If there’s one thing that should be painfully clear to ‘Doctor Who‘ fans by now, it’s that River Song is never really gone. After all, she’s a character who, from a certain point of view, has been written out of the show five times over. So in a season that features the returns of a range of fan favorites that includes Ice Warriors, ‘Tenth Planet’-style Cybermen, and no fewer than two incarnations of the Master, it only makes sense that Steven Moffat might want to revisit a creation of his own.
There have already been a few nods toward River spread across the episodes that have already aired this season, including a photo on the Doctor’s desk and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references to some of their past adventures. Now, are these legitimate teases or is this a case of ‘Doctor Who’ fans doing what fans are wont to do and jumping to conclusions based on limited information? It’s impossible to say at the moment, but what we do know is that the most blatant tease so far came this weekend.
Specifically, that tease came in the “Next Time” trailer at the end of ‘Oxygen’, the most recent episode. It’s easy to overlook in a teaser that includes both the introduction of a new monster (the Truth Monks) and the return of an old frenemy (Michelle Gomez as Missy), but that teaser also includes a fleeting glimpse of a familiar TARDIS-styled notebook. As fans are well aware, that notebook is at the very least referencing a pair of matching diaries used by the Doctor and River to keep their timelines straight, as they almost never meet in the right order.
The tenth season of ‘Doctor Who’ is currently under way, with new episodes airing on Saturday evenings. This season will see both showrunner Steven Moffat and star Peter Capaldi bid their farewells to the program. In addition to Capaldi, the season features Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, and Michelle Gomez.
Do you think River is likely to make a return or are we just reading too much into this? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Doctor Who’ news as it becomes available!