If this brief interview is any hint, we won’t be seeing the return of two of the most interesting Doctor Who characters—River Song and Captain Jack Harkness—as long as head writer Steven Moffat is around.
I for one am disappointed.
River Song, as played by Alex Kingston, was a larger-than-life character in a show filled with larger-than-life characters. From the first time we saw her in the Silence in the Library episode way back in season 4, River took control of every scene she was in. She possessed a singular confidence that only grew stronger as she showed up in different points in the Doctor’s timeline. And when we learned of River’s vulnerabilities (as well as her unique origin story), she only became stronger. Rarely has a character’s first appearance been their death scene. Moffat made it—and River—work.
And then there’s Jack Harkness. As played by John Barrowman, Jack was similar to River in that he was overflowing with vitality. Like River, he pushed the Doctor’s buttons. He was also groundbreaking: Jack Harkness was openly, and actively, bisexual. And he was fearless. The character was spun off into his own show, Torchwood, which was darker and more adult. Torchwood also revealed Harkness’s deep sadness, as a man who could live forever would have to watch his loved ones die.
In this interview, Moffat addresses the possibility of bringing River Song and Jack Harkness back to Doctor Who. To sum it up, never say never. But it would have to be done right, he continues, and that would be hard to pull off.
If you read between the lines, then we won’t be seeing either return to Doctor Who in the near future. That’s disappointing. Both characters brought much vitality to the show. Hopefully we’ll see the introduction of new iconic characters instead.