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heyjames4 said on May 7th, 2010 at 7:23 am

thank you for articulating that

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mygif

I’m barely even a casual Doctor Who watcher, so I’m probably missing the point or bringing up something that has been refuted by Episode Whatever, but I thought that at least part of the reason that the Doctor didn’t have relationships with any of his companions was that he wasn’t, well, human. Am I wrong here? Have I misunderstood something?

Also I would have thought that a healthy dose of Immortality Angst combined with Time Traveller’s Angst can only have exacerbated matters.

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Josh R said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:04 am

Very good take on the issue, thank you.

Admittedly I haven’t followed all the arguments about the subject over the years (decades!) but has anyone brought up the thought that Time Lords might just have a very low sex drive? After all, if your race can regenerate from severe injuries and lives 900 years or more, you’ve either got some natural or artificial cap on your population, or you’re pretty much out-populating everybody else in the universe. The Time Lords seem to be confined to one planet, so that strongly implies that they have some pretty strong controls on their population. Either a naturally weak sex drive, or an artificially induced low drive would be one way of doing that.

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Stressfactor said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:19 am

@Phil

U think the ‘alien’ nature of the Doctor and his age and longevity have played a role in the past and seem to be playing a role again here.

After all, the scripts keep pointing up the fact that the Doctor is an alien and one of the protests the Doctor offers to Amy (delivered with a really perfect squeaky indignation by Matt Smith) is “You’re human!”

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Drekal said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:19 am

Hm. Well, it’s tricky to answer that one, mygif. How Time Lords reproduce is never brought up onscreen – though in the novels it is mentioned, those are of questionable canonicity.

Anyway, speaking as someone that recently sat through the entirety of season one of the show… I didn’t like Susan very much. See, while I like the idea of the character existing, somewhere in the background canon of the show… the way she was written was so whiny and useless that I was glad she left in Dalek Invasion of Earth.

In any case. I’m not entirely happy that they’re doing this dance again, but at least it’s not being wrapped around sappy angst this time.

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Drekal said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:19 am

Hm. Well, it’s tricky to answer that one, Josh R. How Time Lords reproduce is never brought up onscreen – though in the novels it is mentioned, those are of questionable canonicity.

Anyway, speaking as someone that recently sat through the entirety of season one of the show… I didn’t like Susan very much. See, while I like the idea of the character existing, somewhere in the background canon of the show… the way she was written was so whiny and useless that I was glad she left in Dalek Invasion of Earth.

In any case. I’m not entirely happy that they’re doing this dance again, but at least it’s not being wrapped around sappy angst this time.

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Drekal said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:21 am

Uh, sorry about that. Could someone remove the first comment(and possibly this one as well)? I’m still a bit zonked from watching the election results coming in last night… so I’m not exactly at my best.

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Re: Josh R

I didn’t mention it in the post, because it’s kind of out of the “For Semi-Crazed Fans Only” section of the Doctor Who playbook, but…yes, that’s part of it too. According to the books, back in the Ancient Past of Gallifrey, the founders of the Time Lords banished the superstitions of the priesthood of Gallifrey, the Pythia, out of Time Lord society and into the universe. In retaliation, she used her telepathic powers to curse the entire Time Lord race to sterility.

Rassilon, one of the founders (and, it’s hinted, the one who bumped off the others and hence got to write the history books to make himself sound good) saved the species by inventing artificial reproduction devices called Looms. (They “wove” Gallifreyan DNA out of a giant race bank containing the entire Time Lord genome, thus simulating the genetic shuffling of actual sex.) So according to the books, Time Lords don’t have sex, and haven’t in millions of years. Amusingly, several books have implied that they don’t even know how; supposedly, the Pythia’s telepathic curse involved erasing the knowledge of how to have sex from the Time Lords’ minds.

(You can do a Google search for “Lungbarrow” if you want; it should turn up a free ebook available on the BBC’s website, which contains a lot of the backstory about Looms and the Pythia’s curse and where Susan came from and all that.)

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Doctor Hal said on May 7th, 2010 at 9:10 am

http://mimi-na.deviantart.com/art/Doctor-s-Girls-46247500

You all might like this. Sadly something compelled the artist to slam on watermarks to it.

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Stressfactor said on May 7th, 2010 at 9:39 am

Re: Drekal

I don’t mind if they’re going the “Susan” route again because at least the characters aren’t the same this time around. There’s a nice little tweak of the idea that the Doctor looks only a few years older than Amy and yet he plays father-figure, it’s fun dichotomy. Then there’s the undertone of the fact that Amy doesn’t necessarily want to be ‘fathered’ — something that none of the other companions ever seemed to strenuously object to. And then you add on top of all of that the fact that Amy is anywhere from slightly to majorly unhinged and it adds just enough spice to the old game play to keep things interesting.

By the same token, “Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone” were yet another classic ‘Base Under Seige’ storyline but it still managed to keep things interesting and add some new thrills to the old formula.

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mygif

Even Doctor Hartnell showed romantic interest in mature women, as in _The Aztecs_. Even Doctor Baker I showed no such interest in the (in some ways) childlike but sexy Leela. You may be on to something.

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mygif

Well said.

Some of the more crazed ‘Nu Series’ cheerleaders like to shout “Prude!” whenever we roll our eyes at any romantic subtext that rears its head in the show. Thanks for articulating what most of us are really thinking.

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scarecrowprophet said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:11 am

This kerfuffle about the Amy Pond “seduction” seems to be to missing the point quite badly, because it’s not really a storyline about the Doctor: like many of the best DW storylines it’s about the people he meets and what impact he and the danger and excitement he brings with him has on their lives.

Amy met the Doctor when she was a little girl with a big imagination, and he left a huge mark (see the biting therapists etc): then, in Flesh and Stone, she went through something deeply traumatic, and like most trauma victims reacted by becoming rather unstable, in this case by trying to get it on with the Doctor. His saying no is more out of concern for her than some bizarre “I don’t reproduce like you Earthlings” thing. No?

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Katzedecimal said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:39 am

The fact that the Doctor is not human has long been at the forefront of my thoughts in these matters. It’s entirely possible that the Doctor finds interspecies sex to be a bit squicky, along the lines of bestiality. With Martha Jones’ observation “I make us [the human companions] sound like stray dogs… maybe we are,” echoing in my head, I laughed hysterically at Amy’s pouncing His Nibbs, it seemed for all the world like a dog trying hump its master’s leg!

This does call into question the scene in “The Girl in the Fireplace,” but as previously noted about Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, David Tennant and Sophia Myles were “dancing” off-stage as well.

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mygif

Any time a series has a chance to stick it to the purists without wrecking the plot, I say go for it.
On the subject of bumping Timelord uglies, I always thought that the Doctor, being a somewhat aristocratic Timelord, would look down upon mating with a human as a human would typically look down upon bestiality.

But in his years after the Time War, being alone would have to get to him eventually, but even so it would have to take a singularly spectacular human female to make him want to spread his seed. I had no problem with them defining that woman as Rose Tyler.

Personally, I would have shagged Martha Jones rotten.

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equinox216 said on May 7th, 2010 at 11:08 am

I think the real story here is “Dr. Who banged your great-grandmother, your grandmother, your mother… and now he’s here for you.” I mean, who needs granddaughter SURROGATES when you’re a time traveler?

Or, more magnificently, he’s got the Nuclear Option in any conversation ever.
“Oh, really? That’s what your mother said last night.”
“But she’s been dead for 20 years!”
“What? Let me check my watch… oh, sorry. That’s what your mother said last night in 1975.”

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mygif

I think the important thing we’ve overlooking is what was K9 doing between episodes and with whom?

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mygif

I think in this series, Amy actually IS a child who has been super-aged 14 years (along with her surroundings) within the space of 5 minutes.

But, yes, there’s been a lot more parent-child Doctor-assistant relationship in the past few episodes, from the new TARDIS looking like an extremely fun museum to the ‘Imaginary Friend’ angle to the Doctor’s need to embrace Amy only in a friendly way (unlike the full-on Frenching done by Nine and Ten).

Additionally, after reading someone on Bleeding Cool remarking that this is a very ‘Fairy Tale’-themed series as Moffat tells it, I’d say that in this case the Doctor is more like a querky Fairy Godfather. There’s also the ‘imaginary friend’, the lovely forest setting from Flesh & Stone, the very J.M. Barrie idea of the Doctor stealing Amy away while she’s in her nightie, the ‘Pandorica’ ala Pandora’s Box…

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Mary Warner said on May 7th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Did Drekel really sit through the entirety of Season One recently? I thought it no longer existed.

I was wondering if the Doctor got it on with Captain Jack. Everyone else has.

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Recently, I finally got to watch “The Five Doctors” for the first time, and I thought it was implied that Hartnell’s/Hurndall’s Doctor was indeed *the* first.

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NCallahan said on May 7th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I definitely side with the idea that the Doctor just likes a more mature woman. I mean, it’s pretty obvious why he’s going to hook up with River Song at some point — because their timelines are intersecting backwards, they’re perpetually each other’s “older” lover. And frankly, I thought Ten had way more chemistry with Donna than he ever did with Rose.

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Ambrael said on May 7th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

If I understand correctly, the actual motivation itself is subject to change between regenerations. I recall watching when one version of the Doctor had a Tardis he couldn’t control because the previous Doctor had set it to a random autopilot, and the current version simply didn’t have the skill set to turn it off. If the Doctor is that fundamentally different in his mind from one regeneration to the next, his take on interracial romance could shift just as drastically.

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gustopher said on May 7th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

As we learned in the TV movie, the Doctor is part human (on his mother’s side, if I recall), so his objection of “But, you’re human!” is likely feigned.

And, yes, the TV movie is in continuity, as they show the 8th Doctor every time they do a montage of all the previous Doctors.

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Lister Sage said on May 7th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Ambrael: What? You must me remembering something wrong because I do not recall that. The only time the Doctor used a randomizer was after the Black Guardian swore vengeance at the end of the Key to Time saga. And the fourth Doctor himself turned that off because he got tired of it. Any other time the TARDIS just arrived somewhere it was a TARDIS malfunction or dumb luck.

gustopher: You’ll never get anyone to buy that argument. Yes, the TV movie is canon, but writers have tended to go out of there why to either ignore it or write it out.

John Seavey: Love the idea that the Doctor is still trying to replace Susan even after all this time. It seems kind of fitting. Though I don’t buy that every companion is running away from something. What was Sara Jane running from? Or Polly? And while Victoria and Nessa were orphans I wouldn’t say they were running from anything. I’m one of the “No sex in the TARDIS” people myself. If for no other reason then its refreshing to see the hero of a story not have to deal with the “Should I have it off with my sidekick” subplot. Then again people have been trying to prove how Batman and Robin have been in a sexual relationship for even longer. Doctor Who is about exciting travels in time and space, not angsting over some woman you spend time with or nailing every alien species you encounter. That shits for Firefly and Star Trek (and some of Torchwood, but I think Jack is supposed to be a satire of Kirk). Fucking fangirls.

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mygif

As to the “fucking fangirls”…let’s just say that my girlfriend was bolt upright in her seat at the end of “Flesh and Stone”, absolutely begging the writers not to insert yet another fucking companion with a crush on the Doctor. ‘Shippers know no gender boundaries, even if they are all teenage girls at heart. :)

Victoria and Nyssa were both running from the trauma of everyone they knew and loved dying (on a global scale in the case of Nyssa.) Polly was running from the same thing Amy’s running from now, a life that seems a little too much like it wasn’t her idea (she’s not actually getting married, but the symbolism of a rich young woman going off for a fling with a sailor is not exactly subtle.) And Sarah Jane…

There’s a reason Sarah Jane worked as the “ex” in ‘School Reunion’, and it’s because she was a rare companion who was like Rose. She was in it for the thrill like the Doctor, the closest thing he had to a romantic interest among his companions save Romana, and very much an exception to the paternalism of the Doctor’s relationships with his female companions. (Tegan was too, a bit, but he clearly hated Tegan and only let her stay on the TARDIS because she and Nyssa were lovers. …what? Is it only the Doctor who gets a made-up sexual subtext? :) )

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SomeGuy said on May 7th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

John: But Tegan stayed on for like another year after Nyssa got space plague and decided to be the pilot of the plague ship she got it on.

Why did 5 keep Tegan around when it was the two of them and Turlough?

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Gorillamist said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Stig: “I think in this series, Amy actually IS a child who has been super-aged 14 years (along with her surroundings) within the space of 5 minutes.”

You might be on to something there, as her fiance’s hospital ID was issued in 1990, yet he’s the same age as Amy and it’s the year 2010. That crack in the wall has messed up time much more than we’ve seen.

As far as the Doctor goes, I think it’s mostly an age thing. He’s 900, she’s 19 and he’ll be alive long after she’s died of old age.

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mygif

The Doctor was totally shagging Romana II. I claim it as canon. And I’m not entirely sure about the Doctor and Liz Shaw. But aside from that, not much time and relative dimensions in sex, I bet. He may have had a crush on Jo Grant, and Sarah Jane totally had a crush on him, but she played it cool, and he’s an idiot, so it never went anywhere.

As for Amy, she doesn’t appear to be in true wuv with the Doctor, she just wants to sonic his screwdriver, and you might too, if you were a Scottish girl who’d almost been eaten by living statues.

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mygif

I always swore, and I still do, there was something going on between Doctor No. 5 and Tegan…

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mygif

I just want an answer to The Romana Question — she wasn’t in this universe when last seen in strong-canon, so she is a perfectly acceptable survivor of the time war.

But then, I just like Romana.

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Mary Warner said on May 8th, 2010 at 1:17 am

I assume the Doctor kept Tegan around after Nyssa left because otherwise he would’ve been stuck with only Turlough, and Turlough was very annoying. With Tegan around he could pair them off and go spend some time alone. (But I suppose the bigger question from that period is why did they leave that Kameleon robot– I can’t remember the exact spelling– sitting in a storeroom for several months? It’s like they completely forgot they had him.)

And BSD, you’re right!!! Romana was left behind in N-Space, so she must’ve survived. Yes!!!!

And everybody likes Romana.

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mygif

Unless time lords possess some totally different sense then humans (probable, I’ve just started watching since #9)
then why wouldn’t they consider humans possible mates? They look exactly the same as a time lord, they are able to converse – not quite the same thing as bestiality.

A propos #9, there were several parts where he had strong sexual attraction for non-human women. The implication to me was that he did not find species boundaries to be that important.

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mygif

I think you could make a case that Rose was running away, from her boring life and lukewarm relationship. I’ll admit upfront that that’s not exactly the most powerful way to serve the metaphor, but it’s still there.

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Piranhtachew said on May 8th, 2010 at 5:48 am

So was Susan a Time Lord or not?

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mygif

The one thing about the Eleventh Hour that I really liked, and was something of a fridge moment for me, was that the Doctor doesn’t treat child Amy really any different from grown-up Amy. To him, they’re both children. And so are most of the people he meets, at least those under about 500 years old.

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mygif

It’s a very interesting theory and one that makes a lot of sense in many ways. Romana and Rose certainly prove the exceptions, from what I can tell, but it’s solid on the whole. Mind you, I’ve only been watching since the reboot but it seems sound (and my favorite companion was brassy, bossy Donna, who had zero romantic interest in The Doctor).

In any case, your post makes me want to rewatch S4’s “The Doctor’s Daughter” very carefully and see how it reflects upon your theory.

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mygif

A: So many cooks have been in this kitchen, I just think it’s silly to try and string together some over-arching theory.

B: What I think people fail to consider is this: The Doctor is a 900+ *alien* that has watched the universe start and end, and most of everything in between. The best episodes are the ones pointing this out – the way his mind works and what goes through it are completely beyond our understanding. I think that’s the key to why he doesn’t bone every passing female (other than the fact most human guys don’t actually try to fuck all their female friends): The thought probably just doesn’t occur to him.

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mygif

I wouldn’t. say that it’s the equivalent of Bestiality. It’s more like in the last book of Gulliver’s Travels, when he’s taking a bath and a maddened Yahoo woman jumps on him; he knows she’s a human being, and a woman, but she is in such a primitive state of mind that doing it with her would be merely LIKE having sex with an animal.

Which, admittedly, is even worse.

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mygif

Mainly because Lalla Ward and Tom Baker pretty much were blatantly shagging each other off-screen. But now is not the time to delve into the vast store of gossip about who was having sex with who on the set.

That’s not exactly illicit, people; they were married for the last couple years of her run on the show.

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mygif

Months, not years. They were married in December of 1980, and Baker’s final appearance (in ‘Logopolis’) was in March of 1981.

But I agree, that’s not big-time gossip. Big-time gossip would be repeating Janet Fielding’s classic quote about Peter Davison, or telling the real reason Katy Manning left the show. :)

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Laridian said on May 9th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

@Mary Warner: I remember reading something written in the 1980s – I forget his name, but he was the guy running the show at that time, I think a lot of fans hated him – but anyway, he stated the Kamelion robot just didn’t work. It was a very cool idea, but the tech at the time wasn’t good enough. Apparently the voice had to be on a recording, and they could never sync it up properly so that the robot would talk at the right times. I believe they also had trouble making it move. So they had to shelve it.

It’s entirely possible they could revisit the idea at this time, and make it work.

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mygif

About Kamelion, I believe the commonly told story is that his inventor (the guy who built the machine in real life, not anyone in the Whoniverse) died shortly after Kamelion was introduced, and it was pretty hard to figure out how to make the prop work at all reliably afterwards.

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mygif

“I recall watching when one version of the Doctor had a Tardis he couldn’t control because the previous Doctor had set it to a random autopilot, and the current version simply didn’t have the skill set to turn it off.”

This never happened.

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Candlejack said on May 10th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I also remember an uncontrolled Tardis. I think I assumed it was broken. But I can hardly claim any kind of expertise, since I watched one season, on a very fuzzy PBS station, back before Fox gave us a fifth (and even fuzzier) station.

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@Lister Sage:

My mistake. I remember now, that came from some off brand RPG supplement in the eighties.

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mygif

Feels stupid to be doing this, but here I am, popping in from the future to say that Moffat seems to be coming from the same angle.

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