If you had told me five years ago today that my life would be changed for the better because of one episode of television, there’s a slight possibility I might not have believed you. However, considering how many things within the medium that is pop culture tend to rewire my brain in the best ways, there’s also the chance I’d believe you and want to know where in fact we were headed.
Five years ago today, the Doctor Who episode Silence in the Library premiered. A beautiful woman in a spacesuit walked through enormous library doors, took one look at David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and simply said “Hello Sweetie.”
I read that Steven Moffat based the concept of River Song on The Time Traveler’s Wife (excellent book, horrid film), and after Ten’s first meeting–and ultimately, River’s last–I was intrigued if she’d ever pop up again.
And then this happened:
And that was that. It was all over for me. I decided right then and there if I ever decided to grow up–what a terrible thing to do!–that I had to be River Song.
As her story unfolded and Moffat strung viewers along with who she was and what she meant to the Doctor, I fell in love with her fierceness, her ability to tackle any problem or mission with humor, grace, and intelligence, even if she has no idea what part of the timeline she’s dropped into. Even if she’s unsure of the Doctor or even herself. It makes her moments of weakness–when Ten doesn’t know her, when Eleven can’t say goodbye–that much more powerful. She’s like Breathless Mahoney meets Indiana Jones. Up for anything and absolute hell in high heels.
Is she the woman who murders or marries the Doctor? Since this is Moffat’s gig, she’s both–sort of. It’s timey wimey.
When the BBC announced today as River Song Day, I couldn’t have been happier. Her adventures with the Doctor have gotten me through a lot of bad times and helped me hang on, and allowed me to meet such wonderful souls who feel the same as me.
So, Moffat, and Alex Kingston, I salute you both. [Rumor has it Kate Winslet turned down this gig. All I can say about that is GIRL.]
And really, this person said it better:
Today, I dusted off a few items from my costume closet and wore them in honor of the character I count as a source of inspiration and strength for me. River Song’s Zeeda dress is one of her most iconic looks. I think of it as her Han Solo outfit.
[Dress: Linen Lagenlook dress from eBay/ Sweater by Forever Woman / Belt: custom-made by Ritischka Studio / Sonic screwdriver earrings: Seafaring Steampunk / Tardis key (on vintage necklace): given to me by a late night congoer (my thanks forever) /Leggings: Target / Boots: Ecco]
Many of my fellow Rivers carry a version of her diary. I decided I wanted mine to be filled with my memories as a River Song cosplayer. All the people I’ve met, and places I’ve been, with photos and calling cards or other bits I think add to the mystique. Here’s a peek into the pages. There’s plenty of room left for more adventures.