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Is Steven Moffat Father Christmas? Yes for this Whovian, because Alex Kingston returns to Doctor Who in this year’s Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song.”

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2015: The Husbands of River Song
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2015: The Husbands of River Song: Alex Kingston as River Song, Peter Capaldi as the Doctor – Photo © BBC Worldwide Limited

Talk about “Hello, sweetie.”

An even bigger holiday gift would be for River to reveal the Doctor’s real name aloud, so we can know it, too. (That wouldn’t be spoilers, would it?)

Whether she does or doesn’t, she first needs to recognize her hubby in his new incarnation.

According to BBC America’s teaser info for “The Husbands of River Song”:

“It’s Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is hiding from Christmas Carols and Comedy Antlers. But when a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself recruited into River Song’s (Alex Kingston, Arrow) squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy.

“King Hydroflax (Greg Davies, The Inbetweeners) is furious, and his giant Robot bodyguard is out-of-control and coming for them all! Will Nardole (Matt Lucas, Bridesmaids) survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is?

“All will be revealed on a starliner full of galactic super-villains and a destination the Doctor has been avoiding for a very long time.”

Doctor Who 2015 Christmas Special: The Husbands of River Song
Doctor Who 2015 Christmas Special: The Husbands of River Song: Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Alex Kingston as River Song, Greg Davies as King Hydroflax – Image by Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgeway © BBC

Hmm… Is this a timey-wimey thing? And are we talking Trenzalore again? (Different incarnation, I know, but still.)

When Kingston’s return to the series was first announced back in September, Doctor Who showrunner, executive producer, and lead writer Steven Moffat said:

“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who – and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song. The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost [in “The Name of the Doctor”]. The first time he met her, she died [in the two-part “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead]. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time …”

Right, then. That begs the question of where River and the Doctor are in their respective timelines. Moffat, who wrote “The Husbands of River Song,” told Radio Times

“It doesn’t really matter but for those who care, it’s immediately after “The Angels Take Manhattan” so she’s just seen Matt Smith’s Doctor lose Amy and Rory, and obviously before “The Name of the Doctor” because she’s dead in that.”

Unlike “Last Christmas,” last year’s Christmas special featuring Nick Frost as Santa Claus, Moffat also said the 2015 special “starts with a big bit of Christmas at the beginning.” But because the focus is on the Doctor and River meeting each other (again, for the first time), references to the holiday are then ignored as we, the audience, “go off on a chase, really, with Mr & Mrs Who… at the height of their powers. It’s great fun.”

Mr. & Mrs. Who. Now that has a nice ring to it.

The Doctor Who 2015 Christmas Special is produced by Nikki Wilson (Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures) and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song premieres Friday, 25 December 2015, on BBC America and BBC One. (Times TBA.)

Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production.


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Doctor Who Christmas Special 2015: The Husbands of River Song: Alex Kingston Is Back