In the eight seasons since Doctor Who was rebooted for Millenial consumption, there has been no shortage of should they/shouldn’t they moments between the Doctor and his companions. These were mostly one-sided, as in the case of Astrid in “Voyage of the Damned” or Martha in the entirety of Season 3. On two glaring occasions, the feeling was reciprocated, but by and large, the Doctor has not been written or played as a being doting over those he travels with.
Speaking at a recent BAFTA New York panel, current showrunner Steven Moffat indicated there was “sexual tension” between the Doctor and his current companion Clara Oswald. This comes after what was an apparent verbal agreement between Moffat and current Doctor Peter Capaldi that there would be no romance between the Doctor and his companions. Since there is some disparity between the stated intentions of the showrunner and his star, and with Season 9 inching ever closer, I thought it worth noting one very important detail as it pertains to the love life of our beloved Time Lord.
The detail is this: the Doctor, quite simply, can’t fall in love in the normal sense. Why? Because he is essentially a deity.
I want to close the door on this quickly by saying this is NOT to compare Doctor Who to the Creator of All Things Great and Small. Nope. Nuh-uh. Unequivocally not my intention. But what are some of the traits we think of when we think of God? Omniscient? Intangible? All-knowing? Infallible? These words could just as easily be used to describe the Doctor, as his ability to travel through time and space gives him an unparalleled view of the universe and a deeper knowledge of events and circumstances than any mortal will ever have.
This is not to say the Doctor doesn’t care. In fact, he has a great deal of affection for human beings and the little blue orb we inhabit. This affection is also reflected in his interactions with his companions, as they are the few people he deems worthy of traveling with because he finds them unique in some way. He does not, however, let his interest or affection for his companions give way to romance. Even Amy Pond, arguably one of his most intimate relationships he formed during his travels, was spurned when she attempted to get sexy with the Doctor. It is his nature to “love” others from a distance because, like a deity, he exists on a completely different plane than they do. He has seen and done too much to “love” another in the traditional sense. Even Rose had to wait for a clone of the Doctor that was part human to have her feelings reciprocated. The lone exception to this would be River Song, and the only reason she is an exception is because she herself was a time traveler and had much the same view of the universe as he did.
Perhaps the difference of opinion between Moffat and Capaldi is due to something in the works for Season 9, perhaps it stems from a casual conversation between the two. If it is the latter, this will mark a monumental shift in the Doctor’s character. With all the potential quality romances he has avoided in the past, there better be an epic reason for it. Amy Pond may be The Girl Who Waited, but the title of The Girl Who Hit That should go to someone just as memorable and important in the Doctor’s world.
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Todd doesn’t like anything and doesn’t care what you think about it.
SPRATTE IS A SPAZ AND LIKES EVERYTHING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS AWESOOOOME! Spratte also REALLLLY likes coffee. And Mountain Dew. And he mourns for the generations that will never fully understand the experience of watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Aaron has a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and likes to spend his free time writing the occasional sad bastard play. Because, like Whedon and Moffet, your tears give him strength.
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