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Audio Play / The Diary Of River Song

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Part of the Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Play series, The Diary of River Song casts the Doctor's wife in her own spin-off series; the series takes place at various points in the TV series' chronology, but predominantly between "The Husbands of River Song" and "Silence in the Library". Five series have been released to date, with two more confirmed for 2019 and 2020.


Tropes used in this series include:

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  • Anthology: The first four series all have an ongoing story arc across the episodes. The fifth series does not have any arc at all (beyond "River meeting various incarnations of the Master"), and in fact the four episodes may not even take place chronologically.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Though River describes herself as a psychopath, she takes it upon herself to help innocent people when they get caught up in nasty occurences they don't deserve (chalk that up to the Doctor). This puts her at odds with the Rulers immediately. She then shows just how much of a psychopath she can be.
    • Reading her diary is another, as is impersonating the Doctor with it. Even when keeping the man who did the reading and impersonating alive would be optimal, she shoots him dead after freeing herself out of spite.
    • Involving the Doctor, particularly against her, is yet another. She is particularly unhappy when she finds out the incarnation of the Doctor who receives the Rulers' party invitation is Eight. She views Eight as naïve, and finding out this version from him is from the early days of the Time War makes her all the more incensed.
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  • Call-Forward: River has her sonic trowel in "The Diary of River Song", before it was established on-screen in "The Husbands of River Song".
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Though River plays hard and fast with time travel, she doesn't approve of the Rulers of the Universe's plans to live up to their name at all and sabotages their schemes twice over. The second time includes quite a lot more explosions than the first time, and quite a few more people dying. She does sound an alert so that the people partying can get to life-rafts, and she doesn't stop anyone from escaping, but if they're too busy partying or trying to manipulate planets to evacuate she sees that as their problem. Of course, she doesn't take kindly to those who escape by trampling others to do so...
    • She also has respect towards the Doctor's timeline in that there are certain Doctors she cannot "play with", one in particular being the Eighth. That doesn't stop her from helping him in any way she can while he's stuck in a death trap she inadvertently brings upon him.
  • Have We Met Yet?:
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    • Par for the course for River. However, unusually for her, she takes great pains to ensure that she and the Eighth Doctor do not meet, knowing this incarnation hasn't and thus cannot meet her. note 
    • She later encountered the Sixth and Seventh Doctors, who then forget her after an adventure in a collapsing time anomaly wipes River's and Seven's memories and elects to use her amnesia lipstick on the Sixth after he accidentally commits an immoral act and gets concerned he might get too affected by it.
  • Loophole Abuse: Think that setting your base in a field that prevents time travel will save you? Not when the depot that supplies you isn't covered by a similar field. River exploits it for all it is worth, and then some.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: As always, she's both infuriated and aroused by the Doctor-see, for example, her tea with his Seventh incarnation, where he effortlessly figures out that she tried to slip him memory agents. She seems torn between a mix of annoyance that it isn't working, and a desire to vault over the table and snog him senseless.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: River is very adept with her vortex manipulator. After the twelfth time she re-arrived at the party, each time dressed up as a service robot and planting anti-matter bombs about, and departed on one of the escaping life-rafts, she simply stopped counting. She simply sums it up the times she went back with "enough".
  • Tranquil Fury: River can pleasantly discuss how she managed to completely destroy a massive space station with temporal manipulation equipment, complete with a disguise she took over a dozen times at the same time and yet make it exactly clear just how enraged she was to do it.
  • Woman Scorned: The Rulers of the Universe made a very keen mistake when they tried to recruit River Song, unintentionally and continuously hitting every one of her buttons. Handing her over to a man who impersonates a future incarnation of the Doctor, clones her and kills off said clones after they realize who he is, with her being aware of everything said clones went through, is what really sends her over the edge though. Bertie Potts is horrified when he sees the destruction River brings upon them, alone and in less than an hour, and even more so when he learns how. In short? Do not piss off River Song.
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