In news that shall come as no surprise to anyone, it’s been revealed that “Thasmin”, i.e. the potentially-romantic relationship between the Thirteenth Doctor and Yasmin Khan, was not planned from the beginning of the era; indeed, it was actually the response from Doctor Who fans on social media which prompted Yaz’s feelings for the Doctor.
In Eve of the Daleks, Yaz confesses to fellow companion, Dan Lewis, how she feels about the Doctor. And this came about because some fans on social media read more into their initial relationship.
Producer, Matt Strevens, said:
“Jodie had brought [social media speculation] to set after the first season, and said ‘there’s speculation out there,’ and we hadn’t really thought about it. But it became quite a big thing, and if you think about the history of Doctor Who since Russell [T Davies, former and new showrunner] brought it back, every companion story with the Doctor is a love story.”
Not entirely sure about the idea that every companion story is a love story: while Rose and Martha both felt the same for the Doctor, Donna didn’t; Amy and Rory didn’t (although Amy likely had a crush on him due to childhood fixation); Clara initially fancied the Doctor; Nardole definitely didn’t; and neither did Bill. Captain Jack fancies everyone though.
Nonetheless, it could maybe be argued that the “love story” doesn’t have to be romantic; it could be that strong bond of friendship and the appreciation of what each party offers to the other.
So why didn’t their relationship grow during Series 12? Strevens offers a simple explanation:
“A couple screengrabs went around that could be misinterpreted… and then we sort of forgot about it.”
Strevens went on to say:
“Yaz isn’t sure what these feelings are that she’s having, but they’re fundamental feelings. And I think it’s a testament to John Bishop’s performance that he’s sort of wheedling it out of them, which I think was brilliantly done.”
However you feel about “Thasmin”, it looks like it’ll be explored more in Jodie Whittaker’s final two specials, Legend of the Sea Devils, and the as-yet-unnamed BBC Centenary special…