The doctor was summoned to a planet and immediately ran into a mishap. He was mistaken for a surgeon meant to work on a king in dire need. Confused and probably curious, he went along as the surgeon that they thought he was.
River song entered the scene with as much flair as always. There’s something about her character that is endlessly entrancing. This time she was married to a terrible husband and wielding a sonic trowel. More importantly the ruse she was putting on was to get the massive diamond wedged in his head. She’s perfectly willing to kill him to get out out.
Even more interesting was that even though The Doctor kept saying who he was River didn’t seem to recognize him as being her Doctor, her real husband. So much so to the point that we kept meeting more of River’s husbands. Heck she couldn’t even find him as he stood before her. She even went as far as stealing his TARDIS with him. Yet, no matter how many times he practically told her, she didn’t accept it.
While it was annoying seeing the brilliant and wonderful River Song not figure out something that was right in front of her face, the situation did lend itself to seeing more of River. In particular, the Doctor was able to talk to her as just a man and not The Doctor. We got to learn some of her inner thoughts about the Doctor and how she approaches situations. This comes out largely in the scene when The Doctor sees River’s diary. Nearly full and River is resigned and has he points out sad. It gets even lower when she admits that she loves him, but truly believes he doesn’t love her. She goes on an entire tirade about how there was no reason for someone as great as him to love her. It’s only then that she realizes it truly was him with her the entire it was a great moment and in true River fashion she didn’t linger on it for long.
Like many River Song episodes it was filled with grandeur and adventure. They never stayed in one place for too long. Even when they did, it was filled with humor and River one liners. As usual, it is River who takes the lead guiding them from place to place. She is the one in charge and it is the Doctor going along for the ride. The dynamic we usually see with The Doctor and his companion is flipped. The Doctor becomes River’s companion. However, that doesn’t render The Doctor inert, just for a change sometimes one step behind. Their dynamic reminded me of a flipped The Doctor and Clara in that The Doctor may be more the companion, but he’s clever.
The end of the episode was there to be a gut punch to emotions. The Doctor and River are this dynamic pair. When you’re confronted with the fact that River realizes her time is nearing an The Doctor does nothing to deny it, it hurts. She realizes it’s the last night they spend together. Yet, the ending still ended with a since of hope which was a feat.
The only thing about this episode was that it didn’t really feel like a Christmas episode like other Christmas specials have felt. Except for a few brief moments, the Christmas element wasn’t there. It felt like it could have aired at any time. That said, it was a really great episode.
It was quite funny seeing the Doctor pretend to see the inside or the TARDIS for the first time.
What did you think of the episode?