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article imageActress tells of dilemma: Am I Doctor’s mother, lover or wife?

By Andrew John     May 1, 2010 in Entertainment
Is River Song in the BBC’s Doctor Who the Doctor’s mother, lover or wife? That’s the intriguing question posed in the new issue of the UK’s largest listings magazine in its interview with the actor who plays her, Alex Kingston.
Mystery has surrounded Kingston’s character since she first appeared with David Tennant’s tenth Doctor in Silence in the Library in 2008, since she carries with her a diary of events she has experienced with various incarnations of the Doctor. In the 2008 story, although she knew the Doctor of old, in the time-honoured fashion of the complex life of the time-travelling Time Lord, this was the first time he had met her! In the new two-part story, The Time of Angles, which concludes in the UK tonight, the events as far as the Doctor (Matt Smith) is concerned are taking place after the earlier story but, as far as River Song is concerned, before.
“God, it’s complicated!” she tells Radio Times’s Benjamin Cook.
In the interview, Kingston says that she had previously thought that her character was the Doctor’s lover. “I was absolutely certain. That’s what I’d assumed. But when I was reading The Time of Angles, I suddenly thought, ‘My God, she’s his mother!’”
However, Kingston explains that she still thinks the pair’s relationship is a romantic one.
“The flirtation between them still indicates they have a much more intimate relationship further down the line, and I sort of hope it is that. I hope they’re married. Otherwise, if she’s his mother, the flirtation isn’t quite appropriate!
“Steven Moffat [who has taken over as showrunner from Russell T Davies] always leaves a couple of doors open, a chink, so he can change tack whenever he wants. That makes it exciting to act, but also a little dangerous. She could be the Doctor’s grandmother, for goodness’ sake! I don't think Steven wants to be pinned down.”
Alex Kingston is a stage, screen and television actor who is probably best known for her role in ER as Dr Elizabeth Corday opposite George Clooney, which she played from 1997 to 2004. In 2006, Kingston revealed that she’d been passed over for the role of Lynette Scavo in ABC’s Desperate Housewives, for being “too curvy” – the part is played by Felicity Huffman (Transamerica). In 2009, she starred in ABC’s FlashForward, which also stars Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), the younger brother of the actor Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener), to whom she was married from 1993 to 1997.
The current series of Doctor Who continues in the UK this weekend with Flesh and Stone, and in the USA, Canada and Australia with Victory of the Daleks, by Mark Gatiss. The UK is two weeks ahead with the series, and Australia is also broadcasting K9, Bob Baker’s spin-off drama starring the eponymous former robot-dog companion from Doctor Who, voiced by John Leeson.
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