Davies and Moffat debate a certain Doctor's marriage to hilarious effect

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Mar 21, 2019, 12:56 PM EDT (Updated)

Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have both been very successful show-runners in their time, not just on Doctor Who, but with their own IPs, too. But, hard truth time -- they both wish the Doctor were real so they could be his special, um...special companion. Moffat's nursing his nerd love so hard that he's written about the Doctor being married not once, not twice, but thrice. Player gets around. The Doctor's been married to Marilyn Monroe, River Song, and even Queen Elizabeth I.

That third one, though? Good Queen Bess? It was Davies who first mentioned that wedding. And this, friends is where the tongue-in-cheek battle of the Whovians begins.

It all started innocently enough, over a fan's question in last month's issue of Doctor Who Magazine:

How valid are the Doctor's marriages to Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe and River Song? Technically they're all dead, so he's a widower. But he could easily time travel back to when they're alive. So is he a bigamist or not?

Now, as a matter of public record, Steven Moffat is not very good at leaving "Well, actually..." questions like this alone. It's sort of the reason he needed to step away from Twitter permanently -- he has a compulsion to out "Well, actually..." all comers. But, lack-of-Twitter be damned, Moffat responded to this question in print. He explained each wedding. He claimed the marriage we saw between the Doctor and Elizabeth in Day of the Doctor doesn't count because they never consummated the marriage.

And if you're feeling a little "Well, actually..." welling up inside you right now because of a certain line from a certain Tenth Doctor regeneration episode, you are not alone. Yes, Russell T. Davies, himself, goes there by responding in the very next issue of DWM.

I love your list in DWM 482 of the Doctor’s many wives. Did you ever think we’d be having that conversation, 10 years ago? But... what’s this? His marriage to Queen Elizabeth the First was unconsummated? But, but, but... in The End of Time Part One, the Tenth Doctor arrives on the Ood-Sphere to greet his old friend Ood Sigma with the words, “Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess. And let me tell you, her nickname is no longer... ahem.” So, what does that mean, boss? What can it possibly mean?? Steven, what does it MEAN??? Thank you.

Yes, Davies! "Well, actually..." that Moffat. "Well, actually..." him like the wind! Because, yeah, waitaminute! I think all of us who memorize every line from every Doctor Who episode can say with some confidence that the Doctor and Queen Elizabeth were most definitely gettin' busy!

But, wait, there's more! Remember that time, like, five seconds ago, when I told you that Moffat must always have the last "Well actually..."? Well, he does, and he did, and it's kind of glorious.

Oh for God’s sake, PAY ATTENTION. You’ve gone soft up there in Manchester. Practically tofu, I’d say. Probably all that lazing about, never writing any episodes for me, even though I wrote six for you. Yes, SIX. Actually, no, SEVEN. Time Crash counts too – and it was for charity. But never mind, oh no, I’ll just type on and on and neglect my children, that’s fine!
 Okay, the facts. I said the marriage was unconsummated – and so it was. You saw for yourself in The Day of the Doctor – he ran straight off after the ceremony. Would we have put that on television if it wasn’t true? But I never said – not once, not ever – that the relationship was unconsummated!"

Yes, Russell! I went there. Even as you
 gasp and clutch the furniture for support, 
I am writing in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine, about pre-marital shenanigans! I realise you’ve probably never heard of such unsanctified naughtiness – glancing at your resume, I see
 you write mainly about fruit and veg for
 Channel 4 – but it does go on, you know.
 Well, outside of Manchester. So there you are. You may sleep again. The Doctor’s boast in The End of Time (oh, and thanks for that title, just before I took over) and my statement that his marriage to Elizabeth was unconsummated are in no way contradictory. True fact! Accept my True Fact. Back away in shame at your wrongness. Actually, write me a story, and we’ll say no more about it.

Oh, snap! That's not very family programming now, is it? But, bless, I think it's probably time to admit that the Doctor is probably not all that different from the rest of us mere mortals when it comes to pre-marital bliss-havings.

Oh, and gentlemen? Nice try, but, "Well, actually..." that TImelord is MINE. Do kindly see yourselves out.

(via Radio Times)