Doctor Who News Alex Kingston returns as River Song in The Angels Take Manhattan

Published on September 29th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

Kingston: River is “seeing her parents die”

River Song herself Alex Kingston has spoken of trauma of ‘watching her parents die’ in this Saturday’s climactic episode The Angels Take Manhattan.

With Amy and Rory’s story coming to an end, River finds herself observing what is set to be a heart-breaking farewell for both her and the Doctor.

Alex Kingston returns as River Song in The Angels Take ManhattanSpeaking to The Daily Beast on the eve of the Upstairs, Downstairs‘ return to PBS’ Masterpiece on 7th October, Kingston commented:

River is basically seeing her parents die, seeing them go. God, Steven could have written a whole episode just about that, about the complexities and psychology of that, but he didn’t. It is about Amy saying goodbye to the Doctor… and [River] stays much more in the background. But, oh my gosh, I found it hard. I didn’t think I would, just observing them. It was quite emotional.

With characters departing; is this likely to be the last time that we see River Song too? Everybody…Spoilers…

Whether River’s journey will come full-circle, I don’t know. How many more episodes or seasons River has, I don’t know that either, but the way that Steven writes, he lays out threads that can be picked up way down the line. For her just to not reappear would be a little strange.

Reflecting on the impact of River Song; what has been most meaningful to Kingston has been how younger viewers of Doctor Who have embraced her character:

They don’t look at me or at the character or River Song and say, ‘Well, she shouldn’t be on this show because this show is about young people. That’s fabulous and I wish there would be more writers daring to write roles that are in a sense ageless.

For more on Upstairs, Downstairs, Kingston’s career and the Doctor’s dermatologist head over to The Daily Beast.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

7 Responses to Kingston: River is “seeing her parents die”

  1. avatar BOJAY says:

    Spoilers, Alex, spoilers………..

    • avatar patrick says:

      Funny using part of her characters lines this way ;)

  2. avatar Marcus says:

    Can I just say that for those who havent seen the episode, having this headline at the top of your page is rather bad form….
    (I’ve seen it myself mind, but I’m sure many havent!)

    • Yeah, I hadn’t seen it but was waiting for it load when I clicked onto the site.

  3. avatar Lee says:

    It’s not a spoiler anymore, the episode has aired. You can’t expect people to refrain from discussing it forevermore.

    • Given that the article (and comment) were published yesterday, before broadcast…

  4. avatar stlshawn says:

    I’ll miss Alex Kingston as River, but like someone said in a comment for another article (something we have all had way too many manners to mention), She is beginning to show her age. Having seen her “demise” she can’t look too much different from that the “last” time we see her. I was one of the ones who thought many of the characters in “The 5 Doctors” looked so strange having aged, and we were supposed to not notice.

    I LOVE the character, and i LOVE the actress, but maybe it is time.

    Oh, and about spoilers. I all but ditch ANY who sites until i see the “current” episodes, and i’m all about the rumors, stories, and behind the scene photos. There must be something different about seeing a fuzzy camera phone shot of the shooting process as opposed to a full out “Spoilery” spoiler that could really and truly spoil the experience.

    Take this episode for instance. I was expecting a speech from Amy and Rory when they were walking back while Tardis was getting scrubbed. What happened so completely blew me away. I am glad that was not “spoilered” for me.

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