Ten/Sex (live show)

The Doctor, survivor of the Last Great Time War, discovers to his horror that the Daleks he thought dead have returned to exterminate humanity. He sends his friend Rose Tyler home, but she absorbs the energy of the Time Vortex in order to obliterate the Daleks – energy which will destroy her. The Doctor, already prepared to die, absorbs the energy from Rose with a kiss and bids her a proud farewell before regenerating. The new Doctor is younger, happier and more engaged, but retains something of his predecessor’s hard edge – and after a rocky start, soon develops a deeper connection with Rose.

Splendid Chaps is a year-long celebration of Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary: eleven live performances recorded as podcasts in which your brains will be fed, your funny bones tickled, and your hearts opened (yes, both of them!). Our tenth major episode brings us to many people’s first (and favourite) Doctor, David Tennant. Phenomenally popular, and quickly establishing his own fanbase independent of the show, Tennant stayed in the role over five years, all the way to the end of Russell T Davies time as showrunner, cementing the program’s success and becoming “the” Doctor for a whole generation of viewers.

Seemingly a big part of Tennant’s success was his sex appeal – something foreign to many fans of the classic series. The Doctor of the Old Time (and most of his friends) seemed disinterested in sex, save for the occasional bit of flirting, but in the new series he clearly romances Rose, spurns Martha, fends off Amy and perves on Clara; he’s snogged every female companion, and “danced” with or married a slew of historical figures. Then there’s future pansexual Captain Jack; Amy and Rory, who spend their honeymoon in costume and their wedding night in the TARDIS; and the love affair that lasts lifetimes between the Doctor and Professor River Song. Is this weird? Is it awesome? What does modern Doctor Who say about sex, relationships and sexuality, and did the classic series have anything to say about them?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by writer, broadcaster and critic Richard Watts (artsHub, RRR’s SmartArts) and erotica writer and burlesque performer Aimee Nichols. Plus music from Melbourne geek rock band Blue Turtle Shell, giveaways from our lovely sponsors, and all the usual tomfoolery! (But no hanky panky.)

Space: The Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (corner of Alexandra Parade)
Time: Sunday, October 13; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: We regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of October, 2013.


  1. Andrew Mitchell says:

    I might have misheard at the end of Nine/Women but I don’t think I heard “The Doctor’s Wife” in the homework for this episode Ten/Sex. That’s a glaring omission in my view. The chemistry between Suranne Jones and Matt Smith was electric. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

  2. Mathew Guglielmi says:

    Having rewatched The Girl In the Fireplace recently, there are lines in the script that foreshadow the “raggedy doctor” aspect of the 10th Doctor’s personality. Madame Pompodor talks about whether it is sensible for an adult to still have an imaginary friend. Was this deliberate foreshadowing or was Moffat just recycling ideas from his story?

    Captain Jack maybe hinted at in The Christmas Invasion. The first costume that the Doctor pulls out is the costume that David Tennant wore in the RTD scripted mini series – Casanova (which starred David Tennant as a young Giacomo Casanova). Some fans have theorised that Captain Jack (Giacomo means Jack in Italian) may be a representation of Casanova.

  3. Andrew Waddington says:

    As a child watching the perpetual re-runs on Channel 2 [yes I said channel 2 instead of ABC: I’m a hipster at heart!] the asexual Doctor was core to the program. The Doctor didn’t have time for girls [in that sense] because he had worlds and civilisations to save… although mostly just getting himself out of a mess by running down corridors. He cared for his friends [or companions if you’re more comfortable with that term], but as mates: not as partners. I’m rather ignorant of the Virgin New Adventures and the audios from the wilderness years, but wholeheartedly jumped back on with the new series [I watched the movie in ’96, but i never really considered it cannon with the ridiculous half human Doctor so the kissing in that I considered an exception, not the rule].
    The moment that has stayed with me the most in new series is in “Dalek” when the dalek taunts the Doctor with the line won’t you save the woman you LOVE [the dalek has been revitalised with Rose’s touch and been infected with her DNA insinuating that it knows Rose’s feelings for the Doctor]. This is the first time I can recall the Doctor being told he loves someone, and instead of denying it or playing it down, he relents and frees the dalek… this is when [to me at least] the series takes that definitive turn to sexualising the Doctor.
    Any thoughts?
    P.S: I brought and read “Queers Dig Time Lords” at the last show and found it to be an amazing book! It has opened a whole new aspect of the show up to me and I’ve found myself rewatching old who to read between the lines… Stones Of Blood I’m looking firmly at you!!!!
    Highly recommended and a great essay by Splendid Chap John!!

  4. Avril says:

    Moffat has said re the Doctor’s thoughts about people being gay or straight: ‘He comes from a world where such narrow views seem so ridiculous they’re hard to remember.’

    Question: Does the panel think that’s an encouraging vision of a pansexual future or a cop-out in the current world where same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Australia, homosexual ‘propaganda’ has been criminalised in Russia, and Nigeria has passed a bill making homosexuality a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison?

    (Remembering that, unlike Whedon, Moffat is not God, so he may not know what the Doctor really thinks.)

    • John Richards says:

      I’ve talked extensively about this in an essay in Queers Dig Time Lords – http://www.amazon.com/Queers-Dig-Time-Lords-Celebration/dp/1935234145 – so I’ll hopefully shut up a bit in the show. But the fact my essay is called “The Heterosexual Agenda” tips my hand a bit. I think “pan-sexual” is a cop-out myself, and I find Captain Jack to be the 21st century equivalent of Are You Being Served’s Mr Humphries. But I’m sure there will be discussion on this matter!

      • I don’t yet have a copy of ‘Queers Dig Time Lords’. I’m hoping one is wending its way to me from Book Depository, but it hasn’t yet appeared. 🙁

        I think I agree with you about ‘pansexual’ but I love Captain Jack! I wonder if there’s a gender difference in the way that people respond to him.

  5. Steph P says:

    This was my first podcast that I’ve listened to, given the title how could I refuse!! (If there was a question mark after the title the answer would be yes please!). You guys said some things I didn’t agree with, but also said some things that made me laugh out loud in public (as I listened to it) and also said some things that made me remember nice bits and pieces I’d forgoten in the DT series. Thanks guys 🙂

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