Alex Kingston on 15 Years of River Song

Actor Alex Kingston remembers her time on Doctor Who as the Doctor's enigmatic time-travelling wife in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Nearly 15 years since her character's mysterious timey-wimey debut in Silence in the Library, Alex discusses River Song's relationship with the Doctor, as well as keeping secrets from the rest of the cast...

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) is on sale from Thursday 25th May. It is available to order as a subscription, either physical or digital, here.

Read on for an excerpt of DWM's interview with Alex Kingston below...

River Song in Silence in the Library

Alex Kingston tells DWM:

“I spoke to Steven [Moffat] on the phone and he said, ‘I’ve got this idea and I need to know if you’re available for it, because if you’re not I can’t write this.’ I let him know when I was available and he told me the outline, but I had to swear not to tell anyone. I’m very good at keeping secrets. Matt, Karen and Arthur had guessed I knew something and tried to persuade me to tell them, but I wouldn’t! Even when we had the script for that episode, the reveal wasn’t in it. They kept those pages out so the crew didn’t know. The actors were given the single pages – I’m not even sure when. And even on shooting day, the pages weren’t there and it was only then, at the last minute, that the crew saw the reveal. They managed to keep the secret and avoid any leaks at all. That takes a lot of doing.”

The season climaxed with The Wedding of River Song (2011), a game-changer that, despite its title, left the status of the relationship between the Doctor and River up to the viewer’s interpretation. “I still get people going, ‘You’re not really married to him because he was a Teselecta!’” Alex laughs, referring to the shape-shifting craft that had taken on the Eleventh Doctor’s form. “I’m like, ‘Thank you very much, I was married to him. I’m his wife!’”

DWM 591

Other highlights of the new issue include:

  • The Runaway Pride – showrunner Russell T Davies discusses the casting of Yasmin Finney as Rose, as DWM celebrates the most significant LGBTQ+ characters from the show’s history.
  • Professor XXX – in her first major interview with DWM for many years, Alex Kingston remembers her time as River Song, the Doctor’s wife.
  • Express Delivery – award-winning writer Jamie Mathieson looks back on his episodes: Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline, The Girl Who Died and Oxygen.
  • Letter from the Showrunner – Russell T Davies discusses the titles for the Fourteenth Doctor Specials.
  • The DWM 60th Anniversary Poll – the analysis of the results continues, with this issue looking at the rankings of the Fifth and Sixth Doctor’s adventures.
  • Liberation of the Daleks Part Eight – the adventures of the Fourteenth Doctor continue in the epic comic-strip adventure written by Alan Barnes and illustrated by Lee Sullivan.
  • Memory Worm – a new series of articles begins, as actor Dan Starkey puts his knowledge of his Doctor Who roles to the test.
  • Production Diary – script editor Scott Handcock files his latest report, direct from Doctor Who’s HQ.
  • Location, Location, Vocation – Alex Moore reveals what it’s like to work as an assistant location manager on the new series of Doctor Who.
  • Gallifrey Guardian – all the latest official news, including cast announcements.
  • 60 Objects, 60 Years – the latest instalment of the series that tells the story of one object from every year of Doctor Who’s history.
  • The Fact of Fiction explores the Second Doctor’s encounter with the Cybermen aboard The Wheel in Space.
  • Other Worlds – the essential guide to new stories in Doctor Who’s expanded universe.
  • Previews, reviews, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale from Thursday 25th May. It is available to order as a subscription, either physical or digital, here.

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