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Thread: The rise and fall of River Song

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default The rise and fall of River Song

    River Song - the Doctor's Wife. Time traveller, adventurer and played by the delightful Alex Kingston. Now Alex Kingston is an excellent actress. I have no problems with her appearing in Doctor Who and she brings a lot to the role. If only the role had a lot to offer her.

    Let's be honest, in her first appearance, she was brilliant. She was someone you could see as the Doctor's equal. She was intelligent, action oriented and held her own. Her sacrifice at the end was well thought out and if that had been the last we had seen of her, in setting up the next season's plot arcs it would have been great.

    And then we get her back again...again...and again.

    The main problems I have with River Song is that they make her out to be a good, strong person. Good, strong people do not torture and kill helpless alien beings. In terms of being the Doctor's Wife, apparently they love each other but spend all their time apart. They are about as dysfunctional a couple as you could get. I'm not even sure the Doctor shows any love for her at any point. He seems to be spending more time with his latest young female companion who he has known since they were really young. Oh wait, he's known River Song since she was born...

    And finally, there are two other people who really need to be mentioned. Bernice Summerfield and Ace. You want excellent strong female characters in Doctor Who, go look at these two instead.

    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    The main problems I have with River Song is that they make her out to be a good, strong person. Good, strong people do not torture and kill helpless alien beings.
    I'm sorry. Who did she torture? A Dalek? All she did was not show mercy to a being who has never, itself, ever shown mercy.

    And where does a Dalek get off begging for mercy in the first place?

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    She had her moments but overall I was not a fan of River Song. I don't know Bernice Summerfield or Ace. Which Doctor's were they associated with?

    I really only watched part of the Tom Baker years and then a handful of other eps. My first exposure to Doctor Who was the 3rd Doctor when I was little and I didn't like the show at that point. Then I caught the Tom Baker Doctor and watched pretty regularly for 4 or maybe 5 years. I couldn't stand what I saw of the next 2 Doctors but the final Doctor, Radagast the Brown in the Hobbit movies was much better from what I recall of a few shows I caught.

    Love the new show and it is all the better as I've watch it with my kids from them being small to them be Whovians the way I was a Trekkie. It might be my daughters favorite show, I think it is. My sons likes the old shows but my daughter can't stand them. But the modern show (now with special effects) has been overall really well executed.

    We are all looking forward to the new Doctor. Matt Smith is the least of the new Doctors.

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    Quote Originally posted by anyrose View post
    I'm sorry. Who did she torture? A Dalek? All she did was not show mercy to a being who has never, itself, ever shown mercy.

    And where does a Dalek get off begging for mercy in the first place?
    And therein lies the problem. Its not the enemy you face, its how you handle yourself in the face of the enemy. It doesn't matter that its a Dalek, or a Cyberman or any of the myriad of creatures that have appeared.

    The fact is she stood there and made an alien who could not hurt her beg for mercy before killing it. That's not good.

    Ace was the last TV companion of Doctor 7, Bernice was from the Doctor Who novels with Doctor 7 and 8 and has a massive fan following and is considered the longest running companion.

    I started at the end of Doctor 4 and watched all the way through the old series. Even the bad ones.

    Biggest problem I have is that Peter Capaldi should be playing the Valeyard (Trial of a Timelord), but I bet there is some handwaving to get round that little continuity glitch, not to mention that this should be the last regeneration of the Doctor. *Waits for handwaving to give him a full set of new regenerations*
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    They don't need to handwave - they've already done it with the Master multiple times.
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    You're not going to convince me River is evil. I'm not going to convince you she's merely Chaotic Neutral, with a playful side. Can't we just both enjoy the character and her interactions?

    Speaking of the Master, I'd love to see John Simms return and face Capaldi at some point.

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    If River Song is a good character for you then enjoy her time and interactions on screen. For me, she is a missed opportunity for a character that could have been really, really good and wound up becoming more and more mediocre and implausible. That's not a knock against Alex Kingston, but the writing of the role.

    Now, Capaldi vs Simm would be one of the few occasions when the Doctor could make the Master crap himself. Of course, for that to happen Gallifrey would have to return and we could have a three way scene chewing extravaganza with Timothy Dalton.

    Still needs more Brian Blessed, though.
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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    If River Song is a good character for you then enjoy her time and interactions on screen. For me, she is a missed opportunity for a character that could have been really, really good and wound up becoming more and more mediocre and implausible. That's not a knock against Alex Kingston, but the writing of the role.

    Now, Capaldi vs Simm would be one of the few occasions when the Doctor could make the Master crap himself. Of course, for that to happen Gallifrey would have to return and we could have a three way scene chewing extravaganza with Timothy Dalton.

    Still needs more Brian Blessed, though.
    Wait!

    When was BRIAN BLESSED on Doctor Who? I have to see that one.

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    Yup. And he and Peri lived happily ever after

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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    Biggest problem I have is that Peter Capaldi should be playing the Valeyard (Trial of a Timelord), but I bet there is some handwaving to get round that little continuity glitch, not to mention that this should be the last regeneration of the Doctor. *Waits for handwaving to give him a full set of new regenerations*
    No handwaving needed. The Valeyard is the Doctor's last form, which is his 13th (Time Lords regenerate 12 times, not that they have 12 forms). Besides, in the latest episode the Great Intelligence said the Doctor is known by many names - the Oncoming Storm and the Valeyard among them. So they clearly won't ignore it, not completely.
    Last edited by AllWalker; 27 Oct 2013 at 01:11 AM.
    Something tells me we haven't seen the last of foreshadowing.

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    With the problem being that John Hurt is being inserted as one of the Doctor's incarnations, effectively making Eccleston 10th, Tennant 11th and Smith the 12th...

    Its a shame they couldn't get Eccleston back for the role because that would make a lot of sense.
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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    With the problem being that John Hurt is being inserted as one of the Doctor's incarnations, effectively making Eccleston 10th, Tennant 11th and Smith the 12th...

    Its a shame they couldn't get Eccleston back for the role because that would make a lot of sense.
    I thought it was implied that the Movie Doctor* was the war time Doctor and Eccleston was the regeneration recovering from that horror? Except now it looks like John Hurt was actually the Time-War Doctor. That would still mean Eccleston was the regeneration recovering from that horror. Just that the horror was even greater then we thought we knew.

    Also I was given the impression from what I read they didn't really contact Eccleston about coming back. Maybe I misremembered that part though.

    * Paul McGann was the 8th Doctor.

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    Sylvester McCoy was the seventh Doctor (last of the old school) who handed across to Paul McGann in the TV Movie. The series then went on to hiatus in TV. However there is a lot of novels about the adventures of the eight Doctor (McGann) including the Time War and being responsible for what happened. Allegedly, John Hurt's Doctor was being retrofitted as the 9th Doctor pushing them all out by one.

    Now they could do the Paul McGann/John Hurt are the same Doctor, and keep it continuous and it could kind of work. But we will have to wait and see.

    Apparently they did contact Eccleston (I guess he would have been playing the John Hurt role), but decided making movies in Hollywood was preferable. I wonder why?
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    It could be because of the way he left things with the DW producers. Rumor has it his constant conflicts are the reason he only did one season, and why he wasn't asked back for the special

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    Eccleston was asked multiple times about coming back for the special. It just never worked out for both parties.
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    Just saw Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth in a National Theatre simulcast, as it happens. She was very good: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk...tlout4-macbeth

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    Pointless Connections-esque trivia: Ralph Fiennes left Alex Kingston (!) for the lovely and much older Francesca Annis, who played Lady Macbeth in the 1970s Roman Polanski film.

    I think Fiennes subsequently dumped Annis too. (Presumably for Vanessa Redgrave or maybe Maggie Smith, if his pattern of picking ever-older redheads continues.)

    Sorry, not much else to contribute. I'm out of the loop as far as the 50th anniversary celebrations go. Are all the living Doctors going to participate in anything, choie asked hopefully while glancing at her imaginary life-size Peter Davison poster?
    Last edited by choie; 07 Nov 2013 at 12:57 AM.

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    None of the original Doctors were asked to take part in the 50th. I doubt we will see them again in anything other the Children in Need specials.
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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    None of the original Doctors were asked to take part in the 50th. I doubt we will see them again in anything other the Children in Need specials.
    Appearances by any of the original Doctors as the Doctor would be weird at this point. It would be weird even by the standards of the show. I doubt seeing Tom Baker, (my childhood Doctor) playing the Doctor now would be anything but disappointing and disconcerting.

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    They could still splice in clips from the classic show.

    Davison is the only one who looks close to how he looked at the time. I don't count McCann because of the 10+ year gap before he appeared

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    Ooh, that's a shame. I thought even just a celebratory documentary / chat sort of program, rather than their appearing as the Doctors, might have been planned.

    Davison has indeed aged pretty nicely. Loved him in The Last Detective and I understand he's on Law and Order:UK now too, in the Lt. Van Buren/Cragen role.

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