[CW: sexual assault, sexism]
Before anyone starts defending Moffat and going ‘NOT ALL OF MOFFAT’S LADY CHARACTERS’, let’s look at the female companions ONLY, since that’s where the issue comes in. In Moffat’s episodes, there are five women who the Doctor wanted to take on as a companion:
- Reinette - The Girl in the Fireplace, the Doctor met when she was a young girl and then inadvertently time travelled and met her again when she was older when she proceeded to kiss him and profess her love for him. The Doctor wanted to go back and get her so she could travel with him as a companion, but she died before that could happen.
- Amy Pond - Otherwise known as the girl who waited since she met him after he regenerated when she was a young girl and then waited for him for years, idolising him, until he came back for her. She kissed him and sexually assaulted* him in her pre-wedding jitters.
- River Song - The Doctor may not have met her when she was a child first, but she met him for the first time when she was a child. Then she grew up, brainwashed, knowing that she would both kill and marry the Doctor. When she met him again as an adult she also sexually assaulted* him.
- Rita - The God Complex, the only companion-hopeful who the Doctor didn’t meet when she was younger, and also the only companion-hopeful in an episode not written/introduced by Moffat (Toby Whithouse wrote it). The Doctor offered her a place on the TARDIS before she died.
- Clara Oswin Oswald - The Doctor met her several times before he met her as a child, but this specific incarnation has him meeting her first as a child. While Clara’s identity is still unknown, it is obvious that she has no prior memories of the Doctor, therefore is meeting him again for the first time as a young girl. The Doctor, as we know, will inevitably find her again and take her as a companion.
Mentioning his other female characters detracts from the point. It’s derailing the issue of Moffat’s repetitive plots for his female companions. We’re not talking about other characters like Sally Sparrow or Liz Ten, since the Doctor didn’t offer them a place on the TARDIS. We’re talking about the women that the Doctor took a liking to, while still knowing them as children. It’s not even happenstance when it happens four times. It’s not coincidence, it’s a trope, and one Moffat continuously relies on when it comes to his female companions.
*Sexual assault is defined as unwanted sexual contact, or sexual contact without consent. Both Amy and River threw themselves on the Doctor without getting consent beforehand. It’s not them asserting their sexuality, it’s them assaulting someone.