Doctor Who fans everywhere are rejoicing as Alex Kingston is returning to the role of River Song for a Christmas spectacular.
Steven Moffat’s run on Doctor Who has seen a slow decline in viewing figures for the series, although there has been a slight increase on American viewings, this has lead to an increase in stunts to bring viewers back to the show. This Christmas, Moffat is trying to pull your attention to the TV sets with a reappearance of, fan favourite, River Song played by Alex Kingston. River is the Doctor’s wife and another time traveller, she’s become the Catwoman to Doctor Who’s Batman. However is River a big enough draw to pull viewers back to Doctor Who? I wouldn’t say so.
It’s not a new opinion but I really don’t like Steven Moffat as a show-runner. Each series he’s worked on has comprised of a series of episodes so concerned with leading into a large finale that each episode’s own plot fades to the background. This has also meant that many characters get little of an arc and instead we are just told that the characters have developed off scree, see Rory waiting for Amy or any of the space between Clara’s episodes. This lack of on-screen development makes me fear for River Song’s return, as she has always been a bit of weaker character in the series.
River is meant to be a vixen, she’s a saucy match for the Doctor, flustering him with her combination of charm and intelligence. However, the character’s intelligence is rarely shown and in her more recent episodes River seemed to become more of a flirty one-liner of a character, showing almost no development. The Doctor’s wife is an interesting concept for a character but in practice it means leaves little room in the narrative past the concept. This unfortunately means, the return of River Song to series, even for a Christmas special, puts me off instead of drawing me in. If the BBC want me to watch some Doctor Who they need to bring back Captain Jack, Martha and David Tennant. But until that day I can only hope and pray to the king of the Whovians, Russel T Davis.