Doctor Who’s first-ever same-sex kiss happened almost 20 years ago


Doctor Who and Rogue kissing

Doctor Who appeared to make history this weekend after Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor puckered up for an emotional kiss with a dashing bounty hunter, played by Jonathan Groff.

This came amid The Doctor and Ruby Sunday’s latest adventure, during which they travelled back to Bridgerton-era England for a spot of dancing.

It was here that The Doctor encountered ‘Rogue,’ an interplanetary bounty hunter on the trail of a gang of shape-shifting cosplayers looking to make 19th-century Britain their playground.

After some romantically charged bickering, the Doctor and Rogue soon hit it off – culminating in a heartbreaking kiss as Rogue sacrificed himself to save an imperilled Ruby.

All very steamy, yes, and certainly The Doctor’s first real same-sex love interest – but not the first time the Timelord has locked lips with another man.

In fact, The Doctor’s first same-sex kiss came almost 20 years ago (feel old yet?) during the first series of its regenerated reboot, starring Christopher Eccleston.

After a rocky start, The Doctor soon hit it off with hunky Rogue (Picture: BBC Studios)
But first, The Doctor locked lips with charming Captain Jack (Picture: BBC/Emily Manley)

The moment in question came during the season one episode The Parting Of The Ways, featuring Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.

With the world once again under threat from the Dalek empire, The Doctor teams up with 51st-century con man Captain Jack Harkness – played by John Barrowman – in an attempt to save the day.

As Captain Jack prepares to sacrifice his own life fighting the Dalek menace, he turns to The Doctor and the pair share an impassioned kiss as they say their goodbyes.

A historic moment, and one of solid character building too – speaking volumes forJack’s heroism and the depth of feeling the pair had come to have for one another.

The Eleventh Doctor thanked companion Rory Pond’s quick-thinking with a playful snog (Picture: BBC/Emily Manley)

Barrowman’s Captain Jack would go on to make TV history by fronting spin-off Torchwood, which showcased the omnisexual time-traveller’s heartbreaking romance with doomed lover Ianto Jones.

Years later, The Doctor also shared a kiss with companion Rory Pond – played by Arthur Darvill – in the Season Seven episode Dinosaurs On A Spaceship.

Played more for laughs than The Doctor’s other kisses, this one was improvised by Matt Smith as the Doctor planted a grateful smacker on Rory’s lips after his quick-thinking saved the day.

Meanwhile, Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor hinted at a romantic interest in companion Yaz (Mandip Gill) – but the distance this more aloof Doctor kept from her companions prevented both Doctor and Yaz from sealing the deal.

The episode culminated with a passionate kiss between Rogue and The Doctor (Picture: BBC/Emily Manley)
The Doctor was left heartbroken in the wake of Rogue’s sacrifice (Picture: BBC/Emily Manley)

Both The Doctor and Rogue seemed ready to commit as of this weekend’s episode – but were tragically torn apart when Rogue sacrificed himself to another dimension to save poor Ruby.

However, given the palpable chemistry between The Doctor and Rogue, it seems only a matter of time before the pair are reunited.

The Doctor, after all, still has Rogue’s engagement ring, exchanged during their sizzling performance on the dancefloor.

Rogue’s return was hinted at as he signed off with the words ‘find me!’ before being transported to another dimension – along with the five shape-shifting villains he and The Doctor had captured.

This may not have been his first kiss, but it was certainly The Doctor’s first explicitly queer romance in Who history (Picture: BBC/Emily Manley)

Fans praised the episode, written by Kate Herron and Briony Redmon – and overseen by showrunner Russell T Davies – describing it as ‘beautifully queer’ and ‘one hell of a Pride Month episode.’

Whether they get their happy ever after is another matter entirely – between losing Rose Tyler to another dimension and the death of wife River Song, no iteration of The Doctor has ever been lucky in love.

Watch Doctor Who on BBC One and iPlayer.

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