In Review: Big Finish: The Diary of River Song, Series 01

The Diary of River Song is what I wish “The Husbands of River Song” had been.

Synopsis

1.1 The Boundless Sea by Jenny T Colgan

River Song has had more than enough excitement for a while. Deciding the universe – and her husband – can look after themselves, she has immersed herself in early 20th century academia, absorbed in writing archaeological theses.

But when a mysterious tomb is found in a dry, distant land, excitement comes looking for River.

Can Professor Song stop any more members of the expedition from dying? What deadly secrets lie buried within the crypt? And will British Consul Bertie Potts prove to be a help, or a hindrance?

1.2 I Went to a Marvellous Party by Justin Richards

River Song always enjoys a good party, even when she’s not entirely sure where or when the party is taking place. But the party she ends up at is one where not everything – or indeed everyone – is what it seems…

Being River, it doesn’t take her too long to go exploring, and it doesn’t take her too long to get into trouble. The sort of trouble that involves manipulating other civilisations, exploitation, and of course murder.

River is confident she can find the killer. But can she identify them before anyone else – or quite possibly everyone else – gets killed?

1.3 Signs by James Goss

River Song is on the trail of the mysterious, planet-killing SporeShips.

Nobody knows where they come from. Nobody knows why they are here. All they do know is that wherever the SporeShips appear, whole civilisations are reduced to mulch.

But River has help. Her companion is a handsome time-travelling stranger, someone with specialist knowledge of the oddities and dangers the universe has to offer. For Mr Song has a connection to River’s future, and he would never want his wife to face those perils alone…

1.4 The Rulers of the Universe by Matt Fitton

As shocking secrets are exposed, and a grand plan for the universe is revealed, River decides it’s time she took control of events once and for all.

Out in deep space, a clandestine society faces off with an ancient and powerful alien force – but, for River, there’s an added complication.

The Eighth Doctor has been caught in the middle, and she must make sure her future husband can arrive at his own destiny with all his memories – not to mention his lives – intact…

Review

The Diary of River Song is what I wish ‘The Husbands of River Song’ had been. Big Finish has the one thing the BBC doesn’t seem to any more — time. Big Finish has the time to actually let their narratives breathe. As a result, all the themes and tones within the stories are given equal weight. River Song — played wonderfully by Alex Kingston — quips, laughs, loves, mourns, empathizes, and manipulates in four stories designed as uncompromising character studies. River knows they are character studies, and she does not flinch. She owns who she is, and she gets the job done. Along the way, it is heartwarming to discover that Kingston has as much chemistry with Paul McGann as she had with Tennant, Smith, and Capaldi. I’m definitely looking forward to Series 2.

Written By: Jenny T Colgan, Justin Richards, James Goss, Matt Fitton

Directed By: Ken Bentley

Cast

Alex Kingston (River Song), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Alexander Vlahos (Bertie Potts), Alexander Siddig (Marcus Gifford), Imogen Stubbs (Isabella Clerkwell), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Prim), Charlotte Christie (Daphne Garsington), Alisdair Simpson (Colonel Lifford), Oliver Dimsdale (Archie Ferrers), John Banks (Professor Straiton), Letty Butler (Spritz), John Voce (Jenkins), Aaron Neil (Sanukuma Master) and Samuel West (Mr Song). Other parts played by the cast.

 

10
Big Finish: The Diary of River Song, Series 01
  • Story, Performances
  • Nothing
  • Story
    10
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.

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