Doctor Who Season 11 might be moving towards a surprising romance for new companion Yasmin Khan, but it’s not the one you might expect. may than pining for her former classmate Ryan, Yaz might have taken a romantic interest in the 13th Doctor instead.
In the first three Doctor Who episodes this season, Yasmin and Ryan reconnected as friends who went to grade school together, and they have decent chemistry. They’re the easy couple to ship on Doctor Who these days. But in Sunday night’s “Arachnids in the UK” — which also introduced us to Yaz’s family — we got the first inkling that Yasmin’s fascination with the Doctor as a brilliant alien might be developing into something more romantic.
In the episode’s first scene with the Doctor and her new friends, during an awkward goodbye, Yaz is the first one to invite the Doctor to tea at her place. She does politely extend the invitation to Ryan and Graham as well, but even Ryan notes that they weren’t invited at first. Ryan and Graham seem totally fine not going on any more life-threatening adventures here, but Yaz is the one that doesn’t want to say goodbye to the Doctor.
While at tea in the Khan apartment, Yaz suffers the usual questions from her family about her general lack of friends and whether or not she is dating Ryan. (Again, the easy ship.) Later, when the gang converges on the hotel in the center of the city where Yaz’s mother Najia works, Yaz is again pestered about her romantic prospects — yet here it’s about the Doctor.
“Sorry, but who are you?” Najia asks the Doctor. “How do you know my daughter? Why’ve I not met you before? Are you two seeing each other?”
Earlier in the episode, the Doctor diagnosed herself as “nervous” and “socially awkward,” yet here her cool response is simple:
“I don’t think so. Are we?”
Cue the dramatic pause.
“We’re friends!” Yasmin says, visibly frustrated. “I owe the Doctor my life, quite a few times over.”
Whether or not Doctor Who wants us to think this is an actual possibility, the show’s writers definitely want it to be on our minds. It’s just enough to tantalize Doctor Who fans into shipping Yasmin and the Doctor full-time.
Perhaps the strongest piece of evidence in support of the Yas-Doc ship comes at the very end of the episode when all three companions commit to more adventures aboard the TARDIS.
Graham doesn’t want to stay home and grieve his dead wife Grace, and Ryan is sick of his dead-end job. Going on adventures through space and time give each of them an opportunity for more excitement. But Yasmin is the one that has the most dramatic commitment to staying aboard.
“I want more, more of the universe … more time with you,” she says. “You’re like the best person I’ve ever met.”
That’s not quite a romantic confession, but it is absolutely enough for some fans to think so.
One piece of evidence that goes against any fangirling or fanboying about the prospect of a romance between the Doctor and Yasmin is that in a September interview with The Times, 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker specifically said, “We are a friendship group in this season.”
There’s every indication that at least for this current 10-episode season, the series might not go for any romance. This is a new Doctor with a new showrunner, so it’s basically a soft reboot. We wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Chibnall (the new showrunner) played it at least a little bit safe in this regard, titillating viewers with just enough hints without ever committing to relationships.
But who knows what might happen in Season 12 and beyond? For the time being, we definitely ship Yasmin and the Doctor.
Doctor Who airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern on BBC America.