Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who Is River Song? Take Two

(Spoiler warning for A Good Man Goes to War still in effect)So now we know who River is... or do we?

Unless she was lying (which doesn't appear to be the case), she's Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy and Rory. Let's first address certain fans' disappointment. Malcontents seem to fit into two categories. The first are those who claim they'd guessed it at the start of the episode or as far back as The Impossible Astronaut (those who did so even earlier were just taking shots in the dark, IMO). These are disappointed that it was all so obvious. Well, obvious to you, or obvious THIS series. I don't know why these people aren't celebrating their cleverness. You got it! Be proud of yourself! And as I said yesterday, Moffat reveals this idea at the start of A Good Man Goes to War, then toys with our expectations on purpose. The audience SHOULD be thinking they guessed it, then second-guess themselves for the rest of the episode. The other group of grognards are those who thought for sure River was going to be a character from the past - Susan, the Rani, Romana, Nyssa, some obscure character from the novels, even Rose or Donna. Sorry guys, this NEVER made sense from a production point of view. Imagine all the New Who fans looking at each other on finale night asking "Who the heck is the Terrible Zodin?" All the crazy (and not so crazy) theories in this post and its comments.

So she's Melody Pond. She's the little girl in the spacesuit. She's been turned into a weapon by the Silents. She was conceived in the vortex. She has Human+Time Lord DNA. She's able to regenerate. That about covers what we know. We STILL don't know what her exact relationship with the Doctor is though. Are Amy and Rory really the Doctor's "in-laws"? That's crazy! How did they meet from her point of view? How did she learn to pilot the TARDIS? Why are Daleks afraid of her? WHO IS THE GOOD MAN SHE KILLED, for God's sake! There are a hundred things we still don't know. The mystery hasn't been revealed so much as multiplied. With what we now know of River's Time Lord attributes, even more questions crop up. How many times has she regenerated? And will we ever see (in reverse order of course) River played by another actress turning into Alex Kingston? The future's going to be wild (by which I mean, her past!)

So while we wait for Series 6 Part Deux, we'll get to take a look back at every River Song episode there ever was, scrutinizing each moment to see how it ties into the most recent revelation. How does she act around Amy and Rory? What portentous spoilers slip out of her mouth? And what about her death and how it justifies her not regenerating? Folks, this isn't the last you hear of this on the SBG, not by a long shot.

22 comments:

The Acrobatic Flea said...

Among all those crazy ideas - and I was way off ;) - you do find:

Eli said...

Here's my wild guest: River is Amy's and Rory's daughter.


Round of applause for Eli!!!

Siskoid said...

And he got it on July 8th 2010 too, when the only hint was red hair.

Anonymous said...

Eli is a time traveler who uses his knowledge of future events to look smarter than everyone else. Well, there are worse things to do with a TARDIS I suppose.

Siskoid said...

Considering I use mine to buy Golden Age comics, yeah there are.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you already addressed this in a previous post, but if she is his wife, and they have kids, then those children could be Time Lords. Does this mean the Doctor and River could be the progenitors of the Time Lord race? All they'd have to do is settle them on Gallifrey far enough in the past.

A propos de rien...un bon fete de Ste. Jean-Baptiste demain! Do you celebrate in NB? Growing up in Montreal we celebrated whether English or French because the last day of school was always June 23!

Siskoid said...

Yes that adds to the theory of the return of the Time Lords, as a lot of the series has to date.

And no, we don't celebrate the St-Jean-Baptiste, that's strictly Quebec. (Well, Quebeckers here might, and intergovernmental agencies might have a show planned.) Acadians celebrate August 15th, that's our national holiday :) and working for an Acadian institution, I'll even get the day off!

Jeff R. said...

I still think that the last Humans of Utopia eventually master the Vortex and send themselves back to the beginning of the universe to become the Time Lords. (Season 3's last two episodes explain, in timey-wimey fashion, exactly how the Time Lords acquired the legend of the Toclafane.)

River and Jenny and other partial Time-Lord hystereses and such can explain (again, in a circular, timey-wimey manner) how some of the critical genes required to make a Time Lord got into the Human Genome.

Siskoid said...

Depends if the Time Lords created themselves, or are created anew. Would these be the old Time Lords explained (and perhaps reintegrated into Universe2) or completely new Time Lords born from Series 1-6 events or even Time Lords resurrected from their thought boxes or whatnot.

If they return at all.

Chris79 said...

In fairness, I had the theory River was Amy's kid since "The Big Bang", because if you ever wondered how did River remember Amy and give her her diary, or was at her wedding at all, it was the only logical answer and then, rewatch "The Time of Angels" the clues are there. It's not even very subtle (I had a 2 pages theory about it, my friends thought I'd gone 'loca'). Anyway, I wasn't 100 % sure I was right (it's the Moff after all), but when I watched "A Good Man Goes To War" I had a bloody grin on my face during the wole episode and was all smugness the entire week end. I loved the delivery of the reveal though.

To answer your question as to why River didn't regenerate at the end of "Forest Of The Dead", River told the Doctor that if he plugged himself to the Library's core, to download the 4022 people trapped in CAL (plus Donna), it'd burn up both his hearts and he wouldn't be able to regenerate. She also said, when she plugged herself : "You wouldn't have a chance [to survive], neither do I". Hope it helped!

Chris79 said...

Oh, yeah and I LOL'ed at your "Who the heck is the Terrible Zodin?"

Jeff R. said...

Well, in my idea they're the exact same Timelords. However, once the Doctor actually shows up and helps at the birth (his being the mysterious and semi-apochyphal third founder would in this case be true, but part of his future rather than his past relative to the EU stories that hinted about same.), his personal timeline syncs up with them and he gets to start experiencing a timespace continuum with a fresh and vibrant Timelord culture rather than a decadent one or none at all.

Of course, he'll probably mostly stay away, since it will be run mostly by people he's killed (and thus can't kill again/ahead of schedule...)

Siskoid said...

When I eventually do my own summary of the "proof" (and yes, I knew the answer to my question already, just was keeping stuff back), I hope you'll come in again to add/debate stuff.

I did the Zodin trick to my roommate using Nyssa. She wouldn't have been more bewildered if I'd said Zodin. If it didn't happen in New Who, New Whovians don't know about it!

Siskoid said...

Jeff: I already predict a spin-off starring Li'l Rassilon and Li'l Omega!

JDJarvis said...

So is Riversong Susan's Mother?

snell said...

So, we know why Eyepatch's crew wanted Melody...but why did The Silent?

And to see how much they wanted her, look at the timeline: they made Amy tell the Doctor she was pregnant, which led to the scan and discovery she had been taken, which led to the Doctor's "invasion," which caused Eyepatch to flee alone with Melody...which at some point resulted in the Silent having her by TIA. So it looks like they deliberately set in motion a chain which would put Melody in their clutches. Why...?

Siskoid said...

Snell: All very good questions!

Jarvis: Of course not. For one thing, Susan is the Doctor's GRANDdaughter. For another, wouldn't the first Doctor know where Susan came from, a good 9 regenerations before he even meets River?

JDJarvis said...

oh color me embarrassed. So is Riversong Susan's grandma?

The doctor has experienced a little trauma over the years he might have forgotten a few things here and there.

all right, all right, I'm reaching but it would be neato and send a geeky thrill up my spine if it were true.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, he'll probably mostly stay away, since it will be run mostly by people he's killed (and thus can't kill again/ahead of schedule...)"

Time Lords aren't immortal; they may live for many thousands of years, but they do eventually die of old age, yes? So if the Doctor is helping to initialize his species via timey-wimey means, there is no reason to expect that the first generation of Time Lords will also be the elders the Doctor grew up with. (Rassilon would be the exception to this, as he was brought back to participate in the Time War, and the Doctor has crossed swords with him.)

But I do like the recipe Moffat has given us ("human + time stream = Time Lord"); it pretty much cleans up the Paul McGann "half human" thing. If a Gallifreyan is basically a human, and the Doctor's mother was a human, then so what? There's probably an interesting story about how the Doctor's father met a human, but other than that it's not even a biological curiosity. It'd be like someone saying to you or me, "I know your secret: your mother IS OF LITHUANIAN ANCESTRY!!!"

Chris79 said...

Always in to give a piece of my mind about Doctor Who... That's what I live for! Joking aside, my two pages on River are part of a seven pages (for now, I didn't really have time to finish it properly) theory on the whole series 6, including the finale. I was gonna share, but since you've been holding stuff back for other posts : "Spoilers!" ;-)

d said...

2 quick thoughts:
The crib, when The Doctor says it's his, I just assumed he meant it belonged to him, not it was his as a Time Tot or whatever.
Also; River as Amy & Rory's child does kinda make her his "granddaughter" since he does seem to have a "dad" thing going on with A & R. I'm picturing an end to the 50th anniversary season where The Doctor, unable to bring teen River back to her parents for some reason, takes her to the safest place he knows, an old junkyard where a shadowy old man smiles at her and says "call me Grandfather".

I'll expect my kudos sometime in 2013.

The Acrobatic Flea said...

@d - I so hope you are right :D

Siskoid said...

Not sure continuity can sustain it but that WOULD be pretty wild!