Could there be something more brewing between a certain millennia-old Time Lord and his crafty, loyal companion?
It depends on who you ask.
“[Romance is] not what this Doctor’s concerned with,” said current Doctor Peter Capaldi, whose adventures on BBC’s Doctor Who with companion Jenna Coleman will resume for the show reboot’s ninth series this fall. “It’s quite a fun relationship, but no, I did call and say, ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments,’” referencing a set of slightly awkward ‘90s TV spots for the Renault Clio, in which a relationship is implied between an older man and younger woman later revealed as father and daughter. (You can find the ads on YouTube.)
But now one series into Capaldi’s tenure as the popular time-traveller, showrunner Steven Moffat no longer seems to share the Doctor Who star’s sentiment. “Because we’re in a very different place with the Doctor and Clara in the modern series, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the early stages of the Twelfth Doctor trying to pretend he doesn’t fancy Clara,” said Moffat during a BAFTA talk earlier this month. “In truth, I think in most cases with the Doctor his tragedy is he always loves them more than they love him…He’s always besotted with them even though he’s trying to pretend that he isn’t.”
If a Doctor-Clara romance doesn’t come to fruition, perhaps a past fan favorite will get him a little hot under the bowtie.
Said Moffat, “I mentioned in passing to Russell [T. Davies, former Doctor Who showrunner] that we were probably done with River [Song],” the wily archaeologist whose timeline ran reverse to the Eleventh Doctor’s and was the offspring of former companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams. “He said ‘You can’t be done with River! No, no, no. Capaldi and [Alex] Kingston, it’s a sex storm!”
Kingston and Song say her goodbyes to the regenerating Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith in series seven’s finale “The Name of the Doctor,” but with confirmed dead character Osgood is set to return for the ninth series, it just shows, in a television show about time travel, even those long gone may just reappear to make things a little wibbly-wobbly.