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Doctor Who - The Husbands of River Song - Advance Preview + Dialogue Teasers

© BBC Pictures

This year’s seasonal outing is an absolute treat. With the earlier start time and festive flavour it isn’t as dark as the preceding series has been, but that’s not to say that this is a frivolous tale with no depth or appreciation to be had. Moffatt has crafted a madcap Christmas story that is both entertaining and lighthearted, yet he knows the value of a well-timed emotional punch. So expect to have those heartstrings pulled upon a little, but not too much obviously, it is Christmas after all!

As the title suggests, River has more than the one husband in the episode - when one has an extraordinary long lifespan, it makes sense that they’re not going to restrict themselves to just the one spouse. This piece of information gives the Doctor something to roll his eyes at, but he doesn’t become too incensed at the news, he’s not exactly been faithful either in the past. A point which makes for a brief, yet amusing tiff between the couple when they should be concentrating on the matter at hand instead.

One of the other husband’s is King Hydroflax, played superbly by Greg Davies, who is a massive cyborg monstrosity of a character with a detachable head. Unfortunately for him, his wife isn’t as into him as he first believes, she’s actually on a mission to recover an exceptionally valuable diamond which only he can lead her to. After Hydroflax overhears her informing the Doctor of the plans she has in store for him he is, understandably, outraged at the betrayal of his beloved. While the pair manages to escape by taking the king’s head, they find themselves being chased across the galaxy by the robotic body hell bent on revenge.

As you may imagine, the comedy quota is boosted, which I have to admit is a joy to witness in the more than capable hands of Capaldi. As much as I have adored his Doctor over the last two years, his appearance here has made me notice that I am missing the humour and terrific comic timing that he has brought to other roles much more than I had realised. It’s easy to forget what a marvellous comedian Peter is when he is playing the Doctor, and although I’m not saying that I’d like it to become an overriding trait of his, I would warmly welcome this side of him bubbling to the surface at times in the future.

Alex Kingston too handles the lighter side of the story effortlessly, although for the first half of the episode she is more or less playing the ‘straight man’ setting up the Doctor’s reactions to the gags. The chemistry between her and Peter is sublime, with this comedy duo act working flawlessly between them. Her most memorable scenes, however, are later in the episode where she is gets some glorious lines to sink her teeth into and gives some of her best performances to date. It’s serious goosebumps time, and you may want to have some tissue on standby, even though you will probably be grinning like a loon afterwards.

The Husbands of River Song airs on Christmas Day at 5.15pm on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD in the UK, and at 9pm on BBC America. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after you have seen the episode and let us know what you thought.

“Maybe the engines are interfering with themselves? Wild theory, but what if this machine had certain safe guards?”

“Oh, there were tears. And just a hint of screaming”

“What are you?” “An archaeologist. Look, I’ve got a trowel”

“I’d quite like to cancel this time too if at all possible”

“My entire understanding of physical space has been transformed!”

“Sorry I’m off duty, I’m just having some me time”

“It’s not my head. Well, it is my head, but it’s not my gun”

“I have an augmented lifespan, long story”

“See you in four hundred years”

“He’ll be around here somewhere. This is the closest intersection with the Doctor’s timeline, that’s why I crashed Hydroflax’s ship here”

“The crash of the Byzantium. Didn’t they make a movie of that?”

“If either of you use my name again, I will remove your organs in alphabetical order. Any questions?”

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Poldark, and other UK shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Vikings, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and The Flash.
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