Who’s That Girl: Examining the Doctor’s Lovers (Part 2)
Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull concludes his look over the Doctor’s romances.
Welcome back to part two of my mini-series Who’s That Girl: Examining the Doctor’s Lovers. Last night we had a look at some of the classic and new series characters that served as lovers for the Doctor (in some form). Tonight we delve into the same topic from 2007 onwards. I hope you enjoy the concluding chapter of this series and so here we begin at a rather unusual choice:
Queen Elizabeth I of England
This decision will definitely baffle you, largely down to the fact that the Doctor hasn’t actually had more than a minute’s screentime with the Queen. She has appeared in only two stories, The Chase and The Shakespeare Code, the latter of which a relationship was only touched on. This River Song-like connection was once more spoke of in the Tenth Doctor’s final story, The End of Time where the Doctor encounters Ood Sigma. He talked of how he married “Good Queen Bess” and notes that it was a mistake. After Elizabeth’s unusual appearance in The Shakespeare Code it was predicted that a story featuring her from another time period would take place. Nothing like this surfaced and so fans believe that the Queen Elizabeth I plot strand was just inserted as a good-hearted joke and that it wouldn’t be explored further. This actually saddens me as I feel it’d be great to have her back. Fans of Blackadder will agree with me when I say: ‘if she comes back please cast Miranda Richardson’.
In Human Nature, after escaping from the Family by the skin of their teeth, Martha and the Doctor fled to 1913 where the Doctor altered his biology to appear human, so as the villainous Family could not catch them. A now completely human man, he lived an ordinary life teaching young boys at an isolated school in the English countryside and it was there he fell in love with a nurse, Ms. Joan Redfern (Jessica Hynes). Although the Doctor wasn’t himself he still had romantic inclinations for her and the pair began a steady relationship. This was unfortunately cut short by the Family discovering ‘John Smith’s true identity.
The shared time between Smith and Redfern was lovely and because of the non science fiction origins on either part, it felt like they were lovers in a period drama. Viewers could tell though that it wasn’t to be as with most of the Time Lord’s relationships, and Joan rejected his offer to travel with him once he regained his memories.
In The End of Time ‘Joan’ returned in the form of her great-granddaughter Verity Newman, who was penning a book based on Joan’s diaries (again played by Jessica Hynes) and this was a lovely goodbye to the character (although why they didn’t have the Doctor return to 1913 and silently acknowledge Joan… I’ll never know).
Lady Christina de Souza
Another once appearing and rarely remembered companion I choose to showcase, Lady Christina served the position of assistant in the 2009 special, Planet of the Dead. She and the Doctor had more spark than my previous choice, Astrid and as PotD is my favourite special (yes… I am very controversial today) I had to examine Christina. Her job description, adrenaline/thrill-seeking addict-cum-cat burglar wasn’t exactly appropriate for young children to be watching. The grand theft in the episode’s opening posed a glamorised James Bond-esque heist and escape that wasn’t exactly an educational look at breaking-and-entering. Nevertheless, Christina sparked off my excitement and her development was different from the usual paint-by-number one-off companion.
The interesting concept Christina held was the idea of a companion liking the Doctor more than the Doctor likes them in return. Usually the Time Lord spies an everyday man or woman, notices their exceptional personality and invites them to the TARDIS, but instead the thief noticed the Doctor, liked his personality and invited herself to join the TARDIS. It wasn’t entirely this way; the Doctor did of course take a fancy to her just not as much as he did to other special companions such as Donna or Astrid.
Christina was a change from the norm and that really is the main reason why I like her so much. Yes, Michelle Ryan’s acting was rather stiff and Christina’s characterisation: smug and complacent got horribly irksome but the character herself was a conception I much approved of. Another factor I have nearly failed to miss out was the kleptomaniac’s love for the Doctor, something he returned amorously. I think Christina would have ventured on with the Time Lord had he not been so scarred from the abrupt departure’s of previous assistants.
Amelia “Amy” Pond.
The first face the Eleventh Doctor’s gleaming eyes fell on was none other than seven year-old Amelia Pond. She was an odd little girl and that was probably one of the reasons why the Doctor took such an interest in her. Rather than doing what would be called normal and to telephone the authorities when a strange man falls from the sky in a blazing police box, the youngster invited him in for his staple dish, fish fingers and custard. An imaginative and creative child she prayed for help to arrive and sort out the mysterious crack in her bedroom wall. The Doctor arrived and she took an instant fancy to this intriguing and all together different man.
Twelve years later a very late Doctor arrives after realizing the Earth is in grave danger and accompanies a nineteen year-old Amy to the local hospital where they meet the Atraxi. With the world saved by the end of the episode, Amy joins the Time Lord on his travels and soon they become best friends. There is next to no spark up until the Weeping Angel two-parter (largely down to the Doctor showing Amy the marvels of time-travelling) when Amy attempts to seduce the Doctor in her bedroom.
As the series progressed Amelia grew slowly more and selfish butting out her fiancé Rory, and releasing sexual pheromones towards the Doctor daily. When Rory joined the official crew in Series Six, Amy finally acknowledged that he was the person she was with and so stopped the coquetting with the Doctor. By her departure she and the Doctor were solely friends and to this day were absolutely wonderful:
…Amelia Pond and her raggedy Doctor…
Professor/Doctor River Song
Technically the Doctor’s official wife, River Song was a mystery, strewn across time and ever the more flirty. As of the Series Six finale she and the Doctor are married and still going strong (even though the enigmatic professor only crops up occasionally) with their dialogue replaced with pure banter.
River Song is a wonderful creation and Steven Moffat’s decision to introduce her mid-Series Four was a stroke of genius – now he had a headstart on being showrunner. She and the Tenth Doctor at ‘first’ meeting bounced off each other nicely, but it was when River encountered the latest incarnation of the Time Lord did the trifling kick in.
Matt Smith and Alex Kingston clearly have a lot of fun filming the River/Doctor scenes and when the Doctor calls her “dear” it always makes me cringe. The Doctor and River are just too great together for her to leave, although one day she has to, as seen in Forest of the Dead. River may be one big walking innuendo/continuity-wrecker but she is lovable and funny – personally I want the pair to stay married for a very long time.
Moffat wowed audiences in the Series Seven opener, Asylum of the Daleks by introducing us to the new companion earlier than planned. Jenna-Louise Coleman burst onto our screens as the hilarious and extremely flirtatious (the only person she didn’t flirt with was the Dalek Prime Minister!) Oswin Oswald and soon the internet was freezing up with the amount of rumours going around. How on Earth could Oswin return after dying?
She and the Doctor as Amy did started off with nicknames. The latter called the Time Lord “her raggedy Doctor” whilst Oswin went for the slightly more annoying “chin boy” – the Doctor called the entertainment manager “soufflé girl” in return. The Doctor fell in love with Oswin’s voice and ventured through the Asylum to find the physical girl. He was sadly disappointed when it was revealed that Oswin had been a Dalek the whole time. Viewers thought this would be the last of the flirt but she returned in her proper debut, The Snowmen.
The dialogue of 2012’s Christmas Special was wonderfully penned (a Moffat masterpiece) and provided the viewers with a festive feast-for-the-eyes. One of the centrepieces was of course the new companion; Clara Oswin Oswald (fans were still contemplating how Oswin became Clara or vice versa) whom burst (again!) onto screens and once more wowed us. Her demise at the end of The Snowmen was horribly tragic but knowing the Moff, she’ll be back when the series starts back up in March.
So far the rapport between the pair has been strictly on the kittenish basis but hopefully during the remainder of Series Seven it will become something of more substance.
After two whole articles we have come to an end dear readers. I have drawn out a long list of the Doctor’s most prominent lovers and noted down my opinions and the said character’s influence on the Doctor. I hope I have succeeded in my task and if I haven’t please state this in the comments.
If you really don’t agree just say so. If you really do agree, I’d love to hear it. Whatever your opinions are on any of the previously mentioned women, just state them below. Thanks for bearing with me over the past couple of days, adieu.