Well, it was hinted at that River Song was, somehow, the Doctor’s wife. Here we get to finally see if that’s true and why.
I somehow doubt whoever wrote the first River Song episode had anything like this in mind.
See, the Silence and Madame Kovarian had one goal: prevent the one question from being asked, the question from the very beginning, so Silence does or doesn’t fall. Basically, these dinks think asking the question would cause problems. And, when the question comes up…yeah, that question was there from the beginning, but see, there are a few problems for everybody, and it may be all River’s fault.
See, the Doctor understands fixed moments. He knows he can’t avoid one if he even wanted to. They have to happen. Trying to change one just will not work. The Doctor has to be at that one spot at that one time for River to shoot him in that astronaut suit before he can regenerate.
River, however, despite being trained to do such things by the Silence…well, she’s an ornery woman, so she…fires at the ground and drains the power to keep the Doctor alive. There you go. Fixed moment in time prevented.
Now all of time is happening at once, and that fixed moment means nothing moves forward. So, pterodactyls are in the park, balloons carry cars, Dickens is still writing novels, and Winston Churchill is the Holy Roman Emperor in London. The Doctor, looking a bit bedraggled, is in the dungeon, trotted out once in a while to try and explain everything. He’s only been so-so successful. He had been on his farewell tour, saying goodbye to various friends and allies (he didn’t call in time to get the Brigadier before the old man sadly passed away), when he got it into his head to get more information. That meant talking to the tiny people in the shapeshifting robot, getting some pointers from various disgraced members of the Silence, and going to the place where the Headless Monks keep their heads, the majority of which are carnivorous skulls.
There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.
Turns out information broker Dorium Maldovar is still alive down there, just a head in a box. He doesn’t even mind so long as he has a good wi-fi signal.
But then River didn’t do her job, and time broke. The Silence are in a lot of places, but if there’s someone besides the Doctor who can remember things, it should be Amy. She even shows up with a lot of armed men to take the Doctor back.
There’s some nice humor when the Doctor, seeing a more hard-as-nails Amy, assumes she doesn’t remember why ignoring all the drawings she has around her office of past monsters they dealt with and her homemade toy TARDIS still sitting on a desk until she hands it to him. Granted, she doesn’t quite remember Rory, but he’s an officer in her army.
It all comes down to somehow convincing River to shoot the Doctor and kill him at that very specific time and place. To get there, the Doctor needs to physically touch her. Time restarts when he does. River, who felt the universe needed the Doctor too much, initially refused to do it, but the Doctor…married her while the Silence were attacking their hidden hideout. One kiss later, River gets a second chance and shoots the Doctor.
Except the Doctor found a loophole: borrow that shapeshifting robot, shrink himself down, and be inside. River will shoot “the Doctor” because it’s really the robot, and he was actually there, so it counts. He even learned the question that cannot be answered or else it goes bad for the Silence is…”Doctor who?”
Well, here’s a point: can the universe exist and get along fine without the Doctor? He thinks so. River, and a whole lot of other people, disagreed. He’s decided to go away for a while, give himself a low profile, and maybe find out.
He’ll probably be back for Christmas.