Monday, June 1, 2020

River Song Binge List

I recently finished up the Tenth Doctor era of Doctor Who, which leads me straight into the Eleventh Doctor. He’s not my favorite (Ten is my favorite), but Eleven has some great stories too (after all he had Clara Oswald and the 50th Anniversary Special). One of the highlights of the Eleventh Doctor era has to be River Song. She’s feisty, she’s adventurous, and she’s mysterious. A few years back a roommate brought up the idea of watching River Song’s story chronologically. I still haven’t done it, but I still want to. This isn’t for new fans, but there’ll be some hardcore Whovians who want this.

1. A Good Man Goes to War (Series 6, Episode 7)
Gotta start with her story as a baby. She also appears as an adult here, but I’m going to ignore that for a moment. But as Kovarian’s people have Amy and Baby Melody, the Doctor and Rory end up pulling together a rescue team.

2. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (Series 6, Episodes 1-2)
Again we’ve got River Song from different ages. Right now I’m going to focus on kid Melody. So while adult River is helping the Doctor with all his shenanigans, young Melody is trapped in her spacesuit until she eventually regenerates at the end of Episode 2.

3. Let’s Kill Hitler (Series 6, Episode 8)
After Melody’s regeneration, she ends up in the 21st Century where she grows up alongside her parents. So through the Amy/Rory flashbacks here, we see Mels grow up. Eventually, when she ends up in the TARDIS with the Ponds and the Doctor, they head to WWII and fight Hitler. And then during the gunshots, Mels regenerates into River Song.

4. Closing Time (Series 6, Episode 12)
This episode focuses mostly on the Doctor and Craig and Stormaggedon fighting the Cybermen. However, at the end we get River Song studying in the 52nd Century before Madam Kovarian takes her to kill the Doctor.

5. The Wedding of River Song (Series 6, Episode 13)
Not missing a beat after “Closing Time”, we lead into Lake Silencio, but from a different River Song perspective in the spacesuit. She breaks the fixed point in time to save the Doctor and (long story short) she ends up marrying him in the broken timeline.

6. A Good Man Goes to War (Series 6, Episode 7)
We’ve come first circle. After their wedding and the Doctor’s “death”, River Song is in prison and the Doctor takes her out for dates. After one of them, she sees her father Rory trying to recruit her for a rescue mission to get Amy and Baby Melody (not knowing who she really is). As such she refuses to join the mission, but later shows up to reveal her identity to Amy and Rory.

7. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (Series 6, Episodes 1-2)
Returning to this two-part episode, we’re following adult River now back to Lake Silencio (from another perspective) and then back to 1969 to chase down a mystery. The TARDIS team learns about a little girl in a spacesuit and a new monster they call the Silence. Everything works out in the end, even if it involves killing the Silence. For now.

8. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (Series 5, Episodes 12-13)
Somewhere along the lines, River Song heads back to 102 AD and pretends to be Cleopatra. She leads the Doctor and Amy to Stonehenge and the Pandorica. She ends up getting trapped in the TARDIS while reality slowly falls apart, until the Doctor rescues her and restarts the universe.

9. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone (Series 5, Episodes 4-5)
The Doctor and his new-ish companion Amy Pond team up with River Song against the Weeping Angels. He doesn’t know who she is at this point, but she knows. So they beat the Weeping Angels and all is well (for now) but “spoilers”.

10. The Wedding of River Song (Series 6, Episode 13)
Just at the end of this episode, River Song appears claiming to have come straight from the Weeping Angels adventure. It’s a short scene but River reveals that the Doctor isn’t actually dead. Spoilers again.

11. The Angels Take Manhattan (Series 7, Episode 5)
The Doctor, the Ponds, and River get caught up in a back and forth time travel story between 2012 and the 1930s. It’s a sad episode for the Doctor, as he and River say goodbye to her parents (although there’s nothing to say she didn’t go visit them later, I suppose)

12. The Husbands of River Song (Christmas Special 2015)
For the first time, River doesn’t recognize the Doctor. She and the Twelfth Doctor end up in the middle of a con in a 54th Century Christmas. The episode ends with his final date with her (gifting her a sonic screwdriver) before she goes off to the Library, where he first met her.

13. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (Series 4, Episodes 8-9)
River shows up at the Library and meets the Tenth Doctor and Donna. In the fight against the Vashta Narada, I think she slowly realizes that it’s her end. By the end of the story, she knows she needs to sacrifice herself so the Doctor can live on and meet her properly.

14. The Name of the Doctor (Series 7, Episode 13)
After her death and upload into the Library, she gets called on by Madame Vastra and a phantom of her gets roped into a visit to Trenzalore where she coaches Clara along the way. And finally at the end, at least as far as we know, she says goodbye to the Doctor and gets closure.

Which was your favorite River Song adventure? If they were to show her again, how would you like it to happen? I know she’s met other Doctors in the audio stories. Can anyone recommend one of those for me?

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