REVIEW: Doctor Who: ‘The Husbands of River Song’


A review of the delightfully campy Doctor Who Christmas Special, ‘The Husbands of River Song’

With ‘The Husbands of River Song’ having aired on December 25th, 2015, I am aware that this review is noticeably belated. I beg your forgiveness, dear readers, for I not only spent the holidays with two small children, but, also during that time, our family moved to a new home roughly two hundred and fifty miles away from our previous residence.

Anyway, here are a few musings that have been kicking around my brain regarding ‘The Husbands of River Song.’ Overall, I quite enjoyed it. As much as I loved almost all of Series Nine, it was quite heavy, so this special was a refreshing breather. And as much as it was hard to believe that River took so very long to catch on to the fact that she was in the presence of the Doctor, I chose to suspend my disbelief for the sake of enjoying the farce. One thing that I did have a difficult time accepting, however, was the relative largeness of the Halassi Androvar, considering that it had been lodged in King Hydroflax’s brain, and the Doctor having described it as “very small.”

It was great to see Matt Lucas as Nardole. I adored him in Little Britain and appreciated seeing his comic brilliance brought to Doctor Who. As an aside, I noticed that his character looked like a cross between Stan Marsh and Eric Cartman from South Park.

Nardole Totally Looks Like Stan Marsh, credit:,

More from Doctor Who

After Steven Moffat’s Twitter confirmation over three and a half years ago of River Song’s bisexuality, it was cool to finally have an almost definitive passing acknowledgement on the show in the form of a reference to her “second wife.” (I discussed this issue in a slide show back in 2014.) Unless her marriages to women were purely out of ulterior motives, such as with King Hydroflax, it is pretty safe to assume that her bisexuality was officially made canon. Part of me is frustrated that it took this long, considering the lack of visibility of sexual orientations other than straight or gay in the media. On the other hand, it is sort of nice that they did not make a big deal out of the matter.

On a personal note, in many ways I strongly related to how the relationship between River and the Doctor was presented in this episode. After speaking with my fiance about this, he even wrote an article about it, which you can read here. In general, it was satisfying to finally see their story come full circle, and also that they had more time together than was originally thought.

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Next: REVIEW: Doctor Who: ‘Hell Bent’

What did you think of ‘The Husbands of River Song’? Let us know in the comments.