Steven Moffat Returns to Doctor Who: Is River Song Next?

Steven Moffat Returns to Doctor Who: Is River Song Next?
Image credit: Legion-Media, BBC One

Fans will never lose their hope.


  • With the news that former showrunner Steven Moffat is returning to Doctor Who, fans of the show have been split in two.
  • One side celebrates the return of their favorite writer, while the other pleads with Doctor Who to bring in a fresh perspective.
  • Those who consider Moffat's era superior also hope that his comeback is a sign that fan-favorite character River Song will also return to the show.

Those who have been fans of Doctor Who long enough will remember how ambivalent the fandom was about the 11th Doctor at first. Steven Moffat's era at the show began with him: a new Doctor, a new set of companions, a new season, and a whole new fairy-tale feel to the stories ensured that he would forever be remembered as an innovator.

But even before Steven Moffat came into his own as showrunner of the epic sci-fi series, he had already written a number of episodes under Russell T. Davies. Together, they created such terrifying episodes as Blink or Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, so fans were eagerly awaiting the news of his return for the show's 14th season.

Now that it has been confirmed that Steven Moffat will return in an upcoming series with an exciting adventure for Ncuti Gatwa 's 15th Doctor, the stakes are even higher. There is one more character who goes hand in hand with Moffat that viewers need to bring back.

Will River Song Be Back to Doctor Who?

Steven Moffat Returns to Doctor Who: Is River Song Next? - image 1

At this point, the rabid fans of the 11th Doctor's era would probably faint at the words ‘Hello, sweetie,’ no matter who they came from. Having not seen River Song for the past nine years, since 2015's Christmas special The Husbands of River Song, viewers would have been happy with any crumbs.

And it's only Steven Moffat who has the power to bring the iconic character back.

River Song, also known as The Doctor's Wife and The Woman Who Kills the Doctor, originated in the 2008 episode "Silence in the Library" and was introduced long before the 11th Doctor. Steven Moffat played the long game, building up the arc of the mysterious woman: she knew everything about the Doctor, and he had no idea who she was.

Introducing the character and then immediately killing her off was a deeply confusing choice at the time, but as the show progressed, viewers learned more about her and the complexity of her relationship with the Doctor. They traveled in opposite directions through time and space.

Peter Capaldi 's 12th Doctor was the last to interact with River Song on screen, but their adventures continued in Big Finish audio plays. Given how involved Alex Kingston, who portrayed the character, remains in the Whoniverse, it's likely she'll return to the big screen. It's just a question of whether Steven Moffat has a substantial idea for River Song to appear.

Steven Moffat Returns to Doctor Who: Is River Song Next? - image 2

Considering how Doctor Who managed to break its own rules to give David Tennant's Doctor a happy ending in the 60th anniversary specials, the show could find a way to do the same for River Song. If you're interested in what the 14th series (or season 1) will bring, make sure to tune in to Disney Plus on 11 May 2024 for the premiere.