Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mystic River

Back in April, there was a brilliant post on The Anti Room about great female TV characters, where Lisa listed eight of her favourites. Since the crafty bastards of Doctor Who have now left us hanging until autumn with their infuriating mid-season break, I've come to realise that I very definitely have a new TV heroine that would rank most highly indeed if I ever got around to compiling such a list of my own. I refer, of course, to the bouncy-haired, wisecracking, ass-kicking, Doctor-baiting River Song, played by Alex Kingston.

I have to admit that when River made her first appearance, stomping into the David Tennant-era episode Silence In The Library with her white spacesuit and spoiler-laden diary, I found her smug and kind of annoying. However, now that she's turned up so frequently in the new series as she works her way back along the mind-bending timeline she shares with the Doctor, I've realised that she's actually a fantastic addition to the series and a marvellous character in her own right.

River is a time-travelling archeologist adventurer, kind of like Indiana Jones in space, and a ferociously smart, funny woman who's more than a match for the Doctor. She switches with ease between guns (laser or otherwise) and hallucenogenic lipstick, leaving anyone who gets in her way either dead or completely bewildered as to what's just happened. She's not a lady to be trifled with and will do anything to save those she cares about.

Apart from the fact that she's a strong, fearless, astoundingly fun and relentlessly flirty character, she also has by far the most impressive and varied costume wardrobe on the show. She's liable to pop up in anything, ranging from a saucy cat-burglar outfit, a Victorian gown, a delightfully steampunky white jacket and brown leather combination, or a campy Egyptian queen disguise, having tricked some centurions into believing that she's Cleopatra, through the use of her bewitching lipstick.

On top of all that, she also gets some of the best lines since the beginning of the entire Doctor Who reboot.

Anita: How do you know they're not androids.
River: Because I've dated androids. They're rubbish.

Lux: Professor Song, why am I the only one wearing my helmet?
River: Because I don't fancy you.

Like I said on the dancefloor, you might want to find something to hang on to.

The Doctor: You graffitied the oldest cliff in the universe!
River: You wouldn't answer your phone!

The Doctor: Oh and this is my friend River. Nice hair, clever, has her own gun. Oh, and unlike me she really doesn't mind shooting people. I shouldn't like that, kinda do a bit.
River: Thank you, sweetie.
The Doctor: I know you're team players and everything, but she'll definitely kill the first three of you.
River: Oh, the first seven; easily.
The Doctor: Seven? Really?
River: Oh, eight for you honey.


  1. my personal highlight of this post was 'crafty bastards of Doctor Who'

  2. I like River a lot. Bit disappointed in the big reveal in the last episode there but I hope she keeps popping up

  3. Love River. Love your article. I do think it is amusing that River lectures the Doctor on his use of warriors.

  4. I'm worfully behind on my Doctor Who, but this looks vurry interesting indeedy.

  5. I'm just proud I even know who you're talking about and all because I was forced to watch the last Dr Who episode :D

  6. @ Blau - Heh. Well they *are*.

    @ WR - Someone on Twitter had thrown it out as a theory a week or 2 before the episode, which kinda ruined the surprise element for me. Boo.

    @ Mary - It's funny, I found her lecturing him on stuff really annoying and smug when she came into it first, but now I'm 100% with her!

    @ Sarah - Catch up already! It's been a brilliant series so far.

    @ Hermia - Hoorah! We might convert you yet so! :)

  7. have watched the last seris season 5 there. I reckon River is the one who kills the doctor and that's why she's in jail. Remember she said she'd killed the best man she'd ever known?? mmmmm


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