Oh, Doctor. Fooling you once was a joy, but fooling you twice the same way? It's a privilege.
~ Kovarian revealing to the Doctor that the baby Melody was a flesh avatar.

You never really escaped us, Melody Pond. We were always coming for you. I made you what you are: the woman who kills the Doctor.
~ Kovarian confronting River Song at the end of "Closing Time".

Madame Kovarian is the main antagonist (along with The Silence) of Series 6 of Doctor Who. She makes brief appearances in many episodes of the season, but her most prominent appearances are in the episodes "A Good Man Goes to War" and "The Wedding of River Song". She is a close associate of the Silence and is responsible for conditioning Melody Pond (AKA River Song) into the perfect assassin needed to kill the Doctor.

She is portrayed by actress Frances Barber.


When the Eleventh Doctor arrived to Trenzalore, the events result in a siege by the Church of the Papal Mainframe when the threat of a new Time War by the Doctor answering a call from his people. While the main body of the Papal Mainframe continued the siege, Kovarian and her chapel broke off and decided to travel back in time to the Eleventh Doctor's beginnings to eliminate him before he could reach Trenzalore. However, the action would later be revealed to be a bootstrap paradox that would ensure the Doctor reaches his destination. Some time after blowing up the TARDIS, Kovarian arranged for Amy Pond's abduction during her honeymoon and replacement by a Ganger. Amy's real, pregnant body was taken to Demon's Run in the 52nd century. Kovarian watched over her through a hatch above the room Amy was held in. Meanwhile, her linked Ganger lived out her life. This affected the Ganger's mind. She saw visions of Kovarian wherever she went, often hearing her comments on her health and her pregnancy.

The first time Ganger Amy saw Kovarian, she appeared at the little girl's bedroom door at Graystark Hall Orphanage in a hatch in the door. Amy was startled and asked who she was. Kovarian ignored her and said "No, I think she's just dreaming", then disappeared. The room was empty, with no evidence of Kovarian or the hatch.

While sleeping on a pirate ship, Amy woke to see Kovarian in a hatch that opened on the hull. She said, "It's fine. You're doing fine. Just stay calm," and vanished with the hatch.

She was seen twice by Ganger Amy at an acid mining factory, first whilst Amy searched for Rory, though she did not speak. The next time, Amy sensed her coming appearance and stared at the wall where the hatch would open. When she mentioned this to the Ganger Doctor, who was pretending to be the Eleventh Doctor at the time, he dismissed it as "time memory, like a mirage." After her Ganger form was destroyed, Amy awoke to find herself in an alien hospital and heavily pregnant, with Kovarian looking over her. She went into labor, with Kovarian cruelly instructing her to push.

Madame Kovarian and Colonel Manton visited Dorium Maldovar to ask him what he knows; they had been on Yellow Alert for a month and the Doctor hadn't done anything. Dorium explained that there were numerous people throughout time and space who owe the Doctor a debt for helping them; he's gathering an army. Dorium explained the stories about the Doctor were true and not myths. Seeing they were getting nowhere, Kovarian and Manton left.

At some point after Amy's baby was delivered, Kovarian took her away and had a Flesh duplicate created as a decoy for the Doctor. The duplicate and Amy were 'rescued' by Rory Williams. During the battle with the Headless monks, Kovarian told the Doctor she was "privileged" to have fooled him twice in the same manner and disconnected the Flesh signal, disintegrating the duplicate.

She appeared at the Luna University circa 5123 to River Song. Kovarian taunted her over her capture as a baby and her role in the Doctor's death. With Silence and soldiers from the Church, she took River and forced her into an astronaut suit with an upgraded weapons system which controlled her nervous system. River was taken to 22 April 2011 and submerged in Lake Silencio to lie in wait to kill the Doctor.

Alternate timeline

Kovarian was in the Area 52 pyramid in the alternate timeline created by River Song's refusal to kill the Doctor at Lake Silencio, having been captured by River and Amy Pond's military group and tied to a chair. They had created their own Eye Drives based on hers to remember the Silence, but as she told the Eleventh Doctor and his companions, the drives gave an advantage to the Silence; they could electrify them remotely, causing debilitating pain or death. The Silence began electrifying the Eye Drives, including Kovarian's. She pleaded with Amy to save her, but Amy took revenge on her for the abduction of her baby by forcibly reinserting her Eye Drive and leaving her to die. Amy remembered this after that reality disintegrated and was conflicted over her actions. It is unclear whether or not Madame Kovarian remains dead in the current timeline or was brought back to life by reality setting itself right.


Kovarian was a cruel, manipulative and psychotic woman who deeply hated and feared the Doctor because she believed that he would bring about the end of the universe. She took terrible glee in his anguish and humiliation. She was willing to use the Doctor's friends against him, kidnap an innocent baby and mold the child into a psychopath. She tortured Amy emotionally by kidnapping the real Melody Pond and leaving a Flesh duplicate in her place after instilling a false sense of safety when she purposefully allowed Rory to carry the fake back. Kovarian was callous, showing little concern for her allies.

Kovarian was cowardly and not above pleading for her life, as shown when the Silence turned on her. She begged Amy to save her life, even claiming it was something the Doctor would do. Amy denied her any mercy, telling Kovarian that River Song had "gotten it" from her mother as well as from her. Kovarian's incredible sense of self-preservation was probably what motivated her hatred and fear of the Doctor. She occasionally showed a dry, cynical sense of humor as shown by her remark "Oh God, do I have to watch this?" during the Doctor and River Song's flirtation.



  • Madame Kovarian has multiple similarities to Warren Vidic from the Assassin's Creed video game series; they both abduct children and condition them into becoming expert assassins (Vidic with Daniel Cross and Kovarian with River Song) and then send them after the hero to try and kill them. They both share apparent sadism in what they do and they both have little, if any, regard for human life. Also, both of them maintain a calm demeanor, and are adamant that what they are doing is right, even though it clearly isn't.
  • Madame Kovarian is the 4th villain in the revived Doctor Who series to be Pure Evil, The other being John Lumic, Max Capricorn and Davros.