Both David Tennant and Matt Smith are pretty unimpressed that River Song is returning to Doctor Who without them.
The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors are understandably quite protective of their ‘wife’, so they both found it a little weird when they discovered Alex Kingston would be starring opposite Peter Capaldi in this year’s Who Christmas special.
“I’m really possessive over Alex [Kingston],” former Doctor Matt Smith told a Comic Con audience at New Orleans last year. “I said this to Steven [Moffat]. I was like, ‘Listen, just don’t! Just not Alex. Anyone else, but don’t give [Capaldi] River… I am really proud of the fact that Alex was part of number Eleven’s life. My wife!”
Fast forward to earlier this year, where Kingston married her (real) long-term partner, TV producer Jonathan Stamp, in Rome. Not everyone was thrilled, for her ‘other’ husband was also in attendance, and he had just found out the bad news…
“He was very cross with me,” laughs Kingston when Smith learned about River Song’s Christmas special return, “and on my wedding day! I hadn’t told him, I hadn’t told anybody. And he found out. I don’t want to say what he said, but he was cross! I just had to remind him that he and Peter Capaldi are the same man – and so was David [Tennant].”
Ah, but it sounds like the Tenth Doctor – who first met River in 2008’s Silence in the Library – has not taken it well either.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com about Smith’s heartbreak, Steven Moffat says, “I’m quite happy that [the former Doctors] are all a bit sulky. I think David was a bit hacked off, actually. Because – and this actually happened – Russell T Davies and David bumped into Alex in the Hollywood Bowl and David said, ‘Did I hear that you’re back in Doctor Who?’ and she said, ‘Yes I am.’ And then David asked ‘What’s happening?’ And she just went, ‘Spoilers!’ She actually said it. In real life!
So what does current Doctor Peter Capaldi think of his predecessors’ jealousy? Unsurprisingly he’s keeping it classy.
“Really? Oh, that’s very sweet of him,” Capaldi said when informed of Smith’s green-eyed reaction. “But again it’s different. My Doctor is different from the Doctors who were there when Alex first arrived. This Doctor’s different from that. So things don’t…it’s a different dynamic.”
In other words, there’s no need for River’s former Time Lords to take it too personally – especially if they will insist on leaving the series.