River Song’s Doctor Who life in order

You'd need a flowchart to understand River and the Doctor's confusing timelines - so we made one

Gosh, River Song’s had a confusing life in Doctor Who. Born in the same episode where she revealed her true self to the Doctor, and (apparently) killing him while simultaneously shooting at her younger self – well, as the Twelfth Doctor commented in tonight’s Christmas special you’d need a flowchart to work it all out.


But luckily you now have that flowchart, as here at RadioTimes.com we’ve put together our best guess for River’s personal timeline. In other words, we’ve mapped out her chronological life from her birth in 2011’s a Good Man Goes to War to her final goodbye in 2013’s The Name of the Doctor, and you can see it all in order below (with recurring episodes colour-coded).

Not included are any off-screen adventures (so sorry, no Jim the Fish) or spin-off media, but apart from that we think it’s pretty complete. We’ve even thrown in a couple of DVD minisodes featuring River (First Night/Last Night) that were originally supposed to cap off her story, and which you can watch in full here. 



  1. A Good Man Goes to War (2011) – Melody Pond is born
  2. The Impossible Astronaut (2011) – young Melody is raised in an orphanage
  3. Day of the Moon (2011) – Melody regenerates into Mels
  4. Let’s Kill Hitler (2011) – Mels regenerates into River
  5. Closing Time (2011) – River gets her doctorate, is kidnapped by the Silence
  6. The Wedding of River Song/The Impossible Astronaut (2011)– River breaks time, marries the Doctor and then helps heal it for the events of The Impossible Astronaut
  7. First Night (minisode, 2011) – River is incarcerated for the murder of the Doctor, but goes on her first evening trip with him
  8. Last Night (minisode, 2011) – a version of Ricer from five years in the future interacts with her younger self
  9. A Good Man Goes to War (2011)
  10. The Impossible Astronaut (2011)
  11. Day of the Moon (2011)
  12. The Pandorica Opens (2010)
  13. The Big Bang (2010) – River helps the Doctor save the universe
  14. Time of the Angels (2010)
  15. Flesh and Stone (2010)
  16. Wedding of River Song (2011) – River visits her parents Amy and Rory in their garden
  17. Last Night (minisode, 2011) – an older version of River is heading to the towers of Darillium with the Doctor, but he apparently later backs out
  18. The Angels Take Manhattan (2012) – River sees her parents trapped in the past
  19. The Husbands of River Song (2015) – River teams up with the Twelfth Doctor but doesn’t recognise him
  20. Silence in the Library (2008) – River meets the Tenth Doctor, who hasn’t met her yet
  21. Forest of the Dead (2008) – River dies, but the Tenth Doctor “saves” her as a data ghost
  22. The Name of the Doctor (2013) – River’s data ghost finally says goodbye to the Eleventh Doctor

Of course, our little diagram doesn’t factor in the full complexity of the Doctor and River’s relationship, so for that we can turn to this extended flowchart from Doctor Who Online’s Will Brooks. Including events from the Doctor’s perspective, its only downfall is that it’s a little out of date – so no inclusion for latest episode The Husbands of River Song and Last Night is in the wrong place.

Click through for larger image

Yes, we’re sure the whole thing is MUCH clearer now. How could we ever have been confused?


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