex Kingston), her quick wit and bad girl attitude intrigues the doctor and audience alike.  After watching this special, I had to re-watch The Library s4-e8. “It doesn’t make sense, why would I give her a sonic screw driver’?

    After so many dud episodes, ratings dropped. Gr8 writing and scenarios such as the doctor surprised at the size of the TARDIS. Made me laugh. Dr Cap dropping the “Sweety” word and his heart felt words of the singing towers relating to Song.  200 years together we get to see more.

    Modern Doctor Who, keeps us addicted wanting to know the answers to questions people miss. Whom is the woman in “the End of time”? Clara, his mother, his grand daughter?  Is our doctor really Rassilon the founder of time travel? Is that why his name cant be spoken? who is doctor who? Surely he wouldn’t cross his own timeline to defeat himself? If so, I hope the other time lord is River.




    janetteB @janetteb

    That was wonderful and Moffat lied, again. He promised us something lighthearted and fun so I just wasn’t prepared, the tissues were not at hand. I just love Moffat’s skill at turning the light and funny to tragic. He really is a remarkably skilled writer. I wondered how any Christmas Special could compete with last years which I thought was excellent but this was so different competition is unthinkable. The rest of the family loved it and there was much discussion after. This series has really “hooked” second son who was becoming rather disinterested in Who. @charmy, I think this has been a brilliant series and I don’t know your source of “Who” related info but everything I have read suggests that Capaldi is loving being the Doctor and happy to continue for years. Not sure everyone loves River Song either.

    This was a fitting finale for River Song but that does not preclude her from appearing again. It would appear that it is the first and last time she meets Capdoc before Silence in the Library but there is always the possibility for her to appear post SiL as ghostRiver. I am sure that all depends upon the right script and availability of the actor.

    Really want to watch again, and again. So many lovely details, witty lines and funny moments. At times our sound quality was not the best and it is very windy outside so missed a few lines too.





    Blimey. I could have programmed a better bot than that, and I don’t really programme.

    RorySmith @rorysmith

    This was so special as usual for my family. I had to travel to my Mum’s new house on Christmas in very bad weather which kept us there until Boxing Day. My Sister is a huge Whovian as well as her husband so yet again we got to watch another special.

    I watched silence in the library again just to get the loop right. This was so good even though I hated the king hydroflax story.

    Blessed New Years to you all.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @charmy    Confused here. When you talk about the great performances of Smith, Tennant, and Baker, I guess you mean in Day of the Doctor? Baker (much as I love him) was hardly in that, and I doubt that many people have been comparing him to Capaldi. As for “weird story lines”, this certainly wasn’t the first time the Doctor saved Davros, or tried to; he killed neither Clara nor River, and certainly not the Gallifreyan High Council (he banished them, a very Doctor-like solution, really). Everything we have been told suggests that Capaldi is very happy doing the show: he has completed two full series and is committed to a third. As most Doctors haven’t stuck much longer than that, it would be surprising if he hadn’t contemplated the when and how of his exit!

    I absolutely agree, however, that this episode was well done. Lots of humour and not-too-scary danger, and exactly the right amount of emotion for a Christmas episode. Loved it!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    I expected to like River and Twelve together and was not disappointed. I always liked her best of all in her first outing with Ten, finding her dynamic with Eleven somewhat irritating at times (albeit with some very funny moments), except for the last time, in The Name of the Doctor, when arguably Matt Smith had reached his most mature take on the role. I thought that this coda on their relationship was really, really well done. I loved the twist of her not recognizing him. As others have pointed out, there were lots of callouts to Silence in the Library. Contrary motion, as @puroandson said; I had thought of a reflection, not a mirror exactly, but more the imperfect reflection we see in water.

    When he gave her the Christmas present, I immediately thought, “Oh, lots of people will be happy.” It had never bothered me that we hadn’t seen the Doctor give River the sonic, but this worked very well and tied nicely into the “sonic trowel” scene which was perfectly hilarious. ( Of course, Clara wasn’t the only one in time and space trying to be the Doctor.)

    @midnyt    I’ve only watched it once so far, and had missed the connection between those lines and Library, but I think you’ve nailed it. “There is a song” clearly mirrors “when the Doctor comes to call”. Nice.

    @puroandson  I loved the laughter scene as well. It was wonderful seeing the Doctor reminding River not to take things so seriously. People who see CapDoc as only grim and cranky are missing the sense of humour that is always bubbling away just underneath the grumpy exterior. @sonofpuro, I did understand that Puro was talking about what others might think. My immediate thought was that if anyone found this episode overly sentimental, they must have hated last year’s!

    And Puro, I now have a lovely image of a happy family sitting outside the house in front of the big screen, watching Christmas Doctor Who.

    AlexWho @alexwho

    So when are we finally going to meet this Jim the Fish?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    A bit late to the party (well, some hangovers need quite a lot of sleeping off).

    Yes, lots of fun, with a truly wonderful ending. But (and I realise some eyebrows will be raised by the use of the word “but”):

    In a way, I saw the story as a mixture of two separate aproaches to writing. The first (the Christmas pantomime Diamond heist) had less of the feel of a Moffat story and more the feel of a RTD story. The second (the Doctor and River and the singing towers of Darillium) was pure Moffat. I liked the first part and I absolutely loved the second.

    But I was struck by the strange mixture of an “RTD feel” and a “Moffat feel”, if you know what I mean.

    An who would have thought anoraks would still be around in the 54th century…?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  The “24 years” line wasn’t delivered in a “whey-hey, we have 24 years bab-eee, let’s go rock my …”
    It was as it should be. The Doctor is a star system, a sunset, a monolith (You know, if you really check out those words there’s a little bit of the naughty in them).  But as Missy said “we humans.”

    Puro Solo  — Well, most of us, a good deal of the time . . . but if the Doctor didn’t *like* having us around, along with our over-active and madly imaginative libidos, why does he keep picking us up?  Missy hates humans because she’s *jealous* (and she has an over-sensitive nose).  Maybe we’re the best *audience* available in the universe, to an inveterate show-off?  Tell you what — Dr. Tardis clearly thinks we’re “good” for him in some significant way, or she wouldn’t let any of us on board, would she.

    I too occasionally dream of the Doctor.  Or, to be more precise, of sitting in on production meetings (?) which Peter C. is also attending (slacks, t-shirts).  He’s there on business; I’m just kibbitzing.  We have a sort of relaxed acquaintanceship there.  It’s weird, but also completely in character (mine).  Apart from my own work in story-telling, I’m a pretty pragmatic person.  You’d think I could cut loose a bit more in my dream life, at least!  (Well, I used to — there was that one about the Samurai and the raccoon-fish at the Villa Adriana reflecting pool . . . Looney Tunes — wish I had more of that lately!)

    Maybe I’m the one as needs the halluci

    Ichi (also loves the suit)





     The first (the Christmas pantomime Diamond heist) had less of the feel of a Moffat story and more the feel of a RTD story.

    I think you are right, but it would not at all surprise me if Moffat aimed for exactly that effect.

    This is not the River Song we have travelled with since season 5. It is the River Song from immediately before we first met her in the Library. Twelve knows exactly the force of nature that is hurtling towards Ten, but also knows everything that came after and before, and I think we are seeing her very much through his eyes.

    Remember, River Song is a Moffat creation and he rarely loses sight of his characters and understands the craft of storytelling as well as anyone.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Actually, I think Moffat understands the craft of storytelling better than most. And he may well have been consciously aiming to give the first part a RTD feel for the reasons you give. Perhaps it just that, for me, I respond so much better to a Moffat universe than to a RTD universe. Or maybe it just says something about me and Christmas pantomimes!

    But if this really is the last we see of River Song, it was a glorious send-off. The final image of a mature Doctor and a mature River looking into each other’s eyes…well…I am speaking, not just as a rank sentimentalist, but as a rank middle-aged sentimentalist!


    Mersey @mersey

    My first thought after 20-30 minutes was ‘I would prefer an episode with a proper christmas message taking place on Earth’. But then this a bit rubbish in my opinion story about a big red robot finished and the christmas special came to conclusion. A marvelous and beautiful conclusion. And it’s really worth seeing only for these few minutes. There’s something really special between the Doctor and River or even maybe between Capaldi and Kingston. I didn’t see that between him and Clara/Coleman.

    My favourite christmas special still remains Christmas Invasion but this ending will be definitely high in my ranking.


    Random thought, part deux, or b):

    24 years. Just enough time to raise a perky young control freak, fabricate a history and plonk her in Missy’s path.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    Killing off River would be a huge mistake she’s one of the most unique characters of the franchise with the right actress playing her. They left her mind trapped in a planet sized library I think someone as clever as she is would use all that knowledge and a teleporter that converts matter to energy and vise versa talk about the ultimate 3d printer lol  to restore her body and even possibly build a tardis

    She is an expert at escapes and has some knowledge of TL tech (though not it would seem enough to build a tardis), and presumably has access to the knowledge of the library, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that she could find a way to be restored from the library computer, so there’s room for the character to be reintroduced in that way.

    For that matter, their last night together in Darillium apparently can last 24 years, so there would seem to be room for them to head off together and complete a fair few adventures following on from this episode. The Doctor is without a regular companion at this point and might welcome a companion who is more an equal, and less someone to whom he feels a “duty of care” at this stage, even without considering his feelings for River.

    I don’t think that’s all that likely to happen though, since I think the writers (and especially a new show runner) are more likely to want to have the freedom of a new companion, and regardless of how you and I feel, the River character hasn’t been universally popular.


    Oh, and- Stephen Fry?

    Paired with River though… paired with the Doctor, or perhaps both, at least tangentially, might have been a more interesting reference 🙂

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @tardigrade: I think the pattern is that in the new series, Doctors have one companion with an extreme emotional relationship, and then a follow-up companion they can hold more at arms length.  Thus the Tennant Doctor had Rose, the Smith Doctor had Amy, and the Capaldi Doctor had Clara as their extremely close emotional companions, but then the Tennant Doctor had Donna and the Smith Doctor had Clara to cool down with.  Thus I expect the next companion for the Capaldi Doctor to be one with whom he is more emotionally distant, distant enough to where he’s not going to go crazy if he loses her.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Puro Solo,  the little reference to Clara’s tune when River begs the Doctor to find a loophole and he says “sometimes things end”,

    Okay, that answers my major question: this is CapDoc *post-Clara*, having traveled back in time to a Christmas season between Angels Take Manhattan and Silence in the Library.  This is the echo we need of the closing of the Clara/CapDoc arc — the long lesson of learning to connect + learning to let go because “sometimes things end.”  How beautiful . . .

    @janetteb  I just love Moffat’s skill at turning the light and funny to tragic.

    He understands how they’re two sides of the same coin, I think, and has a fine touch in modulating between them.  You’re right, it’s a distinct skill, and not that common, either.

    everything I have read suggests that Capaldi is loving being the Doctor and happy to continue for years. Not sure everyone loves River Song either.

    Capaldi says, most recently that I’ve seen, that he’d like to do other things, so I imagine that if Moffat left and somebody unacceptable took over in his place, Capaldi might well go rather than stay with a job that became a conflict-ridden chore.  His agent is doubtless on the lookout for a promising next step.  But I don’t think Capaldi is  *looking* for an exit at this point.  He jokes about how it’s just his Scottish gloom that keeps him mindful that all good things must end.  Maybe S9 has had something to do with that, too . . . ?

    As for River Song, I never liked her — her brassiness felt forced and unnatural to me.  But here, she was just right.

    @arbutus  People who see CapDoc as only grim and cranky are missing the sense of humour that is always bubbling away just underneath the grumpy exterior.

    Even in Heaven Sent — “I’ve run out of corridor — there’s a life summed up — ”

    @mersey  There’s something really special between the Doctor and River or even maybe between Capaldi and Kingston. I didn’t see that between him and Clara/Coleman.

    per @blenkinsopthebrave  I think it’s maturity of both the characters and their relationship, vs. an older mentor as teacher and protector of a much younger apprentice/companion — something solid with mutual regard, vs. something temporary in the sense of fatally lopsided.

    @pedant  24 years. Just enough time to raise a perky young control freak, fabricate a history and plonk her in Missy’s path.

    More, please?  Who would do that, and why?  Someone with mischief in mind, but it’s a hell of a long shot, with no guarantee that Missy would in turn pass this young woman on to the Doctor — ?

    @tardigrade  The Doctor is without a regular companion at this point and might welcome a companion who is more an equal, and less someone to whom he feels a “duty of care” at this stage

    Gawd, I should think so — and he’d know that River isn’t going to get killed during that time, which might be a pleasant relief for a change.

    @jphamlore   I expect the next companion for the Capaldi Doctor to be one with whom he is more emotionally distant, distant enough to where he’s not going to go crazy if he loses her.

    *When* he loses her, as he must (unless he does die first, which is pretty unlikely).  I’d like to see him follow through on returning to the scenes of some of his “mistakes” and trying to deal better with them, or make amends for bad outcomes (not as easy as it might seem, I think).  He could pick up temporary passengers on his travels, people (and creatures) with their own motives for moving on, before settling on a new steady companion.  That would be one way to dial the emotional temperature in the Tardis down a bit, and also get him used to playing his part in that lesson Clara taught him, about letting go when it’s time to do that.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    24 years. Just enough time to raise a perky young control freak, fabricate a history and plonk her in Missy’s path.

    I don’t know if there’s an incentive for the Doctor & River to want to do that or a suggestion that Clara could have been part TL, but even if not, you may well be onto something… 24 years is just about right to allow for the Doctor’s companion in the next series to be a daughter or son with River (doesn’t fit with the idea that the companion is not emotionally attached of course :-). That would be an interesting proposition – the Doctor hasn’t traveled with family in a long time.

    If the Doctor doesn’t start a new series with a companion, then I wouldn’t mind seeing him needing to work with Missy for a while (possibly to combat a mutual enemy in Rassilon?). Couldn’t be a long term thing, but given their love-hate relationship, it would be an attractive setup for a story arc over a few episodes.

    Kharis @kharis

    This is from an old post long before we knew River was coming back, and the original back and forth on this topic can be found in the Silence in the Library thread.  I still feel the exactly the same, and so why rewrite?  🙂  @tardigrade and others wondering how River will find a way to project from the Library, well, I think we see it with Tasha Lem:

    “Some of my ideas center around Smith not being River’s Doctor, considering my theories in the above comment #40818.  Smith’s Doctor did say he was going to the Singing Towers with her that night, but like in the above comment, he was not sporting a new haircut or new suit.  The 11th did think it was an important trip, but it could have been important for another reason and became their special spot.  In the Library she didn’t say it was her first time at the Singing Towers.  I think SitL is an incredibly important episode on so many levels, and in my view we have yet to see half of it seen through. After watching this two-part episode again I am positive River was merely uploaded and CAL is Clara.  I don’t think River’s Doctor is Smith alone, I truly believe it’s a later Doctor, possibly the current Doctor.  I believe Tasha Lem is River reaching out from the Library through another mainframe.  Tasha does mean birthday and Lem means owned by God or Great One.  I also think it’s interesting that the new Doctor has styled his TARDiS as a library.”

    So, at the very least we see River has created a Papal Mainframe for herself.  Which would also explain why Tasha could withstand the physical Dalek attack, since it is a Tasha avatar controlled from the Library.

    Missy @missy

    So everyone, does the Doctor refer to Clara and what happened to her in any way?

    I am bursting to watch the special, but afraid of spoilers.

    There it sits in my recorder and there I am resisting it.



    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    River asks how did he get another regeneration, and The Doctor says “a thing happened”

    Question, does he remember?

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @missy- no mentions of Clara- and it’s otherwise safe from a spoiler point of view if you missed other episodes in this series.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    River asks how did he get another regeneration, and The Doctor says “a thing happened”
    Question, does he remember?

    I didn’t think there was a suggestion he’d forgotten- only that it would be complex to explain (and of no benefit in moving the story forward for him to do so).

    Missy @missy


    Thank you so much for the info. Now i can watch tonight – can’t wait.



    Missy @missy


    I has just occurred to me that you might wonder why I didn’t want any spoilers.Some of the members know.

    I ordered Series 9 from Amazon, so didn’t watch the last 6 episodes, preferring to wait

    until I get the DVD.

    However, the Christmas special I could watch, as long as there were no references to Clara’s leaving the show.

    Makes sense now doesn’t it.

    Thanks again,



    @ichabod @tardigrade

    It was simply a riff on the idea that we have yet to have River’s enigmatic remark from Name of the Doctor explained. They have a 24 year long night to do some ‘splainin’, so to speak. Make (or more likely adopt) human kiddywink. Arrange for her to be adopted on Earth (I think it was @bluesqueakpip who noted that we did not see a woman-in-labour scene is any flashback of Clara’s youth). Then nudge her into Missy’s path, knowing she would not be able to resist the bait.

    I would expect none of this to take up much screen time, since Jenna is of on her new adventure.


    Canon tells us that Charlotte Abigail Lux is a daughter of the foundering family of the Library, so I will be surprised if CAL is Clara. However, it is not beyond credibility that River’s highly pointed reaction to Clara during the seance may suggest that from her PoV she is already in the Library, “saved”.

    Anonymous @


    Sorry, this is the Doctor Who Forum?

    You may have missed that and be orbiting on another show, actually.

    A show where the ratings are going “down”. The ratings for this particular show are holding high and steady as she goes with overnights and downloads a particular success. It has Capaldi in it  -this particular programme. But not Local Hero or The Thick of It which certainly did lose its ratings and had the odd dud story. You may well be thinking of that one.


    (Thank you for mentioning ahem the – HHGTG). Indeed, 24 years to create a control freak> nice idea.

    @ichabod yes modulation is a perfect word -to @janetteb

    I too liked how he was able to create the true tragi-comedy -those lines about death and biographies (“so you” says Donna) echoed back from SitL to Husbands of River Song.

    @mersey Contrary to some, I didn’t see the Hydroflax story a silly romp and unnecessary: it set up what River was doing, who she was’ what she entailed as a human with an extended life ‘plan’ -returning a diamond back to its people whilst killing the creature who ate his defeated enemies  dead or alive. This is the River with contingency plans who understands the universe where “genocide comes to kick back.” and where even the staff have “verifiable slaughter of innocents.” What a message for our times. Not to mention the concept of social media -the “vernacular interface”  saying “chill” and “recommendation: you need a new head”. Gawd, a species which can defeat its own head: talk about a metaphor! Then there’s the clever borrowed quips: “need something to read on a train spaceship” as well as the secret stash of brandy “don’t tell daddy” -keep ‘mum’ -that gesture was hilarious.

    @blenkinsopthebrave -rank sentimentalist -I’m with you there too! And standing proud -sometimes with umbrella as walking stick, sometimes leaning against the proverbial Tardis hat stand.

    @arbutus “a reflection in a pool” was lovely imagery there, thank you: I’ll ponder that. I was thinking of that perfect twin relationship when a word is stated, a look is given and the other responds delicately  with understanding. Not “super souls” or that malarkey 🙂 but moments in flux and stillness.

    G’night all, it’s late and been a bit of a day, as they say (and with that rhyme there’re points!)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Another thing I thought was amusing, and not sure if this has already been commented on, but the Doctor flipping back (or forward?) in time to arrange for the building of the restaurant and booking the table, was strangely reminiscent of Moffat’s gag in The Curse of the Fatal Death–“I went back in time and bribed the architect…”


    Mersey @mersey


    Let’s say that’s not my kind of poetics. I remember River from the Big Bang, the Time of Angels and A Good Man Goes to War and I think I prefer her in a less festive mood (she was more like Mels than like River from the Library).

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Yes, I think I agree with you. I felt that when River realized the Doctor was in fact the Doctor, the tone changed. And it was that later part of the story that I really liked. I think your comparison with Mels is a good one. And that was part of my hesitation in embracing the pantomime diamond heist part of the story. Whereas by the end she had become the River who was tempered (matured even?) by her love for the Doctor.

    Anonymous @

    Hi all.  Forgive me for going off topic (ish) but I am desperately in search of tickets to The Husbands of River Song tonight at the Empire theatre in NYC.  I haven’t seen the episode, and I’ve managed to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page without inadvertently reading spoilers.

    Help me and my nerdy friends see the episode on the big screen!

    (also, I’m a complete noob and can’t figure out how to start a new topic for the ticket request, so any help doing that and/or referrals to friends with the actual tickets greatly appreciated)


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @blenkinsopthebrave: I like the speculation that the Doctor did much more than that:  The Doctor went back in time and arranged for the construction of the Singing Towers of Darillium himself.

    @ichabod: I agree completely with your ideas on how to transition the Doctor to a more balanced emotional relationship with his companions.  Unfortunately I have a sinking feeling there has been a reduction in both time and resources available to showrunner Steven Moffat, time in particular since he is juggling Sherlock.  This last season in particular I think there was a decision to concentrate all new character development on Maisie Williams’ Ashildr.  Other than Maisie Williams, almost all of the Doctor’s best interactions Season 9 were with old favorites brought back.  That is why I have my doubts the show is capable anymore of introducing a string of memorable new characters in one season and why I have speculated Moffat may have Capaldi double-up as a villain next season.

    @puroandson: As for the final fate of River Song in the Library, I did have the thought it could be similar to the end of Plato’s The Republic, the Myth of Er, that has Odysses the last to choose picking through all the lives that had yet to be chosen until he found one that was a quiet life, completely different from the one he had had.  I now wonder if the Doctor will use the last 24-year night on Darillium to slow down River’s hyperactivity to transition her to a much more peaceful eternal existence.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore   The Doctor went back in time and arranged for the construction of the Singing Towers of Darillium himself.

    What a delightful thought!  Making good use of his Heaven Sent experience in breaking down the unwanted rock around and between the towers, only with tools this time . . . tuning them, now, that would take real genius!

    ideas on how to transition the Doctor to a more balanced emotional relationship with his companions. Unfortunately I have a sinking feeling

    Ah, well, maybe — but my feelings refuse to sink.  Juggling Sherlock (hmm, interesting visuals there — ah, never mind) was predicted to have been a drag on S9 as well, but I haven’t seen signs of any such influence.  As for using someone already developed, certainly if resources have been pared down (?  Any news on that, re $?) productions will be affected, but from Moffat’s comments on striking out in new directions with S10, re-using older, more  developed characters isn’t in the works, at least not nearly as much as we’ve seen in S9.  I’ve got my doubts about doubling Capaldi’s role, since his schedule is already pretty damn heavy, and they won’t want to burn him out (if that’s even possible for a true fanboy like him, late fifties or not!).

    Besides, I’m still stuffed from the 2-yr banquet the Moffat/Capaldi/Coleman/Gold feast that was laid on for us in these last two series.  For once, my afflictive impatience has quieted down to a hectic background mumble.

    Of course, it’s not even 2016 yet . . .

    As to the Myth of Er — some reincarnation theory includes that idea — that between lives a soul chooses the (proposed) path of their next one, and a “resting life” is one option, though one seldom chosen by younger souls.


    @ichabod @jphamlore

    • The Doctor went back in time and arranged for the construction of the Singing Towers of Darillium himself.
      • What a delightful thought!  Making good use of his Heaven Sent

    I think the story we saw is much more interesting: the a courageous everyman who was rewarded for trying to find survivors in a dangerous crash site.

     some reincarnation theory includes that idea

    I think the term you were looking for was “made up stuff”, not “theory”.

    Brewski @brewski

    Well add my voice to the chorus of “Loved the Episode”!

    @pedant intriguing idea!  And consider that River knows a lot about Clara. Certainly at some point in those 24 years she will mention that. And the Doctor is just as certain to want to learn everything he can from her.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   much more interesting: the a courageous everyman who was rewarded for trying to find survivors in a dangerous crash site.

    Well, no; that’s a magic man with no need for money taking steps to get a treasure home to its current owners with the reward going to somebody who may or may not be interested in the restaurant business on Darillium, assuming that somebody doesn’t end up jailed for stealing the diamond in the first place (“What, some guy in a flying police box touched down long enough to *give* this to you?”).  Sweet, works in the story, but not intrinsically interesting, IMO.

    As for the other part of my post, above, not a term I was looking for, although the one I chose was not as precise as it should have been.  To those doing research at Stanford, the University of Virginia, and several other reputable places (just in the States) that I can’t look up without losing my text here, it’s at least an hypothesis, with evidence gathered over the past 40 yrs or so under ongoing investigation.  So far as I’m aware, the Materialist position (am I wrong in that interpretation of your response?) isn’t a theory, either; to those not wedded to it, it’s a point of view.

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @pedant

    I can hypothesise I shall eat toad for breakfast. I can do that at Yale, Standford or the local crappy college down the road.

    It’s probably better to say “it’s made up”.

    I think with the everyman, we have discoveries of him all over the place; in real life, in Grimm, in great fiction -it could start with the woman who finds a pet belonging to a Mafia member -a very expensive one and isn’t bashed up for stealing it because she really did find it and did get a reward for little “Busty” (it was the guy’s dead wife the dog was named after):)

    Anonymous @

    @hewito hallo and welcome.

    Here some of us are all nobs.! Nobs should converge and say “rah!”.

    Or not.

    You cannot start a new topic anywhere I’m afraid but head over to the Pub or On the Sofa and ask there if you like. The UK contingent may be heading off to sleep as it’s nearing 12.30 am. But the Mercians are still up -er, obviously. Also the Canadians. Though that’s just me being ….me…


    Son and Puro (or the Hybrid)



    Well, no; that’s a magic man with no need for money taking steps to get a treasure home to its current owners

    Way to denigrate the person who had just been searching for survivors, as far as we can tell selflessly, something the Doctor believed was very brave. And there are no shortage of institutions with a preference for remaining discreet that will accept returned property, no questions asked. The Swiss banking system springs to mind. Nor would the rescuer have had any reason to identify the Tardis as a police box. “OK, so I thought they were looking for survivors, or maybe used an escape pod, but now I’m not so sure. But he said there was a reward for this”. It is easy to do it in a non-tendentious way, see?

    And, again, there is the text. What was actually said. What actually happened.

    (There are several university chairs sponsored by wealthy woo believers (one at the University of Edinburgh, for example, invested by Arthur Koestler, after Oxford. Cambridge, King’s College London and University College, London all refused.) Doesn’t stop it being evidence free, and therefore theory-free woo, and doesn’t it make it even a hypothesis. And the NHS, for all its splendours, still carries the stigma of funding homeopathy – though hopefully for not much longer. Assertions are not hypotheses, just made up stuff.)

    currentlystreaming @currentlystreaming

    I agree with you 100%. This episode was fun and a great farwell to River Song. See my recap and review here:


    @ichabod @puroandson


    About 20 years ago, when I worked in the City of London, a colleague was walking to work when he saw an envelope fall from a courier’s bag. He picked it up and discovered it contained £40m sterling of unmarked Certificates of Deposit. Knowing they they rightfully belonged to Union Bank if Switzerland, he walked to their office asandasked if they had lost anything. They were in a state of some panic and rewarded him with, iirc, £4000 cash on the spot.

    My flatmate at the time was a money broker and said that, had he found them and had the been dollar CDs he would have been on the first flight to the Caymans.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @ichabod

    Wow, that’s a good story. Me saving “busty” in Melbourne wasn’t as good but I got a couple of grand from that, a tour of the house and more importantly a tour of his garage which apart from power tools (yikes) also had two wonderful Austin DBs and a 1971 ( I think) Volvo sports car. Yellow. Not bad at all.

    <I digress> But yes ‘everyman’ stories abound. But you know, “our opinion” says hybrid. We’re open minded -Son is nudging me to be so and I will be!! 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @pedant

    I must own to being confused. Apologies. I assumed you meant the materialist position was the hypothesis or perhaps the idea of the “account of er” -in other words, a faith/belief system which some propagate in spiritual circles and which involves the daughters of destiny and most importantly, for Who, the many whorls of spiritual ‘increase’ (reminiscent @jphamlore of the moving Tardis console which you picked up several months ago) -which IS a thought process dignified at Standford (sorry but at Yale they call it ‘Standford’ -because the lectures were over-full and, like Aeroflot, people had to stand in the aisles!) and at other reputable universities. Could we agree it’s a thought process or spiritual nourishment view and not an hypothesis following the Platonic mode of thought?

    Son and Puro   he did the spelling 🙂

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