9.13. The Husbands Of River Song

Series 9 - 2015 - 2016

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Nikki Wilson
Director: Douglas Mackinnon
Music: Murray Gold


Christmas Day 5343: in a human colony on Mendorax Dellora Nardole is rushing through the streets, trying to follow directions he has been given, looking for The Surgeon. In the middle of a street, in a blue box, he finds the Doctor and tells him there is a medical emergency. The Doctor follows Nardole to a spaceship where he meets a familiar figure who appears not to know him: Professor River Song.

Inside the spaceship River takes the Doctor to see her husband - King Hydroflax, a human head on top of a large cybernetic body. The Doctor thought he was the only husband of River Song, but she still appears to not know him. Acting against her husband's wishes she has sent for a surgeon to cure the dying King - and events are being watched around the galaxy by 4 billion people.

River tells the Doctor there is something in the Hydroflax's brain and takes him to a separate room to discuss the procedure. River shows a hologram of Hydroflax's head, and lodged inside is a diamond - The Halassi Androvar. After leading a raid on the Halassi vaults a fire fight led to the diamond entering Hydroflax's head at speed. River wants the Doctor to remove it. The Doctor says it could be difficult to manoeuvre, and River explains that she didn't mean the diamond - she meant the head.

When the Doctor says that this will kill her husband River tells him she basically married the diamond. The Halassi want it back, and have employed River to retrieve it. They are interrupted by an angry Hydroflax who has been listening and knows what River plans. He says they should have just asked, and the robot body proceeds to remove the head and place it on a table.

When Hydroflax's body attacks River the Doctor threatens to throw the head into a garbage disposal unit. When Hydroflax's body pauses River contacts her other husband - Ramone - and asks him to teleport her and the Doctor out of the spaceship along with Hydroflax's head.

They are deposited outside the colony where is it is snowing and are met by Ramone. River asks Ramone about Damsel. He says that he has located Damsel's capsule, but can't find Damsel anywhere. River says it could be difficult as Damsel does have twelve faces. Ramone shows her the first twelve faces of the Doctor - Doctors 1 - 11 and the War Doctor - and says he hasn't seen any of them. The Doctor suggests that Damsel may have a face they don't know about yet, but River says that he has limits, and together they go to look for him.

In the spaceship Hydroflax's body wants information about River Song from Nardole. The quickest way is to simply transplant Nardole's head onto Hydroflax's body.

In the colony River tells Ramone and the Doctor that she is going to steal the TARDIS. She and the Doctor go inside the TARDIS, and River warns the Doctor that the TARDIS is not as snug as it looks. The Doctor pretends it is his first time inside the TARDIS and marvels at the fact it is much bigger on the inside.

When Hydroflax's head starts beeping River realises it is a homing beacon and tries to dematerialise the TARDIS. The TARDIS won't dematerialise, and the Doctor suggests that maybe the fact that a life-form is registering as both inside and outside the TARDIS at the same time - Hydroflax's head and body - is preventing it from taking off. River is prepared to kill Hydroflax's head, but it tells her that is she does that the body will burn the planet.

Making his way back to River's ship he meets Nardole's head on Hydroflax's body. Hydroflax's body tells Ramone to take River Song a message. When River hears Ramone outside the TARDIS she lets him in - only to find it's now his head on top of Hydroflax's body. When Hydroflax's body attacks River the Doctor closes the TARDIS doors and the TARDIS dematerialises.

The Doctor and River, with Hydroflax's head in a bag, rush out of the TARDIS. They are on an inter-galactic cruise liner Harmony & Redemption heading towards the Andromeda Galaxy. A waiter, Flemming, tells River that her table is ready. As Flemming leads River and the Doctor to their table she asks Flemming for a favour - to deadlock seal the baggage hold. It's then River tells the Doctor she plans to sell the diamond rather than return it to the Halassi. The minimum requirement for access to the cruise was 1 billion credits and the provable murder of multiple innocent lifeforms.

Over dinner River reveals a diary. When the Doctor asks her about it she says it is almost full - and that the person who gave it to her was the sort of person who would know exactly how  big the diary needs to be. After a while River's contact - Scratch, representing the Shoal of the Winter Harmony - arrives to purchase the diamond. Scratch pulls apart his head to reveal an orb that will transfer funds to any account. Once the funds had been transferred Scratch tells River he, and the other guests, is doing all this in the name of King Hydroflax. This makes handing over the bag containing Hydroflax's head awkward.

To stall the Doctor reveals the head, and when the head wakes the guests bow down. Before they can escape Hydroflax's body, having managed to get Flemming to release it from the hold, enters the restaurant. The other guests flee and the body goes back for the head. With the head being too long away from the body it has deteriorated, and the body destroys it, revealing the diamond. Flemming tells the body that River's diary contains details of where to find the best head it could ever have.

Flemming asks River where the Doctor is, and she says she doesn't know. She says that whilst she loves the Doctor he would never love her back. And he certainly wouldn't risk his life for her. It's then that she realises who the man standing next to her really is. When a clock strikes two River reveals her a escape plan: being an archaeologist from the future she knows when a meteorite strike is going to happen.

Using the money orb the Doctor disables Hydroflax's body and helps River on the bridge of the crashing cruise liner. The Doctor tricks River and teleports her into the TARDIS. River then materialises the TARDIS around the Doctor. Realising they can't save the ship they get into the TARDIS just in time.

The ship crashed on the planet Darillium. The Doctor meets a rescue worker and suggests that the crash site, with a view of the Singing Towers of Darillium, would be a good place for a restaurant. The Doctor hands the rescue worker the diamond. The reward for its return would be more than enough to start the restaurant.

Jumping forward in time the Doctor books a table: the finest in all the galaxy. It's still Christmas, and the Doctor hands River a present: a new sonic screwdriver. The Doctor had always planned to take River to the restaurant, but had always cancelled. River has heard a story that the last night she spends with the Doctor is at the Singing Towers of Darillium, and he diary is almost full. However, a night on Darillium is 24 years long.


Guest Cast

  • River Song: Alex Kingston
  • Nardole: Matt Lucas
  • King Hydroflax: Greg Davies
  • Ramone: Phillip Rhys
  • Flemming: Rowan Polonski
  • Scratch: Robert Curtis
  • Concierge: Anthony Cozens
  • Alphonse: Chris Lew Kum Hoi
  • Receptionist: Nicolle Smartt
  • King Hydroflax's Body: Liam Cook
  • Voice of Hyrdoflax: Nonso Anozie

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 13. The Husbands Of River Song Friday, December 25, 2015 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM 7.69M 82

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