While well known for bringing Doctor Who’s River Song to screen, Alex Kingston has played many other roles in her long and varied career – but the actor has now revealed that the Doctor’s wife has been particularly hard to shake.
In fact, during one of her latest projects – a Big Finish audio thriller called Transference, where she plays a therapist concerned at the confessions of her patient – Kingston admitted that she kept accidentally slipping back into River’s persona, and had to be reminded by her director to put the character aside.
“When the scenes in the thriller have become heightened, if there’s a chase or anything like that, I tend then to go straight into River Song mode,” Kingston told RadioTimes.com, explaining that her recent work bringing River to life for the Doctor Who audio adventures ended up bleeding into her performance.
“And then suddenly [the director] has told me to bring it down and sort of remind me it’s not River Song. Because the minute that there’s sort of guns firing or someone’s chasing me, I immediately think I’m in some sort of dark tunnel being chased by something slimy, big and green,” she laughed.
In reality, of course, the two characters couldn’t be more different.
“River Song, the world that her character lives in, and the world of Doctor Who, and time travel…everything is sort of heightened in a way,” Kingston said.
“The experiences are much more heightened. The reactions. It’s all a little bit larger-than-life.
“Whereas Transference has to feel absolutely rooted in reality. It’s got to feel like you believe in these people. You believe in the character Sam as a therapist.
She continued: “I’ve worked with Big Finish for quite a number of years now, and I really enjoy the team. I feel like I’m just coming to work with an extended family actually, because we get on so well.
“So when (senior producer) David Richardson suggested to me that Big Finish don’t just do sci-fi stories, they also work in other genres, and whether it’s something I would be interested in doing, I totally said yes – I jumped at the chance because I’ve really come to enjoy working for the audio medium. It’s something that I basically learned on the job in a way. I really love it.”
“I wanted to have a go at working on a different character, and character who’s much more rooted in the very world that we are living in, as opposed to other worlds in different parts of the universe,” she concluded.
Now, we can only hope she doesn’t start giving therapy advice during River’s next adventure.