To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve wrapped a big red bow around the TARDIS to relate some romantic tales as old as time!
The Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan, faced a dilemma on Earth in the 22nd century. She’d fallen in love with resistance fighter David Campbell, who’d helped overturn a Dalek conquest of Earth that had left the planet in ruins and much of humanity wiped out. When he asked her to marry him, she felt there was no way she could stay, even though she desperately wanted to – she couldn’t leave her grandfather. The Doctor could see her heartbreak and made the decision for her, locking the TARDIS doors and telling her to build herself a new, happy life with David.
Graham O’Brien met Grace Sinclair at a very hard time in his life when he had cancer and she was a chemo nurse at his hospital. He went from thinking he didn’t have much time left to recovering and falling in love with Grace, and she made him see that life still had a lot to offer. They had just three years together before she died, but Graham has remained true to his wife’s memory during his travels with the Doctor. While he thought about killing the Stenza warrior who’d been responsible for Grace’s death, he knew she would never have wanted him to do that in her name.
Nothing about the Doctor’s relationship with River Song was normal. For a start, she died the very first time they met, which would usually be a barrier to any relationship developing. She later shot and killed him, which would also be considered a dealbreaker for most couples, but in this case led to marriage! OK, so the ceremony was chiefly an attempt to repair the broken timeline that resulted from River creating a divergent reality by refusing to murder her beloved, but it was not an unromantic occasion in the circumstances. River’s death, alas, was harder to undo, and she knew that she would eventually spend one last night with the Doctor on Darillum. There was one detail the Doctor hadn’t tipped her off about, though – each night there lasts 24 years. The romantic old goat!
There was something special about John Smith, a teacher at Farringham School for Boys in late 1913. The school’s matron, Joan Redfern, definitely noticed it, much to the dismay of Mr Smith’s maid Martha Jones. Only she knew this mild-mannered teacher was actually the Doctor, forced to take human form while legging it from a bunch of marauding aliens after all his regenerations. Martha, hopelessly in love with the oblivious Time Lord, was double devastated that he didn’t look twice at her even as a human. Heartbreak was looming – Joan’s love for John didn’t survive his transformation back into the Doctor. She told him that “her” John was dead, and the Doctor was just a man who looked like him.
Jackie Tyler wasn’t blessed with a lot of luck, regardless of which universe she was in. The first version of her we met was a widow, left to scrimp and save on her own with baby Rose after her husband Pete was killed in a hit-and-run. Then we encountered another Jackie in a parallel world who seemed to be doing a bit better for herself – Pete was alive, and they were filthy rich. Their relationship might have been on the rocks, but this Pete was still devastated when “his” Jacks was turned into a Cyberman. But with a Jackie in one universe and a Pete in another, not even a whopping great void of nothingness could keep them apart. The moment the mismatched couple “reunited” would bring a tear to even a Cyber eye, and the pair even went on to have another Tyler – little Doctor, (aka Tony).
Bill Potts found her romantic life taking a random turn when she met a girl called Heather with a star-shaped iris, who seemed to like her but had a kind of melancholy wanderlust. Plot twist! Heather had been taken over by living fluid from an alien ship – it wanted to get away and so did she, so they were a perfect match. That didn’t mean she wanted to leave Bill, though – in fact, she chased her across time and space so they could be together. But it wasn’t to be, and Heather had to let Bill go. There was a happy ending though! Well, as happy an ending as being turned into a Cyberman can have, because that’s what happened to Bill. CyberBill and Heather were reunited by a “tear” Heather had left behind, and they’re now happily zooming around the universe together.
Life with the Doctor had subjected Amy Pond and Rory Williams to more trials than most newly-married couples could be expected to deal with – Rory tended to die quite frequently, while Amy forgot he even existed for quite a while. Their relationship endured, but a trip to New York in 2012 nearly saw them separated for good – Rory was zapped into the past by Weeping Angels, and Amy realised the only way they could be together was to allow herself to be taken as well. They’d never see the Doctor again, or their daughter River, but they were at least able to live out the rest of their lives together.
Battling giant mutant maggots is exactly the kind of thing that makes a person want to take stock of their life and perhaps make some changes. And so it was for the Doctor’s friend Jo Grant, whose head had been turned by a dashing young scientist named Clifford Jones. Giving up the amazing experience of travelling in the TARDIS with the Doctor can be hard, but Jo had no doubts at all that she wanted to marry Cliff, leaving a sad Doctor to drive off alone into the night. The Jones family is still going strong – Jo and Cliff have seven children and twelve grandchildren!
True love recognises no barriers, it’s been said, and that’s certainly true in the case of Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint. It’s a miracle they ever met at all, with Vastra being a Siluirian warrior from the dawn of time and Jenny a Victorian maid. But Vastra was unearthed during the construction of the London Underground in the 19th century and the rest is history. The couple are married, although they tend to keep this fact quiet to avoid pearl-clutching Victorian prudery, and Jenny’s down-to-earth sarcasm nature is the perfect foil for Vastra’s superior Silurian snootiness.
To some, companion Rose Tyler was the greatest love of the Doctor’s life. He seemed to have a closer bond with her than almost anyone he’d travelled with before, and as time went on it was increasingly clear that she was deeply in love with him. Calamity struck when they ended up on opposite sides of the Void on different versions of Earth with no hope of being reunited. The Doctor burned up a sun to generate enough power to send a farewell hologram, and Rose finally told him that she loved him, but the power cut out before he could reply. Sob!