River Song’s up to her timey-wimey tricks again — and she’s tossing out that diary, spoilers be damned. Because her latest missions won’t just see her travel across time and space: she’s travelling into the background of the Doctor’s personal history.
Big Finish announced a new season of The Diary of River Song, starring Alex Kingston as the titular rogue archaeologist/future wife of the Doctor/all-around adventurer. Told across four new stories, the twist with River’s latest saga is that each mission will take her into the background of an ongoing classic Doctor Who tale.
It all kicks off, appropriately, by taking us back to the very first Doctor Who adventure, “An Unearthly Child,” for Matt Fitton’s “An Unearthly Woman” — where River has infiltrated Coal Hill School as a new member of staff looking to investigate a mysterious being stalking another mysterious new arrival at the school: a young student by the name of Susan Foreman. From there, River will go on to new missions in the background of sagas from the times of the second, third, and fourth Doctors.
In “The Web of Time” by John Dorney, River tracks down a priceless piece of art to steal in the backdrop of Yeti skulking about in the London Underground for “The Web of Fear.” For Guy Adams’ “Peepshow,” River heads back to the Third Doctor story “The Carnival of Monsters” to steal a miniscope — the technological device harbouring miniaturised monsters and aliens the Doctor and Jo find themselves trapped in during the original story — to sell on the black market.
Lastly, River heads to Victorian London for “The Talents of Greel” by Paul Morris, on the hunt for anachronistic technology — only to be drawn into the mystery of women being kidnapped on the dark streets of the capital, finding herself teaming up with “The Talon of Weng-Chiang’s” Henry Gordon Jago, who has a mysterious, killer new act at his theatre.
It’s a very fun idea to play with, especially with a character like River — the thought of her running around in the background of the Doctor’s life, getting up to all sorts of business (good and bad), is a great framing device for a series.
Given Big Finish have already announced a followup season of The Diary of River Song already, there’s probably a good chance she’ll be following in the footsteps of Doctors five through eight in the future, too. River does “Time and the Rani,” anyone?
The sixth series of The Diary of River Song is out now.