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In Forest of the Dead right before she died, she explains what happened the last time she met him:

RIVER: Funny thing is, this means you've always known how I was going to die. All the time we've been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you, the real you, the future you, I mean, you turned up on my doorstep, with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the Singing Towers. What a night that was. The Towers sang, and you cried.
COMPUTER: Autodestuct in one minute.
RIVER: You wouldn't tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the library. You even gave me your screwdriver. That should have been a clue.
(The two screwdrivers and her diary are just out of the Doctor's reach.)
RIVER: There's nothing you can do.
DOCTOR: You can let me do this.
RIVER: If you die here, it'll mean I've never met you.
DOCTOR: Time can be rewritten.
RIVER: Not those times. Not one line. Don't you dare. It's okay. It's okay. It's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space you watch us run.

Which Doctor is she referring to that has a new haircut and suit? And which Doctor does she mean when she said "you'll see me again, you've got all of that to come"?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

That won't be revealed until the 2015 Christmas special The Husbands of River Song, so if you haven't watched that far everything here's a spoiler:

She's talking about the Twelfth Doctor (Capaldi), who indeed ends up on Darillium at the end of the episode, and knowing this means the final date with River.


Darilliun's night lasts 24 years.

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There was a minisode called "Last Night", with the 11th Doctor, that implied it was him that took her to the Singing Towers. I guess that's been superseded by "The Husbands of River Song" now, though. – Adeptus Mar 21 at 2:27
@Adeptus Indeed, I thought so too back then - but IIRC in the HoRS special River mentioned something like the Doctor always having dodged her wish to date at the Singing Towers. It's one of the few Capaldi-episodes I actually like so far... – Zommuter Mar 21 at 6:12

This image might help:

enter image description here

It shows the Doctor's timeline (in blue) and River's (in orange) and how they interact.

  • The only time the Tenth Doctor meets River is in Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead - his first meeting with her and her last meeting with him, at the end of which she dies.

  • Nearly all their interactions are between the Eleventh Doctor and River - which is after the Tenth Doctor's encounter with her in his timeline but before it in her timeline.

  • Finally, the Twelfth Doctor meets her in The Husbands of River Song (the 2015 Christmas special). This isn't shown on the graph above, which was made during the Eleventh Doctor's tenure, but it's the intersection marked "Last Night". This is his last-ever encounter with her (presumably), and her second-to-last encounter with him (the last one being Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead).

Yeah, it's complicated. REALLY complicated.

enter image description here

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The first image...surely the answer is "Mornington Crescent'? Possibly played under the timey-winey variation. – Andrew Tice Mar 20 at 10:52
The pattern is a complex thing... – Theyna Apr 15 at 3:36

She is referring to the doctor and River's time spent together. This is her past, but the 10th doctor's future (ie the future of the 10th (David Tennant), 11th (Matt Smith) and 12th (Peter Capaldi) Doctors).

"You have always known" is in reference to the fact that the Doctor she knew always knew how she would die.

Edit: To be clear. The doctor with the new haircut and suit is the 12th and current doctor, Peter Capaldi.

We know this due to the events of the 2015 Christmas Special "The Husbands of River Song", in which the Doctor and River have their date at the Singing Towers of Darillium - the date River identifies as her final meeting with the Doctor in the episode "Forest of the Dead".

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dosent the It's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space you watch us run mean the adventures with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi); – Andrew Casali Mar 20 at 9:54
@user63430 yes, it's all 3 of the 10th, 11th and 12th doctors who interact with River. – The Giant of Lannister Mar 20 at 9:56
im curious how is the The doctor with the new haircut and suit that meet river last time was the current doctor, Peter Capaldi just curious before i thought it was the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) – Andrew Casali Mar 20 at 9:59
@user63430 - the answer to that is a spoiler for the most recent season, i can let you know but not sure how much of the Dr who series you have seen? – The Giant of Lannister Mar 20 at 10:01
all of it season 1-9 and all 13 doctors – Andrew Casali Mar 20 at 10:02

The problem The Doctor and Prof. River Son always face are they meet in the reverse timeline with respect to each other.

The first time the Doctor sees River Song was the last time she gets to see her.

So River has met future incarnations of The Doctor, but The Doctor doesn't know it when they meet at first as obviously, they haven't met at that point in time.

So for her, it has all already happened. But for The Doctor, it is all yet to happen.

To sum it up in one line: River's past is the Doctor's future.

P.S.: Doctor Who always makes for the most weird sounding explanations :D

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Silence in the Library slightly touched upon River and the Doctor's future interactions, as River speaks of "the future you" suggesting she and the Doctor would know of eachother well into his future adventures.

Hers examples of the doctors future: When River Song goes through her diary to check where the Doctor is in his timeline, she mentions "The Crash of the Byzantium". (TV: The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone)

Mr Lux says that River and the Doctor are bickering away like an old married couple. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

The Doctor and River's final adventure and their date together on Darillium are shown in The Husbands of River Song. This story happens shortly after the date on Darillium.

Forest of the Dead has major impact on the mythos of Doctor Who was its depiction of the death of River Song. This narrative end point would be respected in future series that told River Song's out-of-sequence story.

after he is knocked out He wakes up, finding himself handcuffed to the wall. River has hooked her own mind up to the computer, planning to carry out the plan in his place. He tries desperately to persuade River to let him do this. He remind her that she whispered his real name into his ear, which he could only tell someone for one reason... She refuses, and sadly notes that during all the time they shared and will share together, he always knew this is where and when she dies. While he insists that the future can be changed, she tells him not to change one moment of what happens between them even though it leads to this and he will see her again. She links in when the countdown reaches zero and dies, as the Doctor looks on.

then later The Doctor and Donna briefly muse over River Song's diary, as it contains details of her life and their future. Ultimately, they decide not to look in it, and leave it behind on a shelf along with the sonic screwdriver his future self gave her.

Suddenly, the Doctor comes running back. He realises that since he knew River's fate all along, his future self would have had years to think of a way to save her. He knows that he wouldn't just give her a sonic screwdriver without a good reason. Opening it, he finds that it contains a hidden neural relay. As with the data ghosts, her consciousness has been saved there. However, it is fading. The Doctor takes River for "one last run", as he sprints back to the core. He uploads River's data ghost into the Library's computer, as the face of Charlotte looks on and smiles.

River mentions the Singing Towers of Darillium as her last night with the Doctor's future self. The Twelfth Doctor, after the Eleventh Doctor had put off this date for as long as possible (HOMEVID: Last Night), takes River there after a final adventure with her. By that point, River saw signs of her adventures coming to an end as her diary was almost full and the Doctor would know how many pages she'd need and she'd heard rumors about their date at Darillium. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)

The Husbands of River Song showed the Twelfth Doctor's first encounter with River. For River, this was the final adventure with the Doctor before she met her demise in the two-part television story Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead. It showed the Doctor turning up on River's doorstep with a new haircut and a suit, their night on Darillium to see the Singing Towers, and the Doctor giving River his sonic screwdriver, all of which had been previously mentioned by River in the character's debut story.

The Doctor gives River a present; the sonic screwdriver she will use in the library. As the pair admire the Singing Towers, River notices the Doctor is crying, something he blames on having wind in his eyes. River reveals that her diary is nearly full, and asks whether the stories that this will be their final night together are true, to which the Doctor only responds by saying, "Spoilers": after knowing River for so long he had finally caught up with her in his timeline, and can't bring himself to reveal that this would indeed be their final night together before River travels to the Library and meets his Tenth incarnation, resulting in her dying.

The Doctor mentions he had a "new haircut", is in his "best suit" (though River disapproves of it) and is made to turn up on River's "doorstep". He is later seen in a suit at Darillium (which River really does finds nice), all in line with what she tells the Tenth Doctor. (TV: Forest of the Dead)

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From the help center – Wad Cheber May 4 at 6:16
As @Wad says, please edit in attribution to this post. Check this answer if you don't remember how to do it. – Rand al'Thor May 17 at 1:10

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