Doctor Who: Steven Moffat On The Many Marriages Of The Doctor
Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffatt has addressed the issue of the Doctor's multiple marriages, including that of David Tennant's Tenth Doctor to Elizabeth I in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.
Reader Finlay Worrallo asks: How valid are the Doctor's marriages to Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe and River Song? Technically they're all dead so he's a widower. But he could easily travel back in time to when they're alive. So is he a bigamist or not?
Steven replies: Blimey, you have a point. First of all, those marriages - now given what we know, it's reasonable to assume that Time Lords meet and marry and mate in much the same way as we do. Not inevitable mind, but reasonable. I'm aware there's some highly inventive material in the Virgin New Adventures books contradicting this, but in fairness I think that's a separate (and equally valid) continuity.
Going by the TV Show itself, and the interspecies shenanigans between Gallifreyans and humans established therein (Susan and David Campbell, Leela and Andred) it's simplest to assume they are wired in quite a similar way to us. Which means that the Doctor was married (or whatever the Time Lord equivalent is) on Gallifrey. Not just married, but married a long time. He didn't just have children, he had grandchildren. He had a whole life. Actually he had the beginnings of a dynasty. It always gives me pause for thought that. There's so much we don't know, and never will. What happened that black day..what or who launched the Doctor on his never ending journey? But never mind that for the moment. The bog thing here: there is a woman in his past, to whom he was married for a very long time.
Mrs Who No.1: Dead, I presume? I suppose she must be. Think about that for a moment. He never ever mentions her, never discusses her, Again, what happened?! But he's not a bigamist on that score.
Mrs Who No.2: Elizabeth I. Well, they definitely got married. I saw it happen in The Day Of The Doctor. And then he never went back. Hard to excuse the old devil, on this front. Frankly she deserved better. She tackled and killed a Zygon, cleverly took command of the Zygon invasion force, learned their plans, secured the Doctor's safety, returned his TARDIS to him and despatched him to the future to administer the coup de grace, while locking up the Zygons in the specially created Under Gallery until he could get there. Thinking about it, she's too good for him! Any of him! But does it count as bigamy if the marriage is unconsummated? And there's a word I never expected to write in this column. A tentative Not Guilty, but with a big frown of disapproval.
Mrs Who No.3: Marilyn Monroe. But can we trust this information? I have a suspicion that it never really happened, and that she was just teasing him one slightly drunken Christmas. And anyway she married other people. Again, Not Guilty.
Mrs Who No.4: River Song. Ahhh, now there's a one! A point that no one seems to have noticed is this: in The Wedding Of River Song there is no wedding and River Song doesn't get married. The Doctor never whispers his name to her, and is, in any event, miniaturised inside a robot replica of himself (which even by bloke standards, betrays a certain reticence about commitment). Of course River Song swaggers about the place calling the Doctor her husband , but, well she would, wouldn't she?
And at some point he does tell her his name - but she must have tickled him a lot or something. Hand on my heart, I can't swear River and the Doctor didn't misbehave whilst we weren't looking (I don't actually know as the Doctor doesn't tell the BBC everything) but I don't think bigamy figures here. Besides, I bet River got married about 428 times. Once for each gender.
So there you go I think he's in the clear.. but who knows what's coming next?
You can read the full interview with Steven Moffat in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine which is out now!