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."
--The Dalek Masterplan
As featured on Lesbian and Gay Joke Site of the Day and Tachyon TV
Introduction William Hartnell Patrick Troughton Jon Pertwee Tom Baker Peter Davison
Colin Baker Sylvester McCoy Paul McGann Christopher Eccleston David Tennant Spinoffs (featuring Torchwood) Submit to the Master
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.
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.
1. William Hartnell
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. Inadvertantly, one assumes, or Susan is in for a disappointment (this one thanks to WJR and Saraquazel).
The 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 one!"
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...
2. Patrick Troughton
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”).
Ben: “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)
3. Jon Pertwee
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 guerillas 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). Later:
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 Twist."
The Brig to Yates: "Bring some men with you - I feel as naked as a babe in its bath" (thanks to Rich).
Carnival of Monsters: The inhabitants of Inter Minor are a trio of old queens, with Orum and Kalik being particularly camp (as observed by Andrew Thorn)
Vorg 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.
Frontier in Space: "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..."
Planet of 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.
The Green Death: The Doctor dons drag again, much to Mike Yates' amusement.
Why does Global Chemicals' branch plant contain a cell with ceiling chains--surely not standard equipment for a chemical manufactory?
Mike Yates, inevitably, winds up in bondage at the hands of Stevens and his evil henchmen.
BOSS misquotes Oscar Wilde.
The Brigadier and the Doctor: "It's a tremendous size." "Yes, isn't it? Tomorrow morning Professor Jones and I are going to examine it properly."
Episodes 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!"
Elgin (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)
The Time Warrior: 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.
Invasion of the Dinosaurs: 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.
Amusingly, 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 indeed.
Planet of the Spiders: 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.
Another 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.
4. Tom Baker
Robot: "Oh, nonsense, Brigadier--you're a swinger!"
"The 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!"
"Harry here is only qualified to work on sailors."
Genesis of the Daleks: 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).
Revenge of 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.
Again, 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.
Terror of the Zygons: Sarah finds the Brigadier's kilt slightly scandalous (what is it with Doctor Who and kilts?!?)
"Was that bang big enough for you, Brigadier?"
“You’re not suggesting one of us is really… one of them?”
Planet of Evil: Another all-male society, this time with shoulderpads (credit to Saraqazel).
The Pyramids of Mars: 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 Morbius: 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 Doom: 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 Nimon 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.
The Masque of Mandragora: 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."
Elsewhere 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.
Robots of 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 come out."
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.
"...and 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).
The Talons of Weng Chiang: Leela wears what seems to be Victorian-urchin panto drag.
"She was found 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."
The 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.
"Backs to the wall!" says Litefoot to Jago as they are attacked (spotted by Ali Carnell).
Horror of Fang Rock: Leela dresses in the dead lighthouse-keeper's clothes.
LEELA: Come out, old one!
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).
The Ribos Operation: 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.
The Stones of Blood: 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.
Destiny of the Daleks: Romana dons Doctor drag. The Doctor is not amused.
The Creature 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.
When 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.
And 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 this possibility.
William 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.
"You're a beautiful woman, probably," says the Doctor to the Countess (thanks to Mike Russell for reminding me-- I'd unaccountably forgotten that one).
The Leisure Hive: 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.
State of 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.
5. Peter Davison
Castrovalva: 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.
Kinda: A hint of polyandry (for you non-anthropologists, that's two or more men marrying one woman), but this doesn't necessarily mean anything.
A scene in which Hindle administers a flogging to Adric was apparently excised from the script at a suspiciously late stage in the proceedings.
The 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?).
Earthshock: 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.
Snakedance: Lon is a bored foppish young man who likes to lounge about on sofas, polishing his snake in public.
Terminus: 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...
Arc of 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).
Enlightenment: "Tell me we're going to get off, Doctor!" cries Turlough desperately. (Thanks to Alice Dryden and housemate Pablo for this one)
Oh 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 exhiliarating."
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 Androzani: 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)
6. Colin Baker
Attack of 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.
While 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 Mary Whitehouse.
Mike 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.
Chris Carson also points out some pretty campy gestures from the Cyberman who discovers the vastial as he urges his mates to run for it.
Vengeance on Varos: 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 Troy Latto).
"Come here, Jamie...look at that."
"Look at the size of that thing, Doctor!"
"Yes, Jamie...it is a big one."
(contributed by JoAnne Thrax)
Revelation of the Daleks: "I'm a past master at the double entry..."
The Doctor, rather archly, pats Grigory's cheek, but not Natasha's; Natasha sarcastically echoes the pat a minute later (thanks Michael!).
Two rather camp attendants comment archly on Jobel's lack of interest in Tasambeker, then skip off together holding a single blossom (thanks Benjamin!)
The Mysterious 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)
Mindwarp/Trial 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.
7. Sylvester McCoy
Time and the Rani: 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.
Paradise Towers: 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....
The 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..."
Battlefield: 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 good friends among the local girls wherever she goes (cf. "The Curse of Fenric," "Ghost Light," "The Happiness Patrol")
Silver Nemesis: "I'm a big fan of straight blowing."
Ghost Light: 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.
Episode 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 Fenric: 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.
Survival: 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 and Karra, 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...
8. Paul McGann
The Enemy 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):
CHANG LEE: What're you doing here, Bruce?
THE 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 his body.
CHANG LEE: (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...)
Rob 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:
LEE: And then, we're
a team, right?
MASTER: Yes, we're a... team.
Not totally relevant, but it is interesting that the director went on to do the notorious Victorian lesbo series Tipping the Velvet.
9. Christopher Eccleston
Rose: "It'll never work. He's gay, and she's an alien." --The Doctor, perusing a copy of Heat magazine.
The 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).
The End of the World: 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 Unquiet Dead: 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.
Aliens of London/World War Three: Rose: "You are so gay!"
"I'm going to miss being Oliver. He had a wife, a mistress and a Young Farmer. Busy lad" (why, whatever can he mean?)
Joseph Green: I need
to be naked.
General Asquith: Rejoice in it. Your body is (significant pause, stare) magnificent.
The Long Game: 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).
The Empty 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.
"Half 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).
"Doctor, 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!)
Boom Town: "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.
In 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).
Bad Wolf/The 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.
Not 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.
10. David Tennant
New Earth: 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.
Completism (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.
Tooth and Claw: "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).
School Reunion: "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 Schildkroet).
Rise of the 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)
Screen 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.
We 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.
The Idiot's Lantern: "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.
The 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 Britain turn.
Episode 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?
The Beast enters Toby from behind (thanks Gizensha)
Some 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.
Love and Monsters: Elton's childhood home is now inhabited by "two ladies" who are "a bit severe." Oh, and three guesses who Elton's named after.
Doomsday: "Daleks have no concept of elegance!" "That is obvious!" The Cybermen get bitchy.
The 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.
The 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).
The Carrionites are an all-female race and Lilith (she of the very feminist name), it seems, has two mothers.
And yes, Firestorm17, you're right... the Master's dancing to the Scissor Sisters'Ta Da album does count.
(contributors to the above: Firestorm17, Kirsten and Mr Fiction).
Time Crash (the 2007 Children in Need Doctor Who sketch): "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.
The 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).
The Sontaran Stratagem: One of Donna's ex-boyfriends left her for a man....
The Doctor's Daughter: ...and two of Donna's friends are a lesbian couple who had a child through IVF.
Midnight: Sky is on holiday to get over a broken relationship... with another woman.
The Stolen Earth: 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.
Journey's 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 boundaries.
11. BBC Spinoffs
K9 and Company: "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?).
For 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 Paradise of Death: 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 conclusions).
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.
Sister 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...
The Ghosts of N-Space: 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).
Whatever 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, there would be some queer stuff in there...
Everything Changes: “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 suit.
Ianto: That’s harassment, sir!
Confronted with the angry boyfriend of his latest (female) one-night-stand, Owen uses the irresistibility spray on him and winds up being snogged rather than pounded into the floor.
Day One: Gwen has a poorly-choreographed snog with the possessed Charis, before the latter decides she’s only after men. The rest of the Torchwood team… well, they like to watch, apparently.
Cyberwoman: Jack snogs Ianto to bring him back to life, shortly before throwing Ianto’s girlfriend to the pterodactyl. Jealous much, Harkness?
Greeks Bearing Gifts: Frustrated by the banality of her job and the smugness of Owen and Gwen’s relationship, Tosh takes up with a lesbian alien.
Random Shoes: Does having a musical riff from David Bowie count? Well, if the Elton John reference in "Love and Monsters" does, I suppose so.
They 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.
Out of Time: Diane 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.
Captain Jack Harkness: 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 Jack’s “f***buddy.” Which we all rather suspected, really, but is still perplexing in light of the incident mentioned under “They Keep Killing Susie,” above.
End of Days: The
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
Adam: 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.
Adrift: Jack and Ianto like to play Naked Hide and Seek, but Jack cheats.
The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures
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.
Revenge of the Slitheen: Blink and you miss this, but it seems the young Slitheen child has, well, two dads (spotted by Rabenu).
Warriors of Kudlak: "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?)
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