River Song only really knew two Doctors, as far as we know, and was clearly most familiar with Eleventh. Why would Tasha Lem think he has a new body if she's an incarnation of River?

Why would Eleventh rally her against the "psychopath" she's been fighting "all her life" if she isn't River?

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    Since the episode itself never made the connection between Tasha Lem and River Song, could you please provide the link for us? Otherwise the answer is pretty simple and boring. Perhaps your question is actually "Is Tasha Lem really River Song?" – BESW Dec 29 '13 at 6:42
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    I didn't catch any mention that Tasha was River. What makes you think that? – Meat Trademark Dec 29 '13 at 6:52
  • The title nearly blew my mind... – Voldemort Dec 29 '13 at 9:53
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    You know, River Song is not the only psychopath in the entire universe. – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 24 '14 at 12:49

Because Tasha Lem is not River Song.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence both for and against this fan theory, but you've asked about one of the major sticking points against Lem being River: she doesn't recognize Eleven's body.

Tasha Lem is another Strong Woman who the Doctor flirts with (like Liz Ten). They have a rich off-screen history together (like Madame Vastra and Strax), which (also like Madame Vastra and Strax) includes her having once been a bad person. (And any idiot can fly the TARDIS, if she likes you and thinks you ought to get wherever it is you want to go.)

Time of the Doctor repeats motifs from throughout Matt Smith's seasons, so it makes sense that Tasha Lem seems familiar; she's an amalgam of character traits and tropes Moffat's already used, many of them in River Song. But she's not any particular character we already know.


Unless contradicted by a later episode, we can be pretty sure that Tasha Lem isn't River Song.

She states in her cast interview that the reason why she's able to fly the TARDIS is because the Doctor was showing off and gave her flying lessons, something that River Song (as "a child of the TARDIS") wouldn't have needed.

"I'm one of the few people who can fly the TARDIS. I think what the Doctor did back in the day was, 'Do you want a lesson? Do you wanna, kinda you know, I'll show you how to fly the TARDIS' So she can fly it well actually, quite a good driver"

  • in fact, her interview contradicts Rivers, who specifically said the TARDIS showed her how to fly itself, while The Doctor was dying. – KutuluMike Dec 29 '13 at 16:18
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    Actually, in "The Pandorica Open", River says that the Doctor taught her to fly the TARDIS; The Doctor: You're flying it wrong. River: I'm flying it perfectly. You taught me." See more at: planetclaire.org/quotes/doctorwho/river-song/season-five/… – Valorum Dec 29 '13 at 16:51
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    But in "Lets Kill Hitler", she also says "I seem to be able to fly her. She showed me how. She taught me." – KutuluMike Dec 29 '13 at 18:32
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    In fairness she seems to fly it rather better than him. Perhaps in "The Pandorica Opens" she's actually making a joke that she's seen his attempts to fly and isn't following his example. – Valorum Dec 29 '13 at 18:55
  • @Michael the funny thing is if the TARDIS showed her how to fly it, there would be no need to say Flying the Doctor was always easy it's flying the Doctor that was difficult.. This seems to hint that she had done it before. – DoctorWho22 Aug 26 '14 at 18:44

I don't think that they gave us enough information in this episode to come to a definite conclusion.. The mannerisms certainly bare a resemblance to River, but that doesn't mean they're the same person. Though what I wonder most about is why they would have made quite a big moment out of referring to Tasha Lem as a 'psychopath' if there was no connection at all; that wouldn't make sense either. River being a psychopath was such a big thing that they surely wouldn't use the same word with another character?

Either way, I don't think there's any way at all to be certain off just one episode.. Doctor Who story lines are never simple, and I reckon we can analyse this down to every detail and still be so far away from what they will eventually do with the characters; I know I always have been before!


Personally I believe that it is quite possible for Tasha Lem to be River Song, there's so many speculative points that lead you to believe that she is...

To point out a few...

She knows how to pilot The Tardis, as far as we know only ONE person in all of the whovian universe is able to pilot The Tardis whom is not a Time Lord and that is River Song.

Lem backwards is Mel, aka Melody Pond...

The Doctor states "You've been fighting a psychopath inside you all your life" which is the backstory of River Song's conditioning to be a psychopath and kill The Doctor.

As far as her not recognizing The Doctor's body, much like The Doctor, River Song tends to lie just as much as him.

Remember back to the point that River Song is still able to communicate with The Doctor in his current timeline at "The Day of The Doctor"... This remains as a mystery as to how this occurred.

Personally I believe that Tasha Lem is River Song Post Library... The Papal Mainframe sounds very much like the computer mainframe in which her personality was downloaded and saved by Tennant's incarnation. If she somehow found a way to have a body and transplant her personality into it, she could exist outside of the Library's mainframe.


"Why would Tasha Lem think he has a new body if she's an incarnation of River?"

To quote "The Wedding of River Song:"

River: Rule one?
Amy: The Doctor lies.
River: So do I. All the time. Have to. Spoilers. Pretending I don't know you're my mother. Pretending I didn't recognize the space suit in Florida.

Tasha/River pretends not to recognize the Doctor to mask her identity.

  • She has little memory of the events before she transferred her regenerations to The Doctor. The Doctor himself says this in The wedding of River Song, "The Doctor: I know. It's okay. This is where I die. This is a fixed point. This must happen — this always happens. Don't worry. You won't even remember this. Look over there. River: It's me. How can I be there? The Doctor: That's you from the future. Serving time for a murder you probably can't remember. My murder." – Stark07 Dec 30 '13 at 5:42
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    I am not convinced. The evidence supporting this interpretation is too scanty and speculative. I think they are 2 different "people." – Meat Trademark Dec 30 '13 at 6:42

protected by Community Dec 30 '13 at 21:35

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