Three and half out of five stars
The Doctor Who Christmas Specials are always a mixed bag. Designed to reach out and appeal to the Christmas Day audience, they are usually broader in appeal and as a result don’t always hit the mark.
That’s satisfactory on most occasions, but less so when they have to encompass more important elements in the broader Doctor Who narrative.
‘The Husbands of River Song’ breaks with the darker themes of Series 9 and jumps head first (literally) into a madcap sci fi farce of mistaken identity.
And for the most part it’s disposable Christmas fun, but central to its concept is the re-introduction of Alex Kingston as River Song, the Doctor’s ‘wife’. So we have sparkling banter between Kingston and Capaldi for the majority of the episode’s running time. And a very silly unsubtle space run-around for 45 minutes.
And then with a simple ‘Hello Sweetie’, the last 15 minutes focuses on the relationship of the Doctor and his occasional wife as we head to the Singing Towers of Darillium.
And there I’ll stop. Except to say that I was really touched by those moving, but never maudlin, last scenes. As for anything else, well..