Doctor Who at Christmas. There is nothing magical enough to beat it. This festive edition to the traditional specials have to be one of the best and most memorable.
One of the reasons why is that of the return of River Song- the wife to the Doctor and naughty archaeologist.
It seems a perfect fit to see River change roles with the Doctor on an adventure that is both light, funny and exciting. It begins with a case of mistaken identity in that sweet Nardole thinks the Doctor of a surgeon, who River has sent for to help King Hydroflax.
Fandom was cheering as the 12th Doctor came face to face with River. Here is where the brilliant notion comes to fruition- the Doctor gets to see what River gets up to when he's not around.
It seems she is rather more naughty than we'd ever seen her! She married Hydroflax because he had a valuable diamond in his head that she wanted and then planned to saw off his head.
There is a new atmosphere when they interact with each other because River isn't trying to be the mysterious woman that the Doctor has been fascinated by.
Alex Kingston has never played River better; there is so much fun, range to her delivery and a cool, sassy attitude that is infectious not to smirk at. River has never been so deliciously wicked as we find she has another husband- Ramone, who she doesn't mind smooching in front of the bemused Doctor.
The settings and atmosphere is full of warm oranges and sparkling snow that is absorbing on the screen.
Also, it was wonderful to see the Doctor laughing at being threatened by a bag. Peter Capaldi & Alex Kingston were delightful as they brought so much humour and versatility to their vocal tone and playful camaraderie.
The Tardis scenes were electric and tense as the lighting was superbly done, with the shimmering flames and blue illuminations of the roundels. (Seeing that River had hidden alcohol in one of the roundels was hysterical!)
The character was Flemming was a marvelous guest to the story as he brought a slice of alien mischief.
Furthermore, Steven Moffat has continued to write beautiful dialogue for River and her rage at the Doctor not loving her rather mournful and beautiful use of describing the Doctor as the 'stars' and 'a sunset'.
But is the concluding scene, where the Doctor finally brings River to the Singing Towers of Dirillium. Everything about this last encounter is perfect; the glittering lights, costumes, Murray Gold's score being one of beauty and elegance, River's last words to the Doctor shows her vulnerability and hope that the Doctor will always be there.
Again, fandom is given another revelation, that this is when the Doctor gives River the sonic that we first saw in Silence of the Library. It was a moment of shock followed by an obvious time for that story to be rounded off.
With a sparkling chemistry between Capaldi and Kingston, funny supporting characters and a good old adventure story with a moving end, The Husbands of River Song is at the top of my favorite Christmas specials and Who episodes of all time!