Actress Alex Kingston Is Writing A Doctor Who Novel | Comic Years
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Actress Alex Kingston Is Writing A Doctor Who Novel About River Song

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BY February 23, 2021

Although Doctor Who is currently on hiatus, the larger universe around the show keeps expanding. The multimedia event Time Lord Victorious is still ongoing. And the BBC has been putting out audio dramas featuring actors from previous Time Lord storylines for years now. Into this expanding Doctor Who universe comes Alex Kingston, who has recently penned a novel about her Doctor Who character – River Song. The book is titled The Ruby’s Curse, due for release in May of 2021.

Alex Kingston Doctor Who Novel cover Image via BBC Books

A Meta Novel By Alex Kingston About Her Doctor Who Character

The Ruby’s Curse is a “stylish sci-fi noir adventure” about River Song, and her alter-ego Melody Malone. This is a direct reference to the famous Doctor Who episode – “The Angels Take Manhattan.” In that episode, a noir novel about private detective Melody Malone is a key element of the plot. That novel was written by River Song, about her own life (albeit fictionalized). The book was utilized by her mother – Amy Pond – to leave a message for the Eleventh Doctor after they were separated for the last time in their long companionship.

Alex Kingston Doctor Who Novel Amy Pond Karen Gillian Image via BBC

So the show has already established the character of River Song as a successful writer and author in the Doctor Who universe. The Ruby’s Curse will continue to play with this concept, as River writes a story that starts to come true… I love that Alex Kingston wrote a novel about her character writing a novel. That bit of meta fun is cheeky and clever, just like River herself.

As a child of the TARDIS, River can technically regenerate like other Time Lords and Ladies (meaning she could be recast if they ever wanted to bring her back). However, it is clear that Kingston has become synonymous with the character of River Song. As much as I want her to return to the television series, it is great to see that River’s adventures live on in fiction.

The Ruby’s Curse Blends Fiction And Reality

The BBC gives us the synopsis for The Ruby’s Curse below.

She’s got ice in her heart and kiss on her lips…

1939, New York. Private Eye, Melody Malone, is hired to find a stolen ruby, the Eye of Horus. The ruby might hold the secret to the location of Cleopatra’s tomb – but everyone who comes into contact with it dies. Can Melody escape the ruby’s curse?

1939, New York. River Song, author of the Melody Malone Mysteries, is forced to find a reality-altering weapon, the Eye of Horus. River doesn’t believe in curses – but is she wrong?

From the top-security confines of Stormcage to the barbarism of first-century Egypt. River battles to find the Eye of Horus before its powers are used to transform the universe. To succeed, she must team up with a most unlikely ally – her own fictional alter ego, Melody. And together they must solve another mystery: Is fiction changing into fact – or is fact changing into fiction?”

There Are More Doctor Who Adventures To Explore With River Song

Alex Kingston Doctor Who Novel Image via BBC

This new novel from Alex Kingston is a natural evolution of her off-screen Doctor Who adventures featuring River Song. Kingston also starred in an audio drama from Big Finish titled “The Diary of River Song.” In these stories, River meets up with other well-known Doctor Who characters and other versions of the Doctor from across the years of the show’s history.

Kingston has also spoken enthusiastically about her love for her Doctor Who character many times over the years. When asked about The Ruby’s Curse, she gave the statement below to the BBC.

“Having absolutely no idea of the journey I would be taking with River Song when I first uttered those words, ‘Hello Sweetie’, I cannot begin to express how excited I am to be able to continue not only River, but Melody’s adventures on the written page. A sassy private detective and a time travelling archaeologist joining forces to solve a mystery? What’s not to love!?”

What’s not to love indeed? The Ruby’s Curse by Alex Kingston is due for release on May 20, 2021 from BBC Books. For more news and review, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.


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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Alex KingstonAmy PondBBCDoctor WhoMelody MaloneRiver SongThe Ruby's Curse

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