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Doctor Who - 'The Husbands of River Song' (Photo: BBC)

This past Christmas Day, Doctor Who fans witnessed another chapter in the ongoing love story between the Doctor and River Song.

Here are 10 key moments from their relationship to date:

1. All the flirting:

We’ve not seen a flirty Doctor before River Song came along. Oh sure, Ten thought he was the bees knees, but in quite a chaste way, his boyish enthusiasm curdled to outright prudery when faced with an expert in flirting like Captain Jack Harkness. River, it is fair to say, could probably give Captain Jack a run for his money, and she’s clearly rubbing off on the Doctor. Er, I mean… *blushes*

2. “You leave the brakes on”

In that manner of all married couples, familiarity breeds bickering, and the Doctor, who is rather keen on appearing to be supernaturally impressive in the eyes of his traveling companions, has to accept sometimes that his wife knows best. Not that you’d ever get him to admit it, but seeing as she is a child of the TARDIS (who has never liked its materialization noise) it’s not surprising she knows how it works.

3. The times she shot off the Doctor’s hat:

And not just the cowboy hat. That fez took a beating the minute she laid eyes on it too. Suffice to say that the only hat the Doctor has worn thus far that has escaped being filled full of holes by River Song is the top hat he wore after she had poisoned him to death. For the Doctor, the message is clear: Either the headgear goes, or he does.

4. And mocked his sonic:

No man enjoys having his tools openly mocked in public, even when his wife is the sharpest of shooters and they’re surrounded by a horde of… oh wait… it’s on the tip of my tongue. Nope. Gone. Anyway, the point is she uses a gun when you need a gun, and that sonic he gave her (or will give her) when she needs a sonic. That’s just common sense.

5. The time the Doctor got the sass in first:

A moment of high comedy that entirely disguises the fact that he is almost 1,000 years older than she is. And even if he wasn’t then, he certainly is now.

6. The time River provoked some Nazis:

And then blew them all up with her residual regeneration energy.

7. The time the Doctor fixed her wrist:

And she tested the healing qualities out by slapping him in the face, after already telling him off for being an ageless god that looks like a teenager on purpose. Haven’t we all been there? This love malarky isn’t all sass, quips and flirtatious one-liners, y’know.

8. Spoilers (and where they came from):

This is one of the most brilliant moments of meta scripting in all of modern television. In order to make the plot work, which has to be kept a secret from an audience so that there are no spoilers, one of the characters already knows what is going to happen, but she (and sometimes he) can’t tell anyone in the story what is going to happen, because that would alter the fabric of time in a bad way. Or to put it another way, it would spoil things.

9. The time the Doctor invited her to go traveling:

And she turned him down. Partly to prevent their relationship from going stale but mostly to prevent him from seeing her get older. And eventually from having to say goodbye. The fact that he knows how their final goodbye will pan out hasn’t occurred to her at this point, which makes her decision a little more poignant.

10. The time she died:

And not only does this colour every single interaction the Doctor ever has with her from this point onwards (as you’d imagine it would), at the point at which she has to end his life, he even remembers the exact thing she said to him when he suggested a different timeline for her, one that might save her life. The key to a strong relationship is paying attention…

…that and trying not to marry the psychopath that has been trained to kill you since birth, unless you happen to be a thrill-seeking wayward Time Lord with a penchant for meddling.

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By Fraser McAlpine