The Doctor's Acquaintances
 
 
River Song/Melody Pond
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song, The Angels Take Manhattan, The Name of The Doctor and The Husbands of River Song
Alex Kingston
River Song/Melody Pond
(2008 -
2015)
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston was born on the 11th March 1963 in London as Alexandra Elizabeth Kingston. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) where she met her first husband, Ralph Fiennes. She is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Alex Kingston is best known internationally for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in the US television series ER (1997 - 2009) and the title role in the 1996 miniseries The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders. She also had a recurring roles in the US television series FlashForward (2009 - 2010) and a lead role in the ITV drama Marchlands (2011). She also starred in multiple seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2009 - 2010). She also has a recurring role in Arrow (2013 - 2016), being the third of five actors from Doctor Who to also have a role in the show's universe.

 While The Doctor's status as a time-traveller means that his relationships with some of his friends and foes can often be complex due to him meeting them in the wrong order, River Song is a particularly distinctive example of this, as The Doctor 'first' met her at her death and then went on to meet her at very different points in her life.

A Good Man Goes to War
A Good Man Goes to War
 From River's perspective, her story began when she was conceived and born under the name 'Melody Pond', the daughter of the Eleventh Doctor's companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams. Due to her being conceived on her parents' wedding night as they were travelling in the TARDIS, Melody was born with some of the genetic traits that the Time Lords had evolved due to their centuries of exposure to the Time Vortex, including an instinctive understanding of time, a strange bond with the TARDIS that allowed her to pilot the ship automatically, and the ability to regenerate. However, The Doctor, Amy and Rory never learned about these abilities before her birth as Amy was abducted and replaced with a ‘Ganger’ - a flesh-based duplicate of Amy that was remotely controlled by a link to her real body - shortly after Melody’s conception, allowing her abductors, the mysterious order known as ‘the Silence’, to monitor Amy’s pregnancy with the goal of using her child as a weapon against The Doctor without The Doctor and Rory learning about the abduction. Although The Doctor discovered what had happened and was able to gather a small army of allies to rescue Amy from the Silence at the Demon's Run asteroid just after the birth, the infant Melody was at some point replaced by another Ganger copy and taken away, leaving The Doctor and her parents to realise her true identity due to one of the Silence soldiers having written her name in their language (The soldier's culture had no word for 'Pond' and so the translation of 'Melody Pond' came out as 'Song River').


Let's Kill Hitler
Let's Kill Hitler
 The exact chain of events that followed her departure from Demon's Run are unknown, but it would appear that Melody was taken to Earth in the 1960s, where she was prepared to assassinate The Doctor via a series of mental programming, which included fitting her into a 1960s astronaut suit equipped with energy weapons. She eventually managed to escape the Silence (simultaneously alerting her parents and The Doctor to their existence from a point before they knew her identity), but she was afflicted by an unspecified illness that caused her to eventually regenerate for the first time in New York in 1970. Now in her second incarnation, Melody eventually found herself in Leadworth (suggesting that she was able to control her aging to prevent herself becoming too old to interact with her parents), where she became friends with her future parents under the name 'Mels' when Amy was around seven years old. During their friendship, Mels subtly arranged things so that her parents would end up together, such as allowing them to take the lead roles in a school nativity play to telling Amy that Rory was in love with her after years of Amy assuming Rory was gay, while Amy unwittingly acted as a 'mother' to Mels, such as scolding her when she was sent to the head teacher's office. Even after Amy and Rory met the future River, they never learned Mels' true identity until she caught up with them just as The Doctor returned to Leadworth following his attempts to find the infant Melody (Although they told Mels about The Doctor, Mels never attended their wedding as she claimed that she didn't do weddings). Finding the Doctor in a cornfield, Mels held The Doctor at gunpoint and made him take the TARDIS to Berlin 1938 so that she could try and shoot Hitler ("Let's Kill Hitler"). When she was shot by a stray bullet from Hitler's gun before Rory locked him in a cupboard, Mels regenerated into the incarnation that her parents and The Doctor recognised as River Song, but 'Mels' poisoned The Doctor with a toxic kiss using a poison that would immobilise even The Doctor's ability to regenerate. However, using their knowledge of River from the future, The Doctor, Amy and Rory were able to convince Mels to save The Doctor by revealing her future identity, prompting her to sacrifice her remaining ten regenerations by transferring their potential energy to The Doctor so that he could recover from the poison.

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
 Taken to the 51st century to recover from her lost regenerations - leaving her mostly human, although she still had an extended lifespan that allowed her to live for around two centuries without looking significantly older - and left with a diary whose cover resembled the TARDIS, River attempted to move on to a more conventional career in archaeology, although she noted at the start of her career that she would be focusing her research on the history of The Doctor. Despite trying to stay low-key, River was eventually found and forcibly recruited by the Silence once again, shortly after she had discovered reports identifying the date of The Doctor's death as Lake Silencio in America at 17:02pm on April 2nd, 2011. With this in mind, the Silence forced River into the astronaut suit she had used in her first body and sent it under the lake so that it would emerge when The Doctor arrived there (Accompanied by her parents and her future self) ("The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon"). When the time came for her to confront The Doctor, River managed to avoid aiming her gun directly at him, but this attempt to change a fixed point in time resulted in history itself being fractured, with all of time taking place at once, such as Winston Churchill and Cleopatra communicating over the internet or Charles Dickens appearing on BBC. Eventually making contact with River, The Doctor 'married' her in an improvised ceremony that allowed him to reveal that he had made plans to fake his death once she shot him, allowing River to break the fixed point and restore history, although she was subsequently sentenced to prison in the Stormcage facility for killing The Doctor.


The Husbands of River Song
The Husbands of River Song
 Despite being in prison, River appeared to have a very flippant regard for her captivity, breaking out of her cell on a regular basis to go on 'dates' or missions with The Doctor, sometimes even going into his past to take action that would be needed to protect his past selves even if she was warned that she shouldn't 'play with' certain incarnations. The diary served as a crucial aid in River's efforts to keep the timeline straight, River often consulting it when she met the Eleventh Doctor again so that the two of them could 'compare notes' and determine what adventures each of them had experienced compared to the other. During some of her trips to the past, River saw and briefly interacted with the first nine Doctors (Discounting the War Doctor, who she was aware of but was never able to meet due to the damage to reality caused by the Time War), with her diary notes revealing that she had mixed feelings about these incarnations, even if she erased their memories of meeting her when possible to preserve the timeline. Based on her notes, she avoided talking to the First Doctor because she found him boring and feared the implications of him having a granddaughter, disliked the Second, admired the styles of the Third and Fourth Doctors while enjoying talking with the Third in particular due to their shared sense of culture, regarded the Fifth as sweet but short-tempered, found the Sixth's personality abrasive, was surprised at the Seventh's Scottish manner, admired the Eight's console room even if she thought his style was rather passé, and quickly learning that the Ninth was easily set off by reference to the Time War ("The Eternity Clock"). It was later revealed that she also 'borrowed' the TARDIS on some occasions while The Doctor was occupied elsewhere, her ties to the ship allowing her to pilot it with greater efficiency than The Doctor so that she could take it away and bring it back before even The Doctor realised that it was missing ("The Husbands of River Song"). While agencies such as the Church of the Papal Mainframe - the 'parent' organisation of the Silence who created River, although it is unclear if all of their number knew about their history with River - were known to contact Stormcage to use River's expertise in cases where The Doctor was required, her continued escapes meant that Stormcage would sometimes refuse those requests to exert their authority, with one such crisis being handled by the Seventh Doctor's old companion Bernice Summerfield instead when she arrived in the mysterious pyramid the Church wanted River to investigate ("Big Bang Generation").

The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
 Although always willing to help The Doctor, River mused more than once that the inverted nature of their interaction meant that she would one day have to work with a Doctor who wouldn't know her, telling Rory - from a point before he knew that he was her father - that she feared how painful that meeting would be for her. Despite the fact that she was undoubtedly tempted to give The Doctor future information when meeting younger versions of him, River nevertheless resisted the urge to give him more than he should know, even when she was called upon to assist in investigating a crisis that turned out to be the Silence attempting to recapture her first incarnation after she escaped them in 1969 ("The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon"). Fortunately for River, the memory-distorting nature of the Silence meant that The Doctor, Amy and Rory never learned precisely what the Silence were after even after they managed to trick the Silence into ordering humanity to drive them away from Earth, although she was left deeply affected when she kissed The Doctor and realised from his reaction that this was their first kiss from his perspective, meaning that she couldn't do that in their 'next' meeting. Even faced with a crisis capable of ending reality and/or The Doctor, such as the Pandorica crisis that saw all of existence facing collapse unless The Doctor sacrificed himself ("The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang"), River had learned from her previous attempt to break a fixed point not to attempt something like that again. As a result, she allowed The Doctor to end the Pandorica crisis by taking himself out of reality after the destruction of the TARDIS triggered a total event collapse, accepting that The Doctor's plan was the only way to restore history, although Amy was able to bring him back to existence thanks to her memories of him and long exposure to a crack in time in her childhood bedroom.


The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
 After assisting an even earlier version of The Doctor and Amy in stopping the Weeping Angels on the crash of the Byzantium ("The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone"), River mused that she was likely to receive a pardon from her past crimes for her recent services. However, this release actually occurred when The Doctor's efforts to erase all records of his existence after he faked his death led to River being released because people could no longer find anything to suggest that the man River allegedly killed had ever existed, allowing her to acquire a professorship rather than just her initial doctorate. Travelling back to New York in 1936, River once again assisted The Doctor and her parents in dealing with the Weeping Angels' attempts to turn New York into their new food source, but the resolution of the crisis saw Amy and Rory being trapped back in 1936 by the last of the Weeping Angels, reality left so unstable by their defeat that The Doctor could never take the TARDIS back to rescue his companions as he found himself standing over their grave ("The Angels Take Manhattan"). Depressed at this loss, The Doctor asked River to travel with him, but she declined, feeling that the TARDIS wouldn't be safe with 'two psychopaths' on board, acknowledging that the two of them wouldn't be good together in the long term even if she loved him.

"The Angels Take Manhattan
The Angels Take Manhattan
 Travelling alone for a time, River participated in a particularly complex scheme to steal a rare and valuable diamond after it became trapped in the head of the ruthless King Hydroflax, his long and sadistic reign facing its end now that his head was the only organic part of him left, his body a semi-autonomous cyborg. Having recruited a skilled surgeon to try and extract the diamond from the head, River was forced to flee with him in the TARDIS - which had been discovered on the planet even if The Doctor couldn't be found in any of his known twelve bodies - to the ship Harmony and Redemption, where the potential buyers she had found for the diamond turned to be Hydroflax's followers. Things took a turn for the worse when Hydroflax's body shot his head, his servants musing that River would make the perfect hostage to lure in The Doctor so that Hydroflax's body could take The Doctor's head for itself. However, just as River was making a speech about how she was certain that The Doctor was incapable of feeling anything for her that would inspire him to come to her rescue, she realised that the 'surgeon' was actually the Twelfth Doctor, the Time Lord having acquired a new set of regenerations ("The Time of The Doctor"), River unable to recognise him as she only knew of his original cycle. With this revelation - River's speech simultaneously assuring The Doctor of her love for him despite her ruthless actions - River fled to the TARDIS while The Doctor defeated Hydroflax's body, just as the ship crashed on the planet Darillium, The Doctor subsequently giving River her own sonic screwdriver as a gift. Although it had been said that The Doctor and River would spend their final night together on Darillium, The Doctor noted that Darillium's nights could last for twenty-four years, allowing them to have dinner on Christmas Day at the singings towers of Darillium and remain there until the time came for them to part. Following this, River encountered a plot being conducted by the self-proclaimed 'Rulers of the Universe', which led to her facing the ancient race known as the Sankuna ("The Diary of River Song - Signs"), thwarting their attempt to use the Time War to restart the universe by discreetly providing the Eighth Doctor with assistance over the radio without revealing her identity ("The Diary of River Song - The Rulers of the Universe"). Similar encounters saw her contact the Eighth Doctor's current companion Helen Sinclair to give her vital knowledge to help the Eighth Doctor defeat the insane Time Lord known as the Eleven ("Doom Coalition 2 - The Sonomancer"), and work with the Sixth and Seventh Doctors to thwart the plans of the company Golden Futures and their Sperovore allies ("The Diary of River Song - The Eye of the Storm"), again avoiding revealing her true relationship to The Doctor ahead of schedule.


Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
 Eventually returning to her standard archaeological career, River was called on to investigate the mysterious Library, a planet-sized Library whose last message some years ago had stated '4022 Saved. No Survivors' ("Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead"). Although River sent a message via the psychic paper to call The Doctor for help, she was unprepared for the fact that she had called the Tenth Doctor at a point before he knew her, forcing her to face her long-held fear that she would face a Doctor who had no idea who she was. Despite this revelation, River continued to try and focus on the threat posed by the Vashta Nerada who had infested the Library, providing him only what clues he needed to be assured that he would come to trust her in his future, until The Doctor realised that the last residents of the library had been saved from the Vashta Nerada by being uploaded to the Library computer. The Doctor attempted to complete the circuit that would boost the Library's processing power to allow him to restore the former residents by using himself to provide the last of the processing power, but River knocked him out to take his place, knowing that The Doctor couldn't survive the resulting power surge and that he needed to live to experience his future adventures with her. However, despite River declining to share specifics of their time together, The Doctor realised that the sonic screwdriver he had given her in the future contained a neural implant that had 'downloaded' River's mind at the moment of her death, allowing him to upload it to the Library.

The Name of The Doctor
The Name of The Doctor
 Despite her 'death', River returned to The Doctor's life one last time as a psychic projection linked to The Doctor's current companion Clara Oswald when The Doctor's old foe the Great Intelligence discovered The Doctor's tomb on Trenzalore ("The Name of The Doctor"), the Intelligence intending to use the temporal scar left after The Doctor's death to undo his life. While the Intelligence entered the scar, Clara was able to negate its attempt to destroy The Doctor's role in history by following it, leaving The Doctor to briefly talk with the River projection despite her initial belief that he couldn't hear her. As The Doctor prepared to follow Clara into the scar, River asked The Doctor to say goodbye as though he was coming back if he had ever loved her, even a little, The Doctor agreeing to that request before he jumped into the scar to save Clara. Considering that this version of River still exists in the Library, it is unclear if this means that River is gone for good or if she could still return as a later version of herself under the right circumstances.

 
Audio - The Diary of River Song - Season One: Signs
The Diary of River Song - Season One: Signs
Audio - The Diary of River Song - Season One: The Rulers of the Universe
The Diary of River Song - Season One: The Rulers of the Universe
Audio - The Diary of River Song - Season Two: The Eye of the Storm
The Diary of River Song - Season Two: The Eye of the Storm
Audio - Doom Coalition 2: The Sonomancer
Doom Coalition 2: The Sonomancer

Memorable Moment
 
Television Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Episodes
Television Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead The 10th Doctor Donna Noble Season 30 (New Series 4) 2
Television The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone The 11th Doctor Amy Pond Season 31 (New Series 5) 2
Television The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 31 (New Series 5) 2
Television The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 32 (New Series 6) 2
Television A Good Man Goes to War The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 32 (New Series 6) 1
Television Let's Kill Hitler The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 32 (New Series 6) 1
Television The Wedding of River Song The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 32 (New Series 6) 1
Television The Angels Take Manhattan The 11th Doctor Amy Pond and Rory Williams Season 33 (New Series 7) 1
Television The Name of The Doctor The 11th Doctor Clara Oswald Season 33 (New Series 7) 1
Television The Husbands of River Song The 12th Doctor   Season 35 (New Series 9) 1
Total Stories:   10 Total Episodes:   14
Other Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Source
Video
Game
Eternity Clock The 11th Doctor   Video Game
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season One: The Boundless Sea -   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season One: I Went to a Marvellous Party -   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season One: Signs -   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season One: The Rulers of the Universe The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season Two: The Unknown The 7th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season Two: Five Twenty-Nine -   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season Two: World Enough and Time

The 6th Doctor

  The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Diary of River Song - Season Two: The Eye of the Storm The 6th Doctor and The 7th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Doom Coalition 2: The Sonomancer The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Doom Coalition 3: The Eighth Piece The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Doom Coalition 3: The Doomsday Chronometer The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Doom Coalition 3: The Crucible of Souls The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Doom Coalition 4: Songs of Love The 8th Doctor   The Big Finish Audio Stories
Total Stories:   13
 
Who's Who The Tenth Doctor The Eleventh Doctor The Twelfth Doctor Who Episodes
Who's Who The 10th Doctor The 11th Doctor The 12th Doctor Who Episodes
 

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