Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa kisses Jonathan Groff milestone gay moment

Culture, Doctor Who, Jonathan Groff, LGBTQ, Ncuti Gatwa, russell t davies, TV
Doctor Who'a Ncuti Gatwa (left) shares a kiss with Jonathan Groff's Rogue (right)

Ncuti Gatwa and Jonathan Groff make out and make history in “Rogue”, the latest episode of Doctor Who, sharing a passion kiss and marking the start of the Time Lord’s first fully-fledged gay male romance. Warning: spoilers ahead.

Some fans saw it coming a mile off: with queer TV writer Russell T Davies helming Doctor Who’s new season, and with the legendary two-hearted alien being played by a queer actor for the first time, it seemed inevitable. 

Now, it’s official. Gatwa’s Doctor is in love with a man, and that man is gay Glee actor Jonathan Groff’s mysterious character, Rogue.

In the latest episode, which dropped on streaming services earlier today (8 June), Gatwa’s Doctor and his assistant Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) land in the Bridgerton-style Regency era, in the middle of a ball.

As Groff, playing the enigmatic space-travelling Rogue, looks over the ballroom from a balcony, the Doctor is immediately taken by him. The homoerotic tension is palpable.

Jonathan Groff (L), Millie Gibson and Ncuti Gatwa (R) in Doctor Who.
Rogue (L) meets The Doctor and Ruby at a Regency ball. (James Pardon/BBC Studios)

This is Gatwa’s Doctor at his most flirtatious yet.

As Rogue invites Gallifrey’s most famous exile back to his spaceship, the Doctor soon realises that his new friend is definitely a little fruity. His spacecraft is linked up to a sound system, and it appears the latest song he was listening to was Kylie Minogue’s monster hit, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”.

It’s probably not the first time someone’s been outed because they’ve got Kylie on their playlist.

After convincing Rogue that he’s not the threat he might seem, the Doctor interrogates him on who he’s lost in life, hinting that the bounty hunter once had a male partner.

“We travelled together, we had fun,” Rogue says. “Then a day came along and at the end of that day, I lost him.”

From then on, their whirlwind romance picks up pace, as the duo contemplate packing it all in to travel through time and space together.

Ncuti Gatwa is the first queer Black actor to portray The Doctor in Doctor Who
Ncuti Gatwa took the keys to the Tardis at the end of last year. (BBC Studios/Bad Wolf)

“When we both get out of this, let’s argue across the stars,” the Doctor suggests, before they go in for a kiss – which is interrupted by the Tardis warning of danger unfolding.

As monstrous bird creatures called the Chuldur send the evening’s ball spiralling into chaos, the Doctor faces a decision which could see him lose one of his closest allies.

But it’s Rogue who swoops in to save the day. Before he does so, he seals his love for the Doctor with a pretty lengthy smooch, making history by giving the Doctor his first gay, romantic kiss.

Doctor Who fans will remember that the Time Lord has had a man-on-man smooch before, in “The Parting Of The Ways”, in 2005, when Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, says goodbye to the Doctor with a kiss on the lips.

In “Rogue”, though, showrunner Davies is setting the wheels in motion for the sci-fi hero to embark on his first fully-fledged gay romance.

Fans got their first hint that this version of the Doctor was a member of the LGBTQ+ community last year, when the 60th anniversary specials aired. 

As David Tennant reprised the role, he suggested that he had a crush on laws of gravity discoverer Isaac Newton. Then, in the Christmas 2023 episode, Gatwa’s Doctor revealed that he’d had a “hot summer” with illusionist Harry Houdini.

After all that, Davies teased that the Doctor would be exploring his “queer energy” in the new season.

And with the help of Goff, he certainly has. 

Doctor Who is streaming on BBC iPlayer in the UK and Disney+ internationally. “Rogue” airs on BBC1 on Saturday (8 June) at 6.45pm.

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