Way back in the depths of time, when the Internet had about 30 people on it (OK, around 1996), one of those friendly university discussions led to me making a list, which later wound up getting published in Oxford University Doctor Who Society’s magazine, Tides of Time. Because the list kept growing and changing, I wound up putting it online– initially on Geocities, later on my own website (www.nyder.com), and so on– and welcomed contributions from all and sundry.
This state of affairs lasted till the first Matt Smith season, which was the first season of the 2005+ Doctor Who series that didn’t have any LGBT content (aside from a throwaway line about gay marriage in a deleted scene). By that point the momentum had ceased, and also I was increasingly no longer seeing the point of keeping up the list. At the time I’d made it, LGBT visibility on television wasn’t really a thing, and it was actually pretty revolutionary to point out to people that there had been queer content in Doctor Who going all the way back to 1963. These days, everyone knows that. Big deal. So, when my hosting package came up for renewal, I let the site, including the Guide, die.
But… eventually I got an e-mail from a reader asking that I put it back up, and another, and comments from friends saying they didn’t understand why I’d let it go under. So I promised them that when I started the new WordPress site, I’d bring back the Guide.
Therefore: here it is. In all its retro, un-updated glory (translation: apologies for the broken links). Enjoy it as a piece of history in itself, as well as a tracing of history.
Leave the Girl, it’s the Man I
The Evolving Guide to Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual
Moments in Doctor Who
“You seem to
know all the queer people.”
As featured on Lesbian and Gay Joke Site of the Day and Tachyon TV
It has always baffled me that, while Doctor Who has a massive gay following in the UK if nowhere else, just about all of the articles, stories, and especially naughty-moments lists are about as straight as they come. Consequently, years ago, I wrote an article for the Oxford University Doctor Who Society fanzine Tides of Time entitled “So Long As They Don’t Start Screaming,” listing as many lesbian, gay and bisexual moments (intentional and unintentional) in Doctor Who as I could find. Since the original article came out, I have been bombarded with a) suggestions from friends pointing out moments I’ve missed, and b) requests for copies. So, in order to cover both aspects of it, I’ve expanded it, made it available online, and I’ve added instructions at the end for you to add your suggestions for the next edit.
Drag episodes mentioned here are only the ones in which the drag fits the period: Leela’s “principal boy” clothing in The Talons of Weng Chiang counts; Dodo’s thirteenth- century page outfit in The Ark does not.
An Unearthly Child, 100,000 BC, “Verity, Here’s The Thing About the Cavemen You Wanted, Love Tony”, or Whatever You Want To Call It: As Lindy Orthia (who’s got a whole website dedicated to this) points out, the very first episode sees the start of countless moments in which Susan, or any other random young girl in the vicinity, buries her face in Barbara’s chest.
The Daleks: “We’re all working to the same end!” exclaims Alydon. “Now there’s a double-entendre for you,” says his brother dryly (OK, so he’s probably referring to Dyoni, it still works).
Among other instruments, the Daleks make extensive use of their vibroscopes
when there are Thals around.
Marco Polo: Susan and Ping-Cho become fast friends; they hold hands and hug each other as well as sharing a tent. Ping-Cho cares enough about Susan to steal the TARDIS key for her; Susan, for her part, risks her life to return to say goodbye to Ping-Cho. What all this means, we’re not sure, but attitudes to homosexuality were considerably different in ancient China to those in modern Europe, and John Lucarotti did do his research… (and, if you don’t believe it, Lindy Orthia’s got a whole gallery of pictures of this too!)
The Keys of Marinus: Altos’ outfit appears to have been left over from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Ian rubs his legs to warm them up in Episode 4. The episode title “The Screaming Jungle” speaks for itself.
The Aztecs: Barbara is hailed as the divine reincarnation of the high priest Yetaxa; nobody in the Aztec city, as she remarks, seems to have a problem with Yetaxa’s apparent change of gender.
Ian and Ixta share a sleeping mattress, and are seen curled up together very post-coitally at one point. (contributed by Taleya)
The Sensorites: The delicate Sensorites seemingly inhabit an all-male society. They use male pronouns for each other, although this may be a translation convention. One of them refers to his “family group,” a phrase which leaves it open whether or not there are female Sensorites in the group, let alone on the planet.
The Reign of Terror: Ian and the dying English spy appear to get a bit more physical–and enjoy themselves a bit more–than the situation warrants.
Planet of Giants: The telephone operator, ringing Farrell’s house and finding the phone answered by a stranger, says “Oh, you must be the other gentleman.”
The Dalek Invasion of Earth: “Where’ve you two been– fairyland?!”
Ian: “How long have we been going down?” Larry: “About twenty minutes”
Scrambling up a ridge, David puts his hand between Tyler’s legs. Inadvertently, one assumes, or Susan is in for a disappointment (this
one thanks to WJR and Saraquazel).
Crusade: King Richard I, widely believed to be gay, is the featured historical character, although Blondin, his alleged lover, is absent.
Vicki dons male drag and is apparently taken for a boy throughout (proving that the population of Palestine are universally nearsighted). When the truth is revealed to King Richard’s Chamberlain, he nearly faints at the audacity of “young people today”. Lindy Orthia points out, however, that Joanna seems positively delighted when she finds out, exclaiming over her beauty and declaring “I have nothing but love for you” (suggesting that there might be alternative reasons for her objection to her proposed marriage)…
The Chase: “Barbara, could I have your cardigan?” “What, again?” “It’s for the Dalek, not for me!” (Ian and Barbara reveal a Glen or Glenda dimension to their otherwise-vanilla relationship).
The Space Museum: Two more all-male societies.
Galaxy Four: Every sci-fi show of the Sixties has to have an evil-Amazons-from-outer-space story. So we get Maaga and her team of man-hating ballbreakers in bouffants. Oh well, it could have been worse– we could have had the story about the parallel Earth ruled by a female dictator named “Babs.”
The Myth Makers: Achilles, bisexual in the Iliad, gets his very own closet in Doctor Who (OK, the novelisation describes him as being “sensitive,” but unfortunately that’s as explicit as it gets).
The Daleks’ Master Plan: The people of the planet Desperus are terrified to go out at night, “because of the Screamers.”
Sara Kingdom, prior to her introduction, is continually referred to as “Kingdom,” presumably to give the male-biased 1960s audience a nice gender-bending frisson when it turns out that the super-agent is, in fact, female.
“Chen’s taking his time to get off…”– Sara Kingdom to Steven, in episode 11.<
Jim Smith has let it be known that Bret Vyon, rearranged, spells "V Rent Boy." Not really relevant, but slightly amusing.
The Celestial Toymaker: “I’m going to see if there’s an invisible barrier round his backside,” mutters Steven, contemplating the obnoxious schoolboy Cyril. Ooh, matron!
The Gunfighters: In a lovely Hartnell fluff, when asked where Steven is, the Doctor replies “she’s gone off with a gentleman called Johnny Ringo.”
Kate practically thrusts her bosom into Dodo’s face at one point. No really (there used to be a link to some stills on The TARDIS Keyhole website which demonstrated this scene aptly, but sadly, some killjoy shut the wretched thing down).
The Savages: The Doctor’s favourite instrument is his “Reacting Vibrator.”
Dodo to Steven: “Act like a grown man– that is, if you are
The Smugglers: Polly, 36-26-36, is continually assumed to be a boy by the 17th-century Cornish pirates by virtue of the fact that she wears trousers. Then
again, during those long months at sea, it must get a bit difficult to tell the difference…
The Power of the Daleks: “Ben takes the Doctor’s ring and puts it on the man’s finger” (that’s a quote from the narration track to the BBC Audio: if this was an attempt to get your name on these pages, Michael Stevens, drop me a line at the usual address and I’ll buy you lunch).
The Highlanders: Campery associated with the Doctor’s brief drag turn as a scullery-maid includes his blowing a kiss to daft clerk Perkins (although Lindy Orthia points out that the image in the BBC’s The Highlanders photonovel which apparently represents the scene has him in normal clothes, suggesting that this may actually be more of a straightforward bit of gay campery), then later huffily informing Perkins that “we ladies” (he, Polly and Kirsty) wish to leave; Polly opines on two occasions that she thinks the dress suits him very well.
Polly, dressing in a period frock, remarks with slight distaste that the last
time she visited the past, she “had to dress as a boy.”
In a phrase which was unremarkable at the time but has since acquired camp connotations, Trask refers to Grey’s crew of Highland indentured servants as “yer little booties.” Similarly amusing to a postmillenial audience is the fact that Perkins’ parting act to Grey is to snap his fingers in his face, remarking that he has wanted to do that for ages.
The Underwater Menace: “You get a sort of queer feeling,” declares Ben. A
moment later, Jamie exclaims, “What have I come upon?”
“You’d better watch it; in that kilt, someone might mistake you for a
bird!” (Ben to Jamie, in the first, but Heaven knows not the last, of the Doctor Who kilt jokes. Actually, since most Atlantean men seem to wander around in grass skirts, he’s mistaken).
Ramo to Polly: “Go, girl!” (OK, OK, but it’s still funny now, isn’t it?)
Zaroff (all together now): “So you’re just a little man after all, Doctor, like all the rest. You disappoint me!”(“You disappoint me, Professor,” replies the Doctor archly)
Lolem, the High Priest, is so camp that one suspects his friends call him “Lola.”
GUARD: How do I know he’s a wanted man?
BEN: Ah, blimey, look at him, he ain’t normal, is he?
GUARD: Yes, I see what you mean.
“A flaming English police box!” exclaims Sean (see above, re “Go girl”).
“Phoar, Jamie, you don’t half stink of fish” (OK, I’m not sure how this counts as queer, but I’m convinced it is)
“Jamie, you go after Polly, only watch out– Zaroff’s a desperate man!”<
There's a fan myth that the Doctor's funky threads in the marketplace scene are meant to be drag; it's not really clear whether or not this is the case, however.
The Moonbase: The crew of the Moonbase are all male, and, while Nils mentions having a wife and children back on Earth, in general they evince a lack of interest in Polly which is all the more surprising when you consider that they’ve been in space without female company for at least six months.
The Macra Terror: “Well, this is gay,” comments the Doctor of the camp
“happy worker” jingles broadcast over the Colony’s speaker system.
The Choreographer, an incredibly camp American, urges his cheerleaders to
make their performance “more gay.” And you can show them how, ducky.
The Faceless Ones: Two airport police inspectors: “I think you should give him a free hand.” “A free hand?!” “You know, just let him poke about a bit.”
The Evil of the Daleks: “I’m sure we can come to some… arrangement,” says Perry archly, placing his hand gently on the Doctor’s shoulder. The Doctor does a brief double-take.
Tomb of the Cybermen: The Doctor extends a hand to help Victoria over the threshold, and finds to his annoyance that he is holding Jamie’s hand instead.
“What’s the matter, Victoria?” “You don’t think this skirt is too short?” “Nonsense–just look at Jamie’s.”
The Abominable Snowmen: No, the monastery doesn’t count. It’s a monastery for God’s sake.
The Ice Warriors:A prone and injured Storr asks Penley if he fancies
turning him over to his friends.
Wheel In Space: Zoe assumes Jamie’s kilt to be drag (she’s not the only one–see above). Vallance appears a little, erm, overexcited in his scenes with
the Cybermen (damn those skin-tight jumpsuits…).
The Web of Fear: A very dodgy collapsing-into-a-heap scene in which Jamie’s face nearly winds up in the Doctor’s lap (courtesy of SnowGrouse, who has the pictures to prove it).
“Where’s the Captain?” “Upstairs, being chatted up by that TV bloke.” (as Gavin Waylock notes, a rare transsexual reference perhaps?)
The Space Pirates: The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe lie in a cozy heap together when passed out (courtesy of Mike Russell)
Invasion: Check out the stills in David Banks’ Cybermen and tell me if at least one of the Cyberextras isn’t deliberately camping it up.
Corporal Benton (Episode 3): “It’s the Doctor and the boy. They’re coming out, sir. With Vaughn.”
A scene begins with the Brigadier, fastening his belt, saying “Thank you, Corporal Benton…” (contributed by Linus Brown and his brother)
The Krotons: “He’ll never come out!” “But he must come out!” And more along those lines….
The Mind Robber: When escaping the lava, Jamie hugs the Doctor (spotted by Mike Russell).
The War Games: The Doctor fondles a tassel on Jamie’s sporran, and Lieutenant Carstairs also has a jolly good look at Jamie’s sporran as well.
The War Chief gets rather touchy-feely with the Doctor, putting his arm around his shoulders as he tries to talk him into an alliance (both this and the above courtesy of Lindy Orthia)
“Are you and your friends ready to come out?” the War Chief asks. About twenty minutes later, the Security Chief shouts “take them!” to a pair of rubber-clad operatives in gimp masks.
Doctor Who and the Silurians: “How many men have you?” asks Baker. “Five or six– and Captain Hawkings,” replies the Brigadier, inadvertantly starting a tradition of casting aspersions on the sexuality of his junior officers.
Inferno: The Brigadier: “Will you be back in time for Penetration Zero?” Sir Keith: “ oh yes of course. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it very much.” The Brig: “Why not?”
The Doctor: “If you have a tool, it’s stupid not to use it” (both of these thanks to Andrew Thorn).
Terror of the Autons: Mike Yates, widely suspected of being a closet homo- or bisexual by many fans (see the Virgin Books novel Happy Endings, if you must) famously ogles the Master’s bum.
The Mind of Evil: The Master, perhaps recalling Yates’ earlier interest in his own attributes, returns the favour by tying Yates to a chair and leaning over him suggestively while telling him his plan for world domination.
The Brigadier suggests, after Benton blacks out while trailing Chin
Lee, that he is “far too delicate for intelligence work”; Benton, not
realising this to be a joke, agrees.
Melissa writes in to point out that there’s a UNIT soldier with the suggestive codename “Venus” walking around.
The Daemons: “Fancy a dance, sir?” “Kind of you, Yates… I’d much rather have a pint.”
According to a conversation in the pub, there have been a lot of “queer goings-on” in Devil’s End, including a gentleman “taking a funny turn in the churchyard.”
Day of the Daleks: (all courtesy of SnowGrouse) The future, it seems, is camp: Aubrey Woods flutters around in silver makeup; Scott Fredericks (see below) dons eyeliner and flutters his lashes at all and sundry; the guerrillas are led by a butch woman and a man with a ‘tache; a guard strokes the Doctor’s shoulders and chin with a whip (as the latter pants with exertion, shirt undone).
Guard: Careful. Our friends here don’t get much fun.
Doctor: Poor fellows. I’m sorry I can’t oblige at the moment, I’m not in the mood for games.
Oh, and the Brigadier asks Benton and Yates to lay on a jeep. He evidently just wants to watch.
The Sea Devils: “Time for a quick one?” says Trenchard to Hart. Later, Trenchard admits to the Master “I can’t keep it up, you know” (props to Michael Wutton).
The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon: Alpha Centauri, the “hermaphrodite hexapod,” deserves a mention, if only for inspiring the line: “I think he’s sweet… or is he a she?” “She is an it.”
Lawrence and Tat, in About Time, point out that the Ice Warrior quarters contain only one bed for the two delegates. Well, those warrior cultures, you know…
The Time Monster: This story caused Alec Charles to start a rumour in the early nineties that there was a gay nightclub near UNIT HQ known as The Twist, as Mike Yates remarks: “if something doesn’t happen soon, I’ll go round The
The Brig to Yates: “Bring some men with you – I feel as naked as a babe in its bath” (thanks to Rich).
The inhabitants of Inter Minor are a trio of old queens, with Orum and
Kalik being particularly camp (as observed by Andrew Thorn)
speaks Polari (the British gay male
lingua-franca popularised by Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick on Round
the Horne) to the Doctor at one point; surprisingly, the
Doctor fails to understand him.
“There are men with an eye for a girl with a pretty face, adventurers
with a touch of pity for the innocent victim of a situation. I am not
one of those men,” says the Master in the novelisation. Gavin Waylock
contributed this one, adding that if you leave out the “adventurers”
bit, you can just picture Kenneth Williams following it up with a “no,
he’s not, Mr Horne…”
the Daleks: “If they come on us in ones and twos, we can beat
them off,” says theDoctor, taking a firm grip on a short stick.
Death: The Doctor dons drag again, much to Mike Yates’
Why does Global Chemicals’ branch plant contain a cell with ceiling
chains–surely not standard equipment for a chemical manufactory?
inevitably, winds up in bondage at the hands of Stevens and his evil
BOSS misquotes Oscar
Brigadier and the Doctor: “It’s a tremendous size.” “Yes, isn’t it?
Tomorrow morning Professor Jones and I are going to examine it
2 and 3 consist largely of scenes of men standing around talking about
whether or not to go down, ultimately concluding that they can’t go
down, as it’s too dangerous.
The Doctor to the
Brigadier, episode 6: “Quick! Get it up!”
(of another male employee): “He was acting very strangely. Didn’t seem
to know which side he was on.” The Doctor: “Which side are you
on, Mr Elgin?” (another from Andrew Thorn)
Sarah is taken for (what else?) a boy upon arriving in the twelfth
century in polyester slacks, and dresses in the local male drag for
half the story.
Professor Whitaker, perfectly straight in the televised version, is
about as blatantly gay in the novelisation as is possible in a Target
book; barely a page goes by without him giggling, waving a manicured
hand, fancying his henchman Butler (Butler, for his part, briefly
entertains thoughts of gay-bashing) or admiring the Doctor’s physique.
He also expresses the desire to bring back Oscar Wilde and/or Noel
Coward from the past. It is anyone’s guess whether Mac Hulke always saw
the character as camp (and Peter Miles refused to rise to the bait) or
was just having a bit of a laugh after the fact.
Hulke’s description of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect scene in the
novelisation also has the Doctor “playing with a small black knob”;
after he has fiddled with it for a while, he remarks that it seems
stiff and asks if the Brigadier has any oil to lubricate it with.
Either this is deliberate, or Hulke has a very strange subconscious
Yates reappears, sporting long hair and a necklace, and informs Sarah
that he has been doing some thinking about his “lifestyle” since his
resignation from UNIT. Apparently this involves a move to a monastery
whose inhabitants have a penchant for leaving young men tied up on the
floors of their rooms.
all-female society (the spiders) juxtaposed against an all-male one
(the monastery); someone who shall remain nameless thinks that the
Metabelis crystal is a Lacanian phallic symbol, connoting fertility,
which both societies want and cannot have. I think he’d been playing
the “Resurrection of the Daleks” drinking game again.
“Oh, nonsense, Brigadier–you’re a swinger!”
thought of Miss Winters in handcuffs gave Sarah great pleasure.”
(That’s a quote from the novelisation, for those of you who thought
Terrance Dicks only got kinky round about Timewyrm: Exodus.)
The Ark in
Space: “Come out, Harry, and don’t touch anything!”
here is only
qualified to work on sailors.”
While there is at least one female Thal on Skaro (albeit a rather butch
one), the Kaleds seem to be yet another all-male society (and one with
a fondness for kinky uniforms). Guy Siner (Ravon) is better known for
having played the outrageously gay Lt. Gruber on “‘Allo ‘Allo.”
Benjamin also points out that this is a story which seems rather high
in men, particularly the Doctor and Harry, getting groped, I mean
searched, by other men (see “Attack of the Cybermen” for more of this
sort of thing).
the Cybermen: Another apparently all-male society (the
Vogans). The Completely Useless Encyclopaedia
refers to the Cybermen of this story as “fruits” (I’m not kidding–see
p. 129), but I don’t really see it myself.
the all-male crew of Nerva Beacon don’t seem too interested in Sarah,
considering how long they’ve been up there on their own. Either
everyone in any of Gerry Davis’ base-under-siege stories is gay, or all
Earth missions of the future have an unfeasibly large stock of bromides.
the Zygons: Sarah finds the Brigadier’s kilt slightly
scandalous (what is it with Doctor Who and
that bang big
enough for you, Brigadier?”
“You’re not suggesting one of us is
really… one of them?”
Evil: Another all-male society, this time with shoulderpads
(credit to Saraqazel).
The human hand which pops up out of Sutekh’s throne seat
(affectionately known by some as The Plaything of Sutekh) is often
remarked upon by blooper-spotters– few of them, however, note that it
is a very masculine-looking hand (Credit to the
Reverend Friday Jones for spotting this).
The Brain of
The Sisterhood of Karn; as the name implies, they are another all-
female lot. “The Sisterhood of Karn” is also the name taken by a gay
SF-fan group in London.
The Seeds of
Harrison Chase is basically Mr. Humphries with psychotic tendencies,
drawing on a tradition of effeminate film baddies going back to
Hitchcock’s Rope (and echoed in Robots of
Death, Snakedance, Horns of
and others too numerous to mention). At one point in the proceedings,
he tells the Doctor “You’ll be pumped into the garden” (reference
thanks to Andrew Thorn)
There is yet another
reference to The Importance of Being Earnest.
OK. I still don’t think there’s anything going on between Giuliano and
Marco, but to be fair, Troy Latto has e-mailed to point out that
Giuliano introduces Marco as “my companion,” that Marco does seem to be
the feminine one, and that, discussing the Temple of Demnos, Giuliano
remarks (touching Marco’s arm as he does so) “something is not normal,
Marco.. as you and I both know.”
on the queer front, Leonardo da Vinci is supposed to be at the Masque,
and, as Daniel O’Mahony notes, Count Federico says to the Doctor “I
will have sport with your body…”
Hand of Fear:
The alien Eldrad starts out female and switches genders two-thirds of
the way through the story.
Death: Dask, in his fab robot gear: “I will release more of
our brothers from bondage. We will be irresistible.”
SV7 as Peter
Tatchell: “Attention Uvanov–you and your crew have five minutes to
I defy anyone to
watch the scene in which Toos asks SV7 to “bring the girl Leela to my
quarters. Tell her my arm hurts!” with a straight
face if you’ve got queer innuendo on your mind.
then we’ll have a little Scout round” (Troy Latto and the Discontinuity
Guide spotted this one, although Oxonians might well assume this refers
to heterosexuality– don’t worry if you didn’t get that joke,
practically nobody would).
of Weng Chiang: Leela wears what seems to be Victorian-urchin
floating down the Amazon in a hatbox.” “A hatbox?”
(The Doctor and Litefoot do an homage to Wilde)
“…You can’t go
about London in skins–you’ll frighten the horses.”
cabdriver is said to have been “acting queer all afternoon,” and
Litefoot thinks that the Doctor is telling him a “queer story”– both
of which pale in comparison to the part where Jago exclaims “What a
queer collection of objects!” just as Litefoot pulls a ridged and
phallic object out of Greel’s carpetbag.
to the wall!”
says Litefoot to Jago as they are attacked (spotted by Ali Carnell).
Fang Rock: Leela dresses in the dead lighthouse-keeper’s
LEELA: Come out, old
DOCTOR: He’ll come
out when he’s ready.
Image of the
Fendahl: Max Staehl (played by Scott Fredericks, who went on
to play the ever- so-slightly-bisexual Carnell on Blake’s 7)
ties up Adam in episode 3. Adam’s shirt is open; Max leans over him and
strokes the side of his face suggestively with the barrel of his gun
(credit to Trey for this one).
Troy Latto notes that the Graf Vynda-K, he of the leather-bound retinue
of butch guards (and the splendid moustache), bursts into tears and
kisses his aide-de-camp on the forehead upon the latter’s demise.
Throughout the story it is implied that Vivian Fay and Amelia Rumford
are lesbians if not actually lovers. In Episode 2, the Doctor implies
that Vivian was Violet Trefusis (Vita Sackville-West’s lover), during
the 1920s; Vivian deliberately avoids killing Amelia when she gets in
the way (despite having no such qualms about anyone else), and, well,
there’s that police truncheon incident. Amelia (the butch one) and
Vivian (the feminine one) share a cottage, and Amelia knows a good deal
about Vivian’s likes and dislikes; neither women mention having ever
had a husband or boyfriend. At the end of the story, Romana kisses
Amelia, who seems overwhelmed by the gesture. Further lesbian innuendo
includes Vivian’s suggestive remarks about how much fun Romana can have
with a bicycle seat, and Amelia’s opinion that there is “nothing like a
sausage sandwich,” as well as both women’s lesbo-camp disparaging
remarks about the Doctor and the Chief Druid. Incidentally, there
really was a well-known lesbian archaeologist in
Britain at the
time, who worked as V. Gordon Childe’s assistant and later devoted her
life to early British archaeology, principally Avebury, so there may be
more going on here.
the Daleks: Romana dons Doctor drag. The Doctor is not amused.
from the Pit:
The Doctor attempts to communicate with Erato by grabbing one of the
two-foot-long, sausage-shaped extrusions on its anterior and fitting it
into his mouth. How Mrs Whitehouse missed this example of
hom-erato-ism, I’ll never know.
Erato wishes to address other people, he uses the voice of the person
holding the communicator… meaning that the apparent gender of the
creature changes depending on whether it is speaking through the
Doctor, Romana or Lady Adrasta.
yes, this is
the story in which Romana is tied up by a leather-clad dominatrix.
City of Death:
Once again, Leonardo da Vinci makes a non-appearance, but the Doctor
signs his note to him with “Love, Doctor.”
Howe and Walker (Doctor
Who: The Book of Lists) seem
to find it odd that, although it’s unlikely that Count Scarlioni and
his wife have enjoyed conjugal relations, she doesn’t remark on this at
all. While this isn’t suggested outright anywhere in the script, the
possibility exists that he told her he was gay, but had to marry to
maintain a public illusion of straightness. Julian Glover’s portrayal
of the character as a standard camp villain does nothing to contradict
J Ramsden writes in to say that he has uncovered some superficial
evidence to support this hypothesis: at the end of episode one, the
Countess, hearing that her husband is in the lab, exclaims “with that
professor again!” but then, upon hearing the response “uh, no, ma’am,
Professor Kerenski is [suggestive pause] resting in
his room,” she makes a pleased sound and struts off to the lab. So somebody
thinks that there’s something going on between those two… no wonder
she was surprised to learn the truth.
a beautiful woman, probably,” says the Doctor to the Countess (thanks
to Mike Russell for reminding me– I’d unaccountably forgotten that
Romana dons semi-drag: an Edwardian man’s bathing-costume coupled with
an Edwardian woman’s bathing-jacket and shoes. Appropriately enough for
a visit to Brighton, one supposes.
Decay: The Discontinuity Guide notes
similarities to numerous vampire stories with lesbian overtones,
including Le Fanu’s Carmilla,
with regard to Camilla’s interest in Romana. One might also note that
all three vampires, male and female, are interested in young men.
Benjamin points out that Zargo holds something rather suspect up to the
hypnotised Adric’s mouth in episode 2.
Between this episode and State of Decay, Adric
seems to be vying with Mike Yates for the Most Kinky Situations With
Villains of the Same Sex Trophy.
A hint of polyandry (for you non-anthropologists, that’s two or more
men marrying one woman), but this doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
scene in which Hindle administers a flogging to Adric was apparently
excised from the script at a suspiciously late stage in the proceedings.
Visitation: “It’s him I’m interested in, not his horse,” says
the Doctor (i.e., leave the horse, it’s the man I want?).
Beryl Reid (Capt. Briggs) is better known for playing the title role in
the notorious lesbian flick The Killing of Sister George.
Here, however, she has the chance to don leather and wave about a laser
gun in company with a bemoustached Muscle Mary.
Two Cybermen appear
to be having a good campy gossip before the soldiers gun them down.
Lon is a bored foppish young man who likes to lounge about on sofas,
polishing his snake in public.
Troy Latto writes to point out that, although the Nyssa striptease
should be enough to excite any red-blooded heterosexual man (or
red-blooded lesbian, for that matter), nobody in the crew of Terminus
seems remotely interested. Wonder why…
Infinity: In an article for UNIT News,
Alex Wilcock has pointed out the similarities between Episode One and a
gay porn video, featuring as it does two young men journeying through
Amsterdam, all shot on cheap video with a cheesy score, and spending
the night in a “pump house” (remarking that “No-one ever comes here,
except the odd gardener, during the day”). And, of course, there’s the
brilliant exchange between Robin and Colin: “Are you really going to
sleep like that?” “Well,
what’s the matter with that?” “You’re still fully
dressed.” “I’m not taking any chances!” (thanks to Mark Wright for
sending me the article).
“Tell me we’re going to get off, Doctor!” cries Turlough desperately.
(Thanks to Alice Dryden and housemate Pablo for this one)
my… serious subtext involving Tegan and Captain Wrack (whose
waistcoat and culottes are a clear homage to seventeenth-century
transvestite, and possibly lesbian, pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Reid).
Asked what she thinks of Wrack, Tegan gasps “she’s beautiful!” at which
point the Doctor ostentatiously removes Tegan’s wineglass, as if rather
afraid that it might cause her to lose her inhibitions. When Wrack
subsequently removes Tegan to show her off to her guests, Mariner
remarks that “the confusion in her [i.e. Tegan’s] mind is
Planet of Fire:
The Trion artifact looks, well, like a giant sex toy. Peri compares the
Greek statue discovered by the underwater archaeologists to Elton John.
The Caves of
Jury out: is Salateen’s relationship with Sharaz Jek
homoerotic/homosocial? There’s no direct sense of a sexual interest on
Jek’s part, but Salateen, who had been Jek’s only prisoner for quite
some time when the story begins, is quite visibly jealous of the
attention Jek gives Peri. Or is this just a manifestation of Stockholm
syndrome? Vague speculations on a postcard, please…
(Alan Stevens and I
wrote an article
about this once, you can read it if you like)
the Cybermen: David Banks, in Cybermen,
says that the all-female Cryons are “not unaware of the delights of
sexuality”; make of this what you will, but the thoroughly heterosexual
Peri seems a trifle uncomfortable at their attentions.
technically none of this counts as homosexuality, the amount of
misconstruable physical contact (weapons searches etc.) in this story
is rather amusingly high. The Doctor gropes a policeman; Russell gropes
the Doctor, who returns the favour five minutes later (funny how nobody
searches Peri in all this, isn’t it?); Stratton gropes Griffiths and
Lytton, kneeling in front of the latter as he does so, and winds up
with his face approximately level with Lytton’s belt; if they’d cut the
shot slightly further to the right, there would have been letters from
Russell also points out that the Doctor never once so much as eyes up
Peri for all of the Colin Baker era, which is peculiar when you
consider that a) she’s a lust object for pretty much every other male
(and Cryon) on the programme, and b) other Doctors have generally shown
themselves to be up for a little Doctor-companion flirtation (or, in
some cases, more) every so often.
Carson also points out some pretty campy gestures from the Cyberman who
discovers the vastial as he urges his mates to run for it.
A few characters appear to be wearing pink triangles on their uniforms;
however, it’s actually the stylised V of the company logo. Sorry, guys.
The Two Doctors:
“What do you do with the little creatures once you have caught them?”
“Why, mount them, of course!” Anita and Oscar come up with a reason why
he is completely indifferent to her sultry peasant charms(collected by
“Come here, Jamie…look at that.”
“Look at the size of that thing, Doctor!”
“Yes, Jamie…it is a big one.”
by JoAnne Thrax)
of the Daleks: “I’m a past master at the double entry…”
Doctor, rather archly, pats Grigory’s cheek, but not Natasha’s; Natasha
sarcastically echoes the pat a minute later (thanks Michael!).
rather camp attendants comment archly on Jobel’s lack of interest in
Tasambeker, then skip off together holding a single blossom (thanks
Planet/Trial of a Time Lord 1-4:
the (male-sounding) Immortal has two young, camp, blonde male servants
who seem keen on examining every inch of the Doctor’s body. When the
Doctor asks what the Immortal does with his servants, he gets the reply
“It’s said he eats them.” (thanks to Chris Gentes)
of A Time Lord 5-8:
The mind of Kiv (male) is implanted into the body of Peri (female). Kiv
promptly goes into a very Joan Collins diva-rant about the pleasure of
being in this “wonderful, wonderful body”; Sil, for his part, is less
perturbed about his boss’ sex-change than about the fact that he fails
to find the new body attractive.
OK, OK. The line “Leave the girl, it’s the man I want” has hitherto
been excluded on the grounds that it’s said by a woman (albeit that gay
icon Kate O’Mara), but so many gay fans have turned it into a
catchphrase that I have to include it.
The all-female Kangs and Rezzies; although the Kangs seem
unrealistically innocent for their ages, two of the Rezzies
are–ahem!–flatmates. All of them are singularly contemptuous of Pex,
himself a bit of a musclebound sissy. The Rezzies lure innocent Kangs
(never Pex) to their flats in order to eat them. We will say no more,
except to wonder why on earth they would want to eat Mel….
Happiness Patrol: Time to dispel a few myths about this one:
1) the Fondant Surprise victim is not
wearing a pink triangle (he’s wearing a black jumpsuit open at the neck
over a pink shirt); 2) while a parallel can be drawn between police
entrapment over cottaging and the Happiness Patrol’s entrapment of
killjoys, it’s a pretty weak one (I mean, the first killjoy is female,
for heaven’s sake) and 3) the colour pink does not inevitably mean a
gay subtext. That having been said, the story abounds with tough women
and camp men (the bit where Gilbert [named after Mr Harding, perhaps?]
and Joseph run off with each other at the end is particularly suspect),
and the gender-role-reversal bit is rather fun to watch. Oh and (this
courtesy of Chris Cwej) there’s a nice reference to a familiar gay
anthem as a prison guard says “I am what I am…”
Rachel Zurvas points out that Ace makes friends with Shou Yuing awfully
quickly; haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it to verify this,
but it is worth noting that Ace seems drawn to make
friends among the local girls wherever she goes (cf. “The Curse of
Fenric,” “Ghost Light,” “The Happiness Patrol”)
Nemesis: “I’m a big fan of straight blowing.”
Ace and Gwendolyne don male evening-dress in Episode 1, at Ace’s
suggestion; Gwendolyne is initially reluctant to be seen in drag but
wears it for the rest of the evening. Gavin Waylock, who’s read the
novelisation, says that Gwendolyn also, ahem, offers Ace a cigar.
3: Redvers, coming across Ace lying on the bed and Gwendolyne sitting
on her torso, trying to strangle her: “Here, you can get arrested for
that!” (Blink and you miss this one; I’d have to check but I’m fairly
sure it’s not even in the script). As well, you get references to
Reading Jail (site of Oscar Wilde’s incarceration, for those of you who
haven’t seen the movie), crimes against nature… and isn’t Light just
the campest baddie ever, dears?
The Curse of
The character of Judson is based on the gay mathematician Alan Turing,
and in the novelisation the relationship between him and Millington
(with whom he went to public school) is frankly homoerotic.
The Sergeant, returning from the Cheetah Planet, discovers that he is
still holding hands with the faintly campy Chris. He lets go with a
shocked exclamation of “what’s your game, then?”
Rona Munro, author of this story, has
asserted that she intended there to be a lesbian subtext between Ace
but that this pretty much entirely got lost in the production of it. Oh
well, it’s not like we’re short of lesbian subtexts here…
Within/Doctor Who the Movie/That American Thing/Whatever:
Chang Lee boldly goes where Mike Yates and Adric have gone before (this
report courtesy of Saraquazel):
you doing here, Bruce?
MASTER: I am not Bruce. It took me a minute with the talking and the
walking, but I am not Bruce. I am merely… [with relish] inside
(suggestively) Oh yeah?
“Lee is the son I have always yearned for…” says the Master, and
gives Lee a big kiss. “Oh, please,” says the Doctor (leaving us to
wonder what those two were up to while the Doctor
was chatting up Grace…)
Vincent e-mails with a collection of double-entendres, including “I
want the Doctor’s body” (the Master), “He’s doing it all with my body”
(the Master again), “My soul will be destroyed and he will take my
body,” (the Doctor muscling in on the action) and the following:
And then, we’re
a team, right?
MASTER: Yes, we’re a… team.
but it is interesting that the director went on to do the notorious
Victorian lesbo series Tipping the Velvet.
“It’ll never work. He’s gay, and she’s an alien.” –The Doctor,
perusing a copy of Heat magazine.
sequence where the Doctor turns down Rose’s Mum’s none-too-subtle
attempts at flirtation, however, don’t prove anything beyond that he
doesn’t fancy her (and the Doctor’s flirtation with Jabe the Tree in
the next episode suggests that he’s not above a little heterosexual
interaction, albeit chastely).
Lady Cassandra started life as a boy (and by now her gender seems to be
largely a matter of pronouns rather than biology); it’s never stated
what gender she was when she married her various and several husbands.
The Doctor’s one-liner about the death of Little Nell always cracking
him up is the latest addition to the fine Who tradition of
misquoting/paraphrasing Oscar Wilde.
London/World War Three: Rose: “You are so gay!”
going to miss
being Oliver. He had a wife, a mistress and a Young Farmer. Busy lad”
(why, whatever can he mean?)
Green: I need
to be naked.
General Asquith: Rejoice in it. Your body is (significant
pause, stare) magnificent.
According to a news report, the Face of Boe has announced that he (yes,
he) is pregnant (although admittedly, as with Cassandra, gender must be
largely grammatical when you’re a huge disembodied face).
Child/The Doctor Dances:
Captain Jack, arguably the series’ first openly bisexual companion
(unless you take Yates’ alternating between ogling repairmen and taking
Jo Grant out on the town as evidence of bisexuality rather than
closetiness) initially comments on the excellence of a fellow-officer’s
bottom, then later reveals himself to be having a relationship with
said fellow-officer, Algy (explaining why Algy didn’t seem to mind the
remark about his bottom). He also mentions having had a three-way
relationship with a couple, respective sexes unstated.
the street thinks your wife must be messing around with… the butcher,
but she’s not. You are.”– Nancy, casting aspersions on the character
of the petty-bourgeois black marketeer she has been caught stealing
from (OK, she could mean “messing around” in a financial rather than a
physical sense, but in that case it’s a double-entendre).
I think Captain Jack wants this dance.” “Yes, Rose, I’m sure he does–
but who with?” (from the look on Jack’s face, both of them!)
“How come I never get any of that?” “Buy me a drink.” “You’re too much
hard work.” “But I’m worth it.”– As Rose and Mickey get cozy, Captain
Jack and the Doctor fancy a dance and a pint.
the cafe scene, we join the time travellers as Jack is in the middle of
an anecdote involving himself and fourteen members of his (mixed-sex)
team, all of whom are naked and pursuing an animal with appendages
which turn out to be tusks; what he thought they were initially is
never stated. Elsewhere, he makes a double-entendre about what four
people (himself, the Doctor, Rose and Mickey) could get up to in a
wooden box (thanks again to Taleya for both of these).
Parting of the Ways:
Episode one: Captain Jack gets a makeover session with gay icons Trinny
and Susannah, flirts with anything on two legs, be it male, female or
Susannah-droid, and, erm, where precisely did he hide that
suspicious-looking laser gun (as Jack himself remarks, “you don’t
want to know!”)? Episode two: Captain Jack ups the ante, having the
first male same-sex kiss ever in Doctor Who history
(with the Doctor, no less), and putting the wind up MediaWatch.
usually within this site’s remit (or I’d be spending all my time
tracking down the places where Stuart Fell has doubled for Katy
Manning/Louise Jameson), but it might be worth noting that all three of
the female droids are played by male actors, making them transvestites
of a sort.
Transgender Body-Swap Adventures: where do we begin? Gender-confused
trampoline Lady Cassandra (see “The End of the World,” above), returns
as literal talking bum-hole with a physical relationship with her
manservant Chip, before translating herself into first Rose’s body (and
there’s a brief reference to the “Queer as Folk” line about sex with a
man with muscles being like going on a bouncy castle), then the
Doctor’s, causing the Doctor to go into a screamingly camp performance,
and finally, erm, gets inside Chip before returning back to the past
and revealing that she fancies herself. Oh, and the Face of Boe turns
up as well.
(and Daniel O’Mahony) requires me to mention that we do not see any
male cat-people, but accuracy forces me to also say that as the ones we
see are nuns, that’s to be expected.
“Did you not think there was something strange about my household
staff?” “Well, they were bald, athletic, your wife’s away… I just
thought you were happy.”
But, no matter how
homoerotic its inhabitants, and no matter how many comparisons are made
between them and Right Said Fred by moronic tabloid
reviewers, the monastary still doesn’t count (see The
Abominable Snowmen, above).
“You will join with me,” suggests the Headmaster, but the Doctor
doesn’t take him up on it (what is
it with guys named “Master” in this series? Oh, and props to
Cybermen/The Age of Steel:
At the end of the story, Mickey leaves Rose for Jake… and the pair
then go off to Paris together (Paul Winter suggested this one–
according to an Outpost Gallifrey thread, and confirmed by the DVD
release, there was originally supposed
to be more than a suggestion that Mickey/Rickey and Jake were, erm,
romantically involved, but RTD removed it).
Earlier, the mostly-male Preachers strip Mickey to his shorts and tie
him to a chair (thanks Gizensha)
grabs of the Doctor and Rose in episode 1 walking among the entranced
Londoners suggest that the stoutish bobby is eyeing the Doctor’s
backside, but it’s totally invisible on the episode.
see at least two Cybermen who are genetically female– but, as
CyberMEN, they are male-looking, played by male performers, and voiced
by Nick Briggs.
“Proper little mummy’s boy.” “And you know what they say about those,
don’t you?” “Yes– and I’ll beat it out of him.” Tommy does nothing to
dispel these scurrilous rumours about his sexuality when he makes a
speech at the end of the story to his Dad about, among other things,
having the freedom to love who you want.
Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit: Episode 1: “I used to do
that… I mean, be a dinnerlady… not that I’m
implying your a lady, of course you could be a
lady…” Rose’s conversation with an Ood takes on a decidedly Little
2: Rose complains about having a full view of Danny’s arse as they
crawl through the tunnels; Toby remarks, looking at Rose’s arse in
front of him, “could be worse.” But what does he mean?
Beast enters Toby
from behind (thanks Gizensha)
people have claimed to see something homoerotic in Ida and Scuti’s
relationship, but, if there is, it seems to be all on Ida’s side.
Monsters: Elton’s childhood home is now inhabited by “two
ladies” who are “a bit severe.” Oh, and three guesses who Elton’s named
“Daleks have no concept of elegance!” “That is
obvious!” The Cybermen get bitchy.
Doctor kisses Mickey (OK, on the forehead, but it’s still a kiss). Jake
is still as camp as ever, but doesn’t seem to have succeeded in
converting Mickey yet.
Runaway Bride: Two men are dancing together at the wedding
reception (and clearly dancing together—
not just happening to be in the same shot).
The Shakespeare Code:
“Fifty-seven English scholars just punched the air,” mutters the Doctor
after Shakespeare flirts with him (referring to the notorious
controversy over whether Shakespeare was bisexual; however, the Dark
Lady of the Sonnets does turn out to be a girl after all).
an all-female race and Lilith (she of the very feminist name), it
seems, has two mothers.
know perfectly well we’re not sisters; we’re married,” says one of the
alleged “Cassini Sisters.” “Ooh, don’t bother me with that
talk, I’m just an old-fashioned cat,” replies Brannigan.
Those interested can have a fun time speculating on the nature of the
various relationships we see in the cars; potentially queer ones
include the two Japanese girls and the female black cat with the two
teenage girl passengers (a barely-legal threesome? And what is it with
lesbians this season?).
Return of the Face of Boe (see above) and one of the nuns from last
time (who, now that she’s the last one left, really doesn’t count).
Brannigan and Valerie are on their way to Fire Island in search of
work; presumably, this is named after the old-Earth resort popular with
the homosexual community.
“Ohhh, I shoulda realised. He’s into musical theatre.” Tallulah comes
up with an explanation for why the Doctor doesn’t seem to fancy Martha.
“You can kiss me later. You can too if you like, Frank.”
The Doctor, doing nothing to allay Tallulah’s suspicions about his
preferences. Frank, Gizensha notes, seems rather happy about the idea.
Dalek Sec joins and merges with another male (Diagoras) and becomes a
kinky phallic being dubbed “Dalek Gimp” on some fora (again thanks to
Captain Jack brings a welcome return of the queer stuff; he chats up a
male Utopia-bound human (and anything else on legs), has a steamy
why-did-you-leave-me scene with the Doctor, and banters with him about
how good he (i.e. Jack) looks naked. Quazonic also points out the start
of the Doctor/Master homoeroticism in the “use my name!” sequence.
The Sound of
Jack admits he fancies the Doctor; Saxon observes that the Doctor’s
companions “tick all the demographic boxes” (which presumably includes
sexuality as well as race and gender). The Master calls Jack “Handsome
Jack,” and the Doctor is surprised at the Master’s evidencing
heterosexual tendencies. Quazonic also indicates the Doctor being flung
to the floor by henchmen and not getting up as he talks to the Master.
Return of the Master brings some serious relationship issues for the
Doctor; the pair effectively flirt on the phone (“I like it when you
use my name!”) and the Doctor-Master exchange: “All we’ve got is each
other…” “Are you asking me out on a date?” The Doctor offers to run
away with the Master as a substitute for world domination (thanks to
Amanda Cantrell, Kirsten, Firestorm 17, also the Tachyon TV Podcast
Last of the Time
Lords: OK, if Jack really is the Face of Boe,
then that means he gets pregnant again, at least once.
The Doctor-Master gay innuendo festival continues, as the Master
continues a fine tradition by tying Jack up, dancing with the Doctor
(to the Scissor Sisters, no less)
and grappling with the Doctor over the teleporter; the Doctor
cradles the Master’s head in his lap and offers to take care of him
(“You mean you’re just going to… keep me?”).
The Master: “It’s ready to rise!”
The Master suggests that his wife and his masseuse “get to know each
other” (I dunno, maybe he likes to watch too?)
The Doctor, regarding the Master: “Maybe I’ve been wandering too long.
Maybe it’s time to settle down, now that I’ve found someone to care
Martha has a sweetly chaste thing going with Prof. Docherty, New-Who’s
answer to Prof. Rumford, kissing her on the cheek and bringing her
you’re right… the Master’s dancing to the Scissor Sisters’Ta Da album
above: Firestorm17, Kirsten and Mr Fiction).
Time Crash (the 2007
Children in Need Doctor
“Does he still have the beard?” “No– well, he’s got a wife.” The two
Doctors, throwing the Master’s heterosexuality into question.
Voyage of the Damned:
Prejudice against cyborgs as metaphor for homophobia (“but cyborgs have
rights now– they can even get married!”). As well as the Doctor making
the obvious joke by shouting “hello, sailor!” to Midshipman Frane, one
of the Titanic’s male crew visibly cruises him as he enters the lounge
at the start.
Unicorn and the Wasp: Doctor
Who channels either Raffles or Brideshead Revisited (or
both) as young Roger turns out to be a “confirmed bachelor” who has a
fling going on with his manservant (credit to Suzie).
Sontaran Stratagem: One of Donna’s ex-boyfriends left her
for a man….
Doctor’s Daughter: …and two of Donna’s friends are a
lesbian couple who had a child through IVF.
Sky is on holiday to get over a broken relationship… with another
“Blonde hair might work on men, but not on me!” Donna misunderstands
Ianto (who’s into Paul O’Grady) gets jealous at the suggestion that
Jack’s been hanging around in bars with soldiers. Jack gives both him
and Gwen a quick kiss.
End: “You do not
know what I’m thinking right now,” says Jack, contemplating the idea of
two Doctors at once. He gets a little homoerotic tussle with Mickey
(who’s evidently on the rebound from both Jake and Rose right now),
before Mickey says “That’s enough hugging.”
The Waters of Mars:
Yuri’s brother is gay, and married to a man with a strange sense of
“We’ll have you tucked up in bed well before midnight,” says Mrs Baker.
“I’m afraid I’d be very poor company,” replies Sarah (eh?).
the human sacrifice scene, Brendan eschews the traditional voluminous
robes in favour of a nice little backless, low-cut miniskirt number.
Give us a twirl, Brendan.
The Doctor indulges in yet another drag act, and the Brigadier
unwittingly experiences life in a female body through Freeth’s “ER”
machine (and, in the novelisation, briefly considers chatting up some
women while doing so; since the ER viewer is supposed to experience the
desires of the recorder while using the machine, one may draw one’s own
Tragan’s sadomasochistic attractions are not confined to any particular
gender or, for that matter, species; his orgiastic pleasure at
Experiencing the death of a male employee aside, at one point he
expresses a desire to see Waldo Rudley whipped, and in the novel,
Freeth consoles Tragan after the latter is prevented from torturing
Sarah by suggesting that they “share her” later on.
Clamidia writes in to point out that the theme park is located on
popular gay cruising ground Hampstead Heath, leading one to wonder what
Nobby (ahem) and his mate were doing wandering around it in the dark…
Sarah Jane yet again dons male drag during the 16th-century sequence,
and goes by the somewhat unlikely name of “Jack.” In a doubly queer
twist, she is later identified as the Doctor’s gay lover (“Doctor, does
‘catamite’ mean what I think it does?” “I’m afraid so”)… (thanks to
Saraquazel for reminding me of this one… I remember snickering at the
line when it first came out, but I seem to have had a block on my
memory since then).
Happened to Susan Forman?: Temmosus (who apparently did not
die in The Daleks,
but became a European Commissioner) returns as a distinctly camp gent
who remarks that Ian was a “fine physical specimen” who stood out among
the Thals because he was “not androgynous.” Not accurate (many of the
Thals being fine physical specimens themselves), but a nice nod to the
campery of some of Sixties Who.
Touted as being “Doctor Who for grown-ups” (well, since you’re legally
an adult at 16, I suppose that’s correct) , and created by RTD, well,
be some queer stuff in there…
“At least I won’t get pregnant.
Yeah, never doing that
again.”—Captain Jack, on his belief
that the British water system is full of oral contraceptives.
Jack: Ianto Jones… he looks good in a
Confronted with the angry
his latest (female) one-night-stand, Owen uses the irresistibility
spray on him and winds up being snogged rather than pounded into the
One: Gwen has
a poorly-choreographed snog
with the possessed Charis, before the latter decides she’s
after men. The rest of the Torchwood team… well, they like
snogs Ianto to bring him back to
life, shortly before throwing Ianto’s girlfriend to the
pterodactyl. Jealous much, Harkness?
Frustrated by the banality of her job
and the smugness of Owen and Gwen’s relationship, Tosh takes
with a lesbian alien.
Does having a musical riff from David Bowie count? Well, if
Elton John reference in “Love and Monsters” does, I suppose so.
Keep Killing Susie:
Ianto apparently suggests to Jack that
they go to his office and do filthy things with a
is a bit weird when you consider that Jack’s killed
girlfriend a couple of episodes earlier, but oh well.
regards Owen’s collection of
male cosmetics as a surprising sign of effeminacy. Considering his
performance in “Everything Changes,” she should just be grateful she
didn’t have to share him with John.
Mark (who seems to really, really want to meet up with Owen after
hours, and to get Owen to join a group who enjoy getting physical
together in sweaty all-male encounters), includes, when Owen remarks
that he’s a lucky man to have two “gorgeous birds” answering the phones
for him, replying with raised eyebrows and a suggestive smile that it’s
“all bollocks really,” as well as taking his top off in front of Owen
(all courtesy of Aberrant Cliche).
Captain Jack meets, fancies, dances
with and snogs the man he stole his name from in 1941. But is this
homosexuality, or, technically, masturbation?
Owen accuses Ianto of being
“f***buddy.” Which we all rather suspected, really,
but is still
perplexing in light of the incident mentioned under “They
Killing Susie,” above.
revived Jack hugs everyone and
snogs Ianto. When Jack confronts Abbadon, it’s not quite
precisely what that white stuff which pours out of him into the Beast
is, some people have made some rather indelicate suggestions as to
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang:
aside the arrival of equally-bisexual time agent Captain John and his
much-vaunted necking and fighting with Captain Jack, Jack’s return sees
him flirting with Ianto from the start (“I missed you,” he says,
looking straight at him, before adding “all of you”) before asking him
out on a date in an office (right after admitting that offices turn him
on and he’d like for them both to photocopy some portion of their
anatomy that is, ahem, not their backsides). Ianto refuses, but his
stopwatch makes a reappearance later.
(the rest of these are with a little help from Firestorm– thanks, I
couldn’t get into S2 of Torchwood, even for the gay innuendo)
do if the world was at an end? Propose a threesome with Gwen and Ianto,
of course. Ianto suggests that Jack’s manners in bed are atrocious.
To the Last Man:
Jack on Ianto snogging action.
know, this is
incredibly homoerotic,” says Jack of his confrontation with Rhys, as a
concerned Gwen leaps in to separate them, ahem. Rhys later figures out
that Jack might be gay. Jack makes a few remarks about eating an
alien’s meat, and the alien didn’t seem to mind (but flirts with a
woman later, just for the sake of diversity quotas).
Jack and Ianto
continuing to heat up, with Ianto’s diary suggesting he’s been
measuring some of Jack’s dimensions; Adam distracts Ianto by giving him
a quick kiss.
mentions a past
boyfriend whose nostrils flared when he lied; Ianto lets it slip that
he and Jack aren’t above a little cosplay (with Jack wanting to borrow
a UNIT beret for one of their encounters).
Dead Man Walking:
Jack claims to have dated Marcel Proust (and given the latter’s
tendencies, he might not have been exaggerating).
A Day in the Death:
Owen is jealous of Ianto’s sexual antics with Jack.
fun to be had as the salesladies assume that Ianto is shopping for a
wedding dress for himself, not for Gwen, as Jack suggests that Ianto
could take his inside leg measurement, Jack and Ianto share a dance at
the wedding, and as Jack includes Ianto in his list of things to do.
Jack and Ianto like to play Naked Hide and Seek, but Jack cheats.
Jack on when he sees the Doctor again: “First I’m going to kiss him,
then I’m going to kill him.” Plenty of Tipping the Velvet
action from the ladies of Victorian Torchwood, plus, in the modern day,
Jack and Ianto’s shameless man-on-man-on-pterodactyl action (plus the
fact that Ianto’s obviously stalking Jack after his move to Cardiff).
John’s back, and he’s brought his bondage gear with him…
Children of Earth: Ianto’s now in a proper relationship
with Jack, but not sure how he feels about being identified as “gay” by
his family and friends as a result. The relationship follows touchingly
familiar twists and turns about sexual identity and willingness to
commit, but the tragic conclusion caused a storm in the queer
blogosphere as RTD was accused of following the familiar “put them in a
relationship, then kill one of them” trope for gay characters on
The Sarah Jane Smith
Invasion of the Bane: Sarah
Jane Smith, in the twenty years
since turning down Mrs Baker (see K9 and Company,
above), is now
living alone, with only a handbag-sized vibrating object for company;
aside, that is, from the occasional visit by what looks like the same
lesbian alien seen in Torchwood
earlier, who gives her a
heart-shaped communication device and offers to write her poetry. Just
as well they tone this down for the series, or they’d’ve had to rename
the show Luke Has Two Mommies.
of the Slitheen: Blink and
you miss this, but it seems the young Slitheen child has, well, two
dads (spotted by Rabenu).
“Men like you don’t tend to have a good time in prison,” says Sarah
Jane to Mr Chadwick (why, whatever can she be referring to?)
Suggestions for things to include at the next edit can be sent to [EMAIL ADDRESS REDACTED].
There are three criteria
for inclusion: 1) while it need not actually be gay, it has to be
something which could be interpreted as gay fairly easily (a scene
showing Turlough taking off his shirt, for instance, is not going to
make the list unless it also shows some bloke eyeing him up in the
background); 2) it has to be a scene or event linked to a particular
episode (it’s not enough to simply say “so-and-so is gay”; like D84, I
require evidence) and 3) it has to be within the show itself, the
Target novelisations or else from the direct spinoffs (no New
Adventures, Missing Adventures, Children’s Annuals etc– and nothing
about the private lives of any of the actors/production people; this
isn’t that sort of website). Unless you actually request anonymity,
too, I will credit you, so be warned or use a