Doctor Who’s “The Eaters of Light” Featured an LGBTQ Chat With Roman Soldiers

The most recent episode of Doctor Who, “The Eaters of Light,” broached the topic of Bill’s sexuality with some Roman soldiers. Curious how that went?

[Editor’s Note: Some spoilers for the episode.]

Directed by Charlie Palmer and written by Rona Munro (who worked on Classic Who), the episode features the Doctor, Bill, and Nordole traveling to 2nd century Scotland to discover (or not) the Ninth Legion of the Imperial Roman army. Bill goes off on her own and finds what’s left of them and one immediately seems interested in her romantically. She reads this and prepares to explain she’s a lesbian and I thought to myself, “Oh, they’re not gonna have any problem with that.” Sure enough. But the whole scene (presented partially in the video above) is a really refreshing one. I even made GIFs.

Cornelius: Yeah, don’t worry, Bill, Lucius will look after you.

Lucius: Shut up, Cornelius!

Bill: Ahh, Lucius, erm, right, listen there’s, erm, something I should explain.

Lucius: What?

Bill: This is probably just a really difficult idea. I don’t like men that way.

Lucius: What? Not ever?

Bill: Nah, not ever. Only women.

Lucius: Oh. Alright, yeah, I’ve got it. You’re like Vitus then.

Bill: What?

Lucius: He only likes men.

Vitus: Some men. Better looking men than you, Lucius.

Lucius: I don’t think it’s narrow-minded, I think it’s fine. You know what you like.

Bill: And you like both?

Lucius: I’m just ordinary, I like men and women.

Bill: [laughs] Well isn’t this all very…modern?

Lucius: Hey, not everyone has to be modern. I think it’s really sweet that you’re so restricted.

Bill: [insulted] Cheers.

Lucius: We can be friends though. I did save your life, that means we’re friends forever.

Bill: [laughs] Yeah, I can deal with that.

Season 10 of Doctor Who has had some hits and misses but seeing lesbian, gay, and bisexual representation in one scene, and discussed in this manner, was great to see.

Besides this, I was surprised to find out at the end of the episode that we’re headed into the finale with only two episodes left in the season. I like Bill a lot but I feel like I barely know her after ten episodes. A lot has happened for sure but not a lot of substance (she has yet to mention that photo of her mother in which the Doctor is clearly visible). Presumably they’ll be packing a lot into “World Enough and Time” and “The Doctor Falls.” Both are directed by Rachel Talalay with scripts by the departing Steven Moffat. [Edit: Peter Capaldi’s last episode will be the 2017 Christmas Special but no word on whether or not Pearl Mackie will have a part in it.]

What did you think of this scene and what are your thoughts on the season overall so far?

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  • lev36

    “I’m just ordinary, I like men and women.”

    Very nice.