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Meta: " my crazy old school Doctor is asexual sensibilites go hide under the bed"

Meta: " my crazy old school Doctor is asexual sensibilites go hide under the bed"

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hugh house
I've been talking to joandarck about the chunks of New Who Season Two I've been feeding her. This has led to inadvisable meta.

Now, the subject of this is very simple, is Doctor/Rose real? I argue that it's not, it's an unrequited crush on Rose's part, to quote due South,
"guys like him don't go for girls like you"


We're going to start with The Girl In The Fireplace and the subsequent edition of Doctor Who Confidential. Okay, in this episode, the Doctor has an intellectual and tragic love for Madame de Pompador. He would give up his means of escape and take the "slow road" for her continued safety from the clockwork automata. In the heat of his ardour, he forgets the time difference between France and the Ship and subsequently ends up returning for her funeral after saying he'd only be gone a minute. This is not normal Doctorish behaviour, or at least not the forgetting part.

The Doctor spends a lot of time being at first thrilled by meeting Jeanne and then falling for her (I put "and then" in to avoid the ick of the Doctor falling for a nine year old, but...) and what he cites to Rose is her "intellectual ability", how she can hold her own with any man, how she can manipulate things to going her way. This is not quite Rose, yes, they spark off each other, but Rose needs a lot more intellectual hand holding, and let's face it, she's not learning from her adventures, she still runs of in Rose of The Cybermen despite the fact that she should know from her experience in Father's Day that intervening in her own personal timeline and that of her family is a bad idea. Kindly note that Mickey only does the same once the Doctor has reluctantly given an okay to the already departing Rose.

Ultimately, Mickey is more cautious and perceptive than Rose, and has already caught on that her crush is futile,
"Cleopatra"
"he only mentioned her once"
"but he called her Cleo".
Cleopatra is, of course, another of the notoriously smart women of history. The production team backs this up, they say that Rose isn't the Doctor's type. Though if you believe in this ship you can of course feel free to ignore the production team and pick your own subtext, this is just my reading.

If we go back to 102 "The End Of The World", the Doctor has a love interest again, Jabe the Tree. They flirt intellectually, Jabe tries to find out what the Doctor is and how he continued to survive. Rose finds this conversation boring and more than a little "parents making out" and wanders off, and we all know how well this one goes.

And Jabe dies. Madame de Pompadour dies. Jack dies. (I'm counting Jack because he is flirted with in an ouvertly sexual manner i.e. the beer scene and he is, again, broadly on the Doctor's intellectual level, repairing the TARDIS and rewiring the Cosmic Boogie Board). The Doctor treats them as equals and respects the events that lead to their deaths, the Doctor doesn't try to save them, he respects their decissions, he understands that Jack understands that he is facing certain death on the Space Station. Jack and Jabe play a zero sum game, they realise that if the price is everything they'll still pay it.

And what of Rose? When palpable danger threatens, he removes her from the timeline. She doesn't understand that death in that situation is almost certain. She isn't thinking on the Doctor's level, or rather not in the Doctor's way. Rose is an innocent while the Doctor watched his own people burn alongside the daleks and thought that it was necessary (and the implication is that he brought the events about, a return to the theme of Rememberance of the Daleks in which he destroys the Dalek homeworld without the glimmerings of conscience).

And, if we believe the production team, there was meant to be a reference in The Christmas Invasion, that the newly regenerated 10 had "imprinted" off Rose (it's a nice little argument, it might explain, for instance the relative innocence of 5, surrounded by Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric, at this point still slightly battered innocents) and has acquired her accent, her vocabularly. In this light, the increased flirtatiousness and the irresponcibility visible in Tooth and Claw, could they merely be a responce to what Rose wants? And hence, not really conscious at all?

Footnote: So What About Mickey? I think the Doctor, over the course of the past two series has developed an intellectual respect for Mickey. His explanation of parallel universes in Rise of the Cybermen has proved his intellectual capability, he leads the Doctor, not the other way round. Also, the Doctor is beginning to realise how much his perceptions of Mickey are coloured by what Rose has to say. Between these two points, independance and intellectualism (and also loss and guilt, two emotions I'm pretty certain the Doctor understands with events of the Time War and its causation) lies the reason the Doctor lets Mickey stay.
  • (*whispers* Maybe put this under a cut cos it's quite spoilery?)

    Is Ten really supposed to have imprinted off Rose? That's... a little weird.

    I agree with everything you said. Rose and the Doctor would be sweet, and I don't think it'd put me off the show, but it's not really all that believable. Having said that, it's much more believable with Ten than it ever was with Nine.

    and subsequently ends up returning for her funeral after saying he'd only be gone a minute

    I really didn't understand that. Did he have a momentary loss of all brain power? Even I knew that wasn't going to work and I'm not a super-genius Time Lord.
    • (*whispers* Maybe put this under a cut cos it's quite spoilery?)

      Okay, cut in. This was an expanded responce to something I said to Joan, so I didn't really think. I've been feeding her Season Two.

      Exactly! It's cute, but it's not going to happen. The Doctor is still protective and avuncular even if he's loosened up a bit. And yes, Ten is more believable than Nine. Nine is a man in mourning for the world he's lost, pretty much...

      The imprinting line was meant to be in Xmas Invasion and was then cut for timing. *hits RTD upside the head*

      I think it was momentary loss of brainpower, I think he got swept away on his enthusiasm/adrenaline.
      • So what's your view on the Doctor's response this week to the attack on Rose and their subsequent reunion?
  • Jack dies?! I haven't even seen an episode with him yet and I'm already sad!

    Some other things the Doctor admired about M. Pompadour were her artistic ability (stated), that she was a "FANTASTIC gardener" (stated), and her courage (implied but clear.) Oh and her cleavage (implied but clear.) (Which is interesting because two episodes before he'd been apparently oblivious to Rose having pulled her zipper unusually far down. So the Doctor not noticing women is just an act, apparently.)

    And it's implied that he loved Sarah Jane for being a gutsy, intelligent, curious type, which adds to your argument there.
  • In the heat of his ardour, he forgets the time difference between France and the Ship and subsequently ends up returning for her funeral after saying he'd only be gone a minute.

    Ah, but there is no time difference. Rather, the fireplace mechanism is faulty, and the portal it creates keeps slipping forward a couple of years, a bit like a dodgy brake on a hill. The Doc obviously hoped it would remain stable long enough for him to return for her. He was mistaken.
  • Ooh, interesting. I liked your comparison of Rose and Mickey, you made some points about the Cybermen epis that I hadn't managed to really articulate myself yet. And the idea of the Doctor pulling Rose out of the fight because she doesn't quite get it but Jack does... that was very interesting.

    I don't see Rose/Doctor as a romantic relationship - or, more accurately, I don't see it as a sexual relationship because it does have some romantic elements to it. But I think it generally pings as more familial to me.

    I don't see Ten as asexual though - my personal take on why lots of fans have always said he was asexual is that he just wasn't being played by anyone sexy before! The closest you get is Tom Baker, who might be fabulously mad as a hatter but fanciable? Not really sure about that. And Peter Davison was pretty but kind of bland. And then the last few incarnations - well, Paul McGann may not count but he's a good looking guy, Christopher Eccleston isn't exactly conventional but he is attractive and David Tennant is just lovely.

    Anyway, I like your discussion of who the Doctor falls for and why.
  • I agree with you about Rose, although I think his attitude to sexuality is more 'what happens in ___ stays in ___' in other words no messing with the companions, 'cos he has to put up with them afterwards. Which is remarkably like Jack, when you think about it. And I have a wonderful use for my icon.
  • If you feel like tidying this into a fanzine article, rewriting as required to take into accounts the closing episodes of Season 28, do let know.
    • Yes, I would (I'nm beginning to ideas about how "I'm the robot dog" is actually foreshadowing), so yes, you've got me.
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