Did Matt Smith's Final Doctor Who Episode Secretly Include River?


Did Matt Smith’s Final Doctor Who Episode Secretly Include River?

River Song said her goodbyes to The Doctor several episodes before Matt Smith’s last, but one theory suggests that she was also in the series finale.


  • One theory suggests that River Song may have appeared in Matt Smith’s final Doctor Who episode, “The Time of The Doctor.”
  • Tasha Lem, a character heavily involved with the church of The Silence, shares many similarities with River Song, leading to speculation about their connection.
  • However, the theory is unlikely to be true, as the similarities can be explained by their shared experiences and Steven Moffat’s comments suggest they were not intended to be the same person.



Although Matt Smith’s incarnation of The Doctor supposedly said goodbye to his wife River Song in “The Name of the Doctor,” one theory suggests that the character also appeared in his final ever Doctor Who episode. Smith’s tenure as The Doctor ended with “The Time of The Doctor,” which saw the titular Time Lord travel across the universe to investigate a mysterious signal that turned out to be another crack in time and space that had emerged on Trenzalore – the planet where he’s destined to die. The episode follows The Doctor as he protects the people of Trenzalore from invasion for hundreds of years.

Ultimately, The Doctor is granted another regeneration cycle and manages to survive the encounter, but that’s the last time Matt Smith has appeared as the character. Many audiences were hoping for another reunion between The Doctor and River Song during Smith’s final episode, but Alex Kingston sadly didn’t make an appearance. Instead, he was joined by Clara Oswald and Amy Song during his final moments. However, one popular theory seems to suggest that River was present during the story after all, under a completely different identity.

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Tasha Lem Could Be Another Incarnation Of River Song

River Song met the Eleventh Doctor several times in Doctor Who – more frequently than any other incarnations so far. The pair had an excellent romance that built gradually across the seasons, so it was a huge shame when River wasn’t included in Smith’s final story as The Doctor. However, the character of Tasha Lem plays a huge role in “The Time of The Doctor,” and interestingly, shares many similarities with River Song. Not only is she heavily involved with the church of The Silence, but she also flirts with The Doctor and hints toward some kind of romantic history.

River Song gained the ability to regenerate like a Time Lord because she was conceived in the Time Vortex, but she seemingly gave up this ability to save The Doctor’s life in “Let’s Kill Hitler.” This means that Tasha Lem would have to be a version of River Song from the past (even before her previous incarnation, Mels). This raises plenty of interesting questions about Tasha and River, including why she’d recruit a future version of herself to follow the orders of The Silence.

RELATED: River Song’s Story In Chronological Order Explained

Why This Theory Probably Isn’t True

river song doctor who

It’s an interesting idea, but the suggestion that Tasha Lem is a previous incarnation of River Song just doesn’t make much sense. The characters’ similarities can be easily explained by the fact that they’re both powerful women with strong ties to the church of The Silence, meaning they’ve probably interacted at some point and may have adopted personality traits from each other. Steven Moffat has also discussed the fact that Tasha Lem was written too similarly to River Song (via Big Finish), which implies that it was never intended for them to be the same person. As clueless as The Doctor can be, it’s also unlikely that he wouldn’t have noticed this sooner.

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