Ever since Jodie Whittaker took over the title role in Doctor Who, fans have been desperate to see the Thirteenth Doctor reunite with River Song, the “wife” and irregular companion to previous incarnations of the Time Lord like the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.
And now, actor Alex Kingston (who played River from 2008 to 2015 on TV, and continues to do so in Big Finish audio dramas) has revealed that in a recent encounter with Whittaker she also pitched River’s first meeting with the new Doctor, suggesting the idea to Whittaker when the pair crossed paths at San Diego Comic-Con in the summer.
“Yeah I did meet her,” Kingston told RadioTimes.com. “We chatted about me coming back to Doctor Who!
Jodie Whittaker meets the Doctor’s wife, Alex Kingston at #SDCC #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/9XDwbzKkhR
— Doctor Who on BBC America (@DoctorWho_BBCA) July 20, 2018
“I love the character, and I think that, my gosh, there are wonderful potential opportunities down the road. But it’s not my decision.”
Sadly, Kingston didn’t reveal what Whittaker’s reaction was to the idea – but she did have a few thoughts as to what it would be like if River and the Thirteenth Doctor DID meet onscreen.
“The fact is, because they’re all the same person ultimately, I don’t think she would think of her any differently to any of the others in a way,” Kingston told us.
“Because they’re the same spirit inside. It’s just a different, deep love.”
She added: “And you know, technically the Doctor is River’s second wife. Cleopatra being the first.”
Of course, even if Kingston doesn’t play River onscreen again, she’s keeping the character alive in various Big Finish audio dramas – and now she’s branching out to play a new character for the company, in a thriller called Transference about a therapist, Sam, who begins to suspect one of her patients is a murderer.
Releasing in August, #TRANSFERENCE is the next of our #BigOriginals.
Sam (Alex Kingston) is a psychotherapist, but she can barely help herself. One of her clients is Keith (Warren Brown) who has a secret – one that will rock Sam’s world to the core… https://t.co/4zOnmjrsIE pic.twitter.com/ATc3QheiHI
— Big Finish (@bigfinish) February 4, 2019
“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.
“I’ve really come to enjoy working for the audio medium,” she added.
“It’s something that I basically learned on the job in a way. I really love it. And so I wanted to have a go at working on a different character, a 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.”
But of course, all this branching out doesn’t mean she’s leaving River behind – and Kingston says she’ll always be ready to get the call to come back to the TV series.
“Oh listen, I’m always at the end of the phone,” she said. “We’ll see.”
She’s certainly been pitching the idea to the right people…
Transference will be released by Big Finish for download in August