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Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song

The Doctor is avoiding Christmas when he is summoned to save a dying king. However, he soon discovers that the king's wife--River Song--has plans of her own. And she doesn't recognize the Doctor in his newest incarnation.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 9x0
Airdate: Friday December 25th, 2015

Alternate Airdates:

US (BBC America) Mar 12, 2016

Guest Stars
Alex KingstonAlex Kingston
As Professor River Song
Matt LucasMatt Lucas
As Nardole
Greg DaviesGreg Davies
As King Hydroflax
Phillip RhysPhillip Rhys
As Ramone
Robert CurtisRobert Curtis
As Scratch
Rowan PolonskiRowan Polonski
As Flemming
Anthony CozensAnthony Cozens
As Concierge
Nicolle SmarttNicolle Smartt
As Receptionist
Liam CookLiam Cook
As King Hydroflax's Body
Nonso AnozieNonso Anozie
voiced Hydroflax
Main Cast
Peter CapaldiPeter Capaldi
As The Twelfth Doctor


On the human colony Mendorax Dellora, on Christmas Day 5343, a man named Nardole follows a set of instructions and knocks at the door of the TARDIS, parked in the street. The Doctor opens the door and is less than thrilled when Nardole points out that he’s wearing a pair of fake antlers. Once the Doctor complains to the TARDIS, Nardole asks if the Doctor is a surgeon. Once the Doctor says that it’s close enough, Nardole says that there’s a medical emergency. As the Doctor goes off with Nardole, Nardole says that there is a medical emergency and wonders if the Doctor read the agreement...

Read the full recap
Episode Quotes
The Doctor: You are a time-space machine! You're a vehicle! I've never asked you to cheer me up with hologrammatic antlers!

The Doctor: I'm never sure. I don't like being sure about things. One minute you're sure, the next everybody turns into lizards and a piano falls on you.
Nardole: A piano?
The Doctor: It's been a long day.

Professor River Song: You don't look much like your pictures.
The Doctor: That's an ongoing problem for me.

Professor River Song: Don't use my name. Ever. How do you know me?
The Doctor: Well, it's a tiny bit complicated. People usually need a flowchart.

The Doctor: He's a lying-down person. I don't like lying-down people. It's so untidy.

Nardole: Why d'you keep crossing them?
The Doctor: Because they cross, I've got cross arms.

Professor River Song: You are in the presence of his Infinite Majesty, King Hydroflax. You will bow.
The Doctor: Oh, no, I'm sorry, Your Majesty, I can't do that.
Professor River Song: You what?
The Doctor: It's my back.
Professor River Song: Your back?
The Doctor: Yeah, my back's playing up. It simply refuses to carry the weight of an entirely pointless stratum of society who contribute nothing of worth to the world and crush the hopes and dreams of working people.

Hydroflax: Can you save me, Surgeon?
The Doctor: Well, that depends upon what's wrong with you.
Professor River Song: There's something in his brain.
The Doctor: You could have fooled me. Oh, sorry. Sorry, just gallows humor. Probably the wrong word.
Nardole: Yeah, I would say it is.

Professor River Song: I'm an archaeologist.
The Doctor: Slash murderer slash thief.
Professor River Song: An archaeologist is just a thief. With patience. Never had much of that.

Professor River Song: What's that face? Are you... thinking? Stop it, you're a man, it looks weird.

Hydroflax: I'll have you flogged and flayed and burnt. I will crush every last remnant of you from this universe.
Professor River Song: How dare you! I'm your wife.
Hydroflax: You planned to murder me!
Professor River Song: Don't change the subject.

The Doctor: We're being threatened by a bag! By a head in a bag!
Hydroflax: I shall make dust of you. My enemies are meat for the devouring!
The Doctor: I can't approve of any of this, but I haven't laughed in a long time.

(pretending to see the TARDIS interior for the first time)
The Doctor: Oh... my... God! It's bigger!
Professor River Song: Well, yes.
The Doctor: On the inside!
Professor River Song: We need to concentrate.
The Doctor: Than it is!
Professor River Song: I know where you're going with this, but I need you to calm down.
The Doctor: On the outside!
Professor River Song: You've certainly grasped the essentials.
The Doctor: My entire understanding of physical space has been transformed! Three-dimensional Euclidean geometry has been torn up, thrown in the air and snogged to death! My grasp of the universal constants of physical reality has been changed... forever. Sorry. I've always wanted to see that done properly.

Professor River Song: Does sarcasm help?
The Doctor: Wouldn't it be a great universe if it did?

The Doctor: So, why haven't you threatened this before?
Hydroflax: A king does not endanger his people for no reason.
The Doctor: You're endangering them now.
Hydroflax: I'm cross.

Professor River Song: Flemming! How are the twins?
Flemming: Still digesting their mother, thank you for asking.
Professor River Song: I'm sure it was a lovely ceremony.
Flemming: Oh, there were tears. And just a hint of screaming.

Flemming: My information is correct. You are the woman who loves the Doctor.
Professor River Song: Yes, I am. I've never denied it. But whoever said he loved me back? He's the Doctor, he doesn't go around falling in love with people. And if you think he's anything that small or that ordinary, then you haven't the first idea of what you're dealing with.
Flemming: Your Majesty, I assure you, she is the perfect bait. When this woman is in danger, the Doctor will always come.
Professor River Song: Oh, you are a moron. No, he won't.
Flemming: He's probably already here.
Professor River Song: No, he isn't, of course he isn't!
Flemming: Possibly on this ship.
Professor River Song: Well, go on, scan it then. Go on, why don't you?
The Doctor: River...
Professor River Song: Two hearts, stupid clothes, you can't miss him.
The Doctor: River!
Professor River Song: Go on, scan the whole parsec! He's not here. God knows where he is right now, but I promise you, he's doing whatever the hell he wants and not giving a damn about me! And I'm just fine with that. The Doctor: River... River: When you love the Doctor, it's like loving the stars themselves. You don't expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!
The Doctor: Hello, sweetie.
Professor River Song: You are so doing those roots.
The Doctor: What, the roots of the sunset?

The Doctor: What do you think, by the way?
Professor River Song: Of what?
The Doctor: My new body.
Professor River Song: I'll let you know. I've only seen the face.

The Doctor: Get back in the TARDIS! This is my job!
Professor River Song: This is my job!
The Doctor: I've been doing it longer.
Professor River Song: I do it better.

The Doctor: So, King Hydroflax?
Professor River Song: Oh! How many times? I married the diamond!
The Doctor: So you say.
Professor River Song: Elizabeth The First.
The Doctor: Ramone.
Professor River Song: Marilyn Monroe.
The Doctor: Stephen Fry.
Professor River Song: Cleopatra!!
The Doctor: Same thing!

The Doctor: You look, er, amazing.
Professor River Song: Doctor, you have no idea whether I look amazing or not.
The Doctor: Well, you've moved your hair about, haven't you?
Professor River Song: Well done. It's very sweet of you to try.

Professor River Song: ecause I want you to know that if this is the last night, I expect you to find a way round it.
The Doctor: Not everything can be avoided. Not forever.
Professor River Song: But you're you. There's always a loophole, you wait until the last minute and then you spring it on me.
The Doctor: Every night is the last night for something, every Christmas is the last Christmas...
Professor River Song: But you will. You'll wait until I've given up hope, all will be lost, and you'll do that smug little smile and then you'll save the day--you always do.
The Doctor: No, I don't, not always. Times end, River, because they have to. Because there's no such thing as happy ever after. It's just a lie we tell ourselves because the truth is so hard.
Professor River Song: No, Doctor... you're wrong. Happy ever after doesn't mean forever. It just means time... a little time. But that's not the sort of thing you could ever understand, is it?
The Doctor: Mmm. What do you think of the towers?
Professor River Song: I love them.
The Doctor: Then why are you ignoring them?
Professor River Song: They're ignoring me. But then... you can't expect a monolith to love you back.
The Doctor: No, you can't. They've been there for millions of years, through storms and floods and wars and... time. Nobody really understands where the music comes from. It's probably something to do with the precise positions, the distance between both towers. Even the locals aren't sure. All anyone will ever tell you is that when the wind stands fair and the night is perfect... when you least expect it... but always... when you need it the most... there is a song.

Cultural References
The Doctor: Rest now, sweet prince.

The Doctor quotes from Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, Page 17.

Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerSteven Moffat  |  Brian Minchin
ProducerNikki Wilson
Production DesignerMichael Pickwoad
Line ProducerSteff Morris
First Assistant DirectorFrancesco Reidy
Second Assistant DirectorJames Dahaviland
MusicMurray Gold
Costume DesignerRay Holman
GripJohn Robinson (3)
Camera OperatorMark McQuoid
Set DecoratorAdrian Anscombe
Location ManagerIwan Roberts
Property MasterPaul Smith (2)
Production AssistantSian Crowle  |  Sheryl Bradford  |  Jade Stephenson  |  Jamie Shaw (1)
Script SupervisorNicki Coles
Production CoordinatorAdam Knopf
Assistant EditorBecky Trotman
Post Production SupervisorSamantha Price
GafferMark Hutchings
On-Line EditorWilliam Osman
Director of PhotographySuzie Lavelle
StuntsRob Jarman  |  Belinda McGinley
Stunt CoordinatorJo McLaren  |  Dani Biernat  |  Crispin Layfield
Assistant Production CoordinatorSandra Cosfeld
Post Production CoordinatorJoanne Riggs  |  Hannah Jones (1)
Script EditorDavid P Davis
Dubbing MixerTim Ricketts
Art DepartmentBethan Britton
Sound RecordistDeian Llyr Humphreys
Third Assistant DirectorDanielle Richards
Main Title ThemeRon Grainer
Production AccountantSimon Wheeler (1)  |  Justine Wooff
Casting AssistantAlice Purser
Camera AssistantScott Waller  |  Matthew Lepper  |  Cai Thompson
Best BoyAndrew Gardiner
Assistant DirectorAlex Miarli  |  Chris Thomas  |  Gareth Jones
Production ExecutiveTracie Simpson
ElectricianAndrew Williams  |  Rob Fernandes  |  Gareth Sheldon  |  Bob Milton (1)  |  Gawain Nash
Unit ManagerIestyn Hampson-Jones
Foley EditorJamie Talbutt
ColoristGareth Spensley
Assistant Costume DesignerGeorgie Sayer  |  Simon Marks
ConductorAlastair King
Music MixerJake Jackson
Focus PullerSteve Rees  |  Jon Vidgen
Prop BuyerVicki Male  |  May Johnson
PainterDeb McShane  |  Paul Murray (2)  |  Steve Nelms
Foley ArtistJulie Ankerson
Casting DirectorAndy Pryor
Graphic ArtistMatthew Clark (1)
Makeup ArtistJames Spinks  |  Megan Bowes (1)
Dialogue EditorDarran Clement
Concept ArtistStephen Cooper
Production BuyerLinda Morgan
Supervising Art DirectorDafydd Shurmer
Standby Art DirectorChris Barber (1)
Construction ManagerTerry Horle
Standby PropsLiam Collins  |  Jonathan Barclay
Assistant GripSean Cronin
Scenic ArtistClive Clarke
Make-up DesignerBarbara Southcott
VFX EditorDan Rawlings
Make-up SupervisorSara Angharad
Costume AssistantIan Fowler  |  Andie Mear  |  Jenny Tindle
Assistant On-line EditorChristine Kelly (1)
Music RecorderGerry O'Riordan
Head Of ProductionGordon Ronald
Script ExecutiveLindsey Alford
ADR EditorMatthew Cox
Unit MedicGlyn Evans
Unit DriverKyle Davies (1)  |  Sean Evans
CarpenterKeith Richards  |  Campbell Fraser  |  Julian Tucker  |  George Rees  |  Dan Berrow  |  Matt Ferry  |  Lawrie Ferry  |  Mark Painter  |  Joe Painter  |  Michael Venables  |  Tim Burke (2)  |  Chris Daniels
Sound Maintenance EngineerChris Goding  |  Tam Shoring
Effects EditorHarry Barnes
StoremanJames Southcott
Title ConceptBilly Hanshaw
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