‘Thasmin deserved better’: Why Doctor Who fans were disappointed at the Centenary Special
‘Congrats, you ruined a perfectly good episode with massive queerbaiting’
We’ve been waiting all year for it – and Jodie Whittaker’s last episode of Doctor Who finally premiered last night (23rd October). The episode united viewers old and new, with tons of Easter Eggs and an amazing plotline (the Master as Rasputin was a stroke of GENIUS).
But, despite the level of fan service writer Chris Chibnall paid with the centenary episode – we literally got to see five different Doctors *as well as* David Tennant – one storyline let a lot of people down.
The lack of any romantic closure between Thirteen and her assistant, Yasmin, has led fans to call Chibnall out for “queerbaiting”. This means teasing a romantic storyline between two heavily-implied queer characters, before shutting it down altogether.
All throughout series 13, there appeared to be a romance developing between Thirteen and Yasmin. The whole will-they-won’t-they plot led fans to believe a Rose Tyler-style declaration of love would be coming up in Jodie’s finale. Or, at the very least, a kiss. Chibnall himself admitted to fan site Blogtor Who that the pair had “suppressed feelings” for each other, and “conversations that needed to be had”.
The hour-and-a-half special episode concluded with Thirteen being fatally hurt by the Master, as Yasmin dragged her back into the TARDIS. When she realises she’s dying, the Doctor takes Yasmin on one last trip to look at the stars, and spends a long time saying goodbye to her.
Despite the scene being set for an intimate moment, it just… never happened. And Yasmin was dropped off somewhere in Croydon (IYKYK) to live out the rest of her life.
Final thought on Doctor Who … not paying off Yaz being in love with the Doctor, teasing it in the last season as a major dramatic point and not even *mentioning* it feels totally untrue to their relationship. And, if I’m honest it feels like queerbaiting.
— Marc Burrows (@20thcenturymarc) October 23, 2022
People were livid at the “pathetic queerbaiting” between the two characters, and felt like Chibnall’s opportunity to bow out with a historical Doctor Who moment was missed.
“Disappointed that the Doctor-Yas storyline didn’t really develop into what the fandom were crying out for (queerbaiting, much?)” journalist Liam O’Dell tweeted.
“Hold on – we got lesbians out here in motherfucking Star Wars but Doctor Who is out here queerbaiting people?!” tweeted another fan.
“Not paying off Yaz being in love with the Doctor, teasing it in the last season as a major dramatic point and not even *mentioning* it feels totally untrue to their relationship. And, if I’m honest it feels like queerbaiting,” author Marc Burrows said.
The BBC declined our request for comment.
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Featured image via BBC.