The actress will reprise her role as River Song in the upcoming Christmas special
Credit: BBC

Christmas has come early to Doctor Who — and not just because of time travel.

Alex Kingston is set to reprise her role as Professor River Song in the long-running sci-fi drama’s annual holiday special, the BBC announced Wednesday.

“It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure,” the network says in a release. “Time traveler River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.”

Kingston made her debut as River Song opposite David Tennant in 2008. She went on to play a prominent — if often enigmatic — role in the timeline of Matt Smith’s Doctor, making Capaldi’s Doctor the third incarnation of the character she’s played against onscreen.

“To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show,” says Kingston in a statement, “but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. [Showrunner and executive producer] Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humour and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read-through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September? Why not!”

Moffat adds, “Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who — and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song? The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time …”

So how will River’s “one psychopath per TARDIS” rule hold up against the Twelfth Doctor? As a certain time-traveling archaeologist might say, “Spoilers.”

Doctor Who returns September 19.

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