all the best couples on doctor who
(BBC, our edits)

These Complaints About the Doctor’s Sexuality Reek of Homophobia

Well it seems like the homophobes have decided the Doctor and the Rogue kissing on Doctor Who is out of character because … the Doctor isn’t sexual? Weird! Pretty sure that man has kids and multiple wives and we’ve watched him kiss plenty of women before!

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These comments rubbed me the wrong way for a number of reasons—mainly because it comes across as homophobic to suddenly act like the Doctor is not a sexual being who romances people when the River Song storyline exists in modern stories. Sure, characters like Martha Jones and Yasmin Khan were both people with crushes on the Doctor, and those situations may not have ended as romantically as they (or fans) would have hoped, but other couples have worked out on the show, so to say that the Doctor is not a “sexual” being is just plain wrong.

The argument went from being just against the Doctor and the Rogue and grew into this idea that the Doctor needed to stop being a sexual being in New Who, which is hilarious given the fact that William Hartnell’s Doctor (the first Doctor ever) traveled with his granddaughter. Meaning he … had been in love in the past at least!

It just seems like people who don’t actually care about the show and the past romantic relationships of the Doctor suddenly had an issue with the Doctor kissing the Rogue, a man, in a recent episode. So, as a way of pushing back against the homophobic rhetoric being spouted online as “facts” about the show, I am going to celebrate my favorite romantic ships of the “new” Who era. Sorry … I do not ship the Doctor and River Song, though there’s that one, too. (And no, I’m not saying these ships are necessarily canon, but one of them very much is, and that’s proof enough right there!)

The Doctor and Rose

The Doctor and Rose looking at each other getting ready to say goodbye
(BBC)

From the start of Doctor Who’s return in 2005 (I am not getting into the Romana and the Doctor of it all), it was all about Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and the Doctor. She first met Nine (Christopher Eccleston), and there was something between them, but it was her deep love of Ten (David Tennant) that cemented Rose and the Doctor as one of the more beautiful love stories on the series.

Rose Tyler ended up with a human-esque version of her Doctor, but there’s always going to be a love for Rose with the actual version of the Doctor, and it alters how he lives his life going forward.

The Doctor and Amy Pond

The Doctor and Amy sitting back to back on Doctor Who
(BBC)

I am aware that I am in the minority with my love of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her Raggedy Man (Matt Smith), as many fans love Amy and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). But for me, Amy and the Doctor made a great couple. I found it a magical idea of a relationship, and even though it didn’t work out, there was still a deep love between the two throughout their time on the show together.

Amy being the first and last face that that face saw? It makes me cry all the time.

The Doctor and Clara

the doctor and clara sitting side by side and looking at each other
(BBC)

When the Doctor told Clara that he wasn’t her boyfriend and said that the statement wasn’t for her but a reminder for himself? I became fully invested. Starting with Matt Smith’s Doctor and heading into Peter Calpaldi’s run, the Doctor and Clara had a relationship that spanned time as she fragmented herself to save the Doctor time and time again.

But the Doctor having to remind himself that Clara wasn’t his girlfriend was a moment that really had my heart.

The Doctor and the Rogue

the doctor looking at the rogue on a balcony in doctor who
(Disney+/BBC)

What I love about the Rogue (Jonathan Groff) and the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) is that they’re flirting with each other as sort of equals. The Doctor isn’t doing the whisking away this time around and telling someone to “run” with him. Instead, the Rogue is doing it and romancing the Doctor in the process.

Sharing a kiss before the Rogue leaves, telling the Doctor they will see each other again? That’s romance, and I can’t wait to see more of them.

The point is: The Doctor has always had romance and has always been a sexual being. Your anger over him kissing the Rogue just comes across as homophobic.


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Image of Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.