Doctor Who: The Continuing Mystery of River Song

She’ll happily graffiti the oldest cliff face in the universe. To this lady it’s the equivalent of leaving a note on the fridge for your husband. She’s on close personal terms with the Last of the Time Lords. She can make a killer Dalek plead for mercy.

She’s [[River Song]], and she’s as much of a mystery to [[The Doctor (Doctor Who)|The Doctor]] as she is to the viewers. River Song burst into [[Doctor Who (TV Series)|Doctor Who]] in the Steven Moffat penned two-parter Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead. Unlike most people who encounter the Time Lord in an episode, she already knew him. Intimitely. How intimitely can you know a Time Lord? Well, she knows his real name.

Back To Front

The irony of The Doctor’s first meeting with River Song is that it’s her last meeting with him. She sacrifices herself in order to save the inhabitants of the library, but a future version of The Doctor has given her a modified sonic screwdriver with a consciousness loop inside to save her essence to the large hard drive. Song lives on in a virtual world with her own companions for company.

River maintains a diary of her encounters with The Doctor, which she claims contain spoilers (a nice nod to the insatiable fan appetite for information about new plots). She herself is a source of cryptic clues as to what’s in the future for the time traveller and his friends. But River always seems to be one step ahead of the story, with us never being completely sure if she’s a pure companion, or if there’s something evil about her that we’ve yet to discover.

What do we know about River Song?

She’s morally ambiguous. She’ll steal artefacts, trick shady alien dealers into giving her Vortex Manipulators (that are still attached to their owners’ arms), and use her mysterious allure to snog her way out of prison.

Daleks are afraid of her. As we saw in The Big Bang, a Dalek made the mistake of thinking a companion of The Doctor wouldn’t use violence against it. However, whenever Song told him to look her up in its databanks, it begged for mercy. Clearly she’s known to be a ruthless enemy in alien circles.

She knows a lot about The Doctor and Gallifrey. She can read and write old Gallifreyan, she has a small encyclopedia of her adventures with The Doctor, and she can fly the [[TARDIS (Doctor Who)|TARDIS]] better than him!

She’s a killer. In [[Flesh And Stone (Doctor Who episode)|Flesh And Stone]], River admits that she killed a man, the best man she has ever known. That’s why she’s imprisoned in a Stormcage. And if she can be believed, that Dalek didn’t get shown any mercy either.

She doesn’t seem to be a TARDIS regular. Despite her impressive knowledge of The Doctor, she doesn’t seem to travel with him regularly. She hails him via notes left on historical artefacts or via his psychic paper. On the other hand, she’s also able to pilot the TARDIS…so she must have spent some time aboard it.

There’s something dangerous about her. In Flesh And Stone, Father Octavian gives The Doctor an ominous warning that all is not seems with River Song: “You think you know [River], but you don’t. You don’t understand who or what she is.”

Is she The Doctor’s wife? Yes, they have a very ‘married couple’ dynamic. But is it possible that – despite The Doctor’s inadvertent proposal at the end of [[The Big Bang (Doctor Who episode)|The Big Bang]] – the marriage thing is a very convenient thing for us to latch on to? My personal feeling is that it’s a bluff.

She loves The Doctor. In The Big Bang we see Song trapped in the TARDIS in a constant loop, saying “Goodbye, my love.” Unless she was talking to the TARDIS itself.

And we know how her story ends. No matter what else comes to pass, River met with the Tenth Doctor in [[Silence In The Library (Doctor Who episode)|Silence In The Library]] and was forever ‘saved’ to a virtual world. Even in that final moment, she seemed impressed by The Doctor’s resourcefulness and fond of him. There was no hint of malice, or a desire to harm him.

But what lies ahead?

The Doctor: “River, who are you?”

River: “You’re going to find out very soon now. And I’m sorry, but that’s when everything changes.”

River disappears in the flash of a vortex manipulator before any more questions can be asked. But is she jerking The Doctor around? Is she a villain biding her time until she can manoeuvre The Doctor into a perilous situation? Is she a Time Lord in disguise – who else could have that much mastery over time and space?

I’ve read much speculation on these pages that River will turn out to be classic Who villain and rogue Time Lady, The Rani. But I’ll let Rob shoot that one down for you.

The implication of River’s words is that things in their relationship are going to change. I could be wrong. The person behind the silence may wreak devastation on The Doctor and his companions and that’s the change she’s referring to. But Steven Moffat has also promised that we’ll find out who River Song is in [[Doctor Who Series 6|Series 6]]. Right at the end of the very last episode, no doubt.

As always…please feel free to speculate on this one. And like everything Who…no answer is too silly. Unless you suggest she’s The Rani.

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  1. Roanna

    I suppose it would be too weird to think she’s his daughter, a good bit older… their dynamic wouldn’t be appropriate for that I don’t think.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      She’s happy for him to infer that they’re married at some point in the future. For him to be his daughter, or even his mother as some have speculated, would be a little icky. How many females would pretend that their father (or their son) was their husband?

  2. pirho

    It is possible that she is Romana but i doubt it.  If it were he would know who she is right away.  Maybe her name is an anagram? 

  3. jefft

    Well, Who is River Song?

    Let’s start by discounting the ‘River Song is Who’ theory.. even more than ‘its his mum’ that would be really …odd.


    She’s not the Doctor’s Mother, or Jenny.

    ‘You’re younger than I’ve ever seen you’ :  Silence in the Library

    She’s not the RANI

    For all the reasons already stated about copyrighting the character, plus

    ‘I bet I like you!’   ‘Oh, you do...’  in Silence in the Library

    Is she ANY Time Lord?

    Tiny bit possible. She can pilot the TARDIS, and write Gallifreyan, although she doesn’t own a TARDIS herself. If she was a proper Time Lady, then the Doctor would have been able to sense her as one. Unless she has a Chameleon Arch lipstick, of course.. She does echo the (Virgin Books?) Bernice Summerfield character a bit.


    Daleks are afraid of her/ she’s dangerous.

    I’ll buy that. (In fact, she has never been better or sexier than during that Dalek sequence.) 


    Is she an anagram?

    The best one I can find is ‘rev groins’. Hmmm.


    When do they meet first?

    We know the Doctor meets her on the last day of her life. When does she meet him for the first time? That’s so irresistable a concept I will bet a large wodge on Moffat covering that angle soon. Meeting her as a child and saving her is one possible way, which I covered in some fanfic a while back. And while I’m here, if he knew when she was going to die, the best he could do was hand her an old screwdriver with a USB memory stick inside?

    How about spending the next hundred years working out another way to fix the CAL system and getting the screwdriver to do that?


    Is she the Doctor’s Killer?

    This seems likely. Could be tricky to show it during any impending series, though. Because either the Doctor is only ‘nearly dead’, and she gets locked up over a misunderstanding. Or he actually dies in which case we’re looking at bye-bye Matt Smith. Or she kills a future Doctor (which I think SM may actually do.. apart from the Valeyard we haven’t had a future Doctor make an appearance during a current show, for obvious reasons, despite RTD’s teasing a couple of Christmases back)

    It would be a good double-agent situation to have her ‘kill’ the Doctor to prove how evil she is to some big bad, (whilst not actually killing him at all of course)

    “You think you know [River], but you don’t. You don’t understand who or what she is.”


    Is she The Doctor’s wife? 

    Could be a bluff. But Moff keeps playing us to that and pulling back. Can you imagine someone arriving in your life and saying “at some point in the future you will fall madly in love with me , trust me with your life, your TARDIS, and your real name which you don’t appear to have told ANYBODY”

    How could you start to engage in a relationship with that expectation ahead of you?


    1. simonfuller

      There is one thing apart from himself, that the Doctor has an intimate relationship with-someone that has always protected him-throughout all regenerations-the TARDIS.  It would be like a ‘marriage’ because I do not think that the Doctor (due to his history) would necessarily reveal his name to his wife.  ( I would not allow my wife to know my name if I had that power and influence in the universe-I would put her in danger). 

      The TARDIS eventually blows up-what if the Doctor created a physical metacrisis of the TARDIS to protect it! Who could pilot the TARDIS and know all Galifreyan technology better than the Doctor-the TARDIS itself? The Doctor does speak to the TARDIS and his companions complain about it. 

      If the biological TARDIS (River Song) had her program consciousness downloaded into the sonic screwdriver it could happily and effectively live in the virtual world (as shown in The Forest of the Dead). Do you think that a normal essentian being can be downloaded?

      The TARDIS being the last of itself would be ruthless and protect the Doctor at all costs-unless the Doctor did something really stupid-like cause the TARDIS explosion?

      I believe that the TARDIS explosion must be used to protect the universe from something-maybe the Silence or Omega?

  4. Jeffrey Scott

    Personally, I’m open to all possibilities (even the Rani). Any previous character can be used from Doctor Who lore despite any copy writing. Usually they can be purchased, look at the Daleks. Besides, with this much mystery surrounding her, she’s bound to turn out to be someone we know.

    But, you challenged me to speculate outside of the Rani so here is my new crackpot theory. Ready for this?

    Riversong is actually a future version of Captain Jack!

    Morally ambiguous? Check

    Daleks are afraid of him? Who wouldn’t be afraid of someone who can never die.

    Knows a lot about the Doctor and Gallifrey. The Doctor for sure, Gallifrey? Living forever is a long time. Lots of free time to do research.

    Knows how to pilot the Tardis? As a former Time Agent and companion of the Doctor, this is not unrealistic at all.

    Killer? Check (see any episode of Torchwood)

    Not a Tardis regular. Not any more. But has still travelled with the Doctor from time to time, even after leaving the regular Tardis crew.

    The Doctors Wife? Well, I guess we’d have to find out how he turned into a she first of all. πŸ˜‰

    Loves the Doctor? Check

    Now which theory is the crazier theory?

      1. pirho

        Even if he/she is wearing one, we know that Jack can’t die, so there is no way he/she could have died in the library.

    1. sgreco1970

      She could (somehow) be the next Doctor. Yes, he regens into a woman this time.

      “I bet I like you.”

      “Oh you do…”

      That’s how she is the sole being to know his real name.

      –ok, I don’t believe this theory. Just giving you, as asked for, a more outlandish theory hehe

      1. Gerard McGarry

        Jeffrey means that it was insinuated that Captain Jack was the Face of Boe, but never actually proven. There’s always the ambiguity over his ability to recover from any deadly impact, and he claimed as a child he was the ‘face’ of a magazine called ‘Boe’. Or something like that. But if I recall correctly, Russell T Davies never wanted to be drawn on that point – it’s put there to make you think, but not an absolute.

        1. pirho

          “There’s always the ambiguity over his ability to recover from any deadly impact” I would say being blown into tiny bits and pieces (the biggest being an arm) and then recovering from that kind of dissolves that ambiguity.

  5. Jeffrey Scott

    There’s every reason to believe at some point Captain Jack will find a cure to his curse. Thus making him mortal, thus allowing him to die.

    Everything absolute, can always be undone. The Daleks were gone for good, but now they flourish. The Timelords were gone for good, but we recently saw them. It was impossible for Rose to travel back from the parallel universe, but we saw her again. You see what I mean?

    Especially considering this is science fiction. Anything is possible.

  6. gymea

    What about the notion of River Song being The Master?  At the end of Last of the Time Lords, The Doctor shows great compassion towards The Master when the latter was standing in handcuffs, just before having been shot by Lucy Saxon.  It is quite possible that The Master did not believe The Doctor’s compassion, especially after all of the events of the year that never was, and truly believed that The Doctor only wanted to keep him prisoner (and in perpetual torment, by The Master’s standards).  And that perhaps The Master got to see The Doctor’s true compassion after he had died (ie, his ghost?). The change in gender is a very real possibility, after all they seem to have changed “the rules” regarding regeneration (both with the Time Lord Council having the authority to circumvent the 12 regeneration cycle for The Master, and also that The Master was able to suppress the regeneration process — I’d thought that regeneration was automatic!)

    When the Time Lords gave The Master a new body and set of regenerations during the Time War (which I didn’t know was possible, up until that point), there may have been mechanisms in place that allowed that special circumstance…and perhaps it was attached to The Master’s ring?  (say, in a similar fashion as how Chameleon Arch works?).  And so, it’s possible that, when The Doctor had burned The Master’s body at the end of Last of the Time Lords, The Master might have ‘regenerated’ into the body that is now River Song, and had gone back to retrieve his ring containing his life essence.

    That said, The Doctor’s compassion in the aforementioned episode may have caused the start of a sort-of rehabilitation in The Master, which ends up being the woman that we all know and love — and are suspicious of — as River Song.  Since love is, poetically speaking, a twisted form of hate, it’s plausible that the hate The Master had of The Doctor is transformed into a sort of love, manifested in what we have seen in River Song.

    It would be an interesting story arc, actually.  The Doctor finds out River’s true identity, has a sort of distrust start from that point on (or, keeps her at arms length), she considers his actions to be a rebuff of any feelings she has for him (bearing in mind that the new production of Doctor WHO (and Torchwood) is very liberal about same-sex affection/intimacy), and suddenly goes berserk — the love turns back into hate — and we have our beloved evil Master back.

    Okay, feel free to start punching holes in this theory.    πŸ˜€

    1. sgreco1970

      “The Doctor finds out River’s true identity, has a sort of distrust start from that point on (or, keeps her at arms length), she considers his actions to be a rebuff of any feelings she has for him (bearing in mind that the new production of Doctor WHO (and Torchwood) is very liberal about same-sex affection/intimacy), and suddenly goes berserk — the love turns back into hate — and we have our beloved evil Master back.”

      Except, we see her for the first time when she sees the doctor for the last time and then dies.

    2. sgreco1970

      “The Doctor finds out River’s true identity, has a sort of distrust start from that point on (or, keeps her at arms length), she considers his actions to be a rebuff of any feelings she has for him (bearing in mind that the new production of Doctor WHO (and Torchwood) is very liberal about same-sex affection/intimacy), and suddenly goes berserk — the love turns back into hate — and we have our beloved evil Master back.”

      Except, we see her for the first time when she sees the doctor for the last time and then dies.

    3. Emperor Gregor

      It’s one of my favourite theories. It would explain why the Doctor might refuse to help River if he knew who or what she was (as River was warned by Father Octavian). River has this light mocking voice to the Doctor. I can really imagine that of the Master, and I can imagine that sort of mocking relationship between them both.  Anything could happen to the Master once the drumming stopped. And the Master might well know his real name. Maybe the only time you speak your real name is when, as a child, you look into the Vortex (reveal it to the Vortex in the presence of your mentor). Maybe they went as a group and the Master was present. The main danger of anyone knowing your name is revealed in the Shakespeare Code isn’t it, when The Doctor expels a witch using her real name, but she can’t get at his, as it’s buried so deep in his psyche. So I think the revealing of a name is a real clue dropped by Moffatt.

  7. Snypz Ng

    I believe River Song is the Doctor’s daughter,Jenny.

    We haven’t seen her in a while and I want to know where she went after that episode in series 3.

  8. jefft

    Well, Jack has said he was pregnant once. ‘never doing THAT again’ (which would be ironic if he later became the Face of Boe…)

    Maybe she’s Jack!

    OK, Its doubtful, since, like Ianto, Jack is ‘Russell’s character’ and SM wouldnt want to go there.

    But like most sci-fi backstory, its being made up as we speak.

    Most authors are aware of the fan theories and avoid using the commonly discussed ones so as to avoid claims of plagiarism, I expect.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I’d never considered the fact that they might get accused of plagiarism, but that makes a lot of sense. Maybe that’s why a lot of writers claim that they stay away from fan forums and try to discredit the “wild speculation” that goes on in them!

      At the same time, there have to be a limited amount of plausible story options available to them, so I’m sure they can’t worry too much about some obsessed fan guessing a future plot!

  9. pirho

    “…The Master was able to suppress the regeneration process — I’d thought that regeneration was automatic!)”

    If you think about it, it may only be that the docto has a problem with Regeration.  When Tom Baker ruled the airs, Romana, was able to willfuly regerate with out being damaged just because eshe wanted too, and she was able to choose what she looked like, which would imply that some time lords have an amount of control over the process.  Also, in “The Twin Dilema” Edgeworth, another time lord, willfuly regenerates to kill Mestor and prevent him from taking control of his mind.  Lastly David Tennant, willfully used the regeneration process to grow back his hand in “CHrstmas Invation”.

    So this seems to indicate that if they wanted too Time Lords have the ability to control the regeration process, to a measurable extent.

  10. Asa Meda

    The Eighth Doctor mentioned his mother was human.

    And when I see them I see the Doctor as confused and River Song as amused whenever the speculation is made.  I feel the “changing of everything” will be when River tells him will be the idea that the Doctor is not “fully” Gallifreyan.

    For myself I believe that’s why he’s always had a fascination with Earth, with humans.  Why he was always the “different” one among his people.  Why he did not wind up “blowing up” with his planet (though the Master did not either… but that seemed to be a planned thing).

    When River confronts the Dalek in “Big Bang” it didn’t seem like a lover/partner to me but a tiger defending her cub.  I don’t think she just killed the Dalek I think she invoked true fear in the Dalek.  Also the way she interacts with the Doctor in helping him during the “Big Bang” was more parental at times.  Even her “final” action in the “Library” episode was to me not the action of a partner but of a mother.

    Personally I think being half human would be more interesting. 

    Who did she kill?  I don’t think she killed the Doctor.  Perhaps Jack (would he make an appearance)?  Whoever it was… I wonder if the person really died because eventually she is a respected professor, no one questions or suspects her… so something is resolved.  Something…

    But… I don’t know.  We’ll see.  Hope it’s not all twisted around.

    Oh… um… could she be Amy’s mother???  She seems a person out of her time… yeah?



    1. Emperor Gregor

      Not Amy’s mother. Her daughter. Much more fun. Moffat has said he wants Matt Smith to drop his script in amazement when he finds out the truth. If the Doctor is to marry River one day, or have a similar relationship, that would make Amy his future mother-in-law. Never mind drop his script. i can see Matt Smith rolling on the floor in hysterics at that one.

  11. catweevil

    I think there is too much flirtation to make it likely that River is Jenny, Susan, the Doctor’s mother or any other relative. She must be some kind of ahem close friend.

    I also don’t think it likely that the BBC will allow the show to die when we get to the point when the 13th Doctor wants to leave. Ways around it would be to say that the 12 regeneration limit was imposed by the Time Lords and they are no longer around to impose this limit. Or, I propose the idea that when the Doctor used the Chamelion Arc to become a Time Lord again (Family of Blood), it reset his regeneration cycle. Mr Moffat, a small credit for that idea would be fine…


    1. Emperor Gregor

       the 12 regeneration limit was imposed by the Time Lords and they are no longer around to impose this limit. “

      That’s the most sensible suggestion I’ve heard in a long time. Simple but definitive.

  12. ThE Silence

    I can’t believe no one has thought of this, but River Song could be The Silence or related I’n some way. The doctor was warned, being told to be careful of her, he doesn’t know who or WHAT she is. The what would back up The Silence theory. Also, she warned the doctor that he wouldn’t want to help her when he finds out WHAT she is.

  13. Elm Tree House

    I so agree with the rumour that River Song is the Doctor’s mum! Some one mentioned that the 8th Doctor said his mother was human, so why not? It would work, as well. She is very motherly towards the Doctor, and she does know his name – what mother doesn’t know her own son’s name?! I know there is the speculation about the marriage thing, but that could be a fluke aimed to put us off. And of course there is the little thing about the woman at the last episode with David Tennant starring, but I reckon she was the Master’s mum, begging him to have mercy? It would be total genuis. But I don’t think she is Amy’s mum. That would be weird. But anyway, just a thought.

    1. Emperor Gregor

      I do like the idea of the woman at the end of David Tennant’s life being the Master’s mother. I don’t think River is his mother, though. My personal favourite theory about mothers is that Amy is River’s mother, making Amy the Doctor’s future mother in law. I think that goes with Moffat’s sense of humour.

  14. sgreco1970

    firstly, i think the staff has forgotten about the limited number of regenerations because they have not mentioned it once in the entirety of the new series. I think it can be easily fixed, tho, because i’m pretty sure the master got extra regenerations from gallifrey using some sort of device left behind by Rassilon (whom I always felt was the Doctor’s real name until we met Rassilon. Still, who knows?)


    As for River, there are a limited number of people she could be mainly because I really doubt they will make her some character from long ago that only older fans would know. They’re making this appeal to a new audience, I doubt very much it would turn out to be Susan or the Rani.

    However, she could easily be the Master (doubt it) or Amy Pond.

    Yes, Moffat said it isn’t Pond. I think he’s lying to protect the story. Why? Song said the last time they saw one another he showed up “on her doorstep” in a hat and suit. In the last episode, he arrived at AMY’s house in the very sort of clothing described.

    But given we have numerous appearances over several seasons during the reign of TWO doctors, I really doubt its all been so well pre-planned and am expecting massive inconsistencies. She comments in their first meeting that he looks so youn, never seen him that young yet if their true first meeting is about to come, she will be meeting the very much younger Matt Smith. So, it may already be an inconsistency.

    Still –I’m dyin to find out.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Hi there – welcome to Unreality Shout, by the way – hope you enjoy your time on the site!

      I wanted to first respond about the regenerations – the big news there was that Time Lords are apparently immortal, as revealed on The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2010. The idea of a limited number of regenerations has been blown out of the water, which is a good thing for the series, but maybe a bit frustrating for long term fans.

      As for River Song being revealed as a Time Lady – perhaps a Romana or Rani – I’d love that link to the classic series if it turned out to be true. There was a rumour last year that Joanna Page from Gavin & Stacey might play a relative of The Doctor, which led to speculation that she might take on the role of Susan Foreman. Opportunities for links to the old series are there – and we’ve had the Cybermen, Sontarans and Daleks, so why not have some old allies of The Doctor too?

    2. Emperor Gregor

      I saw the news interviews when it was announced Matt Smith was the new Doctor. One reason he was chosen because his eyes “were old”. River comments that she’s never seen him look so young, that his eyes are young. I think that’s when Moffat started to develop the whole arc.

    3. Emperor Gregor

      I wonder if Rassalon is going to turn out to be the Doctor’s father.

      Unless River had a major face lift (why?) she isn’t going to turn out to be anyone we know as human eg Amy. How would they change their looks so drastically? One personal favourite theory is that Amy is River’s mother and the Doctor’s future mother in law. I think that would be fun.

      My favourite theory is that River’s the Master after the drumming stopped. She is so mocking – not vindictively but with that competitive love/hate edge.

      Re being “young” – I saw an interview where it was revealed he was chosen for the part because his eyes were “old” (to compare with Tennant’s “young” ones, I assume). I’ve also heard that the whole River storyline wasn’t planned before River first turned up but was picked up afterwards – so presumably when the new Doctor was cast, that was one of the things they were looking for.

      I’m sure they’ll wrap up the inconsistencies but I hope the solution is less convoluted than the one in Big Bang.

  15. sgreco1970

    In her debut episode she said she’d follow the doctor to the “end of the universe.” and then commented cheekily that they’d gone there together once.

    Is that a hint? A few episodes later the Doctor went to the end of the universe (and met the Master). He went with capt jack (clinging to the outside of the tardis) and Martha Jones. He seemed shocked to be there and stated even the time lords had not been there. Doesnt sound like some place he goes every day or on a whim ..or on a date. Perhaps this was the trip River meant?

    If so, is she the Master? Capt Jack (god no)? Martha? None seem to make any sense, really. But this almost has to be a clue.

    1. Emperor Gregor

      Alternatively – the Dalek’s tried to end the universe, and the Doctor stopped in in the nick of time. Someone who was with him, apart from the human cast, was his clone. Maybe he managed to regenerate (and change gender) and escape through the gaps between realities.

      I can’t (except for the Master) think of anyone else it could be who was with the Doctor at “the end of the universe” and could also change the way they look so drastically that the Doctor would not recognise them.


  16. Sean Wilkinson

    River Song = the Tardis

    – both the Doctor and the tardis have been to the end of time…

    – the book of spoilers looks like the tardis….

    – the cracks in time causeed by the tardis exploding,

    – prisoner zero = possably river? to stop the destruction of the doctor?

    – who/what has been in the longest relationship with the doctor

    – never really “seen the doctor” until maybe some wierd transfomation in the future..

    – who else would know how to fly the tardis but itself..

    – doctor has mentioned many times the tardis is alive and has a soul etc.

    – the tardis can communicate to the doctor via the physcic paper, so can river song.

    so logically maybe the tardis somehow gets some of its soul transformed into a humanoid life form.


    anything can happen in doctor who, but i bet River Song is part of the soul of the tardis.

    the tardis can be downloaded into a persons mind and the tardis also has a camelian curcuit could it become human? or look human?.

    still LOTS to say about the tardis maybe being River song.


    what you think?

  17. pirho

    – the tardis can communicate to the doctor via the physcic paper, so can river song.

    There has never been a reference to the Tarids being linked to the physic paper.

    1. Sean Wilkinson

      i believe in the 2nd episode of the series 1 in 2005 there was a refrence the tardis has a connection to the travelers of the tardis in a physic link just as the physic paper is connected to the tardis it translates what the ppl see. going to have to double check. but pretty sure thats what the doctor told rose about the paper

  18. pirho

    The Doctor was given psychic paper while employed as an agent by the Time Lords’ covert organisation, the Celestial Intervention Agency, the CIA having developed the technology. (World Game), at no time was it ever mentioned to be linked to the Tardis.

  19. Emperor Gregor

    Well, the Master could fly the Tardis when he stole it.  Presumably a Time Lord can fly a Tardis as long as it is with the owner’s permission.

    So is River a Time Lord. Well, somewhere or other I’ve read a post that points out that Amy and River both wear the same watch. (A bit like the Doctor and the Master having the same looking watch). Which would explain why the Doctor doesn’t recognise her as a Time Lord. Or it could just be that props has a watch it gives out when a prop is needed.

    But Donna, Rose etc cannot be River. They can’t regenerate and change their looks. And the Doctor’s daughter took off regenerated, but still looking like herself.

    1. sgreco1970

      the exact line is, “All you need to know is I’d trust that man to the end of the universe. And actually, we’ve been.”


      Its at the very beginning of Forests of the Dead

  20. jefft

    I know Bernice Summerfield has been bandied about as the basis for River, but if anyone has the time, you really ought to read ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’  (Audrey Niffenegger)

    Half the impact is lost in the film, as was the emotional ending. But when I read it, I was sure someone else had!



  21. Emperor Gregor

    There’s one other time the Doctor and companions went to “the end of the universe” and that’s when the Daleks were trying to destroy the universe. The Doctor’s hand was cloned to create another “Doctor”. The Doctor’s clone is the only individual on that ship that could regenerate and therefore obtain a new face. The Doctor wouldn’t identify her as a Time Lord (or himself) if she has The Watch. (though I concede I can’t think where she got it)

    At the end of that episode – Journey’s End? – the Doctor’s clone and Rose go back to the alternate dimension. The clone is now human – one heart – and will age along with Rose. He has to remain because he was born out of pain and anger and hate etc. Rose has to change him just like she changed Eccleston’s doctor.

    Now …. what if the clone gets out of the other dimension because of the rip in the fabric of the universe? If he also somehow does become a Time Lord again and regenerates he could be River.

    It would explain why the Doctor wouldn’t help River if he knew what she was (Octavian does say who and what). He would send her back then carry on with her/their mission. It would also explain why she can fly the Tardis. And explain why the Dalek was afraid of her at the end of the two Pandorica episodes. The Doctor is the ONLY individual they have ever feared. River could be a much darker persona of the Doctor’s personality – now that would scare the the Dalek’s – their feared enemy even more ruthless than the versions they have encountered.

    If I can;t have the Master as River, then my bet is the Doctor’s Clone.

  22. pirho

    “The Doctor’s hand was cloned to create another “Doctor”. The Doctor’s clone is the only individual on that ship that could regenerate and therefore obtain a new face.”

    “Now …. what if the clone gets out of the other dimension because of the rip in the fabric of the universe? If he also somehow does become a Time Lord again and regenerates he could be River.”

    He is not a clone per say, and he is not a time lord he is human, nothing is going to change that, it has nothing to do with where he is, the alternative dimension doesn’t not make him human.

    The only one who we have seen with the ability to regenerate was his “Daughter” Jenny.

  23. sgreco1970

    I think there are 3 possibilities.

    1) River is Pond. In rewatching this latest season, I wonder if she really isn’t just Amy pond all grown up. In “Eleventh Hour,” the doctor tells amy that her name, Amelia Pond,” is like a fairy tale name and when Amy is confronted with her change from “Amelia,” to “Amy,” by the Doctor she shoots back with a bitter, “It was a bit fairy tale.” Well, at the end of “Flesh and Stone,” when the Doctor tells River that the Pandorica is “just a fairy tale,” she smiles devilishly and says, “aren’t we all?” This may be a clue.

    2) River is the Tardis entity. We all know there is a being inside the Tardis but they have never really been the focus of a story as a character. Were you to embody this entity (because a long running story with a disembodied glowy voice is only so interesting) would it not be perfect that she would be a woman? Moreso, a sort of wife to the Doctor? After all, he doesn’t go anywhere without the Tardis -they have been everywhere together. When River inspected Amy’s house in the final episode of the series, upon seeing the Doctor drawings and playthings, she said, “Its amazing I ever let you out.” That could be taken literally if she’s the Tardis. She was described as “the most important woman in the Doctor’s life.” As the Tardis she would know how to fly the Tardis like an expert as well as speak auld high Galifreyan, both of which River can do. The Ood told the Doctor, “your song is ending,” and we took that to mean his life. But what if they meant the Tardis? It died when the doctor did only to also be reborn as he did. Maybe River Song is that song…

    3) Its something else entirely. I reject the idea that she is the Master, the Rani, his daughter or Captain Jack. I just don’t feel there’s enough evidence to support them. I’ve considered the diea that she is a clone or the Doctor in a future regeneration but that would make the diary very strange. “I have pictures of all your faces, but they never come in the right order. -I need the spotter’s guide,” would seem very strange if she were the Doctor in any form. There are also unusual elements that may be important that do not lend themselves to any theory, like River injecting Amy with that green fluid in “Time of the Angels,” under the notion of it being some kind of innoculation. The Doctor and his companions go everywhere and anywhere and never need any innoculations of any sort, suddenly Amy did? And River was the one to administer it? In an episode that had a snippet in it from another episode (the scene in the last episode where the Doctor time jumped to Amy’s side in Flesh and Stone to ask her to remember was actually IN Flesh and Stone) this could well have also been a scene seeded for later recall.

    Whatever she turns out to be, the mystery of River Song IS the cliffhanger of this series, much more so than any time cracks or plot contrivance. And soon….but not at all soon enough…we’ll finally know. I hope that when we do, its bigger and more clever than anything we’ve been guessing about.

  24. Emperor Gregor

    I do so agree that the mystery of River Song is the cliffhanger of this series, and personally I’m hanging on by my nails. Wooh. I don’t think River could be the doctor’s daughter because Moffat’s on record as saying that – with the relationship he and River have – that’s a bit sick. I don’t think River could be Amy “all grown up” either – Amy is already all grown up and with a face (and figure) all of her own. I read that although Alex Kingston now knows who River is Matt Smith doesn’t and won’t until he gets the script. Moffat wants him to drop the script in astonishment.

    River gave Amy the blank new Tardis shaped diary ready to be filled in. How about if River is Amy’s daughter? What does that make Amy? Would that make Matt Smith drop his script in astonishment? Think about it for a moment. 

    That would make Amy the Doctor’s Mother in Law!  More tea, Mrs Robinson?

    1. sgreco1970

      it was actually only yesterday that, upon rewatching the final episode, i heard something I hadnt noticed before. When river meets the doctor outside the tardis at the very very end of the episode, they discuss the diary and say that the writing has all returned. I too had thought it remained blank but it didn’t. once amy remembered everyone, the writing returned.

  25. Emperor Gregor

    I do so agree that the mystery of River Song is the cliffhanger of this series, and personally I’m hanging on by my nails. Wooh. I don’t think River could be the doctor’s daughter because Moffat’s on record as saying that – with the relationship he and River have – that’s a bit sick. I don’t think River could be Amy “all grown up” either – Amy is already all grown up and with a face (and figure) all of her own. I read that although Alex Kingston now knows who River is Matt Smith doesn’t and won’t until he gets the script. Moffat wants him to drop the script in astonishment.

    River gave Amy the blank new Tardis shaped diary ready to be filled in. How about if River is Amy’s daughter? What does that make Amy? Would that make Matt Smith drop his script in astonishment? Think about it for a moment. 

    That would make Amy the Doctor’s Mother in Law!  More tea, Mrs Robinson?

  26. pirho

    River is the daughter, of The Doctor and Amy.  If you remember the doctor went into the near future and saw Amy without Rory pregnant, so it stands to reason that Amy jumped the Doctor, and that is his baby who winds up being River.

  27. Farley

    So, one day Donna Noble, Dr Donna, gets smashed on ale and remembers everything! She is now part timelord, regenerates after a drunk driving accident and becomes River?!? Hey, it could happen!

  28. runningoutofbreath

    Okay, First let me say that the who-is-RiverSong concept scrambles my brain. This is totally out of left field but does anyone think River Song is somehow tied to Dr. Grace Holloway?

    1. In the 8th Doctor film Grace actually does kill off Doctor 7 by using anesthesia for the cardiac catheterization and then defibrillating him, causing him to regenerate.

    2.The 8th doctor, while chronologically younger than the 10th, is dressed much “older”, hence River’s comment to 10 in the library about looking young.

    3. In the movie, when the eye of harmony opens it is set to destroy the world, beginning with changing the molecular makeup of everything. This is what allows the doctor to walk through the glass door and could also have affected Grace’s physiology without her immediate knowlege.

    4. The master also “possessed” her at one point which may have also imbued her with knowlege that she wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

    5. She is brought back to life via the golden gas that is similar to what Rose gave back to the 9th doctor via the kiss and the 10th doctor exhaled after regenerating. 

    6.Plus Grace is a doctor, she and “the” doctor obviously find each other appealing and she makes a comment about “finding the perfect man.”

    In the library River says the doctor hasn’t met her yet but if her molecular makeup was affected by the eye of harmony opening then maybe she meant that he hadn’t met her yet in the form of River Song.


  29. blufnex

    Well i just finished watching Family of blood. In this episode the doctor take human form to hide from “The Family” during this he starts writing a journal in the form of fiction, Which he then gives to the character he starts to fall for. At the end of the episode as the doctor leaves she is left holding the journal. Could this be the start of riversong. Did he maybe do the dirty and conceived a child with this woman, unknown to the Dr.  

  30. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

    Some very interesting idea’s here. My own theory is that River Song is the Doctors/And also the Alternate Doctors long lost love, Rose Tyler. Got so much evidence behind this idea. All my theories and sources are on my own blog titled ‘River Song is Rose Tyler’ if you’d like to have a look.

  31. Emperor Gregor

    Lots of interesting theories but this is one problem I can’t get past. If River is Amy, or Rose or anyone else human, how come she has a different face?

    To get a new face River (whoever she is) needs either to regenerate or a very good face job – life a total new face.If River is not Time Lords that bird isn’t going to fly. She might well be if she has “the watch” and has forgotten the fact. ( … why?) Alternatively, if she’s had a face job I’d like to know where the clues are. This isn’t a writing team that drops this in as a sort of deus ex machina solution.

    River is supposed to make Matt Smith “drop his script in amazement” according to what I saw on iTunes. River as a Time Lord would make him do that. Especially if he thinks it;s an enemy Time Lord (Father Octavian’s warning that the Doc wouldn’t help her if he knew who “or what” she is is still out there. (and if River is Amy why would he refuse help). If River turns out to be Amy’s daughter, making Amy his future mother-in-law, that ought to have Matt Smith rolling around on top of that script in hysterics.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      In a sci-fi series, I don’t think it would be a great stretch that someone could have their face altered to take on a new identity. They don’t necessarily have to be a Time Lord to effect a ‘regeneration’ via cosmetic surgery. Or whatever the space equivalent is! I mean, if Captain Jack truly is the Face Of Boe, then it’s feasible that a character can change their look over time.

  32. mi4d34

    i think river song is actully rose tyler..
    1. in the silence episode river song wispers into the doctors ear, his real name, and the doctor comments back ” how do you know my real name, there is only one person i would tell my real name to, only one time i could”

    2. river in the big bang episode asks the doctor if he is married, the doctor replys ” are you asking ?” then river says ” yes” in form of trying to confuse the doctor into weather she is asking if he is married or to marry him.

    3. on the angels episode, on the beach river says, ” i killed a man, the best man i have ever met” and were suppose to believe she kills the doctor.


    1. when they are on bad wolf bay on rose’s last day, there is on the beach, the doctor,donna,rose and the human form of the doctor, and rose says ” wait, the last time i was here on the worst day of my life you said my name,.. and how was that sentance going to end ?” then. the form of the doctor whispers into her ear saying something. could it be the doctors real name ?

    2. we all know the doctor has loved rose the most out of everyone, and never stops thinking about her.. the love of his life ? his wife ? who we all suppose is river (rose).

    3. river killed the best man he had ever met, we are suppose to believe its the doctor.. but if it were rose.. maybe she killed the human form of the doctor like the doctor said, he thinks like him, speaks like him, and looks like him.. still the best man she had ever met.

    well… i hope this has made you think.

  33. wintersolstice

    I did have quite a bit of evidence about River being the Doctor Mother:

    1) she calls him “sweetie”

    2) she said “maybe when your older”

    (both of these are the sort of things a parent would say)

    3) She knows his name (probably because she gave him his name!)

    4) the Doctor mother is Half-human (something I read somewhere) evidence:

              a)The Doctor didn’t become a “vengful God” when he absorbed the         time vortex(when he took it out of Rose) and yet said that’s what a timelord would be become 

    b) but a half timelord half human only has one life (like River seems to have and like the clone)

    c) maybe the Doctor is 3/4 timelord

    5)Maybe the Doctor never knew his mother (but knows that she did something bad such as leaving him) that’s why he wouldn’t help her if he knew who she was

    But I have started to doubt this theory!

    I did have the idea that maybe the only reason the Doctor told River his name is because he knew he must have told her, because she knew it (a time-loop!) and that she told him his name to gain his trust until he found out who he was (because he needed to trust her at first even if she is bad)

  34. MissDirection

    im sort of new at this, but i really think that river song is Amy! and that the man she killed, is Rory! there are lots of clues to this

    1. when the doctor asks if rivers married, she does say yes, and its confusing as to whether the doctor just proposed or whether she is actually married. And she is married, to Rory.

    2. the writing in the journal only comes back once amy remembers the doctor.

    3. this is only a little one, and kind of stupid, but river song is ginger in the library episodes. not important, but it shows the resemblance a little.

    4. the way river acts, seems exactly how i’d expect an older version of amy to act. calling the doctor ‘sweetie’ doesnt have to say there related, or married. and amy seems like the type of girl whose fiesty and wouldnt mind graffiti-ing on the oldest clifface in history.

    5. river and amy have the same attitude towards the doctor. there both very protective, and both seem to think he belongs to them in some sort of way. i dont think it would be weird for the doctor to take amy on a picnic that seems romantic, its just the way they work.

    6. (my personal favourite i only spotted about 2 days ago) river says when they first meet that the doctor could open the tardis with a snap of his fingers. and when amy first goes into the tardis, the doctor opens it by snapping his fingers.

    as for the whole, how are they allowed to cross time streams thing? amy had the entire universe pouring through her head every night when she was little, i think shes just a little bit special. And them going to the end of the universe? they could go in episodes to come, or it could be talking about when the universe almost ended in the pandorica episodes. I personally think it all fits, but there will always be holes to pick at in any theory.

    oh, and river, pond, very water-related. just saying πŸ˜‰

    1. sgreco1970

      I’m torn. Half of me says River is pond. Half of me says River is the entity within the Tardis’ heart. Available facts, slim as they are, can really fit either theory. Personally, I can’t wait to find out πŸ˜‰ Soon!!

      1. Emperor Gregor

        River as the Master was my first theory and remains my favourite. Not just the mocking tone – which is just so right for the Master talking to the Doctor. It’s the “old married couple” arguing. They have a relationship going back the whole of their lives that’s just as deep as a marriage – there’s old old joke about no two hearts beating as one being closer than two men at a football match. (no pun about the 2 hearts intended). And hate is said to be the reverse side of the coin to love – a redeemed Master might end up feeling both. It’s the theory that accounts for the all the problems faced by other theories, too. If it’s Amy or Rose or any other human, how did she change her face and personality? If the “marriage” thing is a red herring, how come the relationship is so close. And the 64 thousand dollar question – what is so bad about her identity that if the Doctor had realised who she was when they were tackling the weeping angels, he would not have helped her? And finally, if you can’t cross your own time stream, how come Amy and River have stood side by side without the world coming to an end. 

  35. Emperor Gregor

    Have recently seen a trailer for the new series . Nice quote about marriage in it by the Doctor – “I’ve been married all my life. It’s time I stopped.” Now I wonder that THAT’S all about?

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Haha – was just going to say that I thought it was ‘running’! Though that’d be a pretty funny comment on marriage if it turns out The Doctor had left Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS to escape the wife!

  36. Emperor Gregor

    The Sience is explained as a monster which has been waiting and plotting for all eternity to bring the Doctor down. It failed with the Pandorica and it’s keeping going. We also see a very dark side to the Doctor, don’t we. The latest monster says “fear me, I’ve killed hundred of time lords” to which the Doc replies “fear me – I killed all of them.” River says he’s going to rise higher than he ever has, and will fall even further. I think the new series is going to be a cracker. I just wish Ten was still with us. Sorry, but I’m still trying hard to take to MS. Maybe the new dark Doctor will suit him better.

    Oh – and I do hope it isn’t River that dies in the first ten minutes of the new series. Because somebody does.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Glad you mentioned about not taking to Matt Smith – I’m not quite accepting of him yet myself. He still feels like a bit of a pretender in some ways, although I’ve got massively high hopes for the coming series. Some of the spoilers Moffat and Smith have been giving out have been really intriguing.

      1. Emperor Gregor

        I know some people say Tennant was over emotional, but the camera liked his face. He could say a lot just with a change of expression. As could the elderly master, played by Derek Jacobi. That bit where the Master starts to remember who he is and his expression turns cold is superb. Maybe they haven’t given Matt Smith so much to do yet except be boyish but he doesn’t seem to have the same range. I don’t get the feeling yet he killed off two whole races, one of them his own, and is now carrying the guilt on his back. Or that he’s a particularly dangerous man. Though that is promised for season 6, so I’ll hold judgement till I see that. 

  37. sgreco1970

    Its a shame so many people I know are still so hooked on David Tennant that they can’t accept Matt Smith. I loved David, but Im really enjoying Matt too. I mean heck, Patrick Troughton, Tom Baker, so many Doctors have come and gone that I really got used to and loved. I just enjoy them all for the things each bring to the role. Matt’s youth is something I really like about his Doctor and I find his young playfulness contrasted by a 900 year old perspective makes him interesting. Give the kid a chance to be the doctor in his own right, and leave Tennant behind -I think thats why they totally remade the Tardis and gave him a brand new companion instead of just plopping him in the old tardis beside martha jones or something. David was wildly popular and for Matt to have a chance at being his own doctor, he had to have a clean break. Give the kid a chance. Fezes are cool…

    That said, the Master, eh? Well she could be and it would certainly be dramatic, but would it fit? Would the Master say with deep earnestness, “I’m sorry, my love” as the tardis explodes? As I mentally review all of their adventures, I just can’t seem to see the master doing or saying any of that, but who knows? They had both been to the end of the universe together. And the Master would surely know the Doctor’s real name. But would the Master have sacrificed his life for the Doctor in the Library? Needed the “spotter’s guide?” At the risk of being cliche where Doctor Who is concerned, Time will tell.

    I do think that no matter who she is, one important question is: what was she doing in the Library?

    By the time she was in the Library she had been Cleopatra, witnessed the destruction of the Byzantium, sealed cracks in the universe… why was she now a professor on a bland expedition? She hand’t seem to have heard of the Vashta Neradda so she wasn’t after that. She didn’t know about CAL, i don’t think. She didn’t know she was to end up in the computer matrix. What was there about a library that drew her there? It couldn’t be simple archaeology, after all she’d done and been through. Perhaps she had a reaaally overdue book to return…

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I’ve got to say – I really didn’t warm to Tenant during his first year either. Then things improved (or I got used to him) and the last few ‘specials’ were so disappointing that I was almost glad when he was gone.

      Series 5 was actually quite good on balance – you read most of my reviews and know I enjoyed many of the story-based middle episodes a lot. It’s just that Smith hasn’t quite bedded in for me yet. And like I said in my earlier comment, it sounds like Moffat has some excellent plans for Series 6 that I’m going to thoroughly enjoy!

      As for River Song – well, my head’s spinning with all the possibilities this thread has thrown out. A female Master would be a wonderful thing – it would leave the doors wide open for a female Doctor in later series, and it would be an excellent twist in and of itself. Whichever way it works out, I’m certain Moffat has carefully laid the groundwork for the big reveal of River Song’s identity – the payload is certain to be HUGE!

  38. pirho

    List of possible Canadates: (in no secific order)


    1. Romana

    2. Rani

    3. Lucy Saxson

    4. Susan Foreman

    5. Jenny

    6. Amy Pond

    7. The Valyard

    1. Emperor Gregor

      What – not the Master. My first and favourite choice. The most fun choice is that she’s Amy daughter making Amy the Doctor’s mother in law.

      What I want to know is – if River, Amy and Rory are being hunted by the FBI and the Doctor’s somehow captured – how does a main character die in the first ten minutes of season 6?

  39. pirho

    Well the possiblity exist that the Master took over Lucy Saxson’s body when he was burned.  If Time Lords can transfer memories by simply butting someones head against thiers (The Lodger), then why not have the ability to actually transfer your whole conscenness to someone else?

    We know Time Lords are telepathic (otherwise how would they recognize each other when they regenerate)?

  40. pirho

    Well I got through watching the season premier, and now it left us with more questions then it answered (which was none), there are rumors that Matt Smith is leaving the show (just google it) and after this episode I think I see how they ae going to end it.  Looks like Moffat wants to wrap the show up once and for all.

  41. sgreco1970

    well, those rumors are from 2010, and if Moffat knew he would be starting this season with the doctor’s death, they may well have planned the rumors to keep fans guessing all this season. We won’t know, frankly, until the end -and that’s ok. If matt has elected to leave, we’ve enjoyed him and we’ll be looking forward to yet another new doctor. Pity, tho, we cant snag another Tom baker who’ll stick around for 7 years. The doctor could do with some stability.

    That said, the mystery deepens. IMO< River is in the spacesuit and kills the doctor, as she is meant to, probably told to do so by him, to fulfill history, and he’ll return via some contrivance. I think, however, the little girl… is river.

  42. Emperor Gregor

    We’ve been taking everything Father Octavian said pretty much at his word. He believes that River killed someone (the Doctor?) and can reasonably assume that the Doctor won’t help her if he finds out who and what she is. Doesn’t make it true, folks!!!! It certainly explains why River is willing to go back to the storm cage and not run, if she’s making sure they believe she’s guilty of killing the Doctor.

  43. Emperor Gregor

    He’s been running hard lately – running all his life – and it’s time to stop.

    Well, we saw the end of the universe – of everything – and his sacrifice to bring it all back. (I wonder if that is the end of the universe River meant when she said she’d trust the Doctor to the end of the universe – actually, we’ve been), That relied an awful lot on Amy remembering him. If the next 200 years were spent fighting the Silence and other stuff no wonder he wants to stop.

    If Amy’s baby really is River, and River marries the Doctor, my fun theory is true. Amy is the Doctor’s mother in law.

  44. Emperor Gregor

    I have a sneaking suspicion she works a few things out just before that slap on the face for “something he’s done”. Not just him putting her through hell by watching him die, I think. I wonder of the producers wanted a contrast in the reactions to the Doctor’s death between Amy and River. River seems coldly angry but not distraught. She says to Amy that she knows, understands, but they’ve got to keep going. I think she knows then more than she’s telling.

  45. sgreco1970

    Yes, I definitely think when River said she’d follow him to the end of the universe, etc, that she was referring to Big Bang. And yeah I totally forgot the explanation of how she got the sonic. thank god for this forum lol.

    so, when Amy felt sick, I knew she was pregnant. Its the universal TV hint at pregnancy, feeling sick or fainting. But when River felt sick too, I assumed it was just an after effect of the mind-wipe thingy from the aliens. Then Amy pronounces that she is indeed preggers. …Could River be pregnant with the Doctor’s baby?

  46. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

    I also believe Rivers pains may be linked to amys. Either River felt these pains because she is also pregnant or manybe Amys birth pains also echo and cause River some pain due to her being the child.

    1. Emperor Gregor

      I missed that one. I’ll have to watch again. Well spotted. River’s gone through so much you just expect her to feel it a bit. Something could be going on there, yes.

  47. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

    Also if I remember rightly in the Forest of the Dead/Silence in the Library River says of how the last time she meets the doctor before he gives her the new improved sonic screwdriver he took her on a picnic and also had a new hair do and suit. Well all this happens at the begginning of ‘The Impossible Astronaut’. Is this the last time River many meet the doctor before her fate in her own timeline?

    1. sgreco1970

      that’s very possible. It can’t be too far off. while the doctor has all the days with river yet to come, river’s time with him is nearly over.

      1. Emperor Gregor

        If the comparing of diaries is right with the 111 year old doctor, there are at least two more meetings to come, surely. I think this has to be the picnic, though. Must watch Library/Silence again.

    2. Emperor Gregor

      Well, they have a picnic, and he’s definitely got the new suit. Only, where’s the singing towers. I suppose he could take her there when this is all over. And …  she went to this meeting from the storm cage. Unless this is where she finally gets out of the storm cage and gets her professorship. Assuming she didn’t lie to the expedition leader before their trip to the Library. There is a clue, too – she makes such a clear reference to her death, doesn’t she. My head hurts.

    3. Emperor Gregor

      Is this the last time River many meet the doctor before her fate in her own timeline?

      Can’t be. She’s got Fred the Shred or whatever the name is to meet, hasn’t she? And the other one – when River and Dr aged 111 were comparing diaries there were remembering times together they’d had. the 909 doctor hadn’t had those adventures with her yet.

  48. pirho

    The tunnels are old, centrues old, and the control room is the same one from the Lodger, didn’t he mention something about it being from a TARDIS in the lodger?

    1. sgreco1970

      no, fans said it looked like a TARDIS tho I never thought it did. They never used the word TARDIS in relation to the spaceship control room. It is clearly the same one, Im assuming its meant to be the same one as the set was not even redressed in the slightest. Clearly, Lodger was foreshadowing. We didn’t, after all, ever actually see the aliens.

  49. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

    So we all keep talking about who she is, and why she is and even when she is. But what none of us have discussed is whether she has a life after the events of Silence in the Library/Forest of the dead. I’ve been racking my brains to see whether the Doctor could somehow remove her from the CAL hard drive and release her back into the real world? Any suggestions?

    1. sgreco1970

      I am somehow certain that he will ressurect her from CAL after the events of their lfie together ends. She deserves that much, not a pseudo heaven in an AI with that bongo buncha space cadets ;p

      1. Emperor Gregor

        I don’t see why they can’t resurrect her from CAL. They got everyone else out. All 4000 plus of them didn’t survive but were saved to the computer. They got out. So I think River can, if Moffat wants her out.

        1. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

          I hope this could happen and I think it will. And I get the feeling that if the Doctor did rescue her from the CAL system she would become his full time companion for a series or two if Amy and Rory do leave at the end of this series. It would be an opportunity for their relationship to develop. AND…THEIR LIVES WOULD FINALLY BE IN SYNC!!! Meaning less headaches for us.

  50. pirho

    According to WIkipedia’s synopsys of The Lodger “When the Doctor introduces himself to the time ship’s Avatar, he claims to be “Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue,”  so this means this is a Time ship of some sort.  I wonder if this is somehow the Masters Tardis?

        1. sgreco1970

          huh? “When the Doctor introduces himself to the time ship’s Avatar, he claims to be ‘Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue,’  so this means this is a Time ship of some sort.”

          It does? why does him saying troy handsome mean its a time ship??

          1. pirho

            Well drop off the captian handsom part.  The ship was described as a “time ship” so there is a possiblility that it is a TARDIS.  And if it is a TARDIS then there is a possibility that it is the Masters Tardis.

            Aslo an interesting this, I watch Dr Who on BBC Iplayer via a proxy, over in the UK they didnt show the new opening, so when I got home and turned it on the TV after being recorded I was pleasently surprised.  πŸ™‚



          2. pirho

            Apparently BBC America, added to the begining, a little bio by Amy about her adventures with the Doctor since she was a little girl.

          3. sgreco1970

            yeah here in the US we got the “idiot’s guide to doctor who” as I call it, a very short, out of place montage with voice over explaining to the uninitiated what doctor who’s premise is, in a tiny little nutshell. I actually gasped when they played it, and wondered if Moffat had gone bongo when I realized it was probably only in the american version. We also got a 1 hr special before the season opener that sort of explained the overall thrust of season 5 and it ended with the phrase “if this is your first journey with the doctor…” and I realized that BBC is expecting a whole new audience, thus the montage. Theyre probably right, word of mouth has sure spread and more people are watching doctor who here now than ever, but a great many of them wouldn’t know hartnell from troughton, let alone tom baker. Still, the more the merrier and it means more doctor who, so so be it.

          4. Emperor Gregor

            The Beeb is as cash strapped as anyone and needs to develop audiences in existing shows. Especially with Sky breathing down its neck and whingeing about the licence fee. No way are they going to kill off the doctor at the end of this regeneration cycle. Not with huge new US audiences out there to reel in.

          5. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

            I believe Moffat has created this storyline of him completely dying to sort out the whole number limited regeneration thing. We’ve heard in past series and through fictional facts that a time lord may only regenerate 12 times. I feel that if Moffat brings the doctor back to life somehow the regeneration cycle may reset and he now has another 12 regenerations left in the bank. πŸ™‚

          6. Gerard McGarry

            It happened on the Sarah Jane Adventures, so you may have missed it, but there was a line of dialogue where one of the kids asked The Doctor how many times he could regenerate – and he replies that he can basically regenerate as many times as he likes.

            Well, unless someone kills him mid-regeneration. But this is apparently accepted as canon now, putting the age-old debate about number of regerations to bed permanently. The big conundrum now is how to revive a dead Doctor.

          7. sgreco1970

            “The big conundrum now is how to revive a dead Doctor.”

            Not really. I rewatched the End of Time. the Master had been killed, refused to regen and then burned on a funeral pyre by the doctor –but his ring was found, used in a special ceremony, and voila! instant master, just add water.

            If you notice, in Astronaut, the doctor confronts the spaceman and then we see them from a distance, from Amy and River’s POV. Watch carefully, the doctor getsures sharply with his arm. …Perhaps he is discarding a ring?

  51. sgreco1970

    interesting how River knows she keeps meeting the doctor in reverse order, one adventure at a time. We noticed, sure, but I guess I always assumed it could happen in random order it just hadnt been. But for her to say it, means its always been that way for her. I wonder if that means something, if she is somehow cursed to live backwards.

    1. Emperor Gregor

      I don’t think she’s living backwards. I think that whoever she killed was when she was very young. So she remembers that. 

      What is interesting is that River has everything but the Library – in her diary. I always said right from the start that it didn’t see how it could be a diary as it seems to be more a reference book. She’s talking about Jim the Fish who she and 1000- doctor will encounter in years to come – and yet there is it : in the diary.

      She has no concept of spoilers until the Library. I’d like to see how Moffat solves that one.

  52. wintersolstice

    My theory about the “The Impossible Astronaut” is that it’s not actually the Doctor who dies (the Doctor told them that his future self was dead (in The Big Bang) and River said rule one the Doctor lies. Could a similar thing have happened here?

    And if Amy’s Child is River why wasn’t River terrified when Amy was trying to bypass the Weeping Angels saying to the Doctor (it won’t work) if Amy was her mother she would would be terrified that she won’t be born if Amy dies.

    Maybe Amy’s child is the girl in the spacesuit and if River is the Doctor’s Mother (only a theory I know) could her baby be the Doctor (just a thought LOL)

    And could the person in the space suit be the real Doctor killing and impostor?

    In terms of the “Lodger” issue The Doctor suggested that someone was trying to build a TARDIS (the word was used to describe the ship)

    And with no-one being able to cross their own timeline, it’s been done loads of times “The Two Doctors” “The Five Doctors” and “The Three Doctors” among others.

    1. sgreco1970

      I could live with it all working out that Amy is the doctor’s mother, or even that amy’s child is in the spacesuit, or river is in the spacesuit, or river’s child is in the spacesuit -but I can’t accept that river would be the doctor’s mother given their very clearly established sexual tension. If anything, the fact that its been clearly established that Amy is with rory and not the doctor leads me to believe there may be some familial relationship there.

    2. Emperor Gregor

      I think I remember reading and hearing that everyone in this series has a secret from everyone else. Small lies, maybe. I think yes – but his future self does doe and it’s up to the 909 yr old doctor to make sure time is rewritten so it doesn’t happen. If it has something to do with the Silence then once they are defeated, presumably time CAN be rewritten and the doctor resurrected.

      River knows who and what she is re who she killed etc , but she might not know her true mother if she thought she was some sort of “orphan”.

      Now way is River the doctor’s mother. Moffat has ruled out all relations as icky.

      1. sgreco1970

        yeah no, River being the Doctor’s mother would indeed be “icky” lol.

        I don’t think they’re going to rewrite time again, tho. I think they’re going to fulfill it. Just because the Doctor dies mid-regeneration and is ostensibly utterly dead doesn’t mean he can’t come back. The Master refused to regenerate and just died and was subsequently cremated on a pyre and via that ceremony was brought back, albeit wonkily but only because his wife tossed that potion at him. The Doctor will die as we saw it happen, we just haven’t seen how he comes back.

  53. pirho

    Well if you remeber that really awful TV movie that was on FOX, when McCoy was transporting the Masters “remains” back to Gallifrey, the master “escaped” and possesed Eric Roberts body.  I’m sure the writers could do that if needed, but I would hope they are a bit more creative then that.  It’s a shame that Terry Nation passed away.  As a former Doctor Who writer, he would have brought an interesting twist to the whole series.  I would bet that a good 80% of the fans of the show wouldn’t even know who he was.

  54. pirho

    It was first stated in The Deadly Assassin that a Time Lord can regenerate twelve times before dying (thirteen incarnations in all). There were exceptions to this rule, however: when the Master reached the end of his regenerative cycle, he took possession of the body of another person to continue living. The Master was also offered a new cycle of regenerations by the High Council to save the Doctor from the Death Zone, which may indicate that there are methods to circumvent the twelve regeneration limit.  (thanks to Wikipedia)

    1. pirho

      Not sure how much Moffit is on his Doctor Who history, but I found an interesting loop hole.  The first 2 “regenerations” from Hartnell to Troughton, then to Pertwee were never called “regerations” they were refered to as renewals and a “change of appearance”.  It wasn’t until Pertwee actually regenerated into Baker that they called it a regeneration.  So, by that, we could have 2 spare “regenerations” hanging around, that he can use.


      Writer Russell T Davies explained in an interview with SFX that the line was not intended to be taken seriously and is instead a commentary. He insisted that the “thirteen lives” rule was too deeply entrenched in the viewer consciousness for his throwaway line to affect it.

      1. sgreco1970

        “He insisted that the “thirteen lives” rule was too deeply entrenched in the viewer consciousness for his throwaway line to affect it”

        for this Im grateful because it does matter to me. I don’t doubt the doctor will obtain a new bevy of regenerations, after all the Master did. But I want it addressed, on screen.

        I do feel that whatever they may have called it, the first 2 regenerations were just that, but we will see how the doctor obtains more.

        As a side note, totally unrelated, I’m thrilled to see that the older Canton Delaware is played by the younger’s father. Can’t get any better than that hehe.

  55. wintersolstice

    OK well I did say the idea that River was the Doctor’s Mother was “just a thought”!!!

     Anyway some of the clues I’ve been paying close attention to are

    “Your younger than I’ve ever seen you” and “He hasn’t met me yet”

    this means she’s not someone from his past so former campanions and former enemies are excluded (i.e. she can’t be one of them!)

    However we also know that he wouldn’t trust/help her if he knew who she was

    this means she can’t be someone he doesn’t already know!

    This means she must be someone that he’s heard about but hasn’t met yet (at least not before “Silence in the Library” anyone after that isn’t excluded though

    I don’t think she can be Amy “River Song I could bloody kiss you” he ahd already kissed Amy (though on the forehead, when she helped stopped Bracewell from exploding)

    And if a relative of the Doctor has been excluded there’s very few possibilities

    With the “wife theory” all the evidence seems to be pointing that way but in other fiction stories whenever evidence points one way it turns out to be completely different (a common example is in Crime stories “it’s always the one you least expect!”

    So I don’t think she is his wife either.

    1. Emperor Gregor

      Is River living backwards? This last episode has her kissing him for the last time, and him kissing her for the first. How does she know it’s the last time?  Her past is his future. She obviously knows all about their future relationship if she can say she’s never going to kiss him again. Unless she thinks that that he’ll know who and what she is soon. But that begs the question – how does she know. If she is living her past backwards, and her past is his future, then SHE hasnt got to that point any more than HE has. 

      Interesting IF she is living her life backwards. She could end up as the girl in the suit. BUT…. she says that the Doctor met her as a young girl and knew all about her. That doesn’t fit. And River doesn’t seem to expect the doctor’s death. That was interesting, too – the pose the doctor adopts is almost an execution pose – submission. The only time you’ll ever see a submissive doctor so make the most of it.

  56. Emperor Gregor

    “he wouldn’t belp her if he knew who and what she was” – we only have Father Octavian’s word for that. He believes it. Doesn’t have to be true. Especially if River kills the Doctor and does time for it so he can escape the fame of being all over history. (Moffat has said he wants to address that one). Which means all bets are off.

    what do you think about Mrs Robinson as a clue. Is River Amy’s mother? (So the doctor then has an affair with his mother in law.I like that idea as much as I like the idea of River being Amy’ daughter and Amy being the Doctor’s mother in law.

    Though I STILL think she OUGHT to be the Master. I just rather reluctantly have to concede she probably isn’t, so I’m going with my fun answers: – ie one of them is his mother in law.

      1. Emperor Gregor

        the doctor’s wife – not necessarily. But in the UK “the old man” (which River called him after she wiped out the Silence around her) usually does mean a husband – and one of some duration. 

  57. River-Song-Rose-Tyler

    Maybe they didnt get married but were still in a relationship and MAYBE had a child. I got loads of theories on who the child was… made a blog about it if you wanted to have a read and comment πŸ™‚

  58. Emperor Gregor

    The little girl regenerates at the end of episode 2. Is the Master back? Is he a goodie or a baddie? Or is there another Time Lord out there? I can just hear some of you saying it’s the Doctor and Amy’s baby. I don’t think the doctor would do that to Rory. He’s too good.

  59. Emperor Gregor

    Has anyone else noticed this –

    When the Dalek shoots the doctor and he “dies”, we see a massive flash and almost a skeleton. Then we see him fall, with his jacket still unscorched, unripped etc. Then we see the Doctor on the floor – with a ripped and scorched jacket. I’ve checked. In slow motion.

    I do rather wonder if the doctor who started to fall is the same doctor as the one who landed on that floor and subsequently flew the pandorica. Was there another quick change to a different doctor we didn’t see because we (and Amy etc) were all shocked. Moffat doesn;t make continuity errors like that. They mean something. 

    And why is the doctor in the pandorica shot in black  and white? Moffat doesn’t do ANYTHING without a reason. What are they hiding? Because he looks like nothing so much as the 1103 yr old doctor.

    Moffat has said that yes, the doctor “saved the world with the Pandorica  … but it’s never that simple, is it”.


  60. Emperor Gregor

    This episode has a monster in it called Idris. The site reminded me that there’s a character called Idris Hopper. She’s a Slitheen who fought Doctor 9. Jack Harkness had a turn in with her, too. So if she is back, and Jack is back, there’s a Torchwood connection coming up in Dr Who.

    Now this wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that between set 1 and set 2 of the Doctor Who series 6, there’s a new series of Torchwood being broadcast. Would it?  Maybe we won’t have to wait for the whole summer for the story to be continued.

    Oh, and for those who never saw series 1 of Torchwood, the very first episode has an interesting title. It was called “Everything Changes”.


  61. Emperor Gregor

    Sorry – Idris wasn’t the Slitheen; Idris was the secretary to the character taken over by the Slitheen. Oh, and Idris is a HE. 

    There can’t be that many characters called Idris in the Dr Who pantheon, surely. So I still live in hope of a Torchwood tie in.

  62. Emperor Gregor

    We’ve all missed something.

    Just watched David Tennant die in The End of Time. He told Wilf he was 903. Two seasons later the Doctor on the picnic is 1103 and the Doctor who got the letter is 909. I’ve just checked. The Doctor who got the letter is THE WRONG AGE.

    I’m not sure how significant it is, but I make it that he’s at least 3 years too old.

    There’s a third doctor out there, somewhere.

  63. pirho

    I agree with sgreco1970, to some exent that the girl is River, but if it was dont you think she would have rememberd?   Also mind you this is technically the last time he can regenerate, so Moffat may want to wrap things up once and for all.  But how is this for a twist, River is Amy’s daughter.

    1. sgreco1970

      river could be, that thought definitely occurs, though more likely she is a little girl from 1969.

      but wrap things up once for and all? on a series he felt he’s waited a life time to run? after 2 years?? I don’t think so at all.

      the rumors of matt possibly leaving are a year old, and I seem to recall patrick stewart “considering leaving” after every other season of next gen -right before contract renegotiation. He stayed for all 7 years.

      If Moffat leaves, which i highly doubt, he would be replaced -Doctor Who, right now, is a smash hit and means huge money. I just couldnt fathom the BBC thinking, ‘oh yeah, lets end it.’ They’re just toying with us. The doctor will automagically come back to life, despite you seeing him burned on a boat. The master came back from ashes, so can he. It doesnt matter.

  64. sgreco1970

    Now, things to think about.

    When we and the doctor first meet river, the last time she meets the doctor, in “silence in the library,” she has a modified version of david tennant’s sonic screwdriver. One she clearly does not have in “time of angels” as she asks him to “sonic” her. Where and when does she get that? She’d have to get it from Matt Smith, I’d think, at some time we’ve yet to see, but it will have to be a version of Tennant’s. I do hope this major event in Silence in the Library gets explained. We do know he meets with her once before Library that we never get to see, probably as tennant as she does recognize him in Library, even tho she claims he’s younger than she’s ever seen him. We know Tennant’s doctor visited many people he knew and loved right before he died, that might’ve happened then, or during his last year when he flitted around aimlessly without companions. Still, if that were so, we’d have to wonder how he knew where to find River.

    Further along the Doctor’s timeline, equally backward in River’s, they were (possibly) married. So, its sometime after Astronaut for the Doctor. However, looking at the timeline, River HAS to know ALL about the doctor’s death, and its resolution, when they meet in Library. She also knows in Angels and Pandorica, which she hints at in the “and I’m sorry but that’s when everything changes.” Still, she seems quite surprised when he gets shot on the beach, albeit she, always a crack shot who can shoot a variety of hats with perfect aim, cannot land a single bullet on the Astronaut and then exclaims, “of course not.” This leads me to believe either she or Amy is the astronaut and I’m leaning towards it being River, who cannot be killed by her older self.

    River might be the young girl in the spacesuit in 1969. If so, is that her original time? If not, how did she end up in that time? She seems to be a denizen of the future, always toting around that futuristic scanner, making shady deals for time agent technology, riding on the Byzantium, exploring the Library. Assuming she was freed from stormcage after Angels, what really was she doing in the Library? She, by this point, has to be more than a simple archeologist.

    Interesting thing to note, in Astronaut, Amy looks at the “invitation” mailed to her, and declares, “Its TARDIS blue.” Cut to River, in Stormcage…and her entire cell, suddenly (as opposed to how it looked in Angel) is tardis blue. I’m also curious as to how she affects her escape. More lipstick? Its never revealed. She has yet to get the time device, that happens later for her in pandorica.

    Inquiring minds wanna know…

    1. Emperor Gregor

      We know when she got the Sonic Screwdriver. She says so in the Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – they visited the Singing Towers the very last time she sees him for the Library, and he gives her his sonic screwdriver. Tennant’s Doctor asks himself why he would do that and works out that he somehow got her to place her consciousness in it so he can save her to the Library hard drive – she might not know all that would happen in the Library, but he does and he’s prepared for the event.

      I’m sure it’s River in the astronaut suit for one good reason – we were told just at the end of the last series (forget by whom but I’m sure it’s a real PR release) that the next time they meet it’s for the first time. Well it wasn’t for the older River, so it must be the astronaut.

      Another clue was in the uTube interviews. Moffat says that if someone were to constantly go round rescuing the earth and people on it, he’d get noticed, and they address that. Another thing I’m sure I read (the Dr Who mag I think) is that they are going to deal with the number of regenerations thing. Moffatt has also said two signficant things – time can be rewritten and that will become really important in this series, and in the latest Dr Who Confidential they’ve said the pregnancy is important. (so maybe River is Amy’s daughter – isn’t there supposed to be something about Amy being taken away – maybe she has the baby in the 50th century, in a storm cage.)

      I think I’ve worked out a bit of what’s going on. The Doctor says he’s been running really hard lately – running all his life – and now it’s time to stop. He’s been really busy saving the universe against the Silence hasn’t he, and now he wants to make himself a bit more invisible –  to the universe, or at least to whoever has put River in the storm cage. To do that he’s got to fake his own death, in front of witnesses, and young River is the one to pull the trigger and take responsibility for it. Time can be rewritten? – they’ll find a way of rewriting time to bring back the Doctor. As the Silence can alter reality by fixing it that things didn’t happen I suspect that when they deal with the Silence they can undo all sorts of stuff. And somehow it’ll fix all his regeneration limits.

      How did River make her escape at the start of the Impossible Astronaut – I wonder if they let her out every now and again to see what she’s up to or whatever. They note that “she’s doing it again, she’s packing”, not that she’s gone.

      And just a thought – you can’t cross your own time line. Maybe the astronaut suit isolates you from the world outside so horrible things like the universe blowing up doesn’t happen. 

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