The BBC's Doctor Who has become an unlikely juggernaut of a series, dabbling in so many genres that there’s really something to appeal to everybody so long as they can accept the blue box time machine and regenerating hero known as “the Doctor.” But there is one thing the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, feels the show needs to add: more romance.
Star Peter Capaldi shared his stance on the matter in an interview with the Radio Times Mag:
There should be lots more kissing in Doctor Who. So long as it’s not between the Doctor and Clara.
Peter Capaldi is enthusiastic about his character’s dynamic with Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara, but he remains adamant that their relationship should not stray into romance. The age difference between Capaldi (57) and Coleman (29) is the most significant of any Doctor/companion pairing since the reboot of Doctor Who in 2005. The man behind the twelfth incarnation of the time traveler considers the age issue enough of a reason for the Doctor and Clara to keep their hands (and lips) to themselves, calling a potential romance "creepy."
It would have been completely creepy. It’s fine if you have handsome young men like Matt [Smith] and David Tennant, but as a father I felt it would be inappropriate.
Capaldi’s resistance toward a Twelve/Clara love connection could be a disappointment to certain fans of the show. Doctor Who has set quite a precedent for the Doctor locking lips with his companion at some point during their adventures together. Even Rory Williams got a kiss from a jubilant Eleven.
Nevertheless, the show as helmed by Steven Moffat (who took the reins following the departure of Russell T. Davies after the Season 4 specials) has taken a soft touch toward romance between the Doctor and his regular companions. Christopher Eccleston’s Nine and David Tennant’s Ten both actually fell in love with original Nu Who companion Rose Tyler, and romantic overtones were ever-present throughout Davies’ run. Moffat stuck with the kissing rule for Eleven with Amy, Rory, and Clara, but Twelve and Clara seem to be a line that Doctor Who will not be crossing.
Honestly, Twelve and Clara remaining friends is probably best for everybody. Any viewer who can remember the last time that Nine said “fantastic” to Rose or hear the chords of the haunting song from the finale of Season 2 that scored the traumatically romantic farewell without sniffling may in fact have no heart. Even the love between the companions with Rory and Amy was more tragic than beautiful. Doctor Who does many things right when it comes to producing entertainment for fans of all ages, but romance for the Doctor rarely turns out to be fun in the long run. As Tennant’s Ten once memorably said to Rose,
You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you.
I think Peter Capaldi has the right idea about nixing kissing between Twelve and Clara, and hopefully Doctor Who will continue to focus on what it does best.