Doctor Who returns for its annual Christmas special with "The Husbands of River Song."
River Song is a divisive character. Some hate the character, while others love her. Personally, she is not a favorite of mine. Her introductory episode, "Silence in the Library" is still one of my favorites, but the more she is used, the more annoying she became. She might be the wife of the Doctor, but there was rarely any chemistry and their timeline grew more and more convoluted as well. Thankfully, "The Husbands of River Song" gives us River's best episode since "Silence in the Library."
As soon as River meets the Doctor, there is instant chemistry between Capaldi and Kingston, even though River, as a character, does not realize the that he is the Doctor. For the first time, River actually feels like a fleshed out character with flaws and not just an annoying plot device. She tells the Doctor of how she views him, not knowing that she is, in fact, talking to the Doctor. Throughout the episode, her banter creates more character development than she has had during the entire series thus far. With that said, River is not a great character now, but when a character goes from being an utter annoyance to not half bad, that’s rather impressive.
Moving on to the plot, the concept of River stealing a diamond from Hydroflax's served head, which is connected to a mechanical body, is fun. The entire episode plays out like a comical farce that moves River and the Doctor from one crazy predicament to the next. While the episode is certainly comical, scenes featuring British comedian, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and some of Hydroflax's scenes come off as unintentionally cheesy and miss the mark.
Thankfully, the comedic failures are made up for with a pleasant finale, and hopefully, final, send off to River Song with excellent chemistry between the leads. However, considering Moffat's apparent love of the character, we will probably see her again. But if this is the end, the character has never been better, especially considering how troublesome the character has been in past seasons.
Overall: 8.1/10- Easily River Song's finest episode in years, "The Husbands of River Song" demonstrates Capaldi's acting prowess and fleshes out River, despite some comedic failings. Overall, this was a strong Christmas episode to end a very solid year of Doctor Who.
- "Under the Lake"
- "The Witch's Familiar"
- "The Magician's Apprentice"
- "Before the Flood"
- "The Girl Who Died"
- "The Woman Who Lived"
- "The Zygon Invasion"
- "The Zygon Inversion"
- "Sleep No More"
- "Face the Raven"
- "Heaven Sent"
- "Hell Bent"
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