Here’s one thing I’m perfectly happy to have been wrong about. I don’t think I was alone in believing Alex Kingston‘s appearance as mental-projection River Song in the Doctor Who Series 7 episode “The Name of the Doctor” was going to be her, if you’ll excuse the pun, Swan Song. There was a definite air of finality to it and her goodbye to Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor sure seemed like a good button. But you can’t keep a good time-traveling scientist slash criminal slash former Time Lady down.
It was announced Wednesday morning that Kingston would be returning to Doctor Who for the 2015 Christmas Special, which begins filming this week with director Douglas Mackinnon at the helm in a script by showrunner Steven Moffat (naturally). The episode will air on Christmas Day on BBC America here in the USA.
The synopsis provided for the episode, which true to form still doesn’t have a title, is thus: “It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Time traveler River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.”
That sure is a lot of information, huh? Luckily Kingston gave a longer statement, echoing my assumption that she’d be done: “To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humor and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read-through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September?, why not!”
Moffat added that nothing could be more special for Christmas than the return of Kingston as River song. He also commented on how weird it would seem for her to be back. “The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time…”
Intriguing and vague as ever, Mr. Moffat. But, we are talking about the man who killed off Ingrid Oliver’s UNIT tech Osgood and is bringing her back only a few episodes later, so truly anything is possible with a show like Doctor Who.
River Song first appeared with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in “Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead” before meeting the Eleventh Doctor, out of sequence, in eleven different episodes, fittingly.
Will this be just a one-off for River and the Twelfth Doctor? Is she going to break her own record and probably appear in more episodes than some full-time companions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t miss BBC America’s lead up to Series 9 with The Doctor’s Finest!
IMAGES: BBC AMERICA
Kyle Anderson is Nerdist.com’s Weekend Editor, film and TV critic, and resident Whovian. Share your thoughts with him on Twitter!