One former and one current (and soon to be solo) companion of the Doctor will be teaming up in the next special Doctor Who episode, “Revolution of the Daleks.” But the actors behind them are teasing that there just might be something that the two of them share when it comes to feelings about the Doctor that’s very interesting indeed.
Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the show’s return early next year, John Barrowman and Mandip Gill talked about how Captain Jack and Yaz will find some common ground when the former teams up with the latter, Ryan, and Graham to help save Earth from some human-made Daleks while the Doctor’s, y’know, trapped on an inescapable alien prison zillions of miles away. Of course, having briefly met before they’re already familiar, and the bond of being a friend of the Doctor is already shared between them. But according to Barrowman and Gill, there’s more to their connection there that, while very vaguely worded, is bound to get some Doctor Who fan’s hearts racing like they had their own binary vascular system.
“The one thing is that Jack always seems to be able to pluck out somebody who feels the same way about the Doctor that he does, so I do love that when they write the scenes…without going into too much detail Mandip and I had a wonderful scene that we did together where we express how we both feel,” Barrowman teased. “I can’t tell you what it entails, what it involves. But it’s a lovely scene.”
“[Jack]’s someone who’s lost the Doctor as well,” Gill added. “He’s not exactly human, so I’m not sure if I would have instantly thought, ‘oh yeah, it’s gonna be someone like that that can relate,’ I would have thought it was Graham or Ryan going, ‘I really love these journeys and I don’t wanna go home.’ Jack has an amazing energy that’s very very different to Yaz, Ryan and Graham’s energy, but he also has, to a degree, the same relationship with the Doctor that we do.”
While Gill’s comment is more general to the wider family of companions past and present, Barrowman touching upon feelings about the Doctor in the context of both Yaz and Jack is interesting. Of all three current companions, Yaz has definitely had the closest bond to the 13th Doctor, regularly telling her that she’s willing to follow her anywhere and generally being more intimate with her than she is with Ryan or Graham. There’s enough of a spark there that the idea of shipping Yaz and the Doctor is a not-uncommon thing among fan circles. That’s something Gill is also aware of, discussing the potential relationship in a recent interview with SFX Magazine (via Radio Times).
“Me and the Doctor? I love it, The fan art is just out there. It’s good, innit,” Gill told SFX. “You want a character and a storyline–even though that storyline wasn’t there–you want people to be talking about it. I don’t want it to just stay on-screen, I want people to relate to it or have seen something in our two characters that they think could go on a different journey. So to me, I’m here for it.”
And Jack? Well, he’s Captain Jack Harkness. Aside from know for being willing and able to flirt with anything that has a pulse, his past arc in the show and in Torchwood has touched on his own love of the Doctor, beyond the occasional raunchy comment or as a friend. The Doctor changed Jack’s life, fundamentally (well, Rose and the Time Vortex did, technically, but still!), and there’s an attraction there that has pushed and pulled him in and out of their orbit. So could their connection, as Barrowman teases, be beyond just feelings about potentially leaving the TARDIS behind forever, and more of a romantic, unrequited or otherwise, passion?
Doctor Who, especially in its modern iteration, has not shied away from the idea of romance between the Doctor and a companion, so it wouldn’t exactly be a surprise if Yaz does have romantic feelings for the Doctor. But the show’s never really examined that idea through a queer lens before — whether the Doctor reciprocates or not, it’d be a cool step for the show to take in diversifying the stories it tells in time and space.
“Revolution of the Daleks” lands on January 2, 2021.