Former Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has opened up about a potentially controversial choice made in the finale of the Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan’s storyline.
Unrequited Love vs. Romantic Moment
Fans of the long-running sci-fi series eagerly anticipated a romantic moment between the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companion Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill). However, the much-anticipated kiss never materialised, despite the characters’ apparent romantic interest in each other.
In an interview with RadioTimes, Chris Chibnall revealed that the idea of a romantic moment had indeed been considered by the writing team. However, they ultimately decided that the narrative would be better served by maintaining the relationship as unrequited love.
“We deliberated on it. I perceive it as an unreciprocated love tale—I’m uncertain if that was the correct choice,” Chibnall articulated. “I found it to be more emotionally poignant. It wasn’t a matter of them being prohibited from sharing a kiss, or any certainty that it wouldn’t occur.”
“In terms of drama and emotion, it felt marginally more heartbreaking if they abstained. Moreover, I believe that had they kissed, it would have altered the essence of the final scene atop the TARDIS, as that scene inherently embodied the essence of a kiss.”
Chibnall acknowledged the tightrope they had to walk, given that the possibility of a romantic moment between the characters loomed. He further remarked, “Handling this situation was a highly nuanced challenge because it could have unfolded differently. And who’s to say that it didn’t, in some unspoken way? But our choice not to pursue it was never driven by anything other than our concern for the emotional impact it might have had, leaving the question of whether they’d ever reach that point unresolved.”
What’s Next for Doctor Who?
While the Thirteenth Doctor’s journey may have concluded, Doctor Who is far from over. The BBC show is set to return later this year with a series of 60th-anniversary specials, featuring the return of fan-favorite Doctor David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Ncuti Gatwa and Yasmin Finney will also make their debuts as The Doctor and Rose Noble, respectively.
Yasmin Finney provided a sneak peek into what awaits fans in the upcoming series, stating, “In this series, certain moments left me genuinely unnerved. It sent shivers down my spine. However, I must refrain from revealing too many details. What I can disclose is that it will be an amalgamation of thrilling scares, hearty laughter, and the complete spectrum in between.”
Doctor Who is poised for its comeback in 2023, gracing the screens of BBC One in the UK, and making its presence felt on Disney+ across other regions. Meanwhile, in the United States, viewers can catch the show on BBC America, with the added bonus of having access to series 1–12 on Max.