This page lists appearances of River Song, aka Melody Pond in the order in which she experienced them. This timeline is based upon observations of the Doctor Who universe and the events that occur in each of these stories, as well as the narrative feature of CON: When Time Froze, River Song: Her Story, which states her entire history up to the airdate of that Doctor Who Confidential episode. We have attempted to build a concise timeline from these observations.
Limiting factors Edit
Any story where River has a vortex manipulator must be after The Pandorica Opens. Any story where River is out of prison or a professor must be after the end scene of The Wedding of River Song. Any story where River has a sonic screwdriver must be after The Husbands of River Song.
Series basics Edit
River Song has only appeared in a handful of Doctor Who media, mostly from series 5 and 6 of the television series, but she is noteworthy for having met the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctor as well as her parents, Amy Pond and Rory Williams in an anachronic order. As a result, the audience also sees her in an order different from how she experiences things. There are also several stories where as many as three Rivers at different points in her timestream appear.
For the sake of clarity, her first incarnation will be referred to as "little girl" or "baby" to differentiate from her second, referred to as "Mels", and her third, which dominates her appearances in the Doctor Who universe. Roman numerals will be used to designate the order of her appearances in episodes in which River appears multiple times from different points in her timeline.
- As a three-week-old baby.
- As a little girl, she leaves a distressed voice message for President Nixon in 1969.
- Set decades after Day of the Moon. In a new incarnation and now going by the nickname "Mels", she's shown attending Leadworth Primary School with her parents.
- Mels fought Krampus and his minions during Year Three at Leadworth Primary School.
- Mels is shown as aging alongside her parents, appearing as a teenager and later a young adult. She reveals her true identity after being shot by Adolf Hitler and regenerates into her next incarnation who eventually embraces the alias River Song. After reviving the Doctor at the expense of her own regenerations, River is left at the Sisters of the Infinite Schism hospital.
- The first entry in River's diary is made the morning after she's admitted to the hospital.
- In the year 5123, River enrolls at Luna University.
- River finishes her doctorate and is taken prisoner by Madam Korvarian and the Silence.
- The Wedding of River Song directly follows Closing Time. Her scenes from The Wedding of River Song at 2011 Lake Silencio take place near her future self. The Impossible Astronaut overlaps these events. River is imprisoned at Stormcage following The Wedding of River Song.
- In First Night and Last Night we see multiple River Songs from different points in her time stream. One River is from early in her timeline, on the first night of her imprisonment in Stormcage. The second River has been in Stormcage for 5 years. The second River comments on the dress that the Doctor brings for the first River and asks him "does anyone agree to wear that dress?" River goes on to wear the dress in question first during the events of Day of the Moon and later for her date with the Doctor in Darillium. This places the events of The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon as more than five years into her prison sentence.
- In the year 5145, while imprisoned in Stormcage, River receives a phone call. She acquires a vortex manipulator from Dorium Maldovar. It is presumably the same one she used to get to 1969 in The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, to get to Demon's Run in A Good Man Goes to War, and is seen wearing when she staggers into the Tardis after being chased by Sontarans in First Night and Last Night.
- Note on the following stories: Other than their taking place after The Pandorica Opens and while River is still in Stormcage (except maybe Rain Gods), it is impossible to determine the exact order in which she goes to 1969, Demon's Run, the planet of the Rain Gods, picks a fight with some Sontarans, or experiences some of the events of The Eternity Clock. Because their exact chronology remains speculative, these stories are marked with an asterisk.
- Five years into her imprisonment, River picks a fight with some Sontarans, staggers into the Tardis, and apparently faints. She is wearing the vortex manipulator she acquired in The Pandorica Opens, and when she sees the gold dress she wore in Day of the Moon, she asks if anyone ever wears it, indicating that this event takes place sometime between those two stories.
- In The Impossible Astronaut an older River witnesses the events at Lake Silencio in 2011 (the entirety of The Wedding of River Song overlaps this event), and helps him battle the Silence. Afterwards the Doctor returns her to her prison cell at Stormcage.
- In A Good Man Goes to War we see River speak to Rory at Stormcage, and we later see River show up at the end of the Battle of Demon's Run. The River who speaks to Rory at Stormcage is likely an older River then the River at Demon's Run, as she is able to reference Demon's Run in her diary. This appearance on the list is of the River who showed up after the battle.
- River escapes from Stormcage wearing the same cat burglar outfit she was first shown wearing in The Pandorica Opens.
- River is shown wearing the grey dress she wore in Day of the Moon, in First Night/Last Night (five years into her imprisonment), and A Good Man Goes to War, suggesting that this likely takes place while she's still serving her prison sentence. However, note that the Doctor is wearing his purple frock coat, indicating that for him, it takes place sometime after The Bells of Saint John.
- The Doctor takes River to the last Winter Frost fair for her birthday. She encounters Rory afterwards and refuses to go with him to help save her infant self.
- River is not yet a professor. She refers to the events of The Pandorica Opens to the Eleventh Doctor, who hasn't yet witnessed them and says that she is hoping to receive her pardon.
- Immediately follows the events of Flesh and Stone. River has received her pardon and goes to visit her mother.
- River has been pardoned from Stormcage and is now a professor. The events of The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery lead up to The Angels Take Manhattan.
- River has a sonic trowel. She doesn't know or even consider the idea that the Doctor has more than thirteen incarnations. The Doctor arrives on her doorstep with a suit, haircut, and body River hasn't seen before. She and the Doctor go to the Singing Towers of Darillium, and he gives her a sonic screwdriver. The most recent record in her diary is "Manhattan." She refers to a time when the Doctor back out of taking her to Darillium and there were two of him, so after Last Night.
- River has a sonic trowel.
- River has a sonic screwdriver.
- River speculates that the Doctor has more than thirteen incarnations because she gave him her regeneration energy in Let's Kill Hitler.
- The Eighth Doctor, for whom the Time War is near its beginning, does not recognise River. For an unknown reason, she deliberately prevents him from discovering her identity.
- River expects the Tenth Doctor to recognize her, but he doesn't. She says that the last time she saw a version of the Doctor older than this Tenth Doctor, he showed up on her doorstep with a new suit and haircut, and gave her his screwdriver. Therefore, unless she has some unknown reason to lie, she hasn't met any older Doctor since The Husbands of River Song.
- In Last Night we see multiple River Songs and multiple Eleventh Doctors from different points in their respective time streams. The eldest version of River Song was to be taken to Darillium, but in The Husbands of River Song it is revealed the date was cancelled, so you cannot define the chronology.
- River visits her parents' house and they know she is their daughter, placing this sometime after A Good Man Goes to War. Set before marriage of the Doctor and River.