The Diary of River Song: A Requiem for the Doctor by Jacqueline Rayner (Big Finish, 2018) A somewhat predictable story overlaid onto its historical setting (rather than using it to any intrinsic purpose). Alex Kingston and Peter Davison work well together but cannot mitigate the feeling of treading water. The Doctor’s new companion is presented without any explication.
The Diary of River Song: The Lady in the Lake by Nev Fountain (Big Finish, 2018) A story that is challenging in its complexity (intriguingly rather than dishearteningly so) and mischievous in its characterisation, with artful twists and generally just a very clever execution. Fountain brings a creativity that Big Finish would do well to embrace more often.
Dr. Eleventh by Adam Hargreaves (BBC, 2017) Hargreaves, in his usual clumsy way, has Matt Smith’s Doctor and River Song run a pointless gamut of monsters… but can only think of three (Zygons, Silurians, Weeping Angels) before resorting to snakes and spiders! The ending is as tiresome as ever.
River Song: The Eye of the Storm by Matt Fitton (Big Finish, 2016) In and of itself, this is a mess. As the conclusion to a four-part adventure it’s an even bigger mess. Big Finish again sacrifices coherent storytelling for clickbait casting. Yes, a ménage à trois! But the plot is forced and borderline nonsensical.
River Song: World Enough and Time by James Goss (Big Finish, 2016) A bit of a mess, sadly. Colin Baker can’t be faulted but his Doctor is out of character and has been shoehorned into the script merely for the gimmick of his being there. River Song would have been better on her own.
River Song: Five Twenty-Nine by John Dorney (Big Finish, 2016) One of the better Big Finish stories, not offering full closure but nonetheless presenting a global extinction event with sombre melancholy. Sans any of the Doctors, River Song is given space to make the programme her own. Alex Kingston does just that.
River Song: The Unknown by Guy Adams (Big Finish, 2016) A clever opening to the series, the time conflux allowing not only for River Song to meet the Seventh Doctor but also to assert herself as the primary protagonist, respectfully stealing his thunder. A base under siege story with strong female characters.
Doctor Who, Doom Coalition 2: The Sonomancer by Matt Fitton (Big Finish, 2016) Fitton manages some strong characterisation — Liv Chenka takes charge; Helen Sinclair bonds with River Song — but although Alex Kingston is quite the drawcard, the lack of interaction between her and Paul McGann is disappointing, as is the plot degeneration into runaround dénouement.
Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song by Steven Moffat; dir. Douglas Mackinnon (BBC, 2015) The 2015 Christmas Special takes a lighter approach than its predecessor, and not since Blackadder II has a severed head been played for such laughs. Peter Capaldi captures something of each of the first four Doctors while Alex Kingston nails her swansong.