Mandip Gill seems open to a Yaz/Thirteen relationship on Doctor Who


Many Doctor Who fans saw sparks between the Thirteenth Doctor and her companion Yaz during season 11. Could something really happen there? Should it?

Doctor Who season 11 has a lot to recommend it. The series’ first female Doctor, a trio of new and interesting companions, and a series of standalone adventures that made getting into the show easier than ever.

It also had quite a bit of shipping. (That three companion rotation does work wonders in the potential romance department for those of us who are looking for such things.) While the show itself built in a few adorable moments between companions Ryan and Yaz, who were once primary school mates, many fans were busy seeing sparks fly elsewhere: between Yaz and the Doctor herself.

There have certainly been multiple moments where it seemed as though Yaz might have something like a crush on Thirteen. (It would certainly explain her decision to continue her travel with the Time Lord in the first place, as well as her extreme devotion to the other woman.)

At least it would shed some light on why Yaz was always following the Doctor around seemingly just to ask her questions and stare at her.

Star Mandip Gill is aware of the fans’ fervor for “Thasmin,” but tells Metro that the chemistry between her character and the Doctor was unplanned.

"“I’m aware of it now, but at the time I was filming it, it was never a thing. It must just have been natural chemistry between Jodie and myself.After it came out I was like, ‘Wow I didn’t even think that was a thing.’ I didn’t think it was a thing until I saw people mentioning it online. I think it is just a natural thing that can happen between friends or who knows where it’s gonna go.”"

So, sadly, it sounds like the powers that be haven’t really considered the prospect of a romance between Thirteen and one of her companions in any significant way.

But maybe they should, because the prospect of something more than friendship sparking between Yaz and the Doctor would be intriguing for a number of reasons.

One, Doctor Who has never really featured a primary same-sex couple onscreen, at least not as a main part of the story, and that’s some representation we could surely all get behind. Season 10 companion Bill was openly gay, flirted with women, and went on a date that the Pope interrupted. She even ended her time on the series by running off with Heather, the strange sentient oil from “The Pilot” who sort of took over the body of the girl she’d fancied, to explore the universe.

But their happy ending came abruptly — some might say out of nowhere — and we never really saw them build a real relationship with one another. And yes, yes, I know, we all loved Jenny and Madame Vastra during the Steven Moffat years. Who wouldn’t? But they were secondary characters at best, and one of them looked distinctly alien. That’s quite the same thing at all.

Who fans deserve to see an LGBT relationship that’s every bit as nuanced and emotionally complex as that between as Amy and Rory, Twelve and Clara, or Ten and Rose.

A “Thasmin” story would also solve another problem; namely, that Doctor Who clearly has no idea what to do with Yaz right now. As charming as Gill’s portrayal of the character has been, Yaz had very little to do in season 11. Her character was consistently underwritten, and got to do little besides serve as Thirteen’s sounding board.

Ryan and Graham had a satisfying emotional arc last season, ultimately growing closer and becoming the family that dearly departed Grace would have wanted them to be. (I mean, we all teared up when Ryan finally called Graham “granddad,” yeah?)

However, Yaz had no such preexisting connection with anyone, and spent most of the season hanging around the periphery of things, living on the sideline of other people’s stories. After 10 episodes, we still don’t know much more about Yasmin Khan than we did when the season started. And that’s a shame.

To be clear, Yaz absolutely deserves a story of her own, and one that isn’t tied to her relationship status, whether that’s with Thirteen, Ryan or no one at all. We deserve to know what her favorite food is, and why she wanted to run off and see the universe with a two-hearted alien in the first place. And if they happen to fall in love along the way? That’s icing on the cake.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall has promised a new storyline for Yaz in season 12, after all. (Though you’d be forgiven for pointing out that means any storyline at all…) During a screening of New Year’s special, “Resolution,” earlier this year, Chibnall hinted that we might see Yaz somehow explore or return to her roots as a police officer next year.

Of course, it’s not entirely clear how such a twist could be conducive to any sort of romance, but, hey, this is Doctor Who. Stranger things have happened.

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Doctor Who season 12 is currently filming and isn’t slated to air until sometime in 2020.