After years of speculations from fans, last month’s Doctor Who special episode confirmed that Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor and Mandip Gill’s Yasmine “Yaz” Khan have romantic feelings for one another. But is their romance, called “Thasmin” by fans, part of the show’s original plan?
Speaking at the Gallifrey One fan convention last Friday, Doctor Who executive producer Matt Strevens revealed that Thasmin was not planned at all. According to a series of tweets quoting Strevens at the event, Whittaker had noticed discussions online about the Doctor and Yaz supposedly harboring feelings for each other after season 11. The actress reportedly brought it up to the show’s producers but the latter, including Strevens, didn’t give much thought to it and ended up forgetting about it.
"Jodie said after the first season, oh there's speculation out there, but we hadn't really thought about it."
— Kevin (@scribblesscript) February 18, 2022
Flux I believe. Strevens said after Jodie brought it up after series 11 he "forgot about it"
— Kevin (@scribblesscript) February 19, 2022
Screen Rant reported that idea of developing a full-blown romance between the Doctor and Yaz was only seriously considered when Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall was forced to change season 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Yaz is not sure about what these feelings she’s having are,” Strevens reportedly said, adding that “there’s more to come” about Thasmin in the upcoming two Doctor Who special episodes. While it remains to be seen how the Thasmin storyline will wrap up, the fact that Whittaker’s stint as the Doctor will end after the two specials suggests that the romance will be tied up to the Doctor’s regeneration story, which likely spells a tragic end to the relationship.
Prior to officially confirming Thasmin in last January’s Eve of the Daleks where Yaz admitted to John Bishop’s Dan Lewis that she has feelings for the Doctor, several viewers had insisted that Doctor Who clearly hinted at Thasmin in season 11, episode 4. Titled Arachnids in the U.K., the said installment featured a scene in which Yaz’s mother tried to interrogate the Doctor about her relationship with her daughter and suggested that the two were seeing one another.
The second Doctor Who special starring Whittaker as the titular character is expected to air in early 2022, with the third and final special set to air in late 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.