I’ve posted a couple of times about companions behaving badly, and today I dug through some ancient Internet history to find a comment I made on the topic over at The Mary Sue. The relevant post quoted original director Waris Hussein’s displeasure with the romantic direction of the show, and asked readers’ opinions.
Here’s the comment in entirety:
I think this is a very interesting question.
Television in general is sexier than it was fifty years ago. There’s no denying that Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is a different animal than any previous actor’s version. The same is true of the more recent Doctors – as early as McGann, I understand, though I haven’t seen the movie. I’m not sure the avuncular Doctor of the sixties and seventies would even play to modern audiences. RTD set out to deliberately create a sexier show than the one he grew up with. I don’t have a problem with this, generally, but I didn’t grow up with the show so I don’t have a background context for it. I do have a background for Sherlock Holmes, though, so I think I can understand classic fans’ feelings a bit.
Personally I don’t like romance; as Kaesa said, there are other stories out there, and romance is done to death on other shows. I do think Rose’s story was handled better than most TV romance, and I also think from a certain POV it was necessary: Rose, the audience surrogate, HAD to fall in love with this new Doctor, as the creators needed the audience to fall in love with him for the show to succeed. Same with the regeneration – the show needed the audience to fall in love again, and so with Rose. That storyline serves its purpose.
By the time Martha came along, that story was done and the show needed to move on. It didn’t, and like Fortyseven said, it’s getting tired.
Again, like Fortyseven said, there’s no reason to think the Doctor couldn’t or wouldn’t love someone. But we forget he isn’t human. Why should a Time Lord suffer the drives of a human male, when he lives ten times as long or longer? No race with that kind of lifespan is going to evolve that kind of sex drive. (Vulcans, anyone? And they only live twice as long as humans.) While a human being could hardly travel in close proximity with a beautiful young person without developing some feelings, there’s no reason to think the same is true of a Time Lord. There is no reason for the Doctor to behave like a man when he isn’t a man at all, young body or no.
Again, I can personally buy his feelings for Rose, given the space he was in at the time story-wise. But now that’s been done, let’s move on to something else.
I still think it’s an interesting question, a choice not everyone is going to agree on, and a matter that has been handled well and also handled badly over the modern run of the series. I think RTD had an obsession with romance, and Moffat is hung up on the battle of the sexes. I think it’s going to be a point of contention forever.
But on the whole I’m glad it happened, because of this:
and also this:
I adore them and I always will. ❤