Doctor Who at Pride

London's annual Pride parade is taking place this year on 30th June, which is, of course, a Saturday. This will have many a gay Doctor Who fan in a dither, because 30th June is also Doctor Who's season finale - but don't panic! The organisers of the festival, mindful of the show's not inconsiderable gay audience, will be showing the episode on a big screen in Trafalgar Square.

For diehard Doctor Who fans its a bizarre - if pleasant - state of affairs. It's pretty fair to say there was nothing remotely sexy about the world's longest-running science fiction series between 1963 and it's last episode in 1989. After its cancellation, the gap was filled by a range of original novels pusblished by Virgin, which were peppered with sex and swearing. Russell T. Davies, creater of Queer As Folk, penned the first intimation of gay sex in Doctor Who, with buff blonde cop from the future Chris Cwej hopping into bed with a boy from a 1990s London council estate.

Doctor Who was revived by the BBC - and Russell T. Davies - in 2003, and was a huge hit, now into a third series with a fourth coming next year. The show saw its first bisexual lead with John Barrowman playing Captain Jack, and its first gay kiss, between Jack and the Doctor (and later Jack and himself - don't ask). A raft of out gay actors have appeared, as well as straight actors who have previously played gay characters, and spin-off show Torchwood was a hotbed of gay sex antics. But the sexing-up of Doctor Who has been an acknowledgement of its large gay following, rather than growing organically from the show itself, which started life as an early evening children's adventure series.

Doctor Who is on BBC1 on Saturdays. The London Pride parade starts at 11a.m. on Saturday 30th June.


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