Doctor Who: Is The Doctor Gay, Straight, Bi or None of the Above?

Categories: Doctor Who

"I took a hot shower. It's like a regular shower, but with me in it."
The BBC recently did a study on the portrayals of LGBT characters in TV, and came to the conclusion that such roles need to be diversified beyond simple "gay" storylines. Much praise went to Doctor Who, which has always been extremely astounding when it comes to treating LGBT characters as, well, characters and not stereotypes. That being said, look for my upcoming article "10 Most Tacky Gay Jokes in Doctor Who."

All kidding aside, you really have to give the show credit for the way it will allow a character of non-hetero persuasion to act normally with that aspect of themselves being simply another trait. The bi or omnisexual Captain Jack Harkness is the best known example, being a lighthearted horn dog, a troubled immortal, and a pragmatic soldier all at the same time. There are plenty of more minor and casual players, like Vastra and Jenny, Lady Cassandra, and the Cassini Sisters, and the fact that they drop in and out of episodes so seamlessly is testament to Doctor Who's status as a bastion for realistic LGBT interactions on television.

It did make me wonder though... how does one classify the sexuality of the Doctor himself?

To make this easier, we'll focus on the three modern Doctors. The first seven displayed almost no interest in romantic relationships with their human companions. Eight did, but there's not really enough examples to pinpoint an examination.


The Ninth Doctor remains among the most troubled of all the Doctors, and is probably a textbook case of PTSD after surviving the Last Great Time War which destroyed the Daleks as well as his own people, the Time Lords... including his last incarnation. I firmly believe that it is this last-of-his-kind status and emotional wounds that led him to form such a deep, and obvious romantic attachment to Rose Tyler.

That The Doctor was in love with her is undeniable, though he rarely expressed it in overt terms. He was the typical angsty college boyfriend in a sense, and had he lived he might have eventually overcome that aspect of himself. As it was, almost the last thing he did before dying was kiss Rose passionately in order to both absorb the Time Vortex to save her life and to say goodbye. It's one of those scenes you just live for if you're a Whovian.

And yet, he was also the most overtly bisexual of the modern three. He was obviously flattered immensely by the immediate attention he received from Captain Jack, and he flirted much more openly with him than he ever did with Rose. He doesn't react with jealousy toward Jack when he works his charms on Rose who reciprocates to the point of dazed infatuation. Instead, he stakes his claim to either of them should he see fit.

I would even go so far as to say that Nine was much more comfortable with Jack in a sexual sense than he seemed to be with Rose. Though he thought nothing of casually touching Rose, there was usually more heat when he interacted with Jack.

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Now that's some quality writing. Did you even open the paper napkin to full size?

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