River Song doesn’t recognise the Doctor in this year’s Christmas special, Steven Moffat reveals

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas episode could see marital strife for the Time Lord

River Song and the Doctor. Two star (and time) crossed lovers who keep meeting in the wrong order. When David Tennant’s Doctor first encountered River, she had already lived through their entire romance, while he had no idea who she was. In this year’s Christmas special, the tables are turned. 


“That’s how the Christmas special begins,” showrunner Steven Moffat revealed to fans at the London Doctor Who Festival, “she doesn’t know it’s him.”

The Doctor (played by Matt Smith) was there at the moment River regenerated into her current Alex Kingston form, so this story can’t take place before they knew each other. Could it be that River simply doesn’t recognise her formerly boyish lover in his new face? And why doesn’t the Doctor let her know who he is?

“It’s an opportunity for the Doctor to find out the terrible truth: what his wife gets up to when he’s not looking,” Moffat cackled. “No one should ever go through that!”

Well, that should cause some fights over the turkey.


“Merry Christmas!”