river and her doctor

I have lived forever in a smile. — e.e.cummings


same software, different case



“When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!”

For me, [in my headcanon, the Doctor’s explanation about the Towers] was just the Doctor, in his faltering way, trying to open up on the subject of emotion and accidentally lecturing on an acoustic effect in a nearby tourist attraction. Which of us hasn’t made that mistake for a date?

But, yes, that episode is all about River and the Doctor, both asking and answering the big question about who they are to each other. And look, since it’s my sacred duty to invite scorn and derision once a month in the writing on this column, I’m going to admit I’m rather proud of some of the scenes in that episode–especially River Realises and Twenty Four Years. Yeah, help yourselves, blast away. But I’m hardly ever proud of anything I write (“Quite Right,” the millions cry), so I’m saying it anyway. Nyer!

—  Steven Moffat on River and the Doctor in THORS (DWM 496)
  • 6th Doctor: We know each other very well, don't we?
  • River: One day, yes. We will know each other, until death.
  • 6th Doctor: The grave’s a fine and private place. But none, I think, do there embrace.

“It’s the same night!”

I see everyone GIFing the “her name was River Song” and “24 years” lines, but they’re are so more understated River parallels that haven’t been discussed:
  1. River/Doctor in the crashing Harmony & Redemption (The Husbands of River Song) // “I know you miss her, but couldn’t you just write a poem?!” as Twelve and Nardole are crashing in the Harmony Shoal bomb ship
  2. River unknowingly getting jealous of Younger River on their date nights (Last Night) // Twelve and Grant discussing Lucy/Grant’s “first date” with Twelve pointing out Lucy is jealous and Grant saying, “Technically she’s jealous of her.”
  3. Donna: “Are you all right?” Ten: “I’m always all right.” (Forest of the Dead) // Grant: “Are you okay?” Twelve: “I’m always okay.”
  4. River’s red dress for her night on Darillium (The Husbands of River Song) // Lucy walking out in her red dress for the Ghost despite her earlier conversation with Grant that implies she only wears it on dates: “No, no, no, it’s just that, well, normally you wear the little red dress when you’re, er-”
  5. “Right. Oh, picnic at Asgard. Have we done Asgard yet?” (Silence in the Library) // Grant taking a picnic basket on his “date” with Lucy.
  6. “It’s okay, it’s okay. It’s not over for you. You’ll see me again. You’ve got all of that to come. You and me. Time and space. You watch us run!” (Forest of the Dead) // “Things end. That’s all. Everything ends, that is always sad. But everything begins again, too. And that’s…always happy. Be happy.”
  7. Eleven sobbing after Clara asks him about the lady with the “funny name and space hair” (The Name of the Doctor) // Twelve walking away from Lucy after she says, “What was her name?”