The series premiere of Doctor Who featured the first onscreen same-sex kiss between fan favourites Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint. Silurian Vastra and her human wife (played by Neve Mcintosh and Catrin Stewart respectively) first appeared in series 2011’s ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ with their relationship only hinted at through various flirting and the fact that the two woman lived together.
Come 2012’s ‘The Snowmen’ Vastra had made an honest woman of Jenny, declaring ‘Good evening. I am a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife’. It was a throwaway line but it cemented the love between the two characters.
Their recent appearance in ‘Deep Breath’ gave the viewers a glimpse into their home life, with Jenny scolding Vastra for flirting with Clara and lamenting the importance of keeping their relationship a secret in the unforgiving Victorian society they live in. But it’s what happened towards the end of the episode that has certain fans furious. In order to save Jenny from the Clockwork Droids, Vastra shares her stored oxygen with her, and thus their kiss occurs. This is second same-sex kiss to occur in Doctor Who’s history, with John Barrowman’s Jack Harkness planting a smacker on Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor way back in 2005’s ‘The Parting of the Ways’. It has long been claimed that Doctor Who has a so-called ‘gay agenda’.
Pink News reported that some reviewers believed the same-sex kiss between Vastra and Jenny was ‘unnecessary’ and quoted an unnamed reviewer who stated that they ‘found those characters that liked to display their preferences to be inappropriate for a children’s program, but the BBC seem to want to become a porn channel and are slowly edging into it. I think they wish to come out of the closet, well I have no objection to that if they become a private adult channel, but not on out license fee.’
Another is claimed to have stated that they ‘thought [the kiss] was gratuitous and not particularly welcome in a family show aimed at kids,’ before going onto say that Steven Moffat is ‘on some weird, lizard-lesbian perv trip’.
Rightfully so, these comments have angered a lot of fans. The same-sex kiss was not gratuitous in the slightest (had it been, that would have surely been inappropriate in a children’s TV show) and it wasn’t just thrown in for the sake of it. Their kiss was necessary for their survival. Just as Jenny must pose as Vastra’s ‘maid’ to keep their unconventional relationship a secret, so to was the kiss important to them surviving the Clockwork Droid’s attack. Strax was preparing to commit suicide in order to protect Vastra and Jenny and yet not many reviewers seem to be commenting upon this. Surely committing suicide is more damaging to children viewers than a kiss between two female characters.
It has not yet been revealed whether any official complaints have been made against the BBC, but you can probably guess that some have been lodged.