Impossible Astronaut as comic.
Please allow me to address an issue this brings up. Okay so, River, in The Impossible Astronaut, is either a seriously fantastic actress (I mean the character, not Alex Kingston), or she doesn’t know what the hell is happening. Because the entire, entire time she is NOT, I repeat NOT, acting like someone who has the vaguest idea what is going on. And when she slaps the Doctor in the diner later, she seems genuinely angry and surprised.
So when we find out at the end of it all that does indeed remember and know everything that’s about to happen I feel like that’s a pile of bullshit. This is consistently a problem with River and the way Moffat writes her and attempts to reconcile things about her and the Doctor and their relationship.
For instance: when the Doctor first meets River in Silence in the Library, she knows who he is. She acts as though she has met him — not just the Doctor, but 10 — before at least once. Yes, yes, I know at one point she says that he gave her pictures of all his incarnations, but the way it was written and the way Kingston played it, she’d seen 10 before.
Now, we never get to see the other times she met 10 because David Tennant and his sillypants. And that’s fine. There are books, there are audio plays, there’s a bunch of shit we never see. HOWEVER, when 11 sees River for the first time in the second Angels episode, the way he treats her, the whole way he interacts with her, the way the episode is written, makes it seem like he has NOT seen her since he left the library.
This does not jibe.
It’s another testament to how Moffat just doesn’t know what the fuck he’s on about with River.
Granted, this is a complex relationship and character and, honestly, it’s ambitious and in idea form actually awesome. But Moffat is not a good enough writer — or he’s too busy with his head up his ass — to pull her off in a way that lives up to the merits of the idea.
This is a general problem with Moffat, not just as concerns River. Think about this: in Let’s Kill Hitler, there are several moments in that scene in Hitler’s office where Moffat backs up time to show that the Doctor moved something, grabbed something, whatever that we didn’t see in order to thwart River Killing him.
First: he’s been watching too much Leverage. Second, he needs to ask Gina Bellman to introduce him to those writers because they do that thing way better than he did. Most of the time the flashback bits don’t match the original bit in a way that makes sense.
It’s the general problem with the way he handles River. Because if she knew what she knew way back when Amy and Rory first saw the Doctor die, she would have acted differently. She just would have. Yes, she couldn’t have acted in a way that would tip the two of them off, but she would have been different.
A lot of what River does doesn’t make sense if you look back and analyze things in the proper order. Hell, the things done to her by the Silence don’t even make proper sense when you think about the big picture.
If you have the brain of a goldfish and can only remember the last 6 seconds or just the last 15 minutes, then it’s fine. Taken as a whole, not so much.