Melody Pond's third incarnation, best known as Professor River Song, was a "child of the TARDIS" and the wife of the Doctor, specifically of their eleventh and twelfth incarnations, although she also had encounters with their tenth and thirteenth incarnations, as well as earlier incarnations whose memories were later redacted. She was mostly human, with some Time Lord DNA, and was conceived by her parents, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, aboard the TARDIS as it travelled through the Time Vortex. She was then raised and conditioned by the Silence, who used her unique DNA to transform her into the first of several Proto-Time Lords, granting her great strength, a deep understanding of the complex principles of time and space, and the ability to regenerate. She loved the Doctor dearly, and shared a long-lasting relationship with them. River was one of the very few people who knew the Doctor's true name.
Melody was stolen from her parents as a newborn baby by Madame Kovarian, to become a weapon of the Silence in their crusade against the Doctor. After a later regeneration, she killed the Eleventh Doctor, but then broke her mental conditioning to give her remaining regenerations to revive his corpse, after learning that River Song was who she would become.
The Doctor and her parents left her to make her own way in the universe. With no connection to her family or the Silence, River became an archaeologist, ostensibly to track the Doctor through time. She crossed the Doctor's path on several occasions, across many of their incarnations, and generally with the result that she was meeting them at progressively earlier points in their own time stream. Hoping to avoid temporal paradoxes, the Eleventh Doctor gave her a diary to keep track of their meetings and to prevent her from revealing "spoilers" to him about his own future.
Again forced by the Silence, she made a second attempt on the Eleventh Doctor's life, which led to their eventual marriage. Though actually unsuccessful, she was convicted of his murder and spent many years in Stormcage Containment Facility for it — to convince the universe and the Silence that her husband actually was dead. This confinement was made more bearable by escaping frequently to go out on dates with the Doctor. She was eventually pardoned, due to the Doctor deleting any evidence of his existence, and became a Professor of Archaeology.
After a final adventure with the Twelfth Doctor, which ended with them spending a twenty-four year long night at the Singing Towers of Darillium, she died saving the Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, Strackman Lux, and the 4,022 people saved in the computer system in the Library. The Tenth Doctor saved her consciousness digitally to the Library's computer system CAL. This data echo desired a true goodbye from the Doctor, and persisted for some time until the time came to say goodbye to her husband.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Becoming River Song
- 1.2 Studying at Luna University
- 1.3 The assassination of the Doctor
- 1.4 Imprisonment at Stormcage
- 1.4.1 Early imprisonment
- 1.4.2 Adventures out of prison
- 1.4.3 Visiting her parents
- 1.4.4 Revisiting her past
- 1.4.5 Nights out with the Doctor
- 1.4.6 The opening of the Pandorica
- 1.4.7 The Eternity Clock
- 1.4.8 Escaping the Bekdel Institute
- 1.4.9 Consoling the Tenth Doctor
- 1.4.10 The crash of the Byzantium
- 1.4.11 Recording the Monster Files
- 1.4.12 Facing the Malignant
- 1.4.13 Final years at Stormcage
- 1.5 A pardoned woman
- 1.6 Adventures with the Tenth Doctor
- 1.7 Investigating the Weeping Angels
- 1.8 Running from the Discordia
- 1.9 The night on Darillium
- 1.10 Archaeological adventures
- 1.11 The Doom Coalition
- 1.12 Final escapades
- 1.13 The Library expedition
- 1.14 As an echo
- 1.15 Undated events
- 2 Later references
- 3 Alternate timelines
- 4 Personality
- 5 Physical appearance
- 6 Skills and abilities
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 External links
- 9 Footnotes
Becoming River Song
River Song was the third incarnation of the assassin Melody Pond, the child of Rory Williams and Amy Pond who had been stolen away (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) by the Kovarian Chapter to be used as a weapon against the Doctor to prevent the Siege of Trenzalore. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) Shortly after regenerating from her second incarnation in 1938 Berlin, Melody began examining her new body and, per her programming, began using every obvious means of trying to lure the Eleventh Doctor into a false sense of security. Having already applied lipstick laced with Judas tree poison, she kissed the Doctor, poisoning him beyond his ability to regenerate, as she cheerily ran amok in Berlin, arming herself with guns from German soldiers and stealing clothes from patrons at the posh Hotel Adlon.
The Teselecta, after taking her parents on board, decided to punish River for her murder of the Doctor, but the Doctor stopped them. When her parents were in danger of being killed by antibodies, Melody was surprised to see the Doctor ignore his pain for the sake of saving them. Convincing her to let him save her parents, the Doctor had Melody pilot the TARDIS to save Amy and Rory. Melody then agreed to give a message to River Song from the dying Doctor, and he whispered it in her ear. Asking who River was, Amy had the Teselecta turned into Melody's new incarnation. Melody realised that she was the person the Doctor kept calling for help, and reawakened him with a kiss, using all of her remaining regenerations to bring him back to life. She passed out in the process.
The Doctor took River to the "best hospital in the universe" to recover. Knowing of her future as an on-and-off companion, he left a TARDIS-shaped diary as a gift. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) The Doctor made it so that the diary's number of pages reflected exactly the amount of adventures they would have together for River to record. (TV: The Husbands of River Song) The next morning, River found clothes that her parents had left for her. However, they had not left River anything to write in her diary with. The nurses called the closest antique shop and were able to secure a pen for her, and she used it to make the first entry in her diary. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
Studying at Luna University
Hoping to find the Doctor once again, River entered the Luna University in 5123. When asked why she wished to study archaeology, River said she was "looking for a good man". Her studies led to her knowing some of the Doctor's locations in the past. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) One of the things River decided to research was the legend of the Furies. (AUDIO: The Furies) River chose Bernice Summerfield as her tutor because she found out that Benny knew the Doctor. She rarely attended Benny's lectures but still graduated top of the class. Benny recalled River as the most annoying student she ever had. (AUDIO: Lies in Ruins)
The assassination of the Doctor
Working hard for "some afternoons", River eventually gained a doctorate from Luna University, (AUDIO: Songs of Love) but Kovarian appeared with agents of the Church and the Silence. They seized her, forced her into a modified version of the astronaut suit and took her to Utah on 22 April 2011, where they submerged her in Lake Silencio to await the Doctor. (TV: Closing Time)
When the time came to kill him, River emerged from the lake as the Doctor picnicked with Amy, Rory and an older River. The Doctor approached her alone to speak with her, (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) and reassure her that all was going to be well. However, River drained her weapon pack to defy the fixed point in time and save the Doctor, but time shredded into a reality where all history happened at once due to her actions. Working with individuals who remembered the correct history, River captured Kovarian and the Silents, and had Amy bring the Doctor to her. Refusing to fix reality, River was convinced by the Doctor to let history unfold after he wed himself to her to get close enough to whisper his plan to her. Sharing a kiss with her new husband, River went through with his apparent murder to restore the timeline, knowing he was really safe inside the Teselecta. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) Despite their marriage, River never believed her love for the Doctor was mutual. (TV: The Husbands of River Song) With the deed apparently done, River walked back into Lake Silencio, the astronaut suit protecting her from being shot by her future self. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut)
Imprisonment at Stormcage
River was put on trial for the Doctor's alleged murder and pleaded not guilty, saying that she had killed him to save the universe. However, she was found guilty (AUDIO: Whodunnit?) and sentenced to twelve thousand consecutive life sentences in the Stormcage Containment Facility in the 52nd century. (TV: Flesh and Stone, The Pandorica Opens) She served the sentence to make the Silence believe him dead, but often escaped to spend time with her husband before returning to her cell. They started on her very first night in the prison, when he paid a visit to bring her to Calderon Beta and explained to her the purpose of their diaries. (HOMEVID: First Night, Last Night) River became well-known for her countless escapes; it was believed that no prison could hold her for long. (AUDIO: The Bekdel Test)
River used her vortex manipulator to travel down the Doctor's timeline, and had several encounters with nine of his first ten incarnations, but erased their memories of her with mnemosine recall-wipe vapour to avoid corrupting his timeline. She went to 76 Totter's Lane to observe the First Doctor, but fled when she heard Susan Foreman's voice calling him. She also had an encounter with the Second Doctor that resulted in an animosity toward him when he tried to offer her "this cool place on Telos", and had an encounter with the Fifth Doctor that involved him continuously mentioning the Eye of Orion. She conversed with the Third Doctor and believed this resulted in the Sixth Doctor trying to mimic her hair style. When she met the Ninth Doctor, she accidentally set him off after mentioning the Last Great Time War, and quickly learned it was a bad idea to discuss it with him. She visited the TARDISes of the fourth and eighth incarnations, finding a room dedicated to a collection of scarves in the former, and hearing someone screaming from within the walls of the latter. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
Adventures out of prison
Five years into her imprisonment, River escaped and encountered several Sontarans who shot at and chased her halfway across the galaxy after she asked them if they were on a hen night. She escaped into the TARDIS where the Doctor returned her to Stormcage via her vortex manipulator to prevent her from interacting with her past self and her future self. (HOMEVID: Last Night)
Visiting her parents
River and the Doctor were repeatedly invited to attend the fish people's annual parties. The Doctor at one point decided to visit one of these gatherings, where they were tied up, dipped in guacamole, and hung upside down over a fire pit. (COMIC: An Adventure in Brine and Plaice)
The Doctor and the Ponds had to decide where to go for their bank holiday and their ideas were conflicting. River Song decided to leave them, making her own vacation plans as the Doctor and her parents went to Florana. (COMIC: Summer Wholiday)
River and the Doctor were chased by Judoon on Riftan Five. They were found because of her posts on the social network Bookface, but she defeated them by spamming their accounts with a game invitation. She showed jealousy that Leela and Polly Wright commented the Doctor's profile. (COMIC: Timeliney Wimey)
Revisiting her past
On receiving an invitation from the Doctor, River escaped from Stormcage to meet Amy, Rory and him in Utah in the United States on 22 April 2011. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) The Doctor, inside a Teselecta double of himself, took them on a picnic where the Teselecta was shot by River's younger self. Amy, Rory and River went to a cafe to find a version of the Eleventh Doctor two hundred years younger than the one inside the Teselecta. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut, The Wedding of River Song)
River secretly revisited her childhood when she accompanied her parents, the Eleventh Doctor, and Canton Everett Delaware III to Florida on 8 April 1969 to find the little girl who kept ringing Richard Nixon. Adhering to the Doctor's rule against "spoilers" which could collapse time, she feigned ignorance of her childhood self's identity. The only information she gave the Doctor about her old spacesuit was that which she could have reasonably determined by her inspection of it and she offered Amy and Canton no forewarning about what they would find in her old orphanage. Any knowledge she may have retained about the Silence she kept to herself. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut)
River, Amy, Rory, Canton, and the Doctor split up to investigate the Silence across America over the next three months. By July, River was in New York City. She showed her reliance upon and faith in the Doctor and his TARDIS being in the right place and time to rescue her as she dove backwards out of the 50th floor of a building and into the TARDIS' swimming pool. She helped the Doctor defeat the Silence by using their brainwashing of humanity against them, while making sure she did not meet her first incarnation. River killed all of the Silence who were holding her mother hostage. At her request, the Doctor returned her to Stormcage, where she kissed him. He was shocked and she realised that from his perspective, it was their first kiss. (TV: Day of the Moon)
Using her her vortex manipulator, River returned to Demons Run shortly after the conclusion of the Battle of Demons Run, mere minutes after Kovarian had fled with her infant body. As the Doctor angrily confronted her on her refusal to help, River pointed out how his own actions had led to the events of the battle due to making people so afraid of him. As the Doctor demanded to know her real identity, River showed the Doctor his old cot and the prayer leaf inside it, cluing him in to her parentage and true nature. As the Doctor raced off to locate baby Melody, Amy demanded answers from River. In response, River showed her parents the prayer leaf upon which the name "Melody Pond" became "River Song" in the language of the Gamma Forests and explained that she was their daughter. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
Nights out with the Doctor
On her birthday, the Doctor took River to the last Winter Frost Fair on the River Thames in 1814. Stevie Wonder performed, not knowing where and when he had truly been brought, before being restored to his proper time. Back at Stormcage, River met Rory in his Roman garb. Looking in her diary, River realised that he was there about the Battle of Demon's Run. Having already experienced the event, she refused to come aid them at Demons Run, saying she couldn't be there "until the very end". When Rory pressed her for a reason, River simply explained that it was the day that the Doctor would learn her true identity. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
River attended a party with the Doctor and helped him search pet shops for a Queen of England who had become a goldfish. (HOMEVID: Bad Night) River and the Doctor had an adventure involving a euphonium, a biplane and someone named Marilyn. (HOMEVID: Good Night)
Arriving on the “planet of the rain gods”, the Doctor and River were set to be sacrificed by the natives until the Doctor successfully petitioned to the rain gods themselves for rain. (HOMEVID: Rain Gods)
The opening of the Pandorica
In 5145, the TARDIS rerouted a phone call for the Doctor from Winston Churchill to River's Stormcage cell. Using hallucinogenic lipstick on her guard, she escaped to warn the Doctor of a prophecy of the TARDIS exploding. She blackmailed a Time Agent's vortex manipulator off Dorium Maldovar and stole a Vincent van Gogh painting from Liz Ten showing the TARDIS exploding and space-time coordinates. She graffitied a diamond cliff at the dawn of time with the coordinates, then travelled to England in 102 AD to meet the Eleventh Doctor and Amy, posing as Cleopatra in order to blend in with the Roman garrison stationed there.
The Pandorica lay under Stonehenge, transmitting a signal to summon an alliance of the Doctor's enemies. The Doctor got them to back off and sent River to fetch the TARDIS. Instead, it took her to Amy's house on 26 June 2010. When River told him the date, the Doctor realised the TARDIS was about to explode and told her to escape. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) Unable to leave, she was trapped in a time loop of the first moments of the explosion. (TV: The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang) The Doctor rescued her in 1996, told her his plan to use the Pandorica's restoration field to reverse the Total Event Collapse of the universe and was shot by a stone Dalek. River told the Dalek to look in its data banks for her, taunted it into begging for mercy, then killed it.
After the Doctor had rebooted the universe by erasing himself, River left her now blank diary at her parents' wedding so Amy could remember him back into existence. After a brief conversation about her marital status and identity, River told the Doctor he was "going to find out very soon", and left him wondering. (TV: The Big Bang)
The Eternity Clock
In 5145, River escaped from her cell in the Stormcage Containment Facility using her hallucinogenic lipstick, after receiving a phone call saying that the Doctor needed her help. She located her vortex manipulator and used it to travel to London in 2012 where she rescued her stranded husband.
She helped the Doctor fight off Cybermen, Daleks, Silents, and Silurians in different eras of London; each had a piece of the fabled Eternity Clock to fuel their plans against humanity. She and the Doctor collected the pieces and brought them back to the TARDIS, which was at the heart of a temporal storm being caused by the Eternity Clock pieces trying to pull themselves together.
River discovered, much to her shock, that there was an entry about the clock in her diary that she hadn't written; the Doctor explained that it was due to the temporal anomalies the clock was causing to time. No sooner had this been explained, the clock began tracking all fixed points in time and began attempting to rewrite them. Adding to the insanity, the TARDIS was towed away with them inside for the ride. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
Escaping the Bekdel Institute
At some point, River was taken out of Stormcage due to her famed escapology attempts from the prison. After encountering some of the prisoners at the Institute, she learned that the Director was in fact a "solidogram", a solid hologram. When Missy, the female incarnation of the Master, came to the Institute, River helped her to escape. To throw off the Director, they created a set of solidograms, one to be placed into the detention cells, and another to crawl through the sewers in order to be caught by the Director and the cubes, a trick to allow both River and Missy to meddle with the Institute's computers. It was at this point that the two women figured out that the prisoners were all solidogroms, generated by the Institute's main computer. River and Missy also figured out that they were brought to the Institute to find confirm if the Doctor was still alive after his assasination at Lake Silencio. They finally escaped after Missy tricked the computer into thinking that the inside was the outside and vice versa. After agreeing to save Missy from an opening airlock using her Vortex manipulator, they were transported to a planet, where Missy set off back to her TARDIS and then revealed she’d meddled with River’s manipulator so it instantly teleported her back to Stormcage. (AUDIO: The Bekdel Test)
Consoling the Tenth Doctor
River devised a plan to help the Tenth Doctor get over the loss of Donna Noble. She sent him a message on psychic paper, telling him to meet her at the Apocalypse Vault, making him believe she intended to disrupt a fixed point in time. At his refusal, she led him into a chase from planet to planet, where she arranged different situations where he could solve problems and help people. When the Doctor eventually found a forged copy of the Scroll of the Last Days, she invited him to a date at the Cafe du Paris, 2061. That message, however, mistakenly arrived to the Fifth Doctor. After an initial disappointment, River manipulated the Fifth Doctor into stealing from the Tenth Doctor the faked Scroll, before drugging him and making him forget what had happened.
Eventually, though, her continual messages to various incarnations of the Doctor to reach her at the Vault came to the attention of the Tenth Doctor, who berated her and called her a thief, saying she was only using him. To prove him wrong, River forced him to go the Vault and steal the Scroll - only for the Doctor to leave the Scroll there and tell her to make her choice of how to use it. By that time, however, River had already used the TARDIS to go back in time, change the Scroll and also the future without disrupting the fixed point in time, thus proving her valour to the Doctor. (AUDIO: Expiry Dating)
The crash of the Byzantium
River was put in Father Octavian's custody in the 51st century for a mission to try to earn her pardon. She infiltrated the Galaxy class Byzantium to find its Home Box, into which she carved "Hello Sweetie" in Old High Gallifreyan, along with her temporal coordinates. This attracted the Doctor's attention twelve thousand years later, leading Amy (who at this point in time had not met River before) and the Doctor to her and the Byzantium's crash site on Alfava Metraxis. (TV: The Time of Angels) They defeated an army of Weeping Angels who had awakened in the planet's Maze of the Dead. River hinted they would meet again by the opening of the Pandorica before being returned to Stormcage, though she hoped she had done enough to earn a pardon. (TV: Flesh and Stone)
Recording the Monster Files
In her diary, River made records of several species. Regarding the Weeping Angels, River acknowledged Rastan Jovanich's Book of the Weeping Angels, the crash of the Byzantium and their activity on Earth. (WC: Monster File: Weeping Angels) Though she was not there personally, she demonstrated an awareness of the Eleventh Doctor's confrontation with the Saturnynians in Venice in 1580 as well as other vampire species, namely the Ogri, the Three Who Rule and the Plasmavores. (WC: Monster File: Vampires) River also covered the history of the Silurians and the Sea Devils and their encounters with humanity and several incarnations of the Doctor, including the incident in Cwmtaff in 2020 which involved the Eleventh Doctor with Amy Pond and Rory Williams. (WC: Monster File: Silurians)
Facing the Malignant
Final years at Stormcage
River escaped Stormcage for a date with the Eleventh Doctor on Asgard, a planet-sized theme park. Throughout their date River wrestled with her deep desire to have a child, even though she knew she didn't lead a life conducive to raising children. She attempted to ask the Doctor his views on her or them having a child multiple times, but was either too nervous to get her thoughts out or interrupted by the continuing problems occurring on Asgard. After she and the Doctor saved Asgard from Tomith, River decided to enjoy a private picnic with the Doctor and not ask him about having a child. (PROSE: Picnic at Asgard)
A pardoned woman
River was later pardoned and released from the Stormcage Containment Facility after it was discovered that there was no evidence of the man she had murdered having ever existed. This was due to the Doctor erasing himself from all databases in the universe. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) As a time-travelling archaeologist, River sometimes made money as a mercenary, according to the Time Lords' files. (AUDIO: Songs of Love)
River escaped the Bloody Tower and the private boudoir of the Marquis de Sade, (AUDIO: The Sonomancer) saw the golden sunset on Florana with the Doctor, (AUDIO: Signs) and had at one point been transporting dragon eggs on the Starship Harmony and Redemption when there had been some trouble with them in the baggage hold. The staff at the Harmony and Redemption remembered this for her future visit and installed a deadlock seal. (TV: The Husbands of River Song) River encountered Andrew Edwardson and noticed his remarkable resemblance to the Fifth Doctor. (AUDIO: My Dinner with Andrew)
River retrieved Katarina's body from deep space to give her a proper burial. She was attacked by the Nine who she quickly ascertained had been lured there by her future self. To her horror the Nine escaped with Katarina’s body. (AUDIO: Companion Piece)
The Rulers of the Universe
River was hiding in the 1920s when she was lured away to Mesopotamia to investigate a mysterious tomb. She realised someone had planted saline drones in the tomb and that kept Prim in a state of life in order to attract River's interest. After killing Prim once and for all, River opened an invitation given to her by Bertie Potts that invited her to a party on a spaceship. (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea)
River discovered Bertie Potts did not die in the tomb in Mesopotamia, but couldn't get him to reveal how he survived. While he was distracted she snuck around restricted areas of the party he invited her to and discovered the murder of Jenkins and was asked for help by Spritz, a woman pretending to be one of the robotic waitresses. With a subterfuge, she ended the manipulation program of the Rulers of the Universe, which used to condition other planets' development. Eventually, she was approached by Mr Song, who claimed to be a future incarnation of the Doctor (AUDIO: I Went to a Marvellous Party) until she discovered he was a member of the Kamishi pretending thanks to information taken from her diary. (AUDIO: Signs) Eventually, during the early times of the Last Great Time War, the Rulers involved the Eighth Doctor to achieve their purposes. River knew she couldn't reveal to him her identity, so — by radio communication — she dealt with him under a fake identity. Together, they scuppered the plans of the Sanukuma caste of the Kamishi, then parted their ways. (AUDIO: The Rulers of the Universe)
On and off friendship with Jack Harkness
While investigating Vortex Wraiths in 1940s London, River met Jack Harkness for the first time. When she later moved into the Powell Estate and became a neighbour of Jackie Tyler, she asked her for advice about her conflicting feelings for the Doctor and Jack, and they became friends by the time Jack arrived to visit Jackie. While posing as Queen Elizabeth I in the Elizabethan era, River was investigated by him in his previous Time Agent identity, Javic Piotr Thane. She sent him away when they were attacked by androids disguised as the Queen's guard. After her own escape from the Elizabethan era, River took over the Time Agency in an attempt to get Javic out of her way.She visited Jack some time after in Gallipoli, where they planned to get married. The ceremony was interrupted by Snorvlast, who was devoured by the vortex wraiths. Jack and River then visited the end of the universe for their honeymoon. (AUDIO: R&J)
Two Doctors at once
Meeting the Doctor's friends and family
River came to know that a bounty had been put on "young Time Lords"; fearing for the safety of the Doctor, she went to London, 1963. She managed to be hired as a history teacher at Coal Hill School, while also taking a second job as an assistant patrolwoman at night, to look for bounty hunters. It was during this time that she met Susan, her step-granddaughter; she also befriended Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, as well as briefly meeting the First Doctor. With the help of Ian and Barbara, she was able to track down a Ravenous who took control of Sheila Page, one of Susan's classmates. Assisted by Susan (who vaguely recognised she had "an air of family" around her), River managed to get it out in the open and then neutralise it, thus ending the threat. She then left Coal Hill, refusing Susan's invitation to enter the TARDIS. (AUDIO: An Unearthly Woman)
Confronting her past
In search of family, River visited Terminus Prime where clients could choose their own means of demise and found a cult of Proto-Time Lords, cloned from her by Kovarian at Demons Run, regularly using the facility led by Lake. Lake had become obsessed with his immortality and experimented on other proto-Time Lords’ regenerations. River worked with a recently regenerated proto-Time Lord, Lily, to stop him. After he shot Lily, River killed Lake who regenerated into Lily. After burying Lily, who she believed to be the last of her siblings, River summoned an incarnation of the Doctor to take a break with. The Fifth Doctor responded and introduced her to his current companion, Brooke, to River’s surprise as she’d never heard of her. (AUDIO: The Lady in the Lake)
River had several adventures with the Fifth Doctor and Brooke, who she did not know, including their visit to Gadalax Prime. The Doctor took River and Brooke to 18th Century Venice where they investigated the mystery surrounding Mozart's final piece, discovering Aqua Galatia had been sold among disgruntled wives to kill their husbands. River became suspicious of Brooke who was increasingly jealous of River. Brooke spiked the Doctor's tea with Aqua Galatia and attempted to use it to assassinate him but River neutralised it with her love for the Doctor. (AUDIO: A Requiem for the Doctor)
She and the Doctor forced Brooke to take them to where she was meeting her employer, The Bumptious Gastropod, a restaurant outside space-time where the rules of causality did not apply. Horrified to discover Brooke’s employer was Madame Kovarian, River used her lipstick to erase Brooke’s memories of meeting her and told her she’d just killed the Doctor and then sent the Fifth Doctor away with his memory wiped. She planned to infiltrate the restaurant to get revenge on Kovarian but was thwarted when the Fifth Doctor immediately returned and was noticed by Kovarian. River kidnapped and dressed Andrew Edwardson in the Doctor's clothes as an attempt to save the Doctor from Kovarian's new plot to kill him. However, River was convinced by Maitre D' that this was immoral and something the Doctor would not approve of. Whilst River was caught up in increasingly complex timeline of events, Brooke found and killed the true Doctor using regeneration inhibitors to prevent further regenerations. In fury, River shot Brooke, who simply regenerated, and was taken captive by Kovarian. (AUDIO: My Dinner with Andrew)
Back in her old childhood prison in Concorde Well, she discovered that Madame Kovarian had created Brooke and numerous other new a proto-Time Lord. Brooke blamed River for a proto-Time Lord’s, H-One, murder however discovered it had been another clone. As the Deterrent laid siege to Concorde Well, River was released to help the defences and convinced Brooke and the other clones to create a psychic link of the mythic Furies to taunt Kovarian with the image of the Fifth Doctor, eventually causing Kovarian to have a meltdown. River's vortex manipulator was used by Brooke to travel back in time to convince Andrew to take the Doctor's place at the Bumptious Gastropod and she brought the Fifth Doctor back in his TARDIS. Though he was unaware of her identity, River said a quick farewell to him. River left Kovarian a prisoner of her cloned siblings. (AUDIO: The Furies)
Meeting the Master
As a visiting professor at the University of Jaska Major, River took it upon herself to teach one of her students, Luke Sullieman, the finer poins of Archaeology. Together, they sneaked into the local museum and opened a tomb which was recently brought there from Jaska Minor. However, in doing so they inadvertently woke up his occupant, who turned out to be the Master. After they all escaped from the museum, River agreed to help the Master go back to Jaska Minor to retrieve his TARDIS, in exchange for a chance to investigate the local ziqqurat.
On Jaska Minor, River witnessed the Master unprecedentedly murder their companions, but didn't stop him, acknowledging this allowed them to distract the local people, the Therians. She was distressed, however, when the Master apparently caused Luke's death to keep open the door of the ziqqurat's inner chamber. After they turned off the sun relais preventing night from falling on the planet, River wanted to leave the Master, but realised she needed his help to get back safely to the shuttle they arrived in. She recognised Luke in one of the Therians attacking them and, using the Master's solar capacitor, reversed the progress bringing him back to normal. River thought of using the capacitor to cure all Therians, but Luke persuaded her it was not her choice; she then left it to them and went off with Luke in the shuttle, abandoning the Master. (AUDIO: Animal Instinct)
Recruited at UNIT
The mysterious planet
When a mysterious planet appeared out of nowhere, a message was sent to the Luna University, requesting the aid of its most eminent archaeologists. River accepted the message and went there with a class of students, where they found a tomb apparently untouched by scavengers. As they opened it, though, they found that Bernice Summerfield was already in it: she arrived first upon receiving the same message as River, recognising that it came from the Doctor. Minutes later, the Eighth Doctor landed on the planet with his present companion, Ria, and River sent her class back, fearing for their safety. She later made the shocking discovery that the planet they were on was the ruins of Gallifrey after the Time War; she wanted to keep it quiet, but Benny told the Doctor. Upon further searches, they found out that the Matrix was still active, and that the Doctor and Ria had the power to access it and control it. The arrival of another troop of scavengers then prompted the Doctor to use the powers of the Matrix not only to protect the ruins, but also to rebuild Gallifrey; River then encouraged him to do so, to make himself a god, thus snapping him out of his delusion. By then, she and Benny had already worked out that the planet was not really Gallifrey, but instead the ruins of a TARDIS, which projected the illusion of Gallifrey by connecting with the mind of the Doctor. The Doctor then reprogrammed it to dispel any illusion after he, River and Benny had gone. River and the Doctor stood hand in hand and watched Gallifrey disappear, before leaving. (AUDIO: Lies in Ruins)
Adventures with the Tenth Doctor
River discovered Kamen Vers, a Movellan/human hybrid created by the Movellans during their war with the Daleks whose emotions had caused the entire Movellan crew to malfunction. She posed as a Movellan herself and tried to keep his emotions in check, however struggled to control him as he began using a tractor beam to capture more and more vessels to attach to the crippled Movellan ship he'd been created on, forming Mto and tricking human colonists into believing they'd crashed here. She diverted the Tenth Doctor and Anya Kingdom's time jump to make them arrive nearby and lured them to Mto With a message of "hello sweetie" in a Dalek voice. As the Doctor and Anya investigated River maintained the pretence of being a Movellan, to the Doctor's frustration, until they managed to expose the truth about Kamen and send the humans on Mto to safety. This drama caused her to lose control of Kamen's emotions, leading to him fatally overloading. Overwhelmed by the effort of trying to control Kamen, River advised the Doctor to find the First Movellan and then left with her vortex manipulator. (AUDIO: The First Son)
Whilst investigating Demonese, the most haunted planet in the galaxy, River summoned the Tenth Doctor. They discovered the “ghosts” were actually holographic recreations created by the computer of a crashed spaceship, which was struggling to maintain them. Devising a computer virus to help, the Doctor created holographic replications of River and himself who could make the computer accept it, and they discreetly guided their doubles to deduce the situation by themselves. (AUDIO: Ghosts)
River worked with the Tenth Doctor to investigate explosive jewels unearthed in Cheapside in 1912, tracing their origins in 1632 to Gerald Pulman, who they found possessed alien explosive material and had killed his wife. Tracking Pulman on a sailing ship, the Doctor confronted Pulman whilst River held off the crew who had turned on Pulman. She was forced to retreat and the crew threw her, the Doctor and Pulman overboard along with the TARDIS. The Doctor and River swam to the TARDIS which was directed by the locket belonging to Pulman’s wife, Omara, who had actually been an alien, to a spaceship. Whilst the Doctor confronted a data projection of Omara, River discovered the ship was draining psychic power from the TARDIS. After Doctor persuaded Omara to use the energy to defuse the jewels, River encouraged him to let Omara go when she refused his offer to preserve her and faded away. The Doctor then returned River to 1912. (AUDIO: Precious Annihilation)
Investigating the Weeping Angels
River arrived in 1938 New York City via her vortex manipulator (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) and set up the Angel Detective Agency of which she was the sole employee, investigating the Weeping Angels' invasion of New York. During this time she went by the alias "Melody Malone." She was there for at least a month before a man named Rock Railton hired her to investigate what he feared to be a murder plot against him involving "the kiss of an angel." The following day, while attending a Starlight Studios party, she encountered an old man claiming to be Rock Railton, but believed him to be a bum. When she encountered the man she recognised as Rock, he had no memory of their meeting in her office the previous day.
After dealing with two thugs that were hired to kill her, River returned to her office only to receive a call from head of Starlight Studios, Max Kliener. She agreed to meet him at his studio the next afternoon, where she was reintroduced to Rock, who claimed to remember their prior meeting. However, River knew he was lying when she asked about giving him coffee and he pretended to remember this although it never happened. She also noted that Giddy Semestre, Rock's co-star, also did not remember meeting her the day before at the party.
Max then led River down a block from the main studio and revealed to her a room full of giant bell jars filled with what appeared to be clones of Rock Railton, Giddy Semestre, and of Max's bodyguard, Hank Sissy. Max explained that they were not clones so much as everyday people who had had their flesh redistributed in their bodies to make them look identical to their template bodies. To do this, he had used "the kiss of an angel." The duplicates did not live very long, however, and were in fact growing old and dying out faster and faster because the Weeping Angel he was using to create his duplicates was growing stronger and therefore absorbing more and more of the victims' energy. Max planned to transform River into a copy of Giddy Semestre, but River kissed him using her hallucinogenic lipstick and managed to escape by killing the Hank copies and pushing Max into the arms of his Weeping Angel, who kissed him and turned him to dust.
As River was reversing the process to turn the other transformed victims back into themselves and escort them to safety, she was unaware that the Weeping Angel was being stolen from behind the curtain it was sitting behind via an escape hole that had been cut into the wall. She returned in time to see a van speeding off, presumably with the Angel inside. (PROSE: The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery)
After River's run-in with Max Kliener and his Angel, River met her husband in Manhattan, along with her parents. Rory was sent back in time to 1938 New York City by one of the Angels and met River. Amy and the Doctor had difficulty following him since all the time energy the Angels had consumed made time travel difficult. With the help of a Chinese vase as "landing lights", they managed to get through but found River trapped in the grip of one of the Angels; she had to break her wrist in order to escape and the Doctor used up some of his regeneration energy to fix it. Rory was locked in a cellar with a group of baby Weeping Angels but instead of sending him back in time, they just sent him to Winter Quay. When River, Amy and the Doctor found Rory, they also found an older version of him, dying in a bed. After that they heard loud thumps, made by the Statue of Liberty, which had become a Weeping Angel.
With the Angels closing in, River, her husband and her parents were forced to flee towards the roof and got separated on the way up. The Statue of Liberty was waiting for them and Rory and Amy decided to sacrifice themselves and create a paradox which would poison the Angels food source and kill them. River and the Doctor watched in horror as Amy and Rory threw themselves off the roof, and the paradox killed all the Angels except one, which somehow managed to survive.
The group found themselves in a graveyard that had a gravestone with Rory's name on it. As they were preparing to leave, the surviving Weeping Angel ambushed them and sent Rory back in time. Because of the paradox, and all the poisoned time energy, the Doctor couldn't take the TARDIS back to find him. Amy decided to allow the Angel to touch her so that she could be with Rory. After a tearful goodbye to River and the Doctor, Amy turned away from the Angel and allowed it to touch her so that she could live with Rory for the rest of her life.
The devastated Doctor asked River to travel with him. River said she would go with him anywhere, but "not all the time", as there was "only room for one psychopath" on the TARDIS. Under the name "Melody Malone", River went upstairs to write the book that led the Doctor to 1930s New York and said that she would get Amy to write the afterword when she sent it to her for publishing, in hopes that the Doctor would listen to Amy. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
The Doctor decided to take River to Darillium, knowing there would be their final meeting. Along the way they encountered his younger self who was currently taking River on her first night out from imprisonment. (HOMEVID: Last Night) The Doctor ultimately changed his mind and came up with an excuse not to go to Darillium, as he had many times before. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
Running from the Discordia
The night on Darillium
River learned that King Hydroflax had the Halassi Androvar diamond embedded in his head. She purported to have married him as part of a plan to retrieve it. For this reason, she joked that she had actually married the diamond itself. At around the same time, she also claimed to have married her assistant Ramone.
River planned to use a surgeon to remove the diamond. She sent her assistant Nardole to bring the surgeon to her but Nardole inadvertently found the Twelfth Doctor and brought him to River by mistake. River did not recognise the Doctor in this incarnation. River brought the Doctor to Hydroflax, as part of a ruse to steal the diamond from his head. The Doctor repeatedly tried to tell her who he was, but she did not understand what he was saying. Hydroflax revealed himself to be a cyborg and discovered River's deception, removing his own head in the process. River and the Doctor snatched the head and escaped via teleport to a location near the TARDIS. River discovered the TARDIS and decided to take it for a ride without the Doctor's knowledge, indicating she had done it before. After a brief scuffle which trapped Hydroflax's body in the TARDIS with them, River and the Doctor piloted the TARDIS to the Harmony and Redemption.
Aboard the ship, with Hydroflax's body sealed in a cargo hold, River attempted to sell the diamond-studded head. Eventually, Scratch arrived to buy the diamond, but then revealed himself and every other person in the restaurant to be Hydroflax devotees. A fight ensued, during which Hydroflax's head was ultimately vaporised by the body. After Hydroflax's body decided to seek out the Doctor's head as a replacement, River came under questioning as to his location. To buy time by "keeping them talking", River claimed to Hydroflax's body that while she loved the Doctor, the Doctor didn't love her back, and he wouldn't be stupid or sentimental enough to come rescue her. River then realised who the Doctor was, and quickly revealed to him that a meteor storm was about to strike the ship and kill everyone and she planned her position perfectly. As the storm struck the ship, the floor broke under River and the Doctor, dropping them to a lower floor, and breaking the standoff.
The ship descended, with River and the Doctor unable to bring it under control. As they argued about who would save the ship from crashing into the planet Darillium, they realised they were seconds from crashing and fled into the TARDIS. The TARDIS shielded them from the crash, but the impact knocked River out.
The Doctor had regained consciousness first, emerged from the TARDIS on Darillium, and using the diamond, inspired a man called Alphonse to start a restaurant, so he could travel into the future and book a reservation for a balcony view of the Singing Towers. Dressing formally for River when she awakened, the Doctor gifted her with a sonic screwdriver of her own. River expressed concern about the stories saying that this would be their last date, but the Doctor had accepted that their time must come to an end. The Doctor told River that nights on Darillium lasted 24 years and the two enjoyed the view.
True to his word, the Doctor stayed with River on Darillium for the whole "night". Nardole later commented that it was a hell of a twenty-four years. (TV: The Husbands of River Song, The Return of Doctor Mysterio) Jack met with River during her night on Darillium. He asked her to have a proper relationship with him, but River turned him down and told him that the Doctor was her husband. (AUDIO: R&J)
Stranded in the Vortex after her manipulator malfunctioned, River was harboured by a man named Daniel and his daughter Alison on their ship, and stayed with them some weeks, trying to find a way to escape. They eventually came across the ruined timeship of Admiral Eno, and River devised a plan with her to take her back to working so they can live. Aboard the ship was, however, a dangerous criminal, Kaliopi, who attacked them. While working with Daniel to stop her, River suddenly realized the main core of Daniel's ship was built out of one of the rooms of the Doctor's TARDIS, and that the man who welcomed her and who she helped was actually the Master in Bruce's body. He allied himself with Kalopi to kill her, but River instead persuaded Alison to take off her stabiliser, thus reverting her to her original form, a Vortipoda cub; while it was attacking the Master, River escaped from the Vortex in Eno's ship, telling her to land someplace where she could repair the manipulator. (AUDIO: The Lifeboat and the Deathboat)
The Doom Coalition
Detecting a power surge on Syra, River visited and investigated Ruslan's mining activities, sending a message to the Doctor which accidentally arrived when he was in his eighth incarnation. Ruslan locked River in a mining capsule from which she managed to escape thanks to Helen Sinclair, whom she told about her asynchronous relationship with the Doctor. Avoiding him, she handed Ruslan over to the Syrans, contacted Galactic Heritage and fought the Eleven before leaving.
River found and boosted (AUDIO: The Sonomancer) the artron energy of a piece of the Doomsday Chronometer and took it to Phillip Cook's shop in 1998 Calcot, staying at Kate Drury's pub and neglecting to pay. (AUDIO: Absent Friends)
Arriving in 1538 in a psychic wimple, River saved Thomas Cromwell from a Solver, preventing them from taking a piece of the Chronometer. She then went to 15th century Prague Castle where she was reunited with Liv Chenka and identified Syran metal as having been used by the Clocksmith to create the Chronometer. (AUDIO: The Eighth Piece)
In 2016 Rome, River picked up Helen and went to Rennes-le-Château, Leonardo da Vinci's studio, Temple Church and the Louvre, tracking down a piece in the Vatican in the 1960s. Returning Helen and giving her the piece, River went back to Prague to save Liv and took her to the Science Museum where the Doomsday Chronometer was completed. With the Doctor believed dead by Liv and Helen, he and River left in the Clocksmith's TARDIS to save the universe. (AUDIO: The Doomsday Chronometer)
After River and the Doctor found the Chancellery Guard killing temporal refugees, she gave the Doctor a psychic cloak to disguise himself as the Clocksmith, allowing them to infiltrate the Doom Coalition. She pretended to have been loyal to Padrac following his ejection of the Doctor, Liv and Helen into the Time Vortex in an escape shuttle. (AUDIO: The Crucible of Souls)
Her identify confirmed by Councillor Volstrom using her biodata, River was taken to Gallifrey and given a tour during which she stole Volstrom's passkeys. She blew her cover so that Volstrom could keep his and was tortured by the Sonomancer in the Matrix, later managing to user her position there to transport the Doctor into his TARDIS. She remained in the Time Vortex as it seemingly collapsed, feeling that she would soon be visiting her final destination. (AUDIO: Songs of Love)
River was found and saved by the Nine in the Clocksmith's TARDIS, who used her to identify and capture other companions of the Doctor for his collection. She put together a team of Charlotte Pollard, Liv, Helen and Bliss, who, as she expected, were able to escape whilst she distracted the Nine by sending him after Katarina where he encountered her past self. After they freed River, the Nine was defeated thanks to Katarina and River returned everyone home in the Clocksmith's TARDIS. However, she could not find her vortex manipulator. (AUDIO: Companion Piece)
River travelled to Gallifrey before it was destroyed to "rescue" the Black Scrolls of Rassilon, which contained a history of the Dark Times. She then met up with her "occasional wife", the Thirteenth Doctor, and they authored The Dark Times Times based on the Scrolls and on the Doctor's memories of travelling back to the Dark Times in her previous incarnations. The Doctor penned a quick introduction on Page 1, while River served as the one-issue newspaper's editor under her pseudonym of "Melody Malone". (PROSE: The Guide to the Dark Times)
Whilst waiting on a beach for the Doctor to turn up for one of their dates, River encountered Jack, who asked her to run away with him. However, she turned him down. River instead attempted to visit the Face of Boe, but accidentally arrived at his funeral. (AUDIO: R&J)
River was part of a deep space exploration mission on the Utorpy. On the return journey, the ship began to malfunction, with its computer turning on the passengers, and an additional life sign appeared onboard which River mistook for the Doctor. He revealed himself as another incarnation of the War Master and picked off River’s crew save one who he’d tricked into incubating a unique lifeform. River denied him his victory by setting the ship to self-destruct and they were forced to escape together in an escape pod. Upon crash landing, the Master revealed he’d done his research into River as promised on Jaska Minor and successfully hypnotised her to forget his involvement in the crash. (AUDIO: Concealed Weapon)
The Library expedition
River convinced the Tenth Doctor to take a bath with her after he sought her out for her expertise on Zygons. After unsuccessfully trying to get him to take off his suit, she revealed she already uploaded her intel to the TARDIS for him and left him a note saying she planned to accept an expedition job from the Felman Lux Corporation. She promised to invite the Doctor if anything exciting happened. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) In preparation for her expedition, River wrote a checklist in her diary consisting of: a payment advance, a visit to the British Museum 4.0, and packed lunches with roast chicken. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
In the 51st century, River led Strackman Lux and her team into the Library to learn what had happened there a hundred years earlier. A cryptic message had been sent: "4022 saved. No survivors." Expecting trouble, she contacted the Doctor by psychic paper. The version of the Doctor who turned up, again in his tenth incarnation, had not yet met her. Bewildered, he agreed to help and discovered the Library was infested with a swarm of Vashta Nerada.
River still had her battered diary of her life with the Doctor. She tried to use it to find the Doctor's place in his timeline, but realised he was a far younger version who neither knew nor trusted her. (TV: Silence in the Library)
As the threat of the Vashta Nerada worsened, River knew she must prove she was someone the Doctor would come to trust completely. With profuse apologies, she whispered his true name into his ear. The Doctor was stunned and River had won his trust.
The Doctor planned to rescue Donna, Strackman and more than four thousand others trapped in the Library Data Core by adding his memory space to the Library computer's. Removing the four thousand minds trapped inside the Data Core CAL would reset the computer and stop the countdown to the Library's autodestruct after it had been activated, but also sacrifice the Doctor's own life. River knocked the Doctor out, handcuffed him and took his place. She pleaded with him to not change their history, not a moment of what had or would come for them. She realised he had always known this was coming. The Doctor began to babble questions but River merely smiled, said, "Spoilers", and died as the autodestruct countdown was stopped.
The Doctor reasoned his future self had given River his sonic screwdriver for a purpose. Inside it was a neural relay holding her data ghost. The Doctor saved River by uploading her into the virtual world in CAL. CAL had also saved the data ghosts of her archaeological team, giving her company in the virtual world. River would take care of Donna's two virtual children and Charlotte Abigail Lux (the girl wired into the mainframe) in the virtual world, reading out her diary of her many adventures with the Doctor and how sometimes "everybody lives" when the Doctor came to call. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
As an echo
After River's death, she, Vastra, Jenny, Strax and Clara were brought into a dream-induced "conference call". There, she learnt that the murderer Clarence DeMarco revealed to Vastra the co-ordinates of the Doctor's tomb. The Great Intelligence, having kidnapped Vastra, Jenny and Strax, then told Clara to take the Doctor to Trenzalore, the place of the Doctor's death, if the others wished to be saved. River kept in contact with Clara through keeping the link open, though, seemingly, only Clara was able to see her.
When Clara and the Doctor arrived at a gravestone bearing River's name in Trenzalore, Clara again saw the echo of River, which guided her. She also explained to Clara about her death and what the Doctor did for her, and later saved the Doctor's friends by giving in to the Great Intelligence's demands and opening the Doctor's tomb by saying his name.
After Clara entered the Doctor's time stream, River tried to stop him from following her, even though she believed that he could not see her. When she went to slap him however, the Doctor caught her hand and explained that he had been able to see her all along, and they shared a kiss. The Doctor told River that her time had passed and she should stop clinging to him as an echo; without disputing this, River requested that the Doctor say goodbye to her but he didn't know how, so she said the only goodbye she would accept was one where he would see her later. Right after the Doctor granted her request, she revealed that she was mentally linked to Clara, and would not still exist if Clara had died. When he asked how Clara could be alive, she said, "Spoilers!" and her last words to him in this encounter were, "Goodbye Sweetie." River's incorporeal form faded away. To the Paternoster Gang, the Doctor had appeared to passionately kiss thin air. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)
- River sent her mother a tube of hallucinogenic lipstick for Mother's Day. (COMIC: The Broken Man)
- At some point, River and Kate Stewart were photographed together. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- She and the Doctor had a fight causing the Doctor to spend a month sulking with sea otters. (TV: The Caretaker)
- River met Anne Travers, who offered her assistance. During this time Anne saw her vortex manipulator. (PROSE: Pure History)
- Sometime during her time in Stormcage, the Eleventh Doctor took her to Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Cersis Major, and the planet Talusia, where they helped the Weavers and their web-sky-cities stay afloat. (PROSE: Horror of the Space Snakes)
- On one of her birthday outings with the Doctor, River somehow cloned herself in an incident the Doctor fought hard to forget. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)
River claimed to have dated androids, (TV: Silence in the Library) and a Nestene duplicate, (TV: The Big Bang) as well as a shapeshifter. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) She had at least two wives, (TV: The Husbands of River Song) and had even married herself on every planet where this was possible. (AUDIO: Someone I Once Knew)
River indicated that she stole the TARDIS many times and returned it before the Doctor ever noticed, usually using her own key, or in at least one occasion, the hidden spare TARDIS key, to "borrow" the timeship. (TV: The Husbands of River Song; AUDIO: Whodunnit?)
River wrote many books during her lifetime, including the first three in the Melody Malone series (Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town, The Angel's Kiss, The Ruby's Curse). She also wrote the archeological paper 'Concomitant Development on the Ood Sphere and the Sense Sphere'. (PROSE: The Ruby's Curse)
A request was made in the 51st century for Professor Song to be loaned out from Stormcage, but the Papal Mainframe denied it. Later, the Twelfth Doctor saw River's face alongside many others after he was hit with chronon energy. (PROSE: Big Bang Generation)
During the Siege of Trenzalore, Tasha Lem noted how one of the Silence's attempts to keep the Doctor from reaching Trenzalore was to engineer a psychopath to kill him. The Doctor told Tasha he never would have made it to Trenzalore without River's help over the years, and realised that the Silence's efforts to stop him from reaching Trenzalore, led him there. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
After their night on Darillium, the Twelfth Doctor was greatly affected by River's death and "glued" Nardole's head back on so he wouldn't be alone without her. Nardole later told Grant and Lucy Fletcher about River and how her death had impacted on the Doctor, but Nardole promised them that he would make sure the Doctor was alright. (TV: The Return of Doctor Mysterio)
Missy referenced the Twelfth Doctor's "domestic bliss" on Darillium, claiming to have heard about it from the Daleks. When she asked what happened and the Doctor didn't answer, she gave him her condolences. Later, Nardole encouraged the Doctor to save Missy by bringing him River's diary and quoting from it. (TV: Extremis)
The Twelfth Doctor kept a framed photograph of River on his desk in his study during the years he spent as a lecturer at St Luke's University, along with a picture of his granddaughter Susan Foreman. (TV: The Pilot)
During his impending regeneration, the Twelfth Doctor remembered River calling his name, alongside other recent companions. (TV: The Doctor Falls) He later repeated her oft-spoken phrase, "Spoilers", in conversation with Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart. (TV: Twice Upon a Time) Their wedding ring, which the Twelfth Doctor wore, fell to the TARDIS floor upon his regeneration, (PROSE: Twice Upon a Time) lost as the console room subsequently exploded, and the Thirteenth Doctor fell to Earth. (TV: Twice Upon a Time)
A Time Lord author learnt of River and her unique conception while doing research for his book and briefly considered that she might have been the Hybrid of Gallifreyan legend but ultimately dismissed the idea as her story didn't fit the prophecy. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
River's meeting with the Tenth Doctor in England in 1562 was recounted by the Doctor in the Doctor Papers, which were published as a work of "fiction". The same papers also cited Doctor Who and the Silence in The Library as containing an account of the events in the Library. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)
A Dalek continuity bomb revealed to the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors an alternate timeline where River refused to kill the Doctor at Lake Silencio and instead of choosing to save reality, the Eleventh Doctor and River lived as husband and wife, thus condemning the universe. (COMIC: Four Doctors)
In an alternate timeline created by the Discordia, the Doctor and River knew each other since his first incarnation and were married by his fourth incarnation. The Fourth Doctor admitted he loved River dearly and feared losing her when the timeline was abolished, but River assured him they would meet again. (AUDIO: Someone I Once Knew)
River Song was very strong-willed; though brainwashed and raised to kill him, she decided the Doctor was "worth it" and saved his life, giving up all her regenerations to do so. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) She resisted the upgraded astronaut suit and refused to kill him, heedless of the consequences. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
River was flirtatious and cheeky like her mother, Amy. Like her father, Rory, she was stubborn, responsible and fiercely compassionate. She enjoyed showing off for the Doctor. She teased him and liked using the word "spoilers" whenever the subject turned to the Doctor's future. This began when the Doctor assigned her to document their adventures in the TARDIS diary. She adopted the word from the Doctor. He, however, used the word with Donna before he met River, establishing that not only he did not learn it from her, he foreshadowed her saying it to him when he met her. (TV: Silence in the Library, HOMEVID: Last Night) She kept her diary from him (TV: Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead) and hid that his death at Lake Silencio was a hoax from everyone except her parents, waiting until the time was right to confide the real fate of the Doctor, without altering the course of a fixed point in time. River visited Amy and Rory after they found out that she was their daughter. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) As she neared Darillium and their adventures were coming to an end, River questioned the Doctor openly on her future, stating that she knew he was the kind of man who would give her a diary with the right amount of pages for her use, thus knowing when it was nearly full, their adventures were at an end. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
As soon as Amy and Rory knew they were her parents, she happily stopped calling them by their first names and called them Mother and Dad. She only used their given names when referring to them with a third person such as the Doctor. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song, The Angels Take Manhattan) She also learned a lot from her parents. For example, when she was younger, she would back off from the Doctor's verbal onslaughts until Amy's support and push taught her to not back down. (TV: The Wedding of River Song, The Impossible Astronaut, The Angels Take Manhattan)
River seemed at ease with being kept in prison much of her life for a crime she didn't commit and often flirted with the guards or made jokes about the facility, even once stating that she was "breaking in not out" which seemed to be a subtle taunt to the security of what was supposed to be an extremely secure prison. (TV: Flesh and Stone, A Good Man Goes to War) She was able to escape from prison "as though the walls aren't there" according to the Doctor. (HOMEVID: First Night) Nevertheless, she did work towards earning a pardon, eventually succeeding when the Doctor deleted records of himself from the universe. (TV: Flesh and Stone, The Time of Angels, The Angels Take Manhattan) She later stated she had "a significant history of escaping". (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
River loved flirting with people and was constantly hitting on the Doctor, although she also had a tendency to flirt with other people such as prison guards and Hitler's soldiers. She often greeted the Doctor with the words "Hello Sweetie". (TV: Silence in the Library, Flesh and Stone, The Pandorica Opens, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song) She was also rather vain, believing that her cleavage "could fell an ox at twenty feet". (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
River was very confident in her abilities and she was very hard to intimidate, showing no fear when faced with the Weeping Angels, the Silence or the Vashta Nerada. She was also very good at hiding her emotions, and didn't like to show weakness. She was devastated when her parents were stolen by a Weeping Angel but unlike the Doctor she encouraged Amy to go to be with Rory and didn't break down after the Angel transported Amy away, showing a far greater level of self-control than her husband, and watching the Weeping Angel so it could not attack them while the Doctor looked away. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
River was deeply in love with the Doctor, even though she had been raised to kill him. She knew the Doctor more than most. River had pictures of the first twelve Doctors, including knowledge of the War Doctor. She learned of the Doctor's wasted regeneration and was surprised when the Doctor was given a new regeneration cycle. She teased Madame Kovarian about the mistake she made by kidnapping her since Kovarian was partially responsible for her falling in love with the Doctor in the first place. She stated at one point she didn't fear death but rather meeting a version of the Doctor who didn't know her at all. In this conversation, she told Rory that she lived for her adventures with the Doctor, even ones who don't know they are romantically involved, but felt that meeting a Doctor who doesn't know her yet would kill her. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) As she matured, she grew into a much more selfless person and showed a willingness to sacrifice herself, eventually giving her life to save the Tenth Doctor. (TV: Forest of the Dead, The Time of Angels) When the Twelfth Doctor learnt of all her other marriages, he asked River, who had no idea who he was, about her marriage to him. She indicated that she just found him very useful sometimes. However, when confronted by Flemming, she revealed that she really did love the Doctor and never denied it. However, she believed he didn't love her in return which was confirmed by a scan conducted by King Hydroflax's body. River described loving the Doctor as like loving the stars: "you don't expect a sunset to admire you back." However, she revealed she was fine with this and believed the Doctor was above falling in love with people. She also believed that if she were in danger, the Doctor wasn't stupid, sentimental or in love enough with her to be in danger with her. When River realised she just said that in front of the Doctor, she got emotional and claimed she was just buying time. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
River learned a hard lesson when she first met Clara Oswald. Surprised to meet the newest companion since her and her parents' deaths, she asked if the Doctor had talked about her. She was very hurt when Clara told her the Doctor had never talked about River, nor said he had a wife at all. He had only mentioned that he had known a Professor Song. The Doctor never came to say goodbye to her or rescued her beloved diary from the Library on the day it was safe from the Vashta Nerada. She became a guide and helped Clara when the Doctor went to the Field of Trenzalore, even going as far as revealing some secrets of how she came to be. She saved Clara, the Doctor, and everyone else from the Whispermen by saying the Doctor's real name, first muting her connection with Clara so this secret couldn't be heard by anyone except the TARDIS. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)
River shared the Doctor's habit of avoiding answering a question by answering a previous question. Like her mother, she was able to follow the Eleventh Doctor's train of thought so well that she could explain it to others. (TV: The Time of Angels)
River had varying opinions of the Doctor's earlier selves. She didn't like the First, Second, and Sixth Doctors; she got along with the Third exceptionally well, and she remained somewhat neutral about the Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors, just voicing her shock at some of the traits they had, and her admiration of the latter's TARDIS. She wrote on the Fifth Doctor's short temper, as well as a note to herself to avoid setting the Ninth Doctor off about the Time War, suggesting arguments had ensued between her and these incarnations; she otherwise only elaborated on their traits. (GAME: The Eternity Clock) She had mistaken the Tenth Doctor as her husband upon meeting him. (TV: Silence in the Library)
While a younger River liked guns and was seen to carry them often, (TV: The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon) her older selves lacked this tendency. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, The Husbands of River Song)
River once made fun of the Doctor for using his sonic screwdriver in battle, (TV: Day of the Moon) but apparently revised her opinion on this as she later used her own sonic trowel against King Hydroflax's guards and robotic body. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
River had the habit of pretending to be Romana, much to Leela and the Fourth Doctor's disbelief. This was in case she needed to pose as a well known Time Lord. (AUDIO: Someone I Once Knew, Emancipation)
Towards the end of her life during her adventure with the Twelfth Doctor, River displayed a more ruthless, manipulative and selfish side than the Doctor was used to seeing from her. This caused the Doctor to wonder if this was what she was actually like when he wasn't around or at least when she didn't know that it was him. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
In her third incarnation, River described herself as glamorous with exceptional hair, (AUDIO: Someone I Once Knew) hair that Brooke and Strax both described as being "big". (TV: The Name of the Doctor, AUDIO: My Dinner with Andrew) The Sixth Doctor said that she had a noble brow, clear gaze and a face "beaming with a vast intelligence" and the Seventh Doctor called her attractive. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Storm) River herself stated shortly after her regeneration that she believed her new body was suited to wearing jodhpurs. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)
Skills and abilities
River showed that she had enough control over regeneration to be able to use it to attack Hitler's soldiers. She was also able to use her remaining regeneration energy to bring the Doctor back to life after she poisoned him, although she had to use up all of her remaining regenerations in order to do so. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) She had an extremely keen sense of smell enabling her to detect the presence of living or dead bodies (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea) and a respiratory bypass system, but had little experience with using it. She was also able to sense time shifts. (AUDIO: I Went to a Marvellous Party) River also had two hearts. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Storm, Songs of Love)
River was known as "the child of the TARDIS" and the time machine had taken a particular liking to her and taught her how to fly her. River was a very fast learner, becoming skilled at flying the TARDIS in a remarkably short time and she was able to control the time machine even more proficiently than the Doctor, despite the fact that the Doctor had been flying the TARDIS for centuries. (TV: The Big Bang, The Impossible Astronaut, Let's Kill Hitler) She indicated at one point she was so good at it, she stole and returned the TARDIS multiple times before the Doctor even noticed it was gone. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
River also seemed to be well versed in temporal theory and advanced sciences, like Jack Harkness and the Doctor himself. In addition to her ability to fix, operate, and maintain the Doctor's TARDIS, she was proficient with her scanner (TV: The Time of Angels, The Pandorica Opens, The Impossible Astronaut) and was able to build a timey-wimey distress beacon. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) She was also able to read and write Old High Gallifreyan (TV: The Time of Angels) and without benefit of the TARDIS Translation circuit she inscribed the oldest graffiti in the universe on Planet One. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) Additionally, River spoke French. (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea)
In addition to piloting the TARDIS, River often used a vortex manipulator and was able to use it to get wherever she needed to be. She was able to escape from Stormcage easily, even without the Doctor coming to pick her up. (TV: The Pandorica Opens, The Impossible Astronaut, A Good Man Goes to War, HOMEVID: First Night, Last Night) She sometimes made impressive entrances whilst using the Vortex manipulator, such as when she made a bright flash of light appear when she teleported to Demons Run. (TV: The Pandorica Opens, A Good Man Goes to War) She was able to modify it someway. (AUDIO: The Sonomancer) However, in her later life she seemed to abandon use of the vortex manipulator, preferring to steal the TARDIS and return it before the Doctor noticed it missing. She specifically stated she needed the TARDIS to reach the Harmony and Redemption before its destruction rather than using her vortex manipulator as she would've in the past. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
River Song proved able to achieve results in the academic field, since she gained a doctorate and a tenure in archaeology (TV: Silence in the Library, Closing Time et al.) and five master's degrees from the Sorbonne. (AUDIO: The Sonomancer)
River was also incredibly strong and in her first incarnation she was able to force her way out of the spacesuit that had been holding her prisoner. Even when she was forced back inside the spacesuit in her last incarnation, she drained the energy from the weapon intended to kill the Doctor, despite saying that the spacesuit was in control. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut, The Wedding of River Song) In her second incarnation she demonstrated her superhuman strength when she fought with Krampus' minions. (COMIC: Imaginary Enemies)
River was incredibly good at escaping. She made a habit of escaping Stormcage to the point that the guards were aware of her multiple escapes but were unsuccessful at stopping them. In one instance, upon her return, River called the guards to taunt them that she was back. (TV: The Pandorica Opens, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War) Indeed, she only remained locked in prison as she chose to remain there to further the deception that she killed the Doctor. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) She stated that she had "a significant history" of escaping. (TV: The Husbands of River Song, AUDIO: The Sonomancer)
River was also extremely skilled with a gun, being able to shoot the Doctor's fez which Amy threw in the air and shot a Dalek right through its eye stalk. (TV: The Big Bang) and later shot the Doctor's stetson clean off his head without harming him and killed a whole group of Silents in order to protect her family. She was also able to spin her gun and shoot down a surviving Silent without even looking at it, despite their demonstrated ability to erase themselves from her memory when she wasn't looking at them, suggesting she was still able to perceive either it or the other dead Silents in the room, or used her father's reaction to the Silent he could see behind her. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon) She could also wield a range of guns, from pistols and revolvers to sub-machine guns. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) Despite being known for her guns, River didn't carry one at all later in her life. (HOMEVID: First Night, Last Night, TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) When conning King Hydroflax, River instead used her sonic trowel as a weapon and didn't seem to be carrying an actual weapon as a result. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
Behind the scenes
- In the production notes of Doctor Who Magazine issue 441, Steven Moffat said that River and the Doctor's picnic at Asgard was with the Tenth Doctor. Jenny Colgan changed this to the Eleventh Doctor for her short story Picnic at Asgard with Moffat's permission.
- In the production notes of issue 482, Moffat suggested that River had been married 428 times, one for each gender. One of these was implied to be with Bernice Summerfield, a notion supported by Paul Cornell. In The Husbands of River Song, River mentions her "second wife", further suggesting that she was bisexual, pansexual, or omnisexual like Jack Harkness, her contemporary.
- In an interview for a short video about the Eleventh Doctor's companions, Alex Kingston said River Song has encountered many incarnations of the Doctor and he "sends her into his past, where he knows he needs her expertise". Arthur Darvill said Kingston had been told more than anyone else about who River really is.
- The conversation at the end of The Doctor's Wife implies River was conceived on a bunk bed. When asked about this on Twitter, Steven Moffat and Neil Gaiman independently and simultaneously acknowledged this, joking about the possibility of the ladder. They later agreed they had accidentally made this canon by agreeing on it. Steven Moffat later deleted his Twitter account and with it his portions of the conversation, though screencaptures of his side of the comments still exist online.
- To date, River has been played by six different actors (a set of twins played Baby Melody), the most to portray a single companion on-screen.
- River Song is the second Time Lord to change skin colour via regeneration on-screen, after K'anpo Rimpoche, whose second actor, Kevin Lindsay, was made up to look Asian. The actresses who played her in her Melody Pond and River Song incarnations were white. Both of Mels' actresses were black. In TV: Death of the Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor noted that his racial characteristics were not limited to white; he "can be anything". Rassilon has been portrayed by white actors Richard Mathews and Timothy Dalton on-screen, while black actor Don Warrington was Rassilon's voice actor and cover-art model in Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories. One of the incarnations that Romana tried out in between her Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward incarnations had silver skin. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
- In Let's Kill Hitler, River says she will gradually bring down the age of her body a little "just to freak people out", referring to the fact that a younger Alex Kingston has played later versions of River.
- A mistake in The Angels Take Manhattan is that when the Doctor is reading River's book, a line states her eyes are blue. Alex Kingston's eye colour is green.
- According to Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, the production team had originally sought to cast actress Kate Winslet in the role of River. Russell T Davies had worked with Winslet on his 1991 BBC teen drama Dark Season.
- Gary Russell revealed in the endnote of Big Bang Generation that he intended to use River instead of Bernice Summerfield, but Steven Moffat declined permission and suggested Benny instead.
- As production on the 2012 video game The Eternity Clock game predates the War Doctor's debut in the 2013 television story The Name of the Doctor, the entries in River's diary involving past incarnations of the Doctor do not refer to him. Following the broadcast of The Name of the Doctor, in the 2015 television story The Husbands of River Song, it is revealed that River at least knows of the War Doctor when his face is included among the photos of the Doctor she owns.
- River is the only companion in the revived series to have more than one episode with her name in the title: The Wedding of River Song and The Husbands of River Song.
- Sarah Dollard revealed in a scene from Thin Ice originally had the Doctor tell Bill that he had to move a piano under the bridge the last time he was at the Frost Fair as a romantic gesture for his wife, but the scene was cut. She posted the excerpt from the script to her official Tumblr account.
- According the Doctor Who The Official Annual 2018, which is not accepted as a valid source for in-universe articles on this wiki, the Doctor and River had a home on Darillium during their final night; their address was "Flat 40, Singing Towers View, Darillium".
- The Eleventh Doctor is the only incarnation of the Doctor she's kissed in a televised story.
- River was supposed to appear as a hallucination when the Eleventh Doctor regenerated, along with other of the Doctor's companions. In the end, only Amy appeared.
- Paul Cornell on Twitter (7 January 2015). Retrieved on 10 January 2015. “If you've got the new @DWMtweets you'll have seen Steven's excellent Bernice relationship suggestion. If there was a canon, that'd be in.”
- Neil Gaiman on Twitter (12 June 2011). Retrieved on 8 August 2015. “@whitniverse @steven_moffat or on the ladder...”
- Sarah Dollard on Tumblr (30 April 2017). Retrieved on 21 May 2017.