Doctor Who News no image

Published on September 25th, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

River Song: Wife or Android?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably already stopped wondering who this River Song woman is and have simply accepted her as an occasional bonus companion whenever the Doctor’s situation looks especially bleak.  But the time is upon us to fire up our brain’s curiosity motors once again, because the mysteries surrounding River, as played by Alex Kingston, will soon be solved!

The Brillian Book of Doctor WhoWe know this because Steven Moffat said so himself in Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2011 (available for pre-order on Amazon for just £7.49):

That’s absolutely coming. You’re going to find out [River's true identity] very soon, and that means we have to do it next series, really…

The critical thing here is I want to explain who she is, not explain away who she is. If you don’t deliver on most people’s expectations, and you just say, ‘Ooh, she’s a specially programmed android who believes she’s the Doctor’s wife,’ people will go, ‘That‘s a cheat.’

You can’t do that… It’s a really good story, and it’s sort of the story of next year.

Perhaps I’m digging a little deep here, but did the Grand Moff just say that River believes she’s the Doctor’s wife?  Yes, I know Moffat was just making up something that isn’t going to happen (like the android bit), but it still sounds like he’s suggesting that River at least thinks she’s been wedded to the Doctor, which is at least a step closer to knowing whether she actually has been.

Of course, that could be a completely bogus theory as well, and to be honest I’m not sure I believe it myself.  Personally, I think that River is actually…

Wait a moment, I’ve got a better idea.  Tell you what – you give me some of your theories about River in the comments and I’ll give you mine.  As my old high school economics teacher whose course I dropped two weeks into the penultimate year of my secondary education used to say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch!”

(Via SFX)


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

6 Responses to River Song: Wife or Android?

  1. avatar mykalel says:

    I think that River is a regenerated Amy, and the regeneration will be the enormous game-changing cliffhanger of Series 6.

  2. avatar Jez Noir says:

    My guess? She’s Jackie Tyler in disguise! The evidence? ‘Professor River Song’ is an anagram of ‘Rose’s porn forgiver’.


  3. avatar bluebox444 says:

    I think River definitely has some kind of connection to Gallifrey or the Time Lords, possibly even to the Doctor’s own past. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that she’s Amy. I really don’t think we’re going to see any new revelations about Amy’s past, that would be over-complicating things. She’s a human from a human family; not a Time Lady. Not that her future won’t hold some surprises, of course.

    It really would be a great plot twist, wouldn’t it, if some regular (supposedly human) character fell dead, and everyone was crying, and then all of a sudden the person started to glow and regenerate? Especially if they regenerated into River…

    What are your theories, Patrick?

  4. avatar mabtycoon says:

    River Song is… The Rani
    Maybe, like Mykalel says, River is Amy, but maybe River-Amy is also the Rani?

    A little complicated, but wouldnt that be awesome?


  5. Here’s what I think:

    We know that, even though Steven Moffat didn’t write The Doctor’s Daughter, he had a huge hand in keeping her alive. But he mysteriously hasn’t mentioned her since…

    In The Pandorica Opens we saw River pull a “kissing stunt” similar to what Jenny did to get out of a prison cell.

    I also vaguely remember, though I don’t remember which episode(s) specifically (PO/BB, maybe?), that a point was made that only the Doctor can pilot the TARDIS. But we’ve already seen River do just that. Perhaps that rule is genetic and applies to the Doctor and certain descendants?

    And in Silence/Forest and Time of Angels/Flesh & Stone, various characters point out that the Doctor and River are “arguing like an old married couple.” But what if it’s not husband/wife bickering, but father/daughter bickering, which is just as plausible?

    So I’ll leave it to you to guess who I think River actually is.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong, and actually, I usually am. But this time I do have a fair amount of evidence to back up my theory, I think.

    But Jez is probably the one who’s right out of us all! ;)

    As for Amy, while I don’t think she’s River, the Grand Moff has said the true nature of the Doctor’s relationship with her has yet to be revealed, so I think we’re still in for a few shocks on both sides of the Pond!

  6. avatar Hyncharas says:

    Well I think River is one of three possibilities:


    The New Wife:: with much of River’s life set in a slightly different timestream (most notably the future), one has to assume she has known him for a while as a companion, but not necessarily all his life. The only person that might fit into that category is Rose Tyler, since the other universe’s time can change dramatically compared to ours.


    The Old Wife:: the second option is a character whose survival has never been confirmed, but believed to still exist given the fact The Master came back… I speak of course of The Doctor’s actual wife who’s known him for a “very long time” from Gallifrey, Ushas (or ‘Archangel/The Rani’ as she is better known); a person who is neither his friend nor really his enemy, but likes to play the rival-card whenever they confront each other.


    The Wife With A Secret:: it’s been an inxeplicable fact that although The Doctor thinks he knows something about a person, sometimes, he can be dangerously wrong. During the events of Flesh and Stone, the good Father Octavian had a conversation with The Doctor about River Song saying he that doesn’t know who or what she is – with a lot of empahsis on what. Now there is another character named Amy in the franchise that looks very, VERY similar to this one, and she too has complicated origins; a being in the Companion Chronicles created by Transcendental forces to find the Key to Time, a device built for the Guardians of Time. That person then, eventually, became a new Time Lady.

    Now although The Doctor is sure the Time Lords are dead he’s never really, specifically said how he could know this, speculating perhaps he would sense the “Hive Mind”, a group-consciousness that linked them all that would broadcast a field across space and time races like the Daleks could detect… but what if they had found a way to sever this link?!


    Well those are my theories, probably just more unfathomable than most.

Please be aware that all comments are subject to adherence to our comments policy.

Back to Top ↑