Why the Ending of Doctor Who Season 1 Was Slightly Problematic

I’ll be the first to admit that Doctor Who is one of the nerdiest sci-fi shows in existence – which is why it’s incredible. The OG show ran for 26 years; from 1963 to 1989. The BBC program took a break for a while and then had a revamp in 2004 with new characters. The show restarted in 2004 and ran until 2019 introducing new characters every couple of seasons. Doctor Who has broken standards in gender roles and has remained a still semi-cheesy nerd show. What makes the show so great? Impossible situations, amazing friendships, very poor graphics, and an overall love of sci-fi.

In fact, it still stands as the third most popular BBC show.

Here’s the deal with the revamp of season one: The Doctor, a 900-year-old alien Time Lord, is played by Christopher Eccleston who was 56 when the show started filming. His traveling companion, Rose Tyler, was a fun-loving 19-year-old girl who gave up her seemingly-boring life to travel through space and time. The actress who played Rose was Billie Piper, who was 22 when the show started filming.

So, although the character of The Doctor is 900 years old, the actor is 56 – imagine a 56-year-old being in love with a 19-year-old? It can happen, but not very often.

Throughout the show, you can tell that there is chemistry between the two characters – mostly in friendship, but there are some moments where The Doctor realizes that he loves Rose, and it’s not shown if Rose feels the same way. Now, as a romance author, I love romance as much as the next guy, but it’s a little strange to me that a Time Lord who definitely¬†looks and seems 56 falls in love with a 19-year-old – even if the actress is 22.

The plot line is not the odd part – it’s that in the last episode, Rose Tyler is taken over by an all-knowing all-powerful force that needs to be released so she doesn’t die. There are many ways that that could have happened, but the writers chose for The Doctor to kiss Rose which gets her back to normal.

Cute? Not necessarily.

When you think about the fact that this character is not even able to drink alcohol but has someone much, much older than her falling in love with her and kissing her at the end, it’s not as romantic as I think the writers thought it might be.

Now, to be fair, The Doctor is 900-years-old but is still played by a guy who is nearing 60 – just in time to grab an AARP card.

At the end of the season, after The Doctor kisses Rose, he transforms into a new person – the 10th Doctor. That Doctor is played by David Tennant and he was just 32 when he took on the role. At this point in time, Rose would be in her early-20s which makes a little more sense with a 32-year-old actor.

Rose and the 10th Doctor do end up kissing, as well, but all “Who vians” can agree that that was one of the most anticipated moments of the relationship that the two had. The chemistry between them was undeniable and there were so many moments where the fandom held their breath thinking something was going to happen between the two of them, and it didn’t for such a long time.

However, when it did finally happen, it was perceived as more romantic because the age difference wasn’t nearly as great, and you could blatantly tell that both characters felt the same way about each other.

The show went on to have many more Doctors and companions with chemistry, but I think that fans and viewers can agree that Rose and the 10th Doctor were the most incredible, dynamic duo – and the most unproblematic. However, Rose and the 9th Doctor kissing at the end was not so much. That’s not to say that an age difference that large can’t happen or be just as romantic as a much shorter age gap, but it’s definitely found a lot less often. Whatever your feelings on the topic, you’ll still want to check out the show and see the chemistry for yourself.

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About The Author

Emmie Pombo is a latte and tattoo-loving Tennessean who specializes in mental health and beauty writing. She holds a degree in Journalism and a certification in Makeup Artistry and Airbrushing. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.