During the classic era of Doctor Who (1963-1989), the Doctor wasn’t one for hooking up with the ladies. It wasn’t until the 1996 TV movie that he kissed someone on-screen for the first time. With the 2005 relaunch, however, the Time Lord adventurer has had a few romantic partners over the years, like Rose Tyler and River Song. It was one of the Doctor’s lesser love interests that recently prompted a spirited debate between current showrunner Steven Moffat and his predecessor Russell T. Davies, namely whether his marriage to a certain queen was actually legitimate.
The humorous back-and-forth began when a fan asked Moffat in Doctor Who Magazine #482 (via the Radio Times) how valid The Doctor’s marriages were to Marilyn Monroe, River Song and Queen Elizabeth I. Concerning Elizabeth, Mofatt stated that although they got married in “The Day of the Doctor,” it wasn’t the real deal because it wasn’t consummated. This prompted Davies to come back with this.
His marriage to Queen Elizabeth the First was unconsummated? But, but, but… in The End of Time Part One, the Tenth Doctor arrives on the Ood-Sphere to greet his old friend Ood Sigma with the words, “Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess. And let me tell you, her nickname is no longer… ahem.” So, what does that mean, boss? What can it possibly mean?? Steven, what does it MEAN???
Not one to sit back and let his words get twisted, Moffat responded.
Okay, the facts. I said the marriage was unconsummated – and so it was. You saw for yourself in The Day of the Doctor – he ran straight off after the ceremony. Would we have put that on television if it wasn’t true? But I never said – not once, not ever – that the relationship was unconsummated!
Obviously this was just fun bantering between the two writers, but given how the 50th anniversary special rushed over their relationship, it was good to get some clarification.
For those that need a refresher, after marrying Elizabeth, the Tenth Doctor ran off to assist the War Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald to stop the shape-shifting Zygons in the 21st century. Although he told Elizabeth he’d be “right back,” evidently the Doctor didn’t follow through, prompting a bitter Elizabeth to declare him her “sworn enemy” when she spotted a younger version of him in “The Shakespeare Code.” Considering that he originally suspected Elizabeth to be a Zygon, that just shows his dedication on how far he was willing to go to expose her as an alien. If sleeping with her got the job done, so be it, and history be damned!
Elizabeth is just one of the many women in the modern Doctor Who era that have had feelings for the Doctor, and while Ten and Eleven occasionally reciprocated such feelings, it was stated during the filming of Season 8 that the Twelfth Doctor wouldn’t be flirting with any of his companions. Though that’s not to say he won’t find someone else who strikes his fancy in a future season.
Filming on Doctor Who Series 9 began in January, and it's scheduled to air in late 2015.