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.
As we sit here like young Amy Pond and wait (and wait and wait) for the British sci-fi classic series Doctor Who to return to us — the rumor is that we’ll have to wait until Christmas — here are a few tidbits to hold us over.
First, Matt Smith, the bow-tie-wearing previous Doctor, who we last saw die defending Trenzalore, told an interviewer at a Calgary sci-fi expo that he’d love to make a return.
“I’m just waiting for the next anniversary. I spoke to Steven (Moffat) the other day and said ‘what’s the quickest one we can do?'”
I’m not sure how I feel about that right now. The 50th anniversary show, which featured a few Doctors running around, was tons of fun but it got a little confusing. Then again, with the rate that Doctor Who episodes are produced, we wouldn’t be seeing Smith reprise his role until 2025 at the earliest.
And, there’s a very tenuous rumor that Alex Kingston could come back as River Song, the Doctor’s wife and one of my favorite characters. What’s the evidence? An interview in which Kingston said she looks forward to sharing more of River with the audience.
But then we have Doctor Who head writer Steven Moffat hemming and hawing, wondering if there are more River stories to be told (I vote yes). His logic is that Matt Smith and Alex Kingston worked as a couple because they didn’t look like a couple, while the opposite would be true with Kingston and the latest Doctor Peter Capaldi. I don’t buy it.
Finally, here are a couple of set photos from Doctor Who featuring new Doctor Capaldi, his companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), and some other people hanging around, via io9.com.
Here’s a Doctor Who webisode I stumbled across. The Doctor (played by Matt Smith) and his wife, River Song (Alex Kingston), are out on a date gone awry. It’s a short clip, written by none other than Neil Gaiman. For those who have never watched this British classic series, this gives you a glimpse of what the Whoniverse is like (heavy on characterization, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, other times deadly serious).
Waiting impatiently for the Doctor’s return in November…