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May 15th, 2024 9 comments

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Big Finish The Death and Life of River Song 01 Last Words

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River Song’s Last Words

Cover artwork, cast and story details are revealed for The Death and Life of River Song: Last Words, a brand-new box set of apocalyptic audio drama, due for release August 2024.

River Song may be the Doctor’s wife, but there’s so much more to her than that. Alex Kingston played the time-travelling archaeologist on Doctor Who between 2008 and 2015, and has reprised the role in many Big Finish audio dramas since, exploring what River gets up to when she’s not with her Time Lord husband.

The first box set in her new series, The Death and Life of River Song: Last Words sees River, after cheating death as a digital consciousness uploaded to the Library, brought back to life in a cloned body and sent to Earth in the future, not long before it’s set to be ravaged by solar flares.

Joining Kingston in this epic story’s cast is Greg Wise – who listeners may know from The Crown and Sense and Sensibility, as well as the 2021 series of Strictly Come Dancing – as ultra-rich tycoon Garrison Clay. He’s the man behind River’s temporary resurrection, and he has a mission for her.

And, Jamie Parker – best known for playing Harry Potter in the West End show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as roles in TV series Treadstone and The Crown – plays Sam Avner, a mysterious man who becomes an ally to River.

The Death and Life of River Song: Last Words is now available for pre-order exclusively from, as a limited edition four-CD box set (plus digital download) for £29.99, or as a digital download only for £22.99.

Wrenched from her digital afterlife in the Library, River Song finds herself on sixty-first century Earth, resurrected in a clone body. Billionaire tech mogul Garrison Clay has a mystery to solve, and he’s selected River as the person to solve it.

Armed with only her sonic screwdriver and a fake ID, River heads out into a world soon to be ravaged by solar flares… where danger stalks her at every turn.

The story is divided into four episodes, all scripted by Robert Valentine:

  • Apokalypsis
  • Fate & Fatality
  • The Black Hours
  • Book of the Dead

The four episodes together, as well as revealing an important chapter in River’s (after)life, serve as a prequel to the 1975 TV story The Ark in Space, with humanity preparing to flee the doomed Earth. Robert Whitelock guest stars as Lazar and Christine Kavanagh as Vira – characters originally played on television by Kenton Moore and Wendy Williams.

Also on the cast list of Last Words are Jane Booker, Shogo Miyakita, Jamie Zubairi, Jacob Daniels, Andrew James Spooner, Glen McCready, Issy Van Randwyck, and Nicholas Boulton.

Producer David Richardson said: “Robert Valentine has done something remarkable with this four-hour drama, which tells the story of the last days of planet Earth before it is destroyed by solar flares, a story told from the perspective of a woman temporarily brought back from the dead. It’s heart-breaking and exciting and doom-laden and, perhaps when you least expect it, uplifting and inspiring.”

Writer Robert Valentine added: “Originally, I thought I was going to be writing the final ever River Song story. Quickly I realised that I wasn’t, but I thought it would be fun to write something that feels like it’s the last we’ll ever see of River, and actually give that problem to her. Her life is usually intertwined with the Doctor’s, so I thought, what is her life like after her great relationship is over?

“And, the brief was to do a prequel to The Ark in Space, which is a Doctor Who classic, at the same time. When I went back and rewatched it, I realised that I wouldn’t be allowed on this ship, I would have been one of the ones left behind. So I thought, let’s give River a mission that leads into The Ark in Space, but with sympathy for those people who aren’t on the Ark.”

Big Finish listeners can also pre-order a bundle with Last Words as well as Volumes 2 and 3 of The Death and Life of River Song, which are both due for release in 2025, for just £80 (collector’s edition CDs + downloads) or £66 (downloads only).

All the above prices include the special pre-order discount and are subject to change after general release. Please note: the collector’s edition CD box set is strictly limited to 1,250 copies and will not be repressed.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, spin-offs



  • Jason Z

    May 15th, 2024 - 1:20pm

    What’s with both the blokes’ hands on the cover?

  • Doctor Stu

    April 4th, 2024 - 9:36pm

    So what’s the point of finishing the diary series and pretending it was a big thing it being over only to not even give her a break at all. This makes Rivers exit utterly pointless, she’s essentially alive, forever. Go back and be with your husband, there’s no tragedy at all. She’s back, she never died, still exists. What’s the point? The show better ignore this completely as it makes silence and forest of the dead utterly null and void.

    • Anon

      April 6th, 2024 - 5:37pm

      Do you actually like anything stu?

    • Rex F

      April 6th, 2024 - 11:02pm

      Stu, it’s Big Finish. (That’s the only answer you’ll ever need.)

    • Doctor Stu

      April 7th, 2024 - 1:36pm

      Not any more, Doctor who’s been in a right state for years now

    • The Fishmonger

      April 7th, 2024 - 3:41pm

      The only real surprise is that Jackie Tyler isn’t in it.

    • Anon

      April 7th, 2024 - 6:07pm

      So I take it you only watch it to complain about it now stu!

  • The Fishmonger

    April 4th, 2024 - 4:44pm

    I can hear a dead horse being flogged but I’m here for it.

    • JR

      April 4th, 2024 - 5:26pm

      LOL. I just finished the final Diary so I was wondering when River would resurface.

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