WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Who, "Eve of the Daleks," which aired Saturday, January 1st on BBC.
Doctor Who greeted the new year with another holiday special featuring the Daleks. While it can technically be considered the final installment of the Dalek New Year's Specials trilogy, "Eve of the Daleks" stands out from the previous specials -- "Resolution" and "Revolution of the Daleks" -- in two major ways: first, this final installment doesn't feature the Doctor's previous companions Ryan Sinclair and his adoptive grandfather, Graham O'Brien. Second, it's the first special to confirm what fans have long suspected about Yasmin "Yaz" Khan since at least Season 12: Yaz is in love with the Doctor.
Looking back, the seeds were planted as early as Season 11 when Yaz, Ryan and Graham all joined Team TARDIS. The first major clue was Yaz's own mother, Najia, asking if her daughter's new female friend was someone she was dating. While Yaz denied any romantic involvement with the Doctor at the time, it still suggested her mother has always been aware of her daughter's sexual preference, even if the latter was completely in denial. The fact Najia didn't scrutinize Yaz over the possibility of being romantically interested in women also suggests Najia is actually supportive of her daughter.
More of Yaz's romantic interest in the Doctor was explored in Season 12, beginning with the fact she started behaving more like the Doctor whenever they were separated and had to take control of dangerous situations on her own. When the Master revealed early on in the season that he destroyed Gallifrey after learning the devastating truth about the Time Lord race, Yaz was the companion to feel bothered by the Doctor's unwillingness to discuss what was bothering her. This frustration only intensified after the Doctor met a previous incarnation of herself she couldn't remember and refused to talk about why this was bothering her.
In the Season 12 episode "The Haunting of Villa Diodati," while spending time with authors Mary Shelley, John Polidori, Lord Byron and his then partner Claire Clairmont, Yaz confided in the latter that she knew what it was like to be in love with someone who never expressed their feelings. While Yaz didn't name the person she was referring to, it was very obvious she meant the Doctor. This was soon validated in the Season 12 finale when the Doctor decided to send her companions back to Earth and to their own time to protect them from the Master and Cybermen, which Yaz objected to.
Yaz was very visibly hurt by the Doctor's decision to send her back to Earth and was even more upset about not hearing from her for 10 whole months in "Revolution of the Daleks." While Graham and Ryan had already moved on from the Doctor, Yaz had not and decided to continue travelling with her, leading to the events of Doctor Who: Flux. Prior to the Flux event, the Doctor had been tracking down clues about her missing past during her travels with Yaz, but kept all of this a secret from her, which Yaz recognized as being kept at arms' length.
During Doctor Who: Flux, Yaz continued to behave like the Doctor when she was separated from her twice: first when she was summoned to the Temple of Atropos and when she was sent back to 1901 by a weeping angel, along with new companion Dan Lewis and Prof. Jericho. It was while they were stranded in the early 20th century that Dan became aware of Yaz's romantic feelings for the Doctor, especially when he started noticing how often she looked at a hologram of her.
Once Team TARDIS was reunited at the end of Flux, the Doctor had learned that her time was running short and that she needed to tell Yaz the truth about herself. Unfortunately, however, she ended up having second thoughts and decided to once again keep Yaz at arms' length, which once again, frustrated Yaz. All of this buildup reaches its climax in "Eve of the Daleks" when Team TARDIS finds themselves trapped in a time loop within a self-storage building, along with the building's owner Sarah and her customer Nick.
While trapped inside the time loop, an executioner Dalek squad decides to exterminate the Doctor as a way of holding her accountable for the deaths of millions of Daleks during the Flux event. The Doctor starts behaving more aggressively than usual about the Daleks' threat, but continues to avoid communicating important information to Yaz in particular. It is at this point that Dan asks Yaz if she has ever told the Doctor how she feels. Yaz, at first denies that her feelings are romantic, but Dan remains unconvinced.
No longer able to hide the truth, Yaz finally admits that she does love the Doctor romantically, but also admits she had trouble accepting those feelings herself. Despite this not being his call to make, Dan still decides to "help" Yaz by outing her to the Doctor, but the latter pretends not to understand what he means. He calls her out on this by telling her she's only pretending not to notice. This cuts the Doctor to her core. On the one hand, she appears to reciprocate Yaz's feelings, but at the same time, she knows it's a doomed romance because her own death is quickly approaching. Whether or not the Doctor comes to admit her own feelings for Yaz in the remaining two specials is yet to be seen.
KEEP READING: Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks Forces the Doctor to Face Consequences for her Actions