Well it’s hard to believe folks but Doctor Who has finished yet another series (season if you live in the states) and it also marks Peter Capaldi’s second Doctor Who Christmas Special. Wow 26 episodes in the books for Mr. Capaldi, time sure flies doesn’t it?! This Christmas Special was indeed very special for many reasons…
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
The Husbands of River Song is the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas Special since the tradition was started back in 2005 and marks the first time The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) meets his time travelling wife River Song (Alex Kingston).
I will be honest I was very excited when it was announced a few months back that River Song would be returning despite her having a beautiful goodbye with The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) in Series 7’s finale “The Name of The Doctor.” If you have been following the show, you would know that there are many moments that River Song mentions to The Doctor that have yet to be seen on screen and there was ONE very particular moment I was waiting to see on screen to bookend The River and Doctor story-line.
Luckily that moment DID happen and it was everything I wanted and more! Let me explain, okay to start from the beginning the character River Song first meets The Doctor in the Series Four two-parter “Silence in The Library”/”Forest of The Dead.” River Song is an archaeologist and meets The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) who has no idea who she is. It’s clear from the get go that River knows The Doctor very well and now having seen (presumably) every River Song episode it is very clear when she is referring to The Doctor she is referring to The Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi respectively).
For those unfamiliar River Song meets the Doctor out of order, there are times she knows more about him than he knows about her and vice versa. So anyways there is a particular moment in “The Forest of The Dead,” that River mentions to The Tenth Doctor:
“Funny thing is, this means you’ve always known how I was going to die. All the time we’ve been together you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you—the real you, the future you, I mean—you turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Derillium. To see the Singing Towers. Oh, what a night that was. The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn’t tell me why but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. You even gave me your screwdriver. That should have been a clue. There’s nothing you can do.”
The Singing Towers of Derillium was the one moment we never saw and was mentioned all the way back in Series 4!
Okay I am getting a little off topic here, so how was the special? In a word perfect, well for me anyways. Unlike the season finale, this episode was everything it was advertised as, that being a fun little romp with a bittersweet ending. Critics praised the chemistry between Capaldi and Kingston and said they both were amazing in the episode. I have to say I agree, I think that Capaldi and Kingston really worked well together and you could tell they were having a blast filming this episode.
After the lackluster season finale, I felt this was a needed episode, one that didn’t try to pretend to be something other than it was advertised. I like silly and fun Doctor adventures and that’s why I really enjoyed this episode. It was fun to just see The Doctor and River having their own adventure together even if River didn’t realize it was The Doctor for most of the adventure. The plot didn’t need to be fantastic because it was just about seeing The Twelfth Doctor meet River Song and seeing what she thought about his new face and personality. The villain was gloriously over the top and there were some throw away characters, which was a shame, but then again we needed to focus on River and The Doctor. All in all this was one of my favorite Christmas Specials to date and I will definitely be buying it on Bluray.
What I Liked:
The Twelfth Doctor’s reaction to meeting River and him being able to toy with her because she didn’t know who he was.
Seeing that River is up to her same old tricks.
Twelve’s fake “It’s Bigger on The Inside!” TARDIS reaction, it was hilarious! I love Peter Capaldi! Haha
River: “You don’t look much like your pictures.”
The Doctor: “It’s an ongoing problem.” LOL
When Twelve is laughing at Hydroflax yelling at him and River and says “We’re being threatened by a bag!”
“We’re being threatened by a head in a bag!” Then Twelve says he hasn’t laughed in a very long time
When one of the bad guys on the cruise liner opens his head to give River the money for the diamond and Twelve says: “You may not want to do that in a restaurant.”
When River says her diary is almost up, that really tugged at the heart strings.
When River and Twelve are captured by the bad guys on the ship and River says The Doctor never loved her and that he would never be there for her and Twelve turns and says “Hello Sweetie,” it was beautiful.
When the ship is crashing and River points out they are about to crash on Darillium and it hits The Doctor when he realizes this is the last time he sees River before The Library, so sad.
The Doctor time travels in his TARDIS to when the restaurant is built on Darillium and invites River for dinner on a balcony overlooking The Singing Towers, and it hit me that the moment River mentioned in The Library is happening right now.
When Twelve gives River his screwdriver and she seems so happy. I was happy and sad simultaneously, because it seemed so surreal to see this happening, but it was so heartbreaking as well.
When River asks The Doctor if he is crying and it reminded me of this line: “..You took me to Derillium. To see the Singing Towers. Oh, what a night that was. The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn’t tell me why but I suppose you knew it was time.”
When River figures out this is her last night with The Doctor and she seems so sad.
When River asks The Doctor how long a night in Darillium lasts and he says 24 years and she begins to cry and says “I hate you,” and The Doctor replies “No you don’t,” just like Eleven said to River. It was so sweet and perfect.
What I Disliked:
The throw away characters: Ramon and Nardole, they didn’t add much to the episode.
Overall I really enjoyed “The Husbands of River Song” and thought it was exactly the type of episode that was needed for a Christmas Special. It was great to see River again and see her interacting with The Twelfth Doctor. I am very much looking forward to Series 10 and finding out who the new companion will be!
MY FINAL RATING IS A 10/10!
What say you? Did you enjoy this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special? If so why? If not why not? Whatever your thoughts let me know!