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Rain Gods was a Doctor Who mini-episode made exclusively for the Series 7 DVD and Blu-ray box sets. It was written by Neil Gaiman and featured Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Alex Kingston as River Song.

It was adapted from the unused opening sequence of The Doctor's Wife, which was previously also made into a comic strip for The Brilliant Book 2012. Unlike the comic, the mini-episode does not replace the aired opening of The Doctor's Wife, but is a standalone story. The original story featured Amy Pond and Rory Williams, whereas the new version features River Song, who does not appear in Doctor's Wife . Ironically River is herself the Doctor's wife even though the said TV episode refers to the TARDIS. As such, this is the first on-screen story to feature River Song that was not written by Steven Moffat (who is erroneously credited as its writer; the story was actually written by Gaiman).


The Doctor and River Song find themselves at the mercy of the natives of the planet of the Rain Gods, who mean to sacrifice them to their deities, until the Doctor calls upon the gods themselves to help them out of the fix.


The Eleventh Doctor and River Song are being marched down a path by two soldiers to be sacrificed to the rain gods. River asks the Doctor whether or not he has a plan. The Doctor makes up a plan to distract the soldiers before they are sacrificed to the rain gods, and when they’re distracted, they run away. River ridicules him, saying that is not a plan. The Doctor asks if River can smell something. River ignores this, asking why they’re being sacrificed to the rain gods. The Doctor tells her that it appeases their wrath, and that it’s also very good for the crops. The Doctor is about to say there is scientific evidence, before river interupts him, asking if he’d prefer being burnt alive. Suddenly, it begins to rain. The Doctor yells up at the sky, telling the rain gods that they are rubbish, and to strike him dead if he’s wrong. A loud thunderclap distracts the guards, giving the Doctor and River time to escape. Later, in the TARDIS, River asks if hoping for lightning was the doctor’s genuine plan, and saying that they should be burning at the stake. The doctor and River continue to argue, with the doctor claiming that he knew something would come up. River argues that he didn’t, and they continue to bicker.




Story notes[]

  • While Steven Moffat is credited as the writer on-screen, the story was actually written by Neil Gaiman. The North American release of the box set in turn erroneously credits Gaiman as the writer of The Name of the Doctor, though only on the box.[1]
  • Including opening credits, the mini-sode's running time is approximately 100 seconds, making it one of the shortest Doctor Who storylines ever.
  • This is the first time the Doctor is seen wearing his purple post-Victorian outfit in River's presence prior to her death.
  • This, alongside The Bells of Saint John, is the only time the Doctor is shown in his purple post-Victorian outfit without a waistcoat.


Home video releases[]

Doctor Who Complete Seventh Series UK DVD Cover

Complete Seventh Series DVD Cover

This mini-episode was released as part of The Complete Seventh Series on DVD and Blu Ray on September 24, 2013.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Neil Gaiman's tumblr
  2. Erroneously credited to Steven Moffat