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Published on August 3rd, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

Moffat ‘Appalled’ at No Gay Characters

Everett Canton Delware III (Mark Sheppard) wasn’t just an amazing supporting character in this year’s opener The Impossible Astronaut – his inception allowed Steven Moffat to address the one criticism that he ever took to heart.

In an interview with AfterElton Moffat said he was ‘appalled’ at the lack of gay or bisexual characters in his first season in charge because it didn’t feel like Doctor Who:

“I was thinking, I’m not like that at all. I would never have done that. So I was thinking, “Dammit, it’s the one criticism I’ve ever listened to. Good point, Doctor Who should always be…” It’s not because it’s politically and morally correct. It’s right for Doctor Who, isn’t it? It’s cheeky and off-centered. And fun.”

Bringing that sense of fun back Canton’s sexuality was devised as a way to make ‘a whole other life unfold in your head’ and also as a way to set the character apart from being just another agent to an agent more likely to side with the Doctor over the fiercely conservative Richard Nixon.

Speaking also of cheeky and fun Moffat spoke again of the possible return of Captain Jack Harkness to the Whoniverse:

“We will when we have a great story. One of the great dangers of bringing back someone for the hell of it is all you get is a great entrance and then what are you going to do? What are you going to do after that? You just brought him back to do something with him.”

More unlikely – but by no means less desired – was AfterElton’s suggestion of a return of Midshipman Frame (Russell Tovey – the man once tipped by Russell T. Davies as a potential Doctor) who was last seen indulging in a bit of the Captain at The End of Time:

“That was really sweet because it gave them both a little happy ending. I think it’s a measure of how much attitudes have changed, that’s how people really think.

I think that the most remarkable things from Doctor Who from that point of view was, if you remember in Utopia… It has a scene where Captain Jack and the Doctor are lightly comically flirting with each other and it’s rather charming. It’s just played for charm, it’s not really suggestive that they are really flirting. Just silly old souls.”


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

8 Responses to Moffat ‘Appalled’ at No Gay Characters

  1. It’s nice to see that the site has stuck to its promise to use that picture of the Grand Moff :D

    • It just works, doesn’t it?

  2. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    Isn’t there a “Sad Don Draper” pic that’s gone around the internet from Madmen? I think it was used here and there to just put a type of emoticon in certain situations. That’s our “appalled Moff” emoticon!

  3. avatar ian says:

    He’s starting to look like the Face Of Boe. Run away! Run away!

  4. avatar Simon says:

    I think it’s great… I think society likes to forget every now and then that GLBT people have just as much rights as ther rest of us. Why shouldn’t shows close to our version of reality adopt the same modern-day principles?

  5. avatar Alex says:

    Frame was a good one-off character, but we don’t need to see him again. Yeah, he made that cameo at the end of The End of Time, but really that was just to make up for the fact that Russell Tovey, cited by RTD in his Writers Tale as one of his first choices to play the Eleventh Doctor, didn’t get the part. If RTD wanted to bring Frame into Torchwood I’d have no objections if he could figure out a way to make the character work (and if he could have he would have, even with Tovey doing Being Human). But I’d rather Moffat stick to characters he created like Delaware (an obvious exception being Captain Jack, since he’s got “favoured companion status” among fans. Moffat didn’t create Victoria Waterfield either, but if he figured out a way for Debbie Watling to make an appearance I’d be all for it too).

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      Actually, Capt Jack ‘was’ created by Steven Moffatt.
      Don’t forget he first appeared in the two-parter “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances”, written by The Moff himself.

  6. avatar ChrisL says:

    Oops, forgot to point out (in my role as annoying pedant) that you’ve got Canton’s name back to front.

    Obviously my incorrect spelling of Steven Moffat’s name (above) was a deliberate mistake to prove that even annoying pedants are far from perfect :-)

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