Rate & Discuss: The Husbands of River Song

December 25th, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...


It is Christmas Day on a remote human colony, and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas carols and comedy antlers. But when a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself recruited into River Song’s squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy. King Hydroflax is furious, and his giant robot bodyguard is out of control and coming for them all! Will Nardole survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is? All will be revealed on a starliner full of galactic super-villains and a destination the Doctor has been avoiding for a very long time.

Ah, it only feels like yesterday that the Doctor was defying the laws of time and space to save Clara from her untimely but inevitable demise. Ok, so it was three weeks ago. Cut to Christmas Day and our beloved hero is back on TV screens to light up our holidays in his eleventh (count ‘em!) annual festive adventure to date. Where does he find the energy?!

Luckily for Peter Capaldi, a familiar face was on hand this year to help him get his second seasonal escapade off to a flying start. There was a blast from the past (or the present, or the future… to be honest, we don’t know where the hell she’s from anymore!) as he shared the spotlight with none other than River Song herself, who was reinstated to her “kick ass hero” glory after her last appearance as a hologram in 2013’s The Name of the Doctor.

And it was about time, too! Following Series 9’s dark and devastating final episodes (and, admittedly, Series 9 in general!), a light-hearted comedy caper featuring the return of one of the show’s most popular characters was exactly what the Doctor ordered. Even comedic geniuses Greg Davies and Matt Lucas came along for the rip-roaring ride which transported us on board a starliner full of galactic super-villains for a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy. Well, it is Christmas. So, that was The Husbands of River Song and this is where you can let us know what you thought of it! Was it a present worth unwrapping, or will you be banishing it to the forgotten realms of Christmas past? Let us know in the comments…

Rate The Husbands of River Song

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NOTE: This discussion will NOT be spoiler monitored so please do not read the comments if you haven’t seen The Husbands of River Song. You have been warned!

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(13 Votes, Average: 3.77/5)
9 comments on this article
  1. JC
    December 26th, 2015 at 5.04pm | #1

    I can’t write a full review until I can get to a computer, so I’ll just say this for now. It wasn’t perfect, but it was beautiful.

  2. Steve
    December 26th, 2015 at 10.18pm | #2

    Another disappointment from Moffatt. It is ridiculous how he has turned the Doctor into a slobbering fool always on the look out for love and romance. He has turned a great show into a joke!

  3. Patrick
    December 28th, 2015 at 3.34pm | #3

    I don’t think that the episode was that great to be honest but I enjoyed the last 15-20 minutes when river realised who the doctor was and the moment on Darillium the singing towers a beautiful ending for rivers story. I’m a bit upset we won’t see river alongside 12 again cos they looked great together but time moves on a 7.5/10 maybe an 8

  4. Hoody Lover
    December 30th, 2015 at 11.44pm | #4

    I thought it was a lot of fun after the darkness of Series 9, which I loved, but it’s best to be light and fluffy at Christmas. I’ve never been a massive River fan, but I thought she was great opposite Peter Capaldi. Great chemistry and comedy timing. I never really believed in the Doctor and River’s marriage before. To me it was just something the Doctor did to save his life and preserve a timeline. However, I had no trouble at all believing in the marriage this time.

    The plot wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter. The story was really about the Doctor and River’s relationship. I loved the moment when the Doctor said “Hello, sweetie” and the balcony scene at the very end was beautiful. River got some dignity in this story, she wasn’t portrayed as the needy psycho, she was seen to have a fulfilling life of her own when the Doctor’s not around. I think it was pretty clear to her at the end that the Doctor does actually love her, and I take the “And they lived happily ever after” at the end to mean that the Doctor was going to stay with River for the 24 year night. I’m sure part of that would involve popping off in the TARDIS from time to time and extending their last night even further.

    It would be nice to see River with 12 one more time, before Peter Capaldi leaves (never thought I’d ever say that) but she didn’t irritate me in The Husbands Of River Song and I think her pairing with 12 is the best yet. Felt all warm and fuzzy at the end, which is what I expect from the Christmas Special. 9/10 from me.

  5. JC
    December 31st, 2015 at 2.00pm | #5

    Now I have access to a computer, here is a more full review.

    Well, to start with and as I predicted, the Doctor has kept his Sonic Sunglasses, despite having a new Sonic Screwdriver, but for me, they are much more tolerable now they’re not the only sonic device he has.

    I felt that King Hydroflax was quite a generic Doctor Who villain, who was composed of traits that we’ve seen from a number of other enemies. Matt Lucas was entertaining for what he was, but his was a generic filler character that was only there for comedic effect and I’ve already forgotten his name twice.

    For me, though, the episode was all about the dynamic between River Song and the 12th Doctor. This was the feature I was looking forward to the most and AT FIRST, I thought I was going to be disappointed. Although River Song has always been spirited, particularly before she took that name, the way she was behaving was not only uncomfortable for me, but also clearly for the Doctor. As the episode went on, though, it became clear that this was the intention and the River Song we saw in the last 10-15 minutes of the episode was the one I recognised.

    I’m definitely a fan of River Song. Her character has grown a lot over the last five series, I like who she has become and how well Alex Kingston always plays her. Finally, we came to the Towers of Durilliam. We caught a glimpse of this moment in one of Matt Smith’s online bonus scenes, but it turns out he actually avoided the moment and instead arrived as the 12th Doctor.

    This moment was always going to be emotional and since I’m quite a sentimental person, I probably enjoyed those last 10 to 15 minutes of the episode the most. It was beautiful, in its own way, and so once again I find myself complimenting a Steven Moffat episode. How can that possibly happen?

    In closing, I’d just like to say that I felt that River Song brought out the character of The Doctor in the 12th incarnation more than Clara managed to do in Series 8 and 9 combined. He was comedically jealous, joked about his previous incarnation’s chin and cracked up laughing with River at the absurdity of being threatened by a head in a bag. That was the Doctor I knew and loved. I think he will inevitably return to the dark, uncaring (on the surface) man he was before, but just for that episode, he was The Doctor I recognised and I can appreciate that.

  6. Steve
    January 7th, 2016 at 7.15pm | #6

    So I watched it again and decided to sum up the story –
    The Doctor arrives on a Planet and there is a knock at the TARDIS door, he is taken to (the worst looking) spaceship. There he comes across River Song and spends the next 50 minute behaving like a love sick puppy cooing over River, who in turn has married a “Diamond” End of story! The most ridiculous part being the last 10 minutes with the Doctor gushing over River. This is the lowest Doctor Who has reached in modern times. It would have the first 3 Doctor’s turning in their graves.

  7. JC
    January 9th, 2016 at 12.49pm | #7

    Sorry you hated it so much Steve. After the last two series, I look for positives wherever I can find them and I don’t demand too much from the show now, so that’s probably why I wasn’t as bothered as you.

    I can just imagine your reaction when Moffat does go and your reaction if the person who replaces him is even worse, lol

  8. Mark
    January 22nd, 2016 at 7.55pm | #8

    Totally off topic, but didn’t know where else to post. Did anyone see Arthur Darvill (Rory) on Legends of Tomorrow last night? I found it amusing of him playing a trench coat wearing “Time Master” traveling through time in a stolen time machine. Gee, that sounds familiar. I was so inflamed by the certain rip off of Doctor Who, that I did a little digging and Arthur’s character from LoT, Rip Hunter, had been around DC comics about 4 years before Who hit the air.

  9. WhovianCentral
    February 1st, 2016 at 5.07pm | #9

    What a beautiful lullaby.

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