“River Song” Spin-Off Show?

A couple of years ago, back in April of 2013, Professor River Song and Captain Jack Harkness met at a party in London and instantly hit it off . . . actually it was actors Alex Kingston and John Barrowman.

River Song confronts Dalek

“I’m River Song . . . check your records again!”

“We didn’t even say anything, we just looked at each other and went, ‘Aaaaaahhh! My god!’ We got a glass of champagne and started talking about how it would be great if River and Jack — actually, she said River and Jack should have their own TV show,” Barrowman said. “Then as we talked more, we realized that we’re both born on the same day. We’re both March 11th babies and we have so much in common. We like a lot of the same things and our attitude towards stuff is very, very similar. It struck a chord with us because that’s why River and Jack are very similar characters, in their attitude and their fun and their aggression, we are the same in real life — which is really ironic.” (Huffington Post April 24th, 2013)

River Song Angels

“Hello Sweetie!”

The character traits of both Professor Song and Captain Jack are indeed very much alike . . . both are people of action, unhindered by the Doctor’s aversion to guns and violence . . . both are highly sexual and flirtatious with many a story to tell . . . and until she gave her regenerations to the Doctor, both are impossible to kill. As fabulous as the chemistry would be between these two characters, it might be a bit too much to digest on a weekly basis, and Jack has already had his own show with Torchwood . . . so perhaps it is time to give River her own show!

K9_2009

If K9 can his own show, surely there’s an audience for River?

To date there have been four spin-off shows that have been born from the Doctor Who universe: Torchwood ran from October 2006 to September 2011, and there are occasional reports of a new season, The Sarah Jane Adventures ran from January 2007 to October 2011, K9 and Company in December 1981, the Australian produced show K9 that ran from October 2009 to November 2010. There have also been several unauthorized direct-to-video productions such as Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans in 1995. Shakedown stars several actors from the Doctor Who series, including Carole Ann Ford, Sophie Aldred and Michael Wisher, and also stars Blake’s 7 alumni Jan Chappell and Brian Croucher. A show dedicated to the adventures of River Song has the potential to be the best Doctor Who spin-off series of them all as she has a wealth of background narrative and an abundance of personality that rivals that of the Doctor himself.

River_Song

The first appearance of River Song.

River Song first appears in the 2008 two-part episode “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead (written by Steven Moffat) during the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who; Davies had described her as “one of the most important characters” in the narrative, and “vital” to the Doctor’s life. These episodes were the Doctor’s first encounter with the mysterious Professor Song, and sadly her last encounter with him as we learn that the pair are on reverse timelines to each other. River returns two years later in Season 5’s episodes “The Time of Angels“/”Flesh and Stone,” and “The Pandorica Opens“/”The Big Bang” in which as we learn more about her we are also struck with further enigmas, questions that will answered in Season 6. For some, the reveal of River’s (aka Melody Pond) true background was disappointing and a bit too heavy handed, and much like the failures of the Star Wars prequels there is a danger in trying to explain too much; many of the most popular fictional characters in any genre have an air of mystery to them . . . that’s what makes them so cool! River’s final appearances are in 2012’s Season 7 episodes “The Angels Take Manhattan” and “The Name of the Doctor,” but in the latter she is essentially a ghost, a psychic projection, from the Library that is her grave.

Versions_of_River_Song

The Faces of Melody Pond

There is ongoing debate about whether the Doctor should regenerate as woman and recently “5th Doctor” Peter Davidson offered his opinion that he thinks the Doctor should remain male, but in many ways River is the female equivalent of the Doctor! She carries the title of Professor, she has partial Time Lord DNA, she travels through time and space, she’s a renegade, she has a sonic screwdriver, and she knows how to pilot a TARDIS better than the Doctor. River is intelligent and actually more resourceful than the Doctor in that she does not rely on the TARDIS or her sonic screwdriver for deus ex machina resolutions to plot problems.

Warrior Queen

Boudica who fought the Romans during the occupation of Britain.

Perhaps the greatest argument for an Adventures of Professor Song show is simply Alex Kingston’s performances. Throughout her acting career, Kingston has played many strong ladies and provides a wonderful blend of assertive toughness and charismatic femininity. Her first ever TV role was back in 1980 in the British children’s school drama Grange Hill in which she played the misunderstood bully Jill Harcourt who could kick ass in Judo. She is largely known in America for her tenure in ER from 1997 to 2009 as Dr. Elizabeth Corday; she has actually played doctors in several other shows such as Dr. Howard in The Bill (1988 – 1985), and Dr. Blanche Mottershead in Upstairs Downstairs (2012). Detectives seem to the other roles in which Kingston finds herself, and more recently as Professor Dinah Lance in Arrow (2013 – 2014). One of Kingston’s most powerful performances, however, is to be found in the 2003 TV movie Warrior Queen in which she plays the most revered and feared woman in British history, Queen Boudica.

There are so many stories that could be told about River, so many reoccurring Doctor Who characters that could appear in stories, and even guest appearances from Matt Smith, David Tennant, or who knows? Professor Song is a positive character to lead a show, breaking down stereotypes about age, gender, body type, and more . . . plus she is just such an engaging character!

We at The Pandora Society are so convinced that this needs to happen that we have launched an online signature campaign to appeal to the BBC to consider the idea. If you would like to join the campaign please click here and join the list of people who would love to watch The Adventures of River Song!

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