Recently around the web, I’ve seen several romantic Doctor Who moments, episodes, and best couples pop up. I didn’t agree with the majority of the list or I at least only agreed with part of it. I just felt like these articles were missing (or purposely skipping) some of the most romantic moments of New Who (sorry no Classic Who in this post) and had to create a list of my own.
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To me, romance can be more than marriage or a couple finally getting together (though these are good too). What about unrequited love or love thwarted by circumstance? What about the small moments that really defines a relationship? While Doctor Who is not technically a romantic show (arguable for the first 2 seasons), there are several romantic moments that truly paint Doctor Who’s writers as romantics. Here are 25 of my favorite Doctor Who romantic moments (sort of as I could just as easily made a list devoted solely to the Doctor and Rose…).
Side note: I apologize to Doctor/Clara shippers, as none of their scenes made the list…
25 Doctor Who Romantic Moments
(In Order They Aired)
#1: The End of the World and Chips
In the final scene of “The End of the World,” the Doctor takes Rose back to 21st century earth after witnessing the earth (in the future) come to an end. With a comparison in mind, the Doctor confesses that his planet is gone, that he is “The Last of the Timelords.” When he tells Rose he has no one else, she kindly tells him that he has her, but does she want to go home? Without an answer, Rose just smells chips. With a quick turn of the conversation, she changes the Doctor’s dark mood into a happy one as the two go on their first date. I loved this small moment because it felt like a beginning.
#2: The Woman You Love
As a Doctor Who newbie, when I first saw “Dalek,” I didn’t even know what a Dalek was. This season 1 episode introduced the Doctor’s main nemeses perfectly. I could feel the danger and the tension between these foes. I began to see darkness in the Doctor, a darkness Rose recognized as well (though I’m not going to talk about ‘that’ other fabulous scene). Time was running out for Rose and Adam as they ran to freedom away from the murderous Dalek. The Doctor needed to lock the Dalek in. They put in the code but it was too late for Rose. She was too slow. The Doctor watches on as he hears the Dalek exterminate Rose. He thinks she’s dead, but then soon after he sees her on the screen.
He has one last chance to save her; even the Dalek pointing out, “What are use of emotions if you will not save the woman you love?” The Doctor agrees, not willing to lose Rose again.
#3: The Doctor Dances
While I thoroughly enjoyed all the Jack/Rose/Doctor flirting throughout the 2-parter, what I loved the most was the build up to the Doctor and Rose’s dance. Earlier, Rose asks the rusty Doctor to dance and show her his moves (after he admitted that people assume he doesn’t “dance”). The metaphor is clear: some fans assume the Doctor is asexual (though considering he was a grandfather from day one…), but this scene tells us straight out he’s not. Plus, he’s really into Rose. Clearly! By the end of the episode, the Doctor is no longer rusty and knows how to dance again. He’s ready to dance with Rose. The smiles on both their faces were just adorable and fun
#4: Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways
For me, you can’t get much more romantic than Bad Wolf. Rose wasn’t willing to let the Doctor die so she looked into the heart of the Tardis and became Bad Wolf, an entity that would do anything to save her Doctor. The look on the Doctor’s face when she returns is priceless. After Rose defeats the Daleks, the Doctor in turn saves her with probably the most romantic kiss of the entire series. It was selfless (Nine had to “die” in the process) and truly revealed the growing love between the two. This scene was just stunning.
#5: The Christmas Invasion and a New Doctor
Who was this strange man taking over my beloved Doctor with a leather jacket? Rose felt the same as me, which I loved in my first transition between Doctors. By the end of the episode, the Doctor had won over both of us. How could anyone not love the 10th Doctor? After finding his new outfit, the Doctor shared a wonderful Christmas dinner with Rose’s family (something Nine would never have done) and then they adorably felt each other out about traveling together again. Once the Doctor realized Rose accepted his new face, the two held hands and looked up at the sky. It became even clearer that Rose would never voluntarily leave the Doctor. Mostly, I just loved the importance of these moments because it gave the Doctor a memory of happiness.
#6: New Earth
New Doctor, new face, and new, new, new, new, and so on earth! While this episode felt like one long romantic comedy (Cassandra hilariously taking over both bodies- including that awesome kiss), I loved the quiet moment between the two at the beginning. I loved seeing them on their “date,” flirting and joking about their first date. To me, this just showed what it was like with these two between adventures.
#8: Girl in the Fireplace
One of the main reasons I decided to check out Doctor Who in the first place was Sophia Myles (Moonlight is one of my other all-time favorite shows). I had heard that she guest starred in an episode similar to the themes of Moonlight. So, I started watching. By the time I got to “The Girl in the Fireplace,” I was such a Rose fan that despite my love for Sophia, I didn’t love this episode. I still don’t feel like the characterization is consistent with the Doctor and Rose, but on re-watch I appreciated the episode more on a metaphorical level.
While most just see the love story between the Doctor and Madame de Pompadour (I personally find it a little creepy and repetitive of Moffat’s later stories- though I do love the scene with the horse), I just see a metaphor for the Doctor and Rose’s relationship. In the prior (and awesome) episode “School Reunion,” the Doctor distances himself from Rose because one day he would lose her. This theme continues in “The Girl in the Fireplace.” It’s tragic that the Doctor only had one day with Madame de Pompadour because their short relationship works as a metaphor for Rose: a lifetime is like one day to the Doctor. Losing Madame de Pompadour foreshadows losing Rose. There is something immensely romantic about that.
#8: The Satan Pit
Sometimes, a romantic moment doesn’t even need to include both characters in the scene. In the history of Doctor Who, one of the most romantic moments was David Tennant’s speech to the “devil” in The Satan Pit. The one thing he believes in, in all the world is Rose. By the time the two reunite with a hug, it was very well deserved. The speech is always worth re-watching.
#9: Pete and Jackie
If I could, I would probably just sit and list several scenes from “Doomsday,” Rose’s final episode as the main companion. The tragedy of their separation (after Rose said she would stay with him forever is heartbreaking). It is more than just the Doctor and Rose that have a romantic moment, however, but Jackie and parallel world Pete do as well. I loved their “reunion,” considering they had both lost their other halves. Together, they could have a second chance. Their run towards each other and hug is wonderful to watch. Love them!
#10: Doomsday Goodbye
With the Doctor and Rose, Rose proves how much she loves the Doctor by not staying in the parallel world with her mother. Still, against her will, she almost falls into the void (the Doctor looking on in terror) when her parallel father saves her and transports her to the parallel universe just in time. With the Doctor and Rose in opposite worlds for what seems like forever, all they can do is feel the loss of each other by standing against a wall in the same exact spot. It was as if they could feel each other’s souls.
Then there was the ending: The Doctor burned up a sun just to say goodbye to Rose. He calls her name in a whisper and she follows him to “Bad Wolf Bay.” They say goodbye (no touch) and Rose tells the Doctor she loves him. Just as the Doctor is about to say it back, he disappears and Rose is gone for what seems for good. It amazes me how many lists didn’t include this moment….I mean, come on! He burned up a sun and almost said “I love you.”
1 thought on “25 Doctor Who Romantic Moments”
Sorry to be commenting on an older post but I found it after reading another article (tor.com) on a similar topic and did a search wanting other opinions. After reading I just have to say I LOVE your list and agree 100%. I think you got all of them. The Doctor and Rose are my favorite together as well so we are on the same wavelength. I like your take on The Girl in The Fireplace particularly. I have always found it tough going though I do recognize the quality of the story. Thanks for the great list!