Season 9 of Doctor Who is almost upon us (17 days and counting!) and while there’s still plenty of mystery shrouding it (like who Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams is playing), one piece of the puzzle has been revealed: River Song.
The fan-favorite character, who’s the daughter of former companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), won’t be in the upcoming season, but the traditional Christmas special that immediately follows.
She first made her appearance in the Season 4 episode “Silence in the Library” with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, and has appeared in 15 episodes to date.
In an official statement from the BBC, actress Alex Kingston comments on her return:
“To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humour and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September? Why not!”
Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor, will be the third Doctor River’s interacted with. There’s no explanation for the return of her character, but it will be interesting to see how she gets on with Capaldi’s Doctor and how it differs from both Tennant and Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor).
Showrunner Steven Moffat did comment on the Doctor and River’s relationship, however:
“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who – and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song? The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time…”
River Song is no stranger to time-travel or the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey nature of the Doctor so if anyone could find a way back to him, it’d be her. (Or John Barrowman’s Jack Harkness. …Okay, I just really want him back.)
The special will be directed by Douglas Mackinnon (“Listen,” “Time Heist,” and “Flatline”). Season 9 will premiere on the BBC and BBC America on September 19th.
Are you excited to see River Song again? How do you think she’ll return? Share your thoughts in the comments!