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Former Doctor Who Showrunner On Why Thirteen & Yaz Never Kiss

by AcklinEHuey


  • Former Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall explains why the Doctor and Yaz never kissed despite their feelings; it was a conscious decision to make it an unrequited love story for more emotional impact.
  • Chibnall admits that he may have made a different decision in hindsight, but felt that not having a kiss made their relationship more heartbreaking.
  • The Doctor and Yaz’s romance in Doctor Who left some viewers dissatisfied with the lack of LGBTQ+ representation, but there is hope for future LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the show with the introduction of the Fifteenth Doctor.

Former Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall explains why the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodi Whittaker) and Yasmin “Yaz” Khan (Mandip Gill) never kissed despite their mutual feelings. Chibnall served as showrunner for the long-running sci-fi show for five years, helming Whittaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor. Whittaker made history as the first female Doctor and the first iteration of the character to come close to having a same-sex relationship with her companion. The Doctor and Yaz clearly had feelings for one another, but their relationship never culminated in a kiss, making some disappointed in the abrupt end of the LGBTQ+ romance.

On the WHO Corner to Corner podcast, Chibnall opened up about why the Doctor and Yaz never kissed. Chibnall admitted that there was some thought about whether their romance would include a kiss. However, Doctor Who ultimately decided to make it an unrequited love story simply because it was more emotional and heartbreaking. Check out his statement below:

I mean, we discussed it [Yaz and the Doctor kissing]; I think it’s an unrequited love story. I don’t know whether that’s the right decision, you know, but it is an unrequited love story. I felt it was more heartbreaking if they didn’t. If I had to make the decision again, I might make it differently; I don’t know. I can see—it was a really 50/50 one. It wasn’t like, there wasn’t any sense of, ‘Oh, they’re not allowed to kiss’ or ‘they’re not going to kiss,’ it was just, like, dramatically, emotionally slightly more wrenching if they don’t. And also, I think if they kiss, you don’t get the final scene on top of the TARDIS. Because that scene was always sort of the kiss really, that’s the thing because it’s unconsummated, it’s pain and joy, and if they had a kiss, I think it’s, I don’t know, it changes it slightly. It’s a really delicate kind of pressure because it could’ve happened, and who said it didn’t happen at some point? But it wasn’t any sort of conscious decision not to have it for anything other than is it going to break your heart if they never quite get there? It’s unspoken the feelings that they have for each other, as much as they’ve been declared, there’s also a depth in that final scene.

The Thirteenth Doctor’s & Yaz’s Romance Explained

While Chibnall explained the thought process behind the missing kiss, he mentioned that perhaps it wasn’t the right choice. For some, how the romance ultimately played out felt a little dissatisfying for Doctor Who‘s hoped-for LGBTQ+ relationship. Over the years, the show has evolved in its queer representation, but perhaps not to the extent that some viewers desired. With Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor confirmed to be gay, though, there’s hope that the next era of Doctor Who will be more openly LGBTQ+ friendly. However, it may make audiences wistful of what might have been with the Doctor and Yaz.

Throughout their run together, Yaz and the Doctor always displayed a special bond, and Yaz always had an unwavering faith in the Doctor. By Doctor Who season 13, there were more prominent hints at a romantic relationship between the two. Yaz also displays a longing for the Doctor, and their reunion is filled with romantic undertones. This was Whittaker’s last season, so one would’ve thought the relationship might have taken off more. However, Doctor Who waits until the Doctor’s final three specials to have Yaz verbally confirm her love.

In the “Legend of the Sea Devils,” the Doctor insinuates she has feelings for Yaz, too, and that if she could date anyone, it would be Yaz. Sadly, she also concedes that time always runs out and relationships between Time Lords and mortals will only result in hurt. It’s an understandable statement, given who the Doctor is, but their romance essentially ends here. The last episode, “The Power of the Doctor,” gives them one last quiet moment together but doesn’t delve deeper into their relationship. Doctor Who‘s ending for the Doctor and Yaz was heartbreaking but raises the question of whether a tiny bit of happiness could’ve been worked in.

Source: WHO Corner to Corner

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