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Rivers of Light was the fourth and final story of The Diary of River Song audio anthology New Recruit. It was written by Lisa McMullin and featured Alex Kingston as River Song, Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor, Daisy Ashford as Liz Shaw and Jon Culshaw as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and The Master.

Publisher's summary[]

In a Yorkshire mining town, strange temporal distortions and rivers of light crossing forests are enough to get the Brigadier’s attention, and UNIT is mobilised.

But the Doctor is back, and he wants to know who’s been messing around in his laboratory. River’s reasons for being on Earth are about to be revealed...


to be added



Time Lords[]


  • River sends the Doctor on a wild goose chase hunting for Sensorites.

River Song[]

  • Yet again, River ends her meeting with the Doctor by erasing his memory in order to keep their personal timelines intact and paradox free. This time around, she uses mnemonic wine.
  • The Doctor accurately surmises that River will be quite an important person at some point.
  • During her time at UNIT, River has been charging her vortex manipulator. During this adventure, she uses it as a means of transport. The Doctor sees this transport as crude and warns Liz Shaw against joining River on her travels.


  • River Song gives up trying to date this adventure and references the real-life UNIT dating controversy, which was initially created by Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart's impossible retirement date given in the TV episode Mawdryn Undead. Numerous other adventures, whilst on television or in other media, also add to the problem. It has since been made somewhat "official" in the lore of Doctor Who and has been referenced in works such as The Split Infinitive, which sees the sixties and the seventies being pulled towards one-another. The Eighth Doctor Adventure novel Interference shows Sarah Jane Smith uncertain as to which decade the UNIT adventures took place from her own point of view, with the Doctor simpy using "temporal slippage" as an explanation. What makes Rivers of Light unique is that River Song herself is within the paradox and notices its effects first-hand.


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