Amid reports that new Doctor Peter Capaldi has put his foot down when it comes to sexual tension in the Tardis, a Doctor Who insider says there were never any plans to create a romance between the Time Lord and his companion Clara – and that the decision was a “shared intention” of Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat.
“There’ll be no flirting, that’s for sure. It’s not what this Doctor’s concerned with," said Capaldi this week. "It’s quite a fun relationship [between the Doctor and Clara] but, no, I did call and say ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments.’ I think there was a bit of tension with that at first but I was adamant.”
But a show insider told RadioTimes.com "There was never any intention for a Doctor and Clara romance. It was a shared intention of Steven and Peter not to have a romance."
The decision follows what many Who fans have seen as an inappropriate leaning towards romantic encounters between the Time Lord and his companions since the show returned in 2005.
Billie Piper began her tenure as Rose Tyler with a flirty relationship with Christopher Eccleston and ended it snogging David Tennant on a beach.
Karen Gillan's Amy Pond not only locked lips with Matt Smith's Doctor but actually tried to get him into bed.
And since Jenna Coleman's Clara Oswald has arrived on the scene, there have been passionate kisses and a continued sexual frisson.
According to Capaldi, the decision to cast that aside comes together with an overall change in tone that will accompany his new Doctor when he makes his full debut in August.
"We still blow a lot of shit up. That’s very important, but it’s going to be a bit different from what we’ve seen over recent years," Capaldi told the Sunday Times. "A bit more gravity.
"Some situations are more sombre and I think there are more rooted dramatic scenes. Over the past two or three years [with Matt Smith], which I’ve loved, there has often been a breathless vigour; we still have that attack, but we have another level of drama, another tone. And the scenes are longer.”
Capaldi is well known as a fan of the first Doctor, William Hartnell, who was the same age – 55 – as the new star, when he took the role. He was a sterner, less friendly character than many of his successors, and travelled with his grandaughter and her school teachers, meaning flirting was never on the agenda.
Capaldi's Doctor makes his full debut in series eight opening episode Deep Breath on Saturday 23 August on BBC1.