Given that she’s the driving force behind the season finale, I’ve been thinking a lot about the character of River Song. Since we first met her in “Silence in the Library,” she’s been an intriguing figure not only because she has so many secrets, but because she holds up as the Doctor’s equal. Companions aren’t typically allowed to be on equal footing with the Doctor, but perhaps River will succeed where Romana failed.
The White Guardian of Time commanded the Doctor to track down the six pieces of the Key to Time and insisted that Romana, (full name Romanadvoratrelundar, though she prefers “Fred” for short), tag along to help out. The Doctor wasn’t particularly thrilled to have her help, at least not in her first incarnation. Once the Key to Time mission was complete, Romana decided to regenerate pretty much for the heck of it, trying on new bodies the way you’d try on different t-shirts. In real life, actress Mary Tamm was replaced by Lalla Ward, who played Princess Astra in part six of the Key to Time series, and would (briefly) become Mrs. Tom Baker, which is how I come by the title for this article.
Susan Arendt, The Escapist, October, 3, 2011. (Link.)