“The Husbands of River Song” and The Redemption of Doctor Who

So Doctor Who was really good this season huh? There was a sort of sensitivity that the show had been missing for a while, a beating heart  (or two) that with the loss of Amy Pond and Rory Williams just hadn’t been present.

And this season it was found, including the bittersweet goodbye to Clara Oswald, the introduction of half time lord Ashildr/Lady/Me/Mayor played with significant panache by Maisy Williams, and a delightful take for Michelle Gomez’s Missy.

But all of it was exemplified perfectly in the Christmas Special, which gave River Song the goodbye that she so richly deserves.

River’s not a character I was overly enamored of at first. (I was still mourning Rose in a big way when she was first introduced.) But on revisits, I’ve come to really appreciate the narrative gymnastics surrounding the character and Alex Kingston’s really delightful performance.

River’s various goodbye’s always felt half hearted to me, not even vaguely invested with the kind of dignity the character deserves. This may also because I’ve never been wild about Matt Smith or The Eleventh Doctor in general, and Twelve gives everything a sense of gravitas.

But my heart really started pumping while, staring at The Doctor, but not knowing it’s him, River insisted that he wasn’t in love with her. Because the man who was in love with her, wouldn’t have abandoned her after losing her parents in Manhattan.

Capaldi sold that moment very well, and Alex Kingston even better and actually seeing their final moments together before she heads off to the library to meet him one last time before going to her death was heart breaking.

That’s not to say that the episode was all weepy moments it wasn’t. There was also a ton of humor and a lot of giggling.

Seriously, Capaldi giggled.

It’s adorable.

And they’re sooo good together. I can’t get over the fact that canonically they’ll never be together again. I mean, knowing Moffatt, they may still wind up hanging out some more.

And speaking of Moffatt, this was apparently supposed to be his last episode. It’s very clear. This would have been an amazing goodbye for him.

As it is, I’m actually happy that he’s sticking around, which I never thought I would say. I’ve always preferred Russell T. Davies, and not just because of Tennant, but I do think that Moffatt’s style is a really good fit for Peter Capaldi, so I’m psyched to see them work through another season together. Seriously, much as David Tennant is really Davies’s Doctor, Capaldi is Stephen Moffatt’s.

Which, when I think about it, makes me sad for Matt Smith. Who really does seem quite nice…

Anyway, this was a great episode and you should watch it, and I have three little babies staying at my house right now, so I’m having trouble focusing because we were playing and then I drank a lot of wine!!!!!

But hey, I didn’t write about Star Wars. So we’re getting somewhere.

 

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