(As Capaldi’s Doctor meta-joked in the Christmas Special, most people need a flow chart to figure out the love story of two time travelers.) But as River makes it very clear in this episode, she’s never met Capaldi’s version of the Doctor before.
(We weren’t kidding about that flow chart.) So since there are no more options for adventures with the 10th, 11th, or 12th Doctors and since River never met the first nine incarnations, this is probably it for her. “He knows my character really well and he’s the only one who writes for her,” Kingston says.He’s one of those actors that when you’re actually working next to him you don’t actually see it.He’s brilliant to watch.”More than anything, Kingston says, she’s glad her character got some proper closure.But she’s also a character that, while hugely popular, reflected some problems of the Moffat/Smith era.First of all there was the tangled web of River/Melody and her whole mythology.Peter Capaldi got the honor of taking River out for one last ride. And by tying up her story in a neat bow, Moffat ensured he will stay the only writer to tale the story of River Song.If Matt Smith had his way, though, he never would have had to share Kingston with another Doctor. Then again, the nights are long on Darillium and who knows what wibbly-wobbly antics a time-travelling archeologist might get up to?And when Capaldi’s Doctor looked at her with dawning horror as to what he had put her through and, then, complete tenderness, it went a long way to heal years of a love story that sometimes felt one-sided and rarely felt particularly loving..As Kingston puts it, “I described working with Matt, Karen, and Arthur [Darvill] as spending a day with a basket of puppies.David Tennant’s Doctor greeted her mostly with suspicion (and, ultimately, sympathy) having never met her before and Matt Smith’s treatment of her was often combative or exasperated. Eleven’s iciness towards River is similar to Sherlock’s iciness towards, well, everyone.It’s an unfortunate narrative tick that Moffat seems to have shaken off during Capaldi’s most recent season.