The Husbands Of River Song

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    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The spaceship is, I think, a bit of a joke on RTD’s Titanic. That is, the person who escapes with his life from the Titanic is the total sh*t (most of the decent people die). Here, all the total sh*ts are deservedly dead and the bloke who gets the diamond is someone who did the brave and decent thing of checking for survivors.

    There’s then a second joke that the Doctor, to go on a date with River, had to build the flippin’ hotel first.

    Anonymous @

    hang on there people @ichabod @jphamlore @pedant  -We are onto something fun!

    I think that the Account of Er is an interesting one based on the idea of the whole Platonic account in which Socrates is obv embedded. The spinning whorls, the daughters of destiny, the concept of forgetting one’s after life and predestined existence for their next life and the idea of being able to watch as another person  loses their memory having drunk from the poppies of Lethe -turned into a delicious iced water-back! Er did this and perhaps in this manner, ichi, he is Clara -watching the Doctor lose his memory as her picture falls to the ground.

    In Heaven Sent the Doctor is repeating his every action -half aware only, every time -much like Er and those before him as he watches: an observer.

    When Er awakes, he’s on the pyre and this to me is a reminder of the wasteland of Darillium which at the time is an inferno from the ship’s crash.

    Later, it’s transformed into something beautiful: almost heavenly, and a near- ‘eternity’ awaits River and her Doctor.

    Mmm. Must ponder.

    Also: in the Husbands of RS we have the Doctor aware of River’s destiny and yet she’s unable to fully grasp it without the Doctor’s clarity of time or the fullness of time and he’s cursed with knowing the inevitable (as Er did, but temporarily, watching as the mortals drank at the Waters of Lethe)

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I am sorry if I created an argument.  I just wanted to speculate if from what we have seen of the character River Song, would she be happy to be confined for an eternity in the virtual reality of the Library.

    At least people should be happy that the Doctor did not swipe himself with River’s sonic screwdriver before he handed it to her.  The episode explains why River would not think it good to have a copy of the Doctor to spend eternity with her.  At least there wasn’t a rhyme with how Rose got her own copy of the Tenth Doctor, only improved for her as a match, to spend a lifetime with.

    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore @ichabod

    Son of Puro (did Mum go all over the top again?) I have to mention she had a few rough nights and so is all over the place but it’s OK.

    no, no apologies: all of these are debates with fun and some occasional “oh geez” -this is the stuff which makes us all think and I love that. We all care for each other and it’s good to tag a person and say :”yes: or “no” I don’t think so, so don’t worry at all.

    Puro went over the top too with her story of “busty” the stolen pet -a true one though and very funny. I only heard it on xmas eve when we were doing charades which I’m crap at by the way. Do you play charades?

    I agree with the part about how River (and not Clara or young Me) understood travelling with him forever would be a serious problem and I get that: it’s a very good point absolutely. She is the real clever companion but do you think she could be having more journeys with him? I haven’t read all the posts. Mum has read some aloud to me but I need to do some checking and reading today though we are going to the films today.

    I think her story, imo, is finished now. I loved her a lot although Mum found her annoying a lot of the time in her earlier series with Smith. But I remember I didn’t think that.

    Thank you for reading,

    Son of P xo to all. 🙂


    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Could we agree it’s a thought process or spiritual nourishment view and not an hypothesis following the Platonic mode of thought?

    Sure, no problem here.  ‘Tis not the season to be arguing.

    Anonymous @


    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

    Hi there Miss Ichi, Son here. I was doing some goggling and came up with eliminative materialism? Is that what you were referring to?

    Because there’s some ideas out there which say that ‘love’ ‘need’ ‘desire’ and other feelings aren’t properly defined and are down to biological imperatives which we simply haven’t understood yet and there are philosophers who believe in this concept. I wonder if that’s what you were referring to?

    So, the fella who finds the ship and the diamond isn’t doing what we think but rather is carrying out a desire which isn’t something we can define yet properly?

    Anyway, just checking. Amazing what’s on the internet, eh?

    Thankyou, Son of P xo

    Anonymous @

    hot darn dear @ichabod our posts crossed! Sorry ’bout thart!

    Yes, I think  we can say it’s an idea or hypothesis if what you were referring to was this eliminative determinism and materialism concept. This amazes me because I’d never heard of that. These philosophers say that our ideas about desire and love are like the ideas of the flat earth believers in the medival period. So that we’ll eventually completely change! How amazing is that. There’s so much in this episode and I haven’t dug half of it up yet. 🙂

    Mum saw it three times, me twice and I was a bit “oh this isn’t arc-y enough” which Mum said was snotty of me and she was right! Hmmm. Moffat, I will miss him terribly.

    Thank you Son

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson     I don’t think any Mercians are still up. I’m pretty sure they’re all dead. Unless you mean these guys…    🙂


    nerys @nerys


    Rewatched and spotted the new sonic near the end in the control room.  However, it was on screen for less than 30 seconds.  I’m not the only one who missed it.  The closed captions writer thought it was the sonic trowel.

    I’m about to do a rewatch, but if I recall correctly, River did have a sonic trowel. The Doctor thought it quite silly and, during this episode, gave her his sonic as a gift.

    Also, I noticed the sonic sunglasses made another appearance here. I mistakenly thought he’d left those on the counter at Clara’s diner.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @nerys: I think the Doctor through much of the episode was hoping River Song would recognize him but did not want to do something completely obvious that would announce his presence such as pulling out the sonic screwdriver.  Thus the use as you have noted of the glasses at one point.

    I love the idea of the glasses and hope for even more radical equipment such as a sonic jacket or other article of clothing.  Think of the Doctor having the equivalent of the thousands of hairs a spider uses to “hear”:


    janetteB @janetteb

    @jphalmore Moffat has been “juggling” Sherlock for as long as he has been showrunner of Who. I am getting rather tired of that old “chestnut” being used again and again. In fact he seems to have found time to kick off a new series.

    @puroandson  I enjoyed the story about “busty” the dog and the Account of Er.

    I would disagree that this isn’t an “arc” story but the arc referred to goes back to SiL which I really want to re watch now. It is “arc-light” however as a Christmas special should be. It is intended to appeal to the casual seasonal viewer as well as us die hard fans. I think Moffat did and excellent job of juggling that. (I am a hopelessly sentimental fan of the Christmas specials) .

    As to the materialist position on “Love” I wonder if it takes into account theories on Altruism. It is a materialistic theory, that we have evolved as instinctively altruistic because we are social beings and altruism and cooperation are essential for societies to function. Animals, especially those who live within some form of societal structure also display altruist behaviours.  The altruism of the rescue worker therefor does fit into a materialistic understanding, (or at least in my understanding of the theory of materialism.)



    janetteB @janetteb

    @arbutus and @Puroandson

    I hope any resident Mercians here are fine. Right not it sounds as though much of “Mercia” is under water. (Gotta love the government saying, just get used to this kind of thing and waterproof your homes. I wonder if they are going to provide any guidelines as to how to do that or give out any financial assistance for it.)

    This poor planet of ours is bit of a mess right now. We need the Doctor.. because there is a distinct lack of altruism being displayed by our governments as well as a even more distinct lack of “duty of care”.



    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore I’m really sad to hear that Steven may only have one season left on Doctor Who,  but I’m torn because Sherlock is my (other) favorite TV show.

    @kharis I think I had a very similar reaction to the episode.  It was emotional and unexpected. I had hoped for an episode like this soon,  but I hadn’t expected it to be THIS episode.

    Favorite moments:

    1. Flow chart

    2. Bigger on the inside

    3. A night lasting 24 years

    I really like the conclusion to River’s story.

    I felt like River was me talking to Steven when she said I hate you and the Doctor said No you don’t.  Steven is really my favorite writer.

    aclevername @aclevername

    Saw it tonight in the theater. I thought it was fantastic. Funny, poignant, just perfect.

    I am confused. Didn’t The Doctor mention spending time with River in an episode from last season when he was undercover at Clara’s school?

    Anonymous @


    Hi there! And happy Christmas and soon to be new year to you.

    Yes, he did say that. I believe that in The Caretaker episode he was talking about hiding from River during a row and staying with otters. I believe he meant his previous incarnation  -as Eleven. But well spotted.

    She would have assumed that he, as Eleven, hadn’t regenerated because he could not -not being party to the events pre Deep Breath.

    @janetteb I’m with you -I think Son thought it would be arc-free and was annoyed that would be so! Even before he saw it (clearly a pessimist). After watching it, he happily changed his mind. But yes, arc-light is a great way to describe it.

    I’m with you on the govt and the general behaviour of the conservatives in saying ‘look after yourself’ when govts and corporations have got us into trouble. It sort of reminds me of insular businesses saying to family and domestic consumers: don’t buy plastic water bottles and turn off or remove your air con (I agree with the whole plastic thing and even the air con thing) but hilariously, every time you see the ABC or Channel 10 panels for example (and I also note panels in ‘Merica -whether for drama comi-cons or for ‘serious’ telly) I find they are the ones with the plastic water bottles, sporting leather jackets, instant coffee in throwaway mugs in air-conditioned buildings made of glass!

    Head to Bunnings and you can buy a $1 plastic bottle of water (no doubt just tap) if you purchase a cheap plastic other-thing.



    I agree -wonderful. I love SM too. He’s a gifted person. And talks a mile a minute. 🙂


    Puro and Son

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  Here, all the total sh*ts are deservedly dead and the bloke who gets the diamond is someone who did the brave and decent thing of checking for survivors.

    Okay, got that; just to put my own comment in context, locally, some of us USians are a bit raw on such subjects, per this (yet another instance of what should be a massive cause of public *shame*, but I fear most Murcans won’t even notice — anyway, no offense intended):

    @jphamore  I am sorry if I created an argument.

    Don’t be sorry; you didn’t.  I think I did, but I’ve no intention of taking it any further.

    @puroandson  Son of Puro — I’m lousy at charades too, but years ago when we were new to New Mexico we used to play a game in the car when the kids (2) were sightseeing with us, each of us challenging the others to come up with a pun and a story that made it work — well, sort of.  N.M. has great geology, strata like made lying all over the place, and somebody came up with the Great Nonconformity, which ended up in a story about some interfaith shenanigans in a very cold Buddhist monastery, ending in “Let me know, says the Abbot, when nun come for mitty .  . . ”  Fortunately, with four of us in the car there was no space for doing it in charade-form.  Oh, wild times in the old Dodge Dart, I am telling you . . . !

    eliminative materialism? Is that what you were referring to?  Because there’s some ideas out there which say that ‘love’ ‘need’ ‘desire’ and other feelings aren’t properly defined and are down to biological imperatives which we simply haven’t understood yet and there are philosophers who believe in this concept.

    No, that’s a new thing to me.  I meant “materialism” as opposed to maybe “spiritualism”, that is the idea (sorry, all,  if I’m over simplifying here, but I am becoming simpler and simpler as time goes on) that if you can’t *measure* it, it’s to all intents and purposes not “real”, so there is no spiritual (or, if you prefer, supernatural) aspect to the universe because despite all sorts of religious etc. claims no measurements acceptable to science have verified such an aspect.  I suppose e. materialism as you describe it is a related idea: reducing all behaviors to basic biological drives because changes in your biological body (hormone levels etc.) can be measured and tracked scientifically, but the emotions behind a conversation about love between two lovers can’t be grasped directly.  I’m very much a measurement person when it comes to the things that measurement can measure: moving a physical body around in a physical world full of sharp edges, blunt bulk, distances to fall if you don’t look where you’re going, etc.

    The things I experience in my mind, which (so far) are only scientifically measurable to a very limited extent, I regard differently, and take as indicators of other dimensions of being and meaning where measurability in our terms does not (so far) apply in any meaningful way.  I have no interest in trying to convince people who dismiss this point of view to take it seriously, though.  Anyone with an interest can easily find out tons about it via their own research, same as with other stuff — as you say, Google, plus the good old library.

    The man the Doctor gives the diamond to is, IMO, not obeying some elaborately rationalized biological drive, but doing what he says he’s doing: looking for survivors to help, for the usual reasons that social animals like us sometimes help each other.  I don’t think, though, that finer measurement of the observable phenomena accompanying love and desire will change our understanding of those concepts appreciably any time soon.  Someday, who knows?

    I found “Husbands” arc-y in a satisfying way, once I realized that the Doctor has gone back in time after Clara’s time with him, and brings with him a new acceptance of the necessity for endings (instead of avoiding or fighting them the way he was inclined to do before Hell Bent).  That was highlighted with a light and thoughtful touch that I liked very much, and that gave added depth to HB, for me.  And don’t miss Moffat yet; he’s got another season to go, at least!

    Puro Solo — being able to watch as another person loses their memory having drunk from the poppies of Lethe -turned into a delicious iced water-back! Er did this and perhaps in this manner, ichi, he is Clara -watching the Doctor lose his memory as her picture falls to the ground.

    Ah, that’s lovely; yeah.  That image (of an image shrugged off by the Tardis as it takes off for a different life) haunts me as nothing else in Hell Bent does.  Memory, loss of, is in my thoughts quite a bit these days, of course, so maybe that’s why.

    When Er awakes, he’s on the pyre and this to me is a reminder of the wasteland of Darillium which at the time is an inferno from the ship’s crash.  Later, it’s transformed into something beautiful: almost heavenly, and a near- ‘eternity’ awaits River and her Doctor.

    But the Doctor has had his own pyre, hasn’t he, in the transporter room of the Castle, burning up over and over.  Does something beautiful come of it?  Escape; revenge, Oddyseus-style cleverness, but Eurydice can’t wake fully to life; acceptance, and departure. It’ll do.




    Anonymous @


    just getting back to your altruism discussion which I think is very interesting both in light of the episode and considering recent events and governmental oversights: the idea that the people who pursue self interest and analogous deviant behaviour are attracted to such activities as they provide both easy, immediate and constant gratification. The motivation to engage in wayward behaviour is seen as relative across all peoples.

    The glue restraining people from the enticements of crime are social bonds thru family and self control gradients -yep, this is a hobby of mine; not crime (!) but understanding the concepts of deviant behaviour vs altruistic measurements.

    It was intriguing to see River Song in her archaeologist and ‘criminal’ mode where she spoke in a rushed manner about a “conscience, if I had one” -and of course she does, though it developed oddly. 🙂

    Certainly she is insistent upon returning the diamond to the Helasi (?) but not without a hefty reward. Although I felt that part was somewhat confused what with the diamond happily falling into her partially diaphanous outfit and full bodice and the funny lines surrounding the scene: “I’m better than good” etc..- somewhat vain, River, a tad, maybe? 🙂

    And I’m fine with that. This is one confident woman and that I’ve really missed. Clara had a confident manner too -and for some reason it annoyed me. That clearly is my flaw so I need to figure out why I didn’t enjoy the confidence displayed by Clara & yet I don’t mind it so much in River (though there were certain episodes with Smith when it went too far -again, a problem with me – that I would question displays of confidence).

    As to SitL -totally with you there. I watched it again yesterday and was moved again by its beauty as a 2 parter.

    I hope the fires in your part of the State have not taken too many animals? News of this is constant up here where we see Police rescuing the cuddly koalas but the problem is substantially bigger than that and goes to what you were discussing about the planet-sized problem we have -and we’re not facing it correctly.

    How to do so is beyond me but I’d say stopping the production of plastic water bottles would be a start. When I used to scuba dive off the Sydney coast, the amount of junk we’d find wrapped around dead fish was awful. Of the 5 or so hours we’d be out across several days, we’d spend 1 hour cleaning up the shoals. It was mess then. Now, heavens knows…



    Anonymous @


    I agree (having read the page Son was checking before he ducked out to the films) that phenomena of love and desire whilst not measurable can’t be avoided or dismissed. Though I guess they can measure desire and other elements in the brain using MRIs and stimulants which affect and track how the brain responds to images certainly. I myself would prefer it to remain a ‘glorious kind of play’ or mystery. But science will out, I suppose -it usually does.

    Gosh: your charades sounded very difficult indeed. I would most definitely have lost. Years ago when it was all the rage, I was so terrified of party games I’d leave! Now, introducing them to Son and other family members I’ve had to explain gently that simply repeating the same gesture over and over whilst others remain confused leads to insanity! I had to do some ‘teaching’ as games like this seem to have disappeared in the classroom-what a shame. There are rules too. I’ve had to insist that the person standing ‘up’ must not speak!! (also they should avoid cursing at the stupidity of those desperately trying to work out what’s going on!)

    On one level River and the Doctor have their own charades I’m sure. I notice that River used to know (almost) what the Doctor was thinking and yet I suspect with this new iteration there was a whole lot of learning to do.

    Of course as you stated above, the Doctor, spending time with River, is now ‘still’ and not the whirligig and is healing from the Clara-shaped hole. It will be interesting to see how the Doctor will change next season. I wonder how River dealt with Clara? Would she have said anything? I think you mentioned and possibly @arbutus that River, in the Name of the Doctor knew exactly what had happened -or would have happened yet -gee, with ‘time’, one needs new tenses and ways of describing things!

    At that point River was an upload and possibly would ultimately know Clara’s demise. Eek. No wonder River lives the life she does -she must run from her own difficult memories too and as she said to Amy, she “lies too, all the time”.

    In this episode, Fleming said “wasn’t the Crash of the Byzantium made into a movie>?” I must be thick here, but was this 4th wall stuff? ie: the episode is what Fleming’s referring to or is he simply saying that the material in the diary was so interesting and that particular journal entry so compelling that someone bought the film rights?



    (I think it was Son who thought Moffat had finished -something he’d misinterpreted up thread -or even something I may have inadvertently mentioned. I’m glad he’s sticking around. It’s been a  long show-run for him -wonderful. Son and I need to organise our own “diaries”)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamlore  I think the Doctor through much of the episode was hoping River Song would recognize him but did not want to do something completely obvious that would announce his presence such as pulling out the sonic screwdriver.

    I thought it turned into a bit of a game for him — how far would things have to go for her to catch on?  Some fans are irked that River doesn’t twig sooner (that she’s being written as “stupid”), but I think they’re forgetting that it’s not just the new face (and its apparent age) that throws her off the scent, but also the new, gravelly voice with its Glasgow accent would throw her off.  It’s surprising how much we use the familiarity of timbre, accent, and general speech idiosyncracies to identify people.  And of course she doesn’t know that SmithDoc got a new clutch of regenerations from the TLs.

    @janetteb  This poor planet of ours is bit of a mess right now. We need the Doctor.. because there is a distinct lack of altruism being displayed by our governments as well as a even more distinct lack of “duty of care”.  

    Thanks for your concern!  I expect that very little practical assistance will be given to those bearing the brunt of the current destructive weather pattern as it’s playing out in the US.  “Duty of care” barely exists as a concept here, which is why we have so many rules and regulations that try to compel people to behave as if this is a civilized place, which it no longer seems to be.  The rich will get themselves to high ground, the poor will suffer in crappy FEMA trailers until they drown or otherwise die, and the politicians won’t give a damn, as usual.  Well, not til they have to actually move Washington DC inland and upland because the miserable place is built on a swamp.  We’ve just seen on tv news areal views of the City of York in the UK with its streets flooded — alarming.

    The eastern half of my state, New Mexico, is pretty much immobilized by winter storms and ice, and the northern mountains are also getting hammered.  My city lies in the valley of the Rio Grande, sheltered on the east by a long fault-block mountain called Sandia.  The Rio Grande doesn’t flood these days because of all the dams built upstream, and there’s a system of storm drains and open arroyos that so far has been able to handle pretty tough conditions.  The city does try to get our sizable population of homeless people indoors during winter weather, and so far no deaths have been reported here, although Texas if heavily flooded, with some 28 deaths and counting.


    Missy @missy

    So many posts to read. I can only say that SM has done it yet again.

    The scene that got to me the most, was after River ranted on about the Doctor not caring and not coming to her

    aid, she looks at the man beside her – who has this (one can only say ) loving look on his face, as he says:

    “Hello sweetie.”

    What a punch line!

    How SM is able to bring back little things that were said ages ago, and manages to tie up all the loose ends.

    beats me.

    Clever man.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    The starship on which the TARDIS lands, Harmony and Redemption, is shown passing by the star Gamma Eridani which apparently by that time had gone supernova.  This star is also known as Zaurak.  Gamma Eridani is located in the Constellation Eridanus, which in many ancient cultures was associated with a river.

    In astrology some give the following interpretation to Zaurak:

    … melancholia and feelings of great loneliness, as though one is all alone on that long river… Yet, if the aspects be right, there can also be that forward-looking faith that one is not really alone …

    and for the Constellation Eridanus:

    It gives a love of knowledge and science, much travel and many changes, a position of authority, but danger of accidents …

    As far as astronomy and science go, I have the impression that Gamma Eridani today is a red giant that may not have the mass to actually go supernova.  Given the care at which this star has been chosen, I would not be surprised if this is a future plot point.  I speculated months ago eventually someone will want to create a supernova relatively near to Earth in order to create a new Eye of Harmony and a new time traveling civilization.

    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore I didn’t know the info about the ‘river’ -very well spotted indeed. On astrology I’m probably not the best person to chat with as I’m not sure it’s a science.

    The latterly quote speaks of travel and yet some, perhaps rightly, ‘peculate this is ‘time travel’. So, this can be interpreted in any ‘context’ to mean ‘any’ ‘thing.’

    Melancholy and loneliness? Let’s travel!  Have a thought? Yee-hah! And it becomes?? Faith!! That, though –> accidents  ->which come from power and knowledge gained. Because all knowledge –> risks and those risks  –> danger


    Lovely idea though and the words themselves are very beautifully written. I’m a sucker for gorgeously written lyrics and prose. Years ago, someone said to me (a very old yogi) that we had only just barely touched the majesty of astrology and were in our infancy. I wonder if we’ve progressed that much beyond the “I’ll check my horoscope and buy a lottery ticket” idea?

    What’s your impression?

    Anonymous @


    Yay! you’ve watched it! So glad you liked it. I don’t think  you’ve seen the other episodes yet though? So, better stay away from the other threads?

    I admire your power and lack of temptation. You must be one of those people who if they go on a macrobiotic diet never deviate ever or if coffee must be given up, you’d do it and never ever be tempted!

    Can I have your tenacity please?


    @ichabod I had no idea NM suffered those types of weather patterns -at least where you are, you’re protected. SA, Vict and NSW is experiencing both fire and flood this past fortnight in Oz and yes, relatives near York were very worried.

    Mersey @mersey


    I would expect that River as a part Time Lord should sense another Time Lord in her presence. I think it was 10 and at that point he was convinced that he’s the last of his kind, who said that if there where any living Time Lords he would sense them.

    Oh, and River had also a picture of the War Doctor. How nice. Shame she hasn’t met the 8th. Or has she? That would be a funny couple.

    12 has such a strong personality that he needs a companion with an even stronger personality like River or Donna. I don’t want another moaning Martha. And I want them to be more  equal. Not a master and an apprentice again.


    That was the point, in 2008 when we both disliked Donna. 

    Donna wouldn’t care that she knew very little about time travels and I like her so much for that. She was very modest and at the same time she had no complex. She didn’t try to be someone who she wasn’t 😉

    Mersey @mersey

    Of course, River couldn’t met any younger Doctor than 10. But if she knew all 13 Doctor’s faces how she could expected that they did Jim the Fish if she had already done that with 11 and she knew that 10 is his younger version?

    Anonymous @


    Oh yes, but we went on to say there and elsewhere that our favourite companion was Donna -for the reasons you mention. I must have failed to explain myself properly (naughty hybrid).

    I don’t know if Martha was a moaner -certainly she loved Ten (but that was also his problem to the extent that he’d flirted using planet Earth language). She got over it but had to cover land and sea to use the Osterhagen key and of course watched and experienced the torture of her family.

    Still, she worked for Unit and became quite the expert.

    But I agree about Donna -Time travel wasn’t something she fully understood (not as if I do) but she had been with the Doctor a bit by then and the way River was speaking, calmly, methodically shouldn’t have sent Donna into a headspin -but that was always Donna -she was person lacking in confidence and somewhat quick to put herself down and say “hey I just don’t get it”. In the end, though she did!

    @arbutus @mersey I’m not sure if one could say River is a full TL ? Possibly the fact she’s conceived on a Tardis by two time travellers gives her certain advantages including the regen cycle. I think TLs are educated as well as born -their DNA harbours their convictions and grandiose notions. I suppose River has that in ‘spades’ but can’t sense a ‘propa’ TL ? 🙂 But it’s a good point.

    Kindest, Puro

    Anonymous @

    @mersey possibly with respect to knowing whether they’d ‘done’ JimTheFish it would be a question of whether he recalls it -she would know when and where -hence diary. But by now it’s happened – with Eleven. Which is why the diary was nearly filled.

    In the Silence in the Library she mentioned those various ‘outings’ and said “ringing any bells?” Later in Silencio (in the diner) they (routinely) calibrated their diaries regarding J’thefish once again.

    I’m not sure if ‘he’s’ mentioned between Silencio and Husbands of River Song…

    I must re-watch  those episodes. They could have seen him during those evenings out in Tardis and in her lock up (whilst wearing her lipstick -a shade that’s hard to find!)

    Kindest, Puro

    Mersey @mersey


    Yes, but River had this, I don’t know how to call it, a wanted list with every Doctor’s face in a chronological order. So she had to know roughly his timeline up there in the library.

    Stormaggeddon @stormy72

    Hi there!

    Lots of posts to read and a lot of input to ponder…

    I loved the special! The Doc pretending to see the inside of the Tardis for the first time – GREAT!!! 🙂 The “Hello Sweetie!” line – Aaaawgh. Great chemistry between River and the Doctor in general. Funny, scary, sad, bad ass – all in one episode. Well done, Mr. Moffat, well done!

    After reading the posts about the special and a re-view of it I recognized some references and jokes I oversaw. Thanks for that, guys!

    Hope you all had nice holidays and will party hard into the new year!

    Greeting from Germany,



    @puroandson *stares at The Puricle

     I was doing some goggling

    Has nobody told you that it’s rude to goggle! 😉


     Here, all the total sh*ts are deservedly dead and the bloke who gets the diamond is someone who did the brave and decent thing of checking for survivors.

    Quite. Adding to this would be like spelling out what movie is showing in Hopper’s New York Movie. All very informative, but so fucking what?

    There’s then a second joke that the Doctor, to go on a date with River, had to build the flippin’ hotel first.

    Well, she did die to save him…


    @puroandson @mersey

    I think it has reached the stage where it would be an error to do a @jimthefish story. He works much better as a sort of Elizabeth Mainwaring-like off-screen presence (colonials will have to look up Dad’s Army to get that (not the new movie, which may well have made catastrophic blunder wrt to Mrs Mainwaring).

    And also, we would be one mod down.

    Anonymous @

    OK, after rewatching, I have bonkers theory 😀

    River said Twelve reminds her of her second wife, after he said “I will be the judge of that”. I remember that in Bells of Saint John Clara said the same thing to Eleven but in a different context. So, could Clara be River’s second wife then? I always found it strange that during conference call in The Name of the Doctor, River decided to keep mental link with some random woman whom she just met. OK, Clara was Doctor’s companion at that time but still.

    Also, I can’t help but think that CAL’s library and Time Lord Matrix are somehow connected – they both “save” minds…. Hmm…

    midnyt @midnyt


    Certainly she is insistent upon returning the diamond to the Helasi (?) but not without a hefty reward. Although I felt that part was somewhat confused what with the diamond happily falling into her partially diaphanous outfit and full bodice and the funny lines surrounding the scene: “I’m better than good” etc..- somewhat vain, River, a tad, maybe? 🙂

    And I’m fine with that. This is one confident woman and that I’ve really missed. Clara had a confident manner too -and for some reason it annoyed me. That clearly is my flaw so I need to figure out why I didn’t enjoy the confidence displayed by Clara & yet I don’t mind it so much in River (though there were certain episodes with Smith when it went too far -again, a problem with me – that I would question displays of confidence).

    DOCTOR: The diamond?
    RIVER: Good, aren’t I?
    DOCTOR: I’m not sure good’s the word.
    RIVER: Better not be.

    This is twofold for me. This is River flirting with the Doctor. Basically saying “you better think I’m more than just good”. But it’s also River saying she’s not a good girl, she’s a bad girl. She claims not to have a conscience when she talks about killing Hydroflax. From The Impossible Astronaut: “And Doctor River Song. Oh, you bad, bad girl. What trouble have you got for me this time?” She likes the contrast between herself and the Doctor and the fact that he sees her as a bad girl, but can’t seem to resist her anyway. Or maybe it’s the fact that he seems to care about her either way, he accepts her as she is.

    Regarding Clara, I agree with you, so it’s not only your flaw. The thing about Clara is she always seemed to have airs about her like she thought she was cleverer than everyone else. Some people genuinely think they are better, some appear that way until you get to know them, and sometimes it’s just your own prejudice. How you perceive people depends a great deal on your own personal experiences. That explains why some people like Clara, and some of us are simply not impressed. She’s the popular girl who everyone wants to be friends with and we honestly don’t know if there’s any substance to her or not. I’m not one to be impressed by the popular girl simply because she’s popular. Clara never really earned the right to be clever and smug with me. Basically we were told she was the impossible girl and, like the Doctor, we are all supposed to be fascinated by her. I wasn’t. River, on the other hand earned that right. River gave up her life in the library for the Doctor. River at her most smug to me was in Crash of the Byzantium, when she’s telling him that he’s flying the TARDIS wrong, and even then, the Doctor still kind of put her in her place when he just stuck his head out of the TARDIS door and told them exactly where they were.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    colonials will have to look up Dad’s Army to get that

    Australian colonials (of a certain age) have no need to look up Dad’s Army. We remember it verbatim. It was extremely popular in Australia.

    “Stupid boy!”

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant    Yes, @jimthefish is ours now, and we aren’t giving him back!

    @midnyt @puroandson @mersey

    For me, part of the difference was in the fact that River (by the time we were getting to know her) had to some degree earned the right to a little arrogance. She is closer to being the Doctor’s equal. She has lived a long life, travelled in time and space, had many adventures and fought many battles. Her self-confidence did indeed grate at times, but I was better able to excuse it (I should add that I liked Clara, but she did frequently irritate me!).

    We would seem to be witnessing River and the Doctor at the one time in their relationship when they are pretty much on equal ground with one another. They both remember every single adventure they have shared (except of course River’s final one), so River’s experienced persona is for the first time truly understood by the Doctor. There is only one remaining spoiler, and it is on River’s side now, so she is more vulnerable. I think that balance is part of the reason it would be so lovely to have more of this River/Doctor pairing; but logistically it would be difficult, because the relationship is so delicately balanced on this one little point in time.

    midnyt @midnyt


    I don’t know if 10 said something like that, but 9 definitely did. At the end of Dalek.

    DOCTOR: I’m the only one left. I win. How about that?
    ROSE: The Dalek survived. Maybe some of your people did too.
    DOCTOR: I’d know. In here. (his head) Feels like there’s no one.

    Yes, but River had this, I don’t know how to call it, a wanted list with every Doctor’s face in a chronological order. So she had to know roughly his timeline up there in the library.

    I think its simply coincidence that the faces are lined up in proper order, that’s done for the benefit of the audience. Its really hard to wrap my head around the timeline, but although they said they met in reverse order, I don’t believe that is strictly true. At least not after S6. So I have no problem believing that she would do the Byzantium with 11, go on a picnic with 10, sneak in another adventure with 11 then meet up with 12.

    I also don’t think that she makes notes as to which doctor was which on her adventures. When she meets 11 in Crash of the Byzantium she says “It’s so strange when you go all baby face.” This implies to me that she’s seen him do this before. For me it’s kind of like when a man in your life has a beard and every once in a while will shave it off. It’s still the same man, but when you see him out of the corner of your eye, it’s strange. Doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been together, it still takes you by surprise. I don’t think River perceives the doctor the same way we do. It’s all the same man to her. A different face might be little more to her than a new suit. Indeed with his dislike for endings, a new suit might actually be more momentous than a new face. It would be like me trying to remember if my S.O. had a beard or not on my birthday in 2004. I might remember where we went, but not details like what he wore or whether or not he shaved.

    I’m pretty sure Alex is doing some audio adventures with Paul McGann, so yes, we’ll get some River and 8, even if not on screen. I also understand that there was a game a while back with River. I know she met a lot of his faces there, even if it’s not exactly canon.



    Has just come from talking Space Captain Smith. “Colonials” has a more specific meaning in the British Space Empire!

    Notime @notime

    Great episode.  I have been looking forward in anticipation to see the chemistry between these two and I wasn’t disappointed.  Fantastic season!

    I was a bit surprised that River didn’t pick up on who he was but then again she was used to a doctor who normally fumbles about.  CapDoc just stood back and let the madness happen around him…..almost as if he enjoyed letting River ‘take the wheel’ for a bit.  Fun episode.  I enjoyed the dialogue.  The comprehension displayed by the doctor was fantastic.  He gets it now….on many different levels.  I don’t think he will need the pocket of que cards any longer.  He seems to know exactly what to say and when… long as River is around anyway.  🙂


    I wonder where she wired the money?  She surely doesn’t need it.  Maybe it went to the family of CAL so they could fund the library?  Of course that would imply that River knew details about her eventual fate…..I don’t thing she ever really thought that far ahead…or behind as it turns out.

    Really great to see the doctor laugh again .

    Will watch this one a few times for sure.  Is there a dialogue transcript available online?  I couldn’t make out some of the exchanges….they talk a bit too fast, the rewind  button didn’t help much.  🙂

    aclevername @aclevername


    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>You are right!  I went back and rewatched that scene in The Caretaker and it does sound like he was talking about something in his past.  The first time I watched it I was excited to hear Twelve talking about River that I took it as something he had just done. I am no longer confused ☺</span>


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @midnyt @mersey @puroandson

    I still think people (and the Doctor, for that matter) underestimate the power that certain kinds of “knowledge” have over our perceptions. River “knew” with absolute certainty (as far as she was concerned) that SmithDoc was on his last regen. This single “fact” was powerful enough that it would have allowed her to overlook several otherwise obvious clues to the Doctor’s identity, until his long, significant look following immediately on her emotional outburst, capped by his gentle greeting, “Hello, sweetie.” At that moment, recognition was complete, and obviously didn’t require any more explanation than “a thing happened”. Because, once the mental block was removed, she would of course see beyond his external appearance to the Time Lord within.

    Even if River can be considered a proper Time Lord (and I agree with Puro that I don’t think she can), I don’t think that the Doctor’s statement about sensing other Time Lords can be taken as fact any longer. We know he believed it to be true, but what about Missy? He spoke with her at length, she kissed him for Pete’s sake, and he never guessed that she was a Time Lord. There was also the Simm Master, who was present on Earth disguised as a politician on any number of occasions when the Doctor was also there, and the Doctor never guessed. So I’m pretty sure that his belief that he “would know” was a mistaken one.

    Mersey @mersey

    @arbutus @puroandson @midnyt

    Yes, I thought about that. If we want to be so down-to-earth it will always ends with: time can be rewritten/not always time can be rewritten (sorry, Steven Moffat had bad mood this time); I’m the last one of my kind/ but guess what, I’m not (this season we have a bigger budget); I would create another paradox and save you Amy and Rory from New York but you didn’t sign the contract for the next season, so I’m afraid you have to stay there, etc. 😉

    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave @pedant

    Stupid Boy*, we remember it very well. I have the VCR copies lying around which I can’t bear to chuck out and we have the DVD also.

    “Don’t Panic!!!!”  (emfarsis on the ‘ic’ part)

    *an in joke no-one is stupid by the way. No-one. Just, double checking in case I get brain lice.

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus @midnyt @mersey

    hmm, regarding Clara, I liked her, though -a lot. Particularly by the end and in the typical way of not expressing myself correctly I suggested I didn’t like her. I said “it was a flaw of mine” and what I should have outlined, in Historical terms -particularly those in Greek History, was the concept of the Fatal Flaw that slices down the middle of one’s life – we can say Clara died for the Doctor after one season but didn’t earn our trust and yet, in reality, their reality, time is deconstructed, therefore she does so ‘backward’. And I’m happy to have her do that – my concern was this: I have an issue with Clara’s confidence -my issue. And yet I do not with River -is it an age thing? I don’t think so. Is it an actress issue? Did Clara simply underperform? No I don’t think so.

    Were the lines and the scripts poor? No, again. Did she talk simply too fast? Possibly. But such an excuse is barely a weight on the conscience of one who believes one woman has a greater reason for ‘being’ than another -that’s my fatal flaw and it’ll get me in the end.

    I hope that’s better. 🙂


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mersey      Well, there is that.  🙂  Fortunately, we are clever enough to come up with in-story rationales for all these pragmatic decisions!

    @puroandson    I didn’t take your words as meaning you didn’t like her. I have said it before, during series 8, that there were times when I found her behaviour and attitude quite seriously annoying. But I came to feel that these issues were all part of her being a human being, with flaws as we all have. And of course, as we look retrospectively at her now-completed character arc, we can see that this sometimes overconfident attitude was written deliberately, as part of her journey. She believed that she could be a human version of the Doctor. River has believed this as well, with perhaps a little more justification. We met River as a highly experienced, well-travelled archaeologist, and for me at least, I found that made it a little easier to accept that brassy self-confidence. But there are a remarkable lot of parallels in the characters and arcs of the two, aren’t there?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  I don’t think that the Doctor’s statement about sensing other Time Lords can be taken as fact any longer. 

    Agreed — I suspect that that’s one of those remarks (like McGann and “half-human”) that the writers have been trying to wriggle out from under ever since, mainly by just forgetting all about it.  Now that Gallifrey is unfrozen, some TLs besides the Doctor and Missy might turn up since they can time travel too, so technically the Doctor *isn’t* the last of the TLs (was he ever, with the Master rattling about the place?).  Having the Doctor always be able to sense them could make things very difficult plot-wise, as the Missy-kiss-assault in DiH demonstrates.  Some kind of retcon is called for here, surely?  All they need is for him to admit that he was wrong about the issue.  He didn’t ever say that *all* TLs can sense the existence of the others, so if it’s just him claiming something that turns out to be a mistaken belief about his own capacities, that’s easy enough to set straight.

    @puroandson  Hey, PuroSolo — of course it’s better.  Yes, she talked too fast for me, too, and irritated the socks off me sometimes, but I liked her a lot by the end.  She won me over.  River, now, River drove me bats from the get-go, probably for the same basic reason that I dislike Captain Jack: there’s a certain style of flamboyant self-confidence that just gets my back up (partly because it always feels *fake* to me — an act, a defense — unless the person in question is, say, an opera singer, because people able to live *that* life carrying around that kind of talent just amaze me the hell out of me).  I’ve seen Kingston in other things where she doesn’t project that “larger than life and *bad* (but really good-heartedd)” thing, and liked her much better.

    Somehow, in “Husbands”, working with Capaldi somehow took off the irritating edge.  Of course; sometimes he really is the Doctor.  He makes things better . . .



    I have an issue with Clara’s confidence -my issue. And yet I do not with River -is it an age thing? I don’t think so. Is it an actress issue? Did Clara simply underperform? No I don’t think so.

    I suspect that you are skirting around the superficially fine, but in terms of underlying causation very different, distinction between obsession and addiction. While obsession can be passionate and destructive, it can also bring splendour and majesty.

    Addiction almost always ends up in the same place, even if the addict does wonderful things along the way (estimated 95% recidivism rate from all therapies, including AA). Clara was careening towards destruction (and her first lie to Danny was simply the first symptom, the first sip) – and when it came it was, to all intents and purposes – accidental. She faced it bravely, but she was her own undoing. It took an intervention and risking the universe to give it meaning.

    River, on the other hand, lived life vibrantly and in hot pursuit of her true love, unapologetic and full of self-awareness, and when she died it was by choice, wholly by choice. I think that is what @blenkinsopthebrave and @mersey have missed. You don’t get to have the beautiful balcony scene without the Doctor seeing that, for all her wild ways, she is a good person who loves him unconditionally, with no expectation of reward. She is wild, but true. And then he says “Hello sweetie” and she realises that the sunset is loves her back. And it is that which will allow her to face her moment of truth (which we have already seen, but she hasn’t). @ichabod – there was huge bravado. there had to be, we now know, because she did not feel she was loved back.

    Ashildr had a saying about that…

    I think Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman were given fascinating characters to explore, and both knock ’em far, far over the long on boundary.

    On a 1988 tour of Finland, Lemmy was asked by one journalist why he had kept going for so long.
    “We’re still here,” he replied, “because we should have died a long time ago but we didn’t.” (via BBC)

    Mersey @mersey

    @arbutus @puroandson

    My problem with Clara was that for two seasons I didn’t know who exactly she was or what was her status. In her first series she had been someone like a usual companion. A human girl who is Doctor’s assistant/friend/want to be a girlfriend. It was fine, but it didn’t work really well for me. In the next season she became someone like Doctor’s caretaker/teacher/even a Doctor! And many people didn’t like it either. So her role changed again and she became an apprentice and in my opinion it turn out to be a success. A bit late if we keep in mind that Jenna wanted to leave the Tardis after the Christmas special.

    I think River is such a success because her story was very well planned from the end to the beginning.

    winston @winston

    After rewatching this and a few other old River episodes I noticed that she always sees The Doctor no matter what he looks like. She may comment on the change in his appearance ,but who wouldn’t?  At the same time she instantly looks past that to her Doctor and the relationship goes on. That flirty , zany relationship I love so much. Rose cries when the Doctor changes and Clara also has a hard time accepting that they are the same person but not River. She knows and loves and most importantly trusts the Doctor no matter what. She has lived a long time and met and married quite a few people but she always goes back to the Doctor and always trusts him to help her. And he does.


    Mersey @mersey


    Have I missed something again?! I don’t really think so. I had just different expectations. Maybe I shouldn’t have any but you know, you just can’t control that. Sometimes you want to watch something really cheerful, sometimes something more serious or melancholic. And this christmas special was the mix of these moods. I thought that at the closure of her life River would be more philosophical, maybe more stoic (like in  A Good Man goes to War). That was my vision and it didn’t come true.

    It’s a miracle that Lemmy lived so long. My Dad and I have always called him the Wart or Mr Wart.




    But she isn’t dead.

    I didn’t find it at all melancholic. Quite the opposite.


    Yes. Absolutely. Spot on.

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