Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston Says She Never Bothered Learning River’s Timeline

River Song Doctor Who

It’s often hard to wrap your head around the rules of time travel – as the reaction to Avengers: Endgame attests to – but the story of River Song on Doctor Who was particularly mind-boggling. The Doctor and his wife essentially lived their lives in different directions, as the Time Lord first met the archaeologist when she died and then got to know her better as she got younger and he got older. Whenever River showed up on the series, Whovians had to whip out their flow charts to work out where in the timeline she came from.

But did River herself, actress Alex Kingston, like to have a solid understanding at what point in her life the character was at when she was playing the part? The answer is no, apparently, as she revealed as much to Graham Norton on his BBC Radio 2 show. Kingston said that she felt the best thing to do while working on the series was to just “live in the moment.”

“I never just bothered with the timeline, I just lived in the moment because that’s all you can do on Doctor Who. You never know what’s going to happen next, or where you’re supposed to be going, or what you’re supposed to be knowing. You just have to learn your lines and do it.”

Thanks to River’s staying power and her unique relationship with the Doctor, Kingston got to act opposite David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s incarnations. Naturally, the star has been clear that she’d love to return opposite Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor in time and the two actresses even spoke about it when they encountered each other at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

When chatting with Norton on Saturday, Kingston again touched on the subject of coming back, saying you can never say never with the show. “You never know, I mean who knows whether it’s finished or not, we don’t know,” she commented.

There might not be a return to TV Doctor Who on the horizon, but River Song does have her own audio drama spinoff in which she’s met numerous classic Doctors and a whole bunch of Masters – including Michelle Gomez’s Missy. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t done so already.